Quick Hits

4637745.bin

AUDIO: Michael Cammalleri | Brian Gionta | Hal Gill | Carey Price | Scott Gomez | James Wisniewski | Claude Julien | Jacques Martin

Photo by Allen McInnis, The Gazette

Claude Julien, breathing a lot easier now that his job is safe until Thursday night, said Boston needed the good start it got at the Bell Centre.

“We know how (the Canadiens) play when they score early,” the Bruins coach added. “With us taking the lead, it got them out of their comfort zone.”

The Bruins early jump put the Canadiens in a discomfort zone that last through the first half of the game. And Boston did it by following the blueprint the Canadiens had demonstrated at the TD Banknorth Garden:

Score early.

Play smart.

Give your goaltender a chance to win.

I actually thought Tim Thomas had a tougher time than Carey Price did in Boston. The Canadiens system of max protecting Price limited the Bruins to peripheral play and low-percentage shots through Games One and Two.

The Canadiens came at Thomas in waves through the last 30 minutes of  Game Three. Their speed advantage had Bruins defenders on their heels, particularly during a 15-shot third period.

But it wasn’t enough, and it started too late.

Hal Gill and Carey Price talked about a lackadaisical attitude at the team’s morning skate. Jacques Martin noticed.

“It’s a good thing we weren’t playing this morning,” the coach said during his post-game press conference, “because we weren’t ready.

“We didn’t compete the first 30 minutes of the game,” Martin added. “This time of year, you have to be ready.”

Martin highlighted his team’s compete level and its execution of their system as two qualities that were absent when the puck dropped. The Canadiens blew an early power play, surrendered a bad-coverage goal almost immediately thereafter and the loudest building in the league settled into stunned silence.

If the players had been loose at morning skate, they were tight through the early going.

Boston defencemen, who’d had a terrible time clearing their zone through Games One and Two, were given acres of open ice.

The Canadiens D pinched at inopportune times, and the Bruins mounted more odd-man rushes than they’d had through the first 120 minutes of the series.

Give the Canadiens credit for resilience. Down 3-0, they ramped up their O-zone game and began pressuring Thomas, who gave up two bad goals (as did Price) but made his usual quotient of acrobatic saves when he had to.

And so it’s a series.

The Canadiens are off Tuesday, but I’ll wake up early and try to come up with some profound thoughts.

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  6. Tony McLean says:

    Too bad about the spammers, hope admin nukes them.

    “Trading Jaroslav Halak was the brain dead move of all time.” Red Fisher

  7. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    If we must blame somebody, something (we did lose) than I say MARTIN and SPACEK…

    I didn’t agree with SPACEK in over MARA, especially against Boston, but maybe MARTIN thought MARA was too much of a hot head, well, that aside MARA is a veteran and could have been corralled in his play. The fact is SPACEK was weak on 2 goals last night, he plays scared and it caused sustained pressure = goal.

    Add Prices own goal and its a loss.

    I’m not in agreement with MARTINS game plan when we went behind early, meaning sit WHITES line…

    anyway, all we have to do is win THURS… the alternative is a DISASTER.

  8. Natty-Dread says:

    It seems all of our talk about the team being cautious and of not being overconfident showed with their play, at least in the first 30 minutes of the game. They seemed nervous and were expecting the bruins to come out flying, which they didn’t. The team keeps planning on weathering a storm from this ‘better’ team, hoping to play smart and disciplined hockey and catch their mistakes, yet we shouldn’t forget that the habs could very easily be the better of the two teams, and could – no, SHOULD – play with confidence earned from two huge wins away. Strike while the iron is hot boys! Now, when they have the crowd at their back, they have the chance to do some real damage.
    On a side note, Spacek seems back in his pattern just like the Washington series last year – a couple of really good games, then…getting burned. Frequently. Also, why bench Weber when he had such a sick game on Saturday?

  9. The Cat says:

    It amazes me how the team with most shots on goal usually loses in hockey it seems…Doesnt pay to dominate I guess.

    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  10. G-Man says:

    If anyone would have told me Montreal would have a 2 games to 1 lead in the series heading in Thursday night, wouldn’t you take it? 1 poor 30 minute stretch in 3 games and many are on the “Gomez didn’t play well since game 1″ bs bandwagon. The habs collectively shot themselves in the foot in the first 30 minutes last night, each player wanting to do way too much for the adoring crowd. They got away from the game plan and paid for it. Lesson learned. Next.

  11. punkster says:

    Weak start, dumbass Price move, great 3rd period, we’ll get ‘em next game.

    Chill.

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  12. HabsFanInVictoria says:

    So we lose a game and it’s Gomez’s fault? The guy worked his ass off and has for weeks. You want something to complain about? Look in a mirror. The Habs were up 2-0 and had an off night against a team that wanted the win more than they did.

    “Chill” and enjoy the game on Wednesday.

  13. jackobert says:

    First Power play lineup;

    Plekanic- Ak46 – Gionta

    D – Subban and Weber

    Never put Gomer on the PP… ever! And perhaps have him visit Hamilton to see what it looks like to play for peanuts!

  14. J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

    Random observations:

    * It may have been a loss, but it was by far the most entertaining game of the series thus far. The first period was played at hyper-speed with relentless back-and-forth rushes. I hear the Bell Centre medical staff got out the defibrillator for Bob Cole, just in case.

    * Speaking of the adenoidal voice of Newfoundland, Cole should really apologize to Cammalleri for repeatedly identifying him as the one muffing all those offensive-zone opportunities. It was Gomez. Oh well, Bob, a “1″ can look like a “3″, I guess.

    * Booner was mocking Julien’s coaching acumen in the last two games, so perhaps we should now give Mike Holmgren’s little brother the credit he is due for some smart adjustments in game 3. The Bruins lined up 4 across at their blueline, and the Habs stubbornly refused to dump it in, stick-checking into turnovers. And they ran a neutral zone trap that looked mighty similar to what the Habs had been using. And they beautifully cut off the Habs’ favoured PP passing lanes, leaving our lads bumbling and confused with the man-advantage.

    * Speaking of our Impotency Play, might we not be better off dressing Weber to use on the PP, and sit Pouliot out…, forever? Desharnais and Darche had some real jump, and looked capable of big things, but everytime the puck wound up in Poo-poo’s vicinity, pffffft. Deflation.

    * Kudos to Gionta and Pleks who really stepped up their play in the third period. True leaders (take notes, Gomez). And AK46 is such a power out there. If his foot has recovered, JM should really consider double-shifting him — with Pleks AND Gomez.

    * Meanwhile, Ryan White, who to me deserved a LOT of credit for the game 1 win, was extremely quiet in this one. Likely afraid to make a mistake in front of the home crowd. I expect he’ll have the eye of the tiger again Thursday.

    * Finally, there are very few venues in sport, and none in hockey. that have the electric atmosphere of a playoff game in Montreal. It isn’t just the decibels of the crowd noise. It is the almost symphonic pitch, harmony, modulations, and crescendos of the tricouleur chorus. Epic!!!

    I remember Dec. 31, 1975

    • yukonhab says:

      Well said…Habs all the way!

      Price 31

    • NoTinFoilCups says:

      Not difficult to distinguish between Gomer and Cammy. Cammy would never be seen fending off two or three players along the boards and maintaining puck possession.

      • athanor says:

        For sure. I don’t understand how guys like Ooder (12:45 a.m.) don’t comprehend that Gomer is more than just offence. He has worked his butt off the past three games doing just what you describe and frequently leading to chances for his linemates.
        Yes, it would be great if he could score, but we need to look at the whole picture here.

        • ooder says:

          i do look at the bigger picture.. but my point is that gomez should be working his ass off… his play in the regular season was sooo bad that this looks great in comparison.. and yes at least he is skating, but that shouldn’t be something to complement him on, it should be something we expect of him.
          he is a professional athlete… effort shouldn’t be commended but should be expected… what should be commended is the extra gear, and i just don’t see it… sorry
          ——————
          GWG = game winning gionta!

  15. Shiloh says:

    Let’s look at the bright side. Price, after a year of carrying this team, finally has an off game – but he does it when we can still put a stranglehold on the series with a win in Game 4. Now the boys have to pick him up. It could be a hell of a lot worse. It was actually a good time to have an off game.

  16. Laramy87 says:

    I do not believe this game will give Boston any momentum. Yes the Habs came out flat in the first period and a half. But its like they got a kick in the butt on the bench and they were on fire. They found their legs and skill and almost tied the game.
    We know we can beat them and this time of year you have to shake those bad mid-season habits about starting slow, pedal to the metal for a full 60 like we did in Boston.

    • Bouleau noir says:

      No doubts wich team is the better one when protecting a lead…… this should help us down this series.

      Two other aspects where we are better are special units….. although that remained to be proved during PP since we only scored a single goal in our three games against them and that we fared ho so bably tonight registering only TWO SHOTS on 5 PP OCCASIONS.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      I completely agree. UNLESS in Tim Thomas, as Admiral Yamamoto said after destroying Pearl Harbor, “We have awakened a sleeping giant.”

  17. No question that the Canadiens beat themselves tonight. They came out flat and the Bruins were the benefactors, but I really don’t think Boston deserves much credit.

    They were absolutely reeling in the last half of the game, bleeding chances like crazy and surviving solely because Thomas has 16 tons of horse shoes crammed up his backside. He was also horrendous tonight, couldn’t track the puck or get into position at all, and I’m stunned the Habs didn’t score 5-6 goals to be honest.

    If anything I think this game was necessary to teach the players (especially Price) that nothing is a given in this league, and that you can’t afford to start slow. To be honest this game sealed the deal for me that Montreal hasn’t just been benefiting from Boston’s poor play, they’re just a vastly superior team, and they’ll probably close this up in 5.

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      I honestly don’t know how Thomas gets his save percentage that high with the way he gives out rebound gifts. Guys like Knuble should be getting hat tricks off him.

      - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

    • Rainrocket16 says:

      I sure hope you are right! It seems that Boston is just flabber ghasted trying to keep up with us, so why do we slow down? Just win game 4 and burn them in Beantown for Max!!

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Don’t underestimate Thomas. He is by no means stylish, but it’s no accident that he’s the leading Vezina candidate and leads the league in various departments. Especially when you consider the slow pace of the D men in front of him.

      Totally agree with the rest of your analysis. I doubt JM will allow them start Game 4 in the manner in which they finished Game 3. But we know we can turn it on. And as long as Thomas doesn’t turn red-hot, we will outplay Boston and win.
      Cheers

  18. ooder says:

    can we please stop saying gomez is playing well though…
    the only reason it looks like he is playing well is because our expectations are so low… seriously… when is the last time this guy scored a goal.. and no this is not a jab.. i honestly cannot remember.
    today he had a wide empty net and he pushes the puck into thomas.
    yes he skates fast and rushes the puck.. but wtvr.. score a goddamn goal or set one up.. and no stopping inside of the blue line and letting gionta do the rest is not setting one up
    ——————
    GWG = game winning gionta!

  19. billylove says:

    There are times when Carey seems a bit too casual and he’s not as good with the puck as he thinks. Next step in the maturation process – BE MORE ATTENTIVE WHEN HANDLING THE PUCK!

    • Tony McLean says:

      That was the third goal, yes. On the second he was totally dopey lost his net – and the puck. I can’t understand these ‘pundits” who go on about his puckhandling and as they’re complimenting him he invariably gives it right to the opposition. Bizarre, it’s more than a pass, it’s downright weird.

      “If I wake up in the morning in a bed with white sheets I think I’m in the hospital.” John Ferguson in Tex-Made Sheets commercial, 1960′s

      • billylove says:

        I get very nervous when he’s handling the puck. Hope he learns from this because otherwise he’s had a damn good year facing tons of pressure.

      • Bouleau noir says:

        Price is a very good puck handler and plays a big role in our defensive system specially against teams which offenses are largelly based on the ” chip and charge ” approach like the Bruins…. this is one of the reason I though that our chances to win a series against them to be pretty good despite the fact that they had score 30 more goals than us through the regular season.

        Puck handling aside his play which led to the third goal was a high risk- low reward decisions from his part which should become rarer with experience.

    • J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

      He definitely is prone to bouts of laissez-faire. He was way too casual, as you said, on many of those plays. And too often he tries the difficult pass instead of the easy one. Wonderful when it works, but disastrous when it doesn’t.

      I remember Dec. 31, 1975

  20. Rainrocket16 says:

    Maybe this 2 days off will help us regroup and hopefully not help the Bruins. So do we have a game plan if we don’t score the first goal? Oh, that’s right send Pouliot out there to goon it up. Seriously though, any knowledgeable suggestions as to how we can win when not scoring the first one?

    • zozotheclown says:

      Simple, play like we did when we were down 3-0 and 3-1, there’s more risk taking involved, but it’s what you have to do to come back in the playoffs.

    • Timo says:

      Gomez scoring a goal would be a good start. So far he had ONE good game the entire season – game 1. Was back to his usual self since. Same goes for Gionta. Our leaders have to be leaders every minute and every shift. Considering we have next to none in secondary scoring, that’s the only suggestion I got. 4 highest paid players do what they are paid to do – score goals whether the team is ahead or behind.

  21. shrack says:

    I guess the most positive thing is that if that was the B’s “A” game then we know we can knock them off. We let em off the hook easy tonight.

  22. SeriousFan09 says:

    Coaching Genius Guy Boucher can’t take a series lead over a Penguins squad missing Crosby and Malkin right now.

    Just saying…

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  23. t1tan5 says:

    One thing I would like to see adjusted is to get Hammer off the PP. He can’t get the puck on net consistently and he can never keep the puck in. Switch him for Weber and I think we’d have a better second wave.

  24. otter649 says:

    Habs were due for a loss it’s not like they have many 4 game winning streaks over the course of this season so a new winning streak starts on thursday………

  25. j2w4habs25 says:

    GO HABS GO!…

    Carey Price #31

  26. Tony McLean says:

    Price sank the ship tonight. He was as lousy at home as he was superb in Bahstan.

    “If I wake up in the morning in a bed with white sheets I think I’m in the hospital.” John Ferguson in Tex-Made Sheets commercial, 1960′s

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      Nonsense, the first two goals happened because the team let him down. One was his fault on the puck-playing manuver but the terrible play by Spacek was the killer and the bad coaching decision to play Hamrlik-Spacek really put the team down early.

      Such a bunch of turncoats in this city.

      - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

      • Malreg says:

        Well, that’s the problem with playing PK and Wiz together on the first wave of the PP. Who does it leave for the 2nd wave? Hamrlik, Spacek, Sopel, and Gill. Obviously Spacek and Hamrlik are the logical options.

      • LA Loyalist says:

        I agree. Spacek didn’t challenge the guy coming out of the corner at all. He could have written a post-card to his grandmother with the time he had. :)

        The other goal was just bad luck and Price being too casual.

        They’ll be better on Thursday. Sometimes it’s easier to play on the road.

    • Habtastic says:

      So…if he doesn’t make 5 exceptional saves after 3-0, you think we bring it to within 1 with 15 mins left?

      Thomas let in worse goals. Carey makes that play many times and most often it saves our butts. He’ll be more careful next time and expect nothing short of a stellar game from him. He didn’t sink us. Stupid plays and lucky bounces did.
      ————–
      The Drive for 25

    • Outside of the “assist” he got on the Peverly goal, I beg to differ.

      The Bruins had 3-4 solid chances, after the Krejci goal, in the first and he came up big. Thomas would have fallen apart, whereas Price stood his ground.

      Horton’s bank shot was no thanks to the Bell Centre boards. The puck bounced right out at the angle it went in behind the net. Price was starting to go to his left, the natural instinct, but it came right to Horton. w___________________________________________

      Note the new digs! but yeah I’m still on Twitter!

      • G-Man says:

        Price slid too far to his right on that play and it took him out of his crease. He stops earlier and that puck can’t be caromed in off his backside. One night with 2 poor goals allowed out of 3. I’ll take that kind of performance every time.

  27. Timo says:

    So what the F does it say about the coaching staff and the so called leaders on this team if there is a lackadaisical attitude during the practice? I mean, if it was evident during the practice, why was nothing done about it? And this is why Habs will continue to be middle of the puck team that can put on great opening ceremonies, but nothing more.

  28. zozotheclown says:

    I’m not too worried, this was a game Boston HAD to win, we just wanted to (barely). Understandable that they would come out alot hungrier then we did. Game 4 is now a series turning point, either we take back momentum and a 3-1 lead going into Boston, or blow a 2-0 lead coming home and head to the 3rd seeds barn thinking about ’06.

    On a more technical note, I enjoy the fact that we have a puckhandling goalie, mistakes will happen, as we saw today, but in the long run its very beneficial to a team. What my worry with Price is, is his predictability, almost 100% of the time, when he stops a dump in behind the net, he reverses the play. What that means is, he sends the puck back out on the side it came in, forcing the opposing team to turn away from the direction their natural momentum was taking them, and potentially catching them off guard for a quick breakout. Its great and all, but if you paid attention today, Boston was onto him. On every dump in he went to field, the B’s players rushed the side it was dumped in on, trying to create a turnover, and it worked once, and nearly a couple other times as well. Hopefully Price/the Habs pick up on that, remember to switch things up from time to time, and just make the easy play, instead of the aggressive play.

  29. DLS HAB says:

    There is no excuse for not being ready. Wake-up, play like the second and third and it will be won in 6!!

  30. Timo says:

    No practice tomorrow? I am shocked.

  31. Rainrocket16 says:

    Here’s a profound tought, this team needs to play at home the way we did on the road! Cannot blow early leads and stand around with your thumb up your butt. The Habs rallied, no doubt but never had this thing. Better come out banging and win this game 4 cuz I cannot handle watching Chara celebrate! Bruins fans are really upset with the fact that we are allegedly diving on every chance when we are behind. Please knock these pricks out of the playoffs!

    • scott9002ca says:

      The Bruins are worse divers!!! Did you see whathisface crying after pouliot’s check missed him. and kreji or whoever diving into the net to get a penalty on gomez? garbage.

  32. Timo says:

    Give them credit? Hell no. Not a chance in hell. No credit when you don’t show up for the game. Credit.

    How about playing full 60 minutes in a pivotal game rather than admiring your own name chanted by the crowd? There is no excuse for coming out as flat as they have in playoffs. There was never an excuse for that kind of crap in the regular season even less so in the playoffs. Some leaders on that team. The leaders and the veterans were the biggest culprits once again.

    • ooder says:

      i know what will calm you down.. how about gomez missing the wide empty net :)

      ——————
      GWG = game winning gionta!

    • Rob D says:

      Agreed.

      A team like the Habs has to go all out every shift. This one gave away an entire period to a team that was psychologically down.

      Anyway, this next game? MUST WIN. The Bruins win it and they win the series. That simple folks.

      I don’t mind them losing but giving it away should gain them zero ‘credit”, third period mini comebacks notwithstanding.

  33. _Habsoloutly_ says:

    JM and Kirk have to get the damn PP going!! The PP has been god-awful for about 15 or more damn games now! Not gonna go far in the damn payoffs with lame specialty teams folks.

  34. observer says:

    Numbers don’t lie THIS team can’t come from behind. They don’t have enough scoring power. Must take the lead and ride it. ONE single win in last 85 games this year was after being down as the 3rd period started.

    • PrimeTime says:

      Some us prefer a team that will take the lead and hold it as opposed to one built that falls behind and have to come from behind to win.

      “Extremism only serves one’s selfish desires”

    • In the regular season, the Penguins won 0 games being down after 40 minutes. Where did they finish in the standings, sans Crosby?

      Considering the best win % after 82 games league wide was .273, it’s safe to say that every team stuggles to come from behind after two periods. That’s because most teams play a shutdown system after two periods and make it difficult for a team to recover.

      The Bruins are not one of those teams, and they proved that tonight.

      Had the Habs played the first 30 minutes, we are likely disproving another one of your sad little opinions.

      ___________________________________________

      Keep your eyes on the prize and on Twitter!

    • Habtastic says:

      I think we had enough chances to tie it up. More than enough. Matter of inches. But we better damn well get that first goal on Thursday, which is starting to feel like September. PP is a big concern. Turn that around and we can come from behind.

      ————–
      The Drive for 25


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