About last night …

Over men and horses hoops and garters

and lastly through a hogshead of real fire

In this way Mr. K will challenge the world

Coach Guy  Carbonneau said you could count on the fingers of one hand the number of bad games Alex Kovalev has played this season.

Actually, you could probably count them on the sore (but, let us pray, not broken) thumb of Mr. K. He is having a career season, and Kovalev has become the darling of the Bell Centre.

For all the car races and kissing contests and lame-ass promotions the Canadiens run to keep 21,273 fans amused, the crowd reachest fullest and most authentic frenzy when Kovalev has the puck.

And he has it a lot. If the NHL kept Time of Possession stats, Kovalev would lead the league’s forwards.

Although he shrugged off the notion of cranking it up because Alexander Ovechkin was in town, you’d best believe the aging superstar – snubbed by the Russian hockey federation for its national team – wanted to show the young pup he’s still got some game.

(My God, that sentence ran longer than one of Kovy’s shifts!)

 

 

There was so much to like about the game. A few aspects that caught my eye:

• Cristobal Huet is in the zone. There were no acrobatic or spectacular saves among the 35 stops he made to record the shutout because Huet is seeing everything, he’s square to the shooters, his positioning is superb, as is his rebound control. He even made a few good passes. Huet is giving Canadiens the hottest goaltending I’ve seen since I started blogging.

• How about that D? You expect Mike Komisarek to have a huge game against Ovechkin, but save some kind words for my man Josh Gorges, who held his own against the hulking sniper. All six defencemen did a great job of keeping the slot clear and moving the puck out. Almost all the Caps’ shots were from bad angles.

• Discipline. Two penalties in the game. They overlapped, Canadiens killed the 5-on-3, Sergei came out of the  box to score shorthanded and when his two minutes were up, Steve Bégin  chased down a lead pass and fed Saku Koivu for the third goal.

• The power play. Two more goals last night, and perimeter passing that’s  frustrating to watch if Canadiens are trailing but very pretty when the team is ahead and looking to pad its lead.

• Christopher Higgins didn’t score but was a monster on the boards and in one-on-one battles for loose pucks. That line will explode if Michael Ryder finds his game (which appears increasingly unlikely).

• Bégin, Bryan Smolinski and Tom Kostopoulos are the best fourth line Canadiens have had this year. Three smart veterans who hit and play with energy.

• When some Capitals thought about swarming Sergei K. after his kneeing penalty, Maxim Lapierre got right into it for his linemate.

Now let’s just hope Kovy’s thumb is OK, and it’s on to Washington tomorrow night.

107 Comments

  1. Dan23 says:

    On the Habs trading front, take it for what it’s worth by the indomitable Bob Gainey:

    http://www.cyberpresse.ca/article/20080131/CPSPORTS0101/80131071/-1/CPSPORTS0101

  2. The Teacher says:

    Who is going to be our 3rd line center in the years to come? I guess you’re thinking Lappy?

  3. Mike says:

    but, where do you see chipper in the habs plan? when does he come up?

  4. The Teacher says:

    Yeah, how could you not know that Mr. Krob!

  5. The Teacher says:

    No arguments there, except we could give a 3rd rather than a 2nd IMO. Ryder is not Chipper.

  6. Chorske says:

    Krob- The thing tht struck me about that link (thanks for posting it) is how few of those February deals end up being championship deals. The two that stand out are the summer deal for Hull and the Roloson acquisition. There is always room for improvement, but not at all costs- I’d be perfectly happy heading into a playoff series with the current bunch, healthy.

  7. 24 Cups says:

    Teach – This isn’t meant to be critical towards them but in all honesty I can’t really say that Sportsnet is on the leading edge of hockey coverage in any respect.

    The Original 24 Cups

  8. Mike says:

    Haha ok. To be honest tho, i would trade Ryder and a 2nd round pick for Dumount and a 5th rounder

  9. Mike says:

    thats what the guy from sportsnet thought would happen.

  10. slamtherimtim says:

    i would do it , and keep komy

  11. The Teacher says:

    your friend and you are right.

  12. The Teacher says:

    that’s what he thinks should happen in a perfect world. I almost fell off my seat laughing that he actually thinks we’d give up that lol.

  13. Mike says:

    now im scared lol. is that true? or what he thinks should ahppen?


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