Reading till the other shoe drops

Witching hour approaches for Cinderella – Roy MacGregor

Skategate

Carter, Laperrière lift Flyers – Arpon Basu

Hab believers put to the test again – Damien Cox

Flyers teach Habs a tough lesson – Allan Muir of SI

Flyers put Habs on the brink – Scott Burnside

• For comic relief, BGL blames Jacques Martin

And two good analyses from the Commentariat:

From the ever-astute Chris:

I don’t understand how the Habs could lay such a
huge and perfect egg. Of course, one has to give credit to Laviolette
and the Flyers…they got back to what they did in Games 1 and 2, and
took away the time and space that the Habs enjoyed in Game 3.

On
the other hand, three things really jumped out at me: 

  • the
    Habs simply had no jump whatsoever — they were running around like they
    were skating in sand while the Flyers were blowing past people all over
    the ice, as they did in the first couple of games
  • the passing
    (particularly in the neutral zone and offensive zone) was absolutely
    atrocious — couldn’t count the number of times a pass was behind a
    player, too far in front or passed to their wrong side for good shooting
    opportunities
  • too many players (especially Plekanec, Pouliot
    and Kostitsyn) have absolutely no confidence right now…they are
    passing when they should carry the puck, refusing to take any calculated
    risks even when the team is down and peeling off for changes when the
    Habs could possibly have some odd-man rushes

We know the
Habs can come down from 3 games to 1.  But it is looking increasingly
likely that they will make it 0 for 7 for teams that required 7 games in
their first two rounds.  With the Flyers seemingly figuring out how to
neutralize Gionta and Cammalleri (each with 1 goal and -3 ratings in 4
games, after combining for 19 goals, 11 assists and -4 rating in the
previous 14 games), the Habs desperately need something from the other
offensively gifted players on the roster.  Unfortunately, those other
players are busy crushing the carbon in their hockey sticks into
diamond.

And from Coach K:

Anyone watching today’s game with even a bit of
hockey intelligence, would have seen that today’s showing had nothing to
do with a lack of effort.  The effort was there but what was very
evident was their poor management of the puck from their goal line out. 

Time after time, play after play, the defence would gain control
in their end and make a good first pass to a winger on the half
boards.  What transipred next was that the forwards repeatedly failed to
make a solid, tape-to-tape second pass from their own half-boards to
the neutral zone.  The end result was watching the Flyers gobble up that
errant 2nd pass and turn it back up ice to start their attack. If any
of you have the luxury of video tape or a PVR you’ll see exactly what
I’m talking about.

The Habs inability to make that clean 2nd pass,
killed any forward momentum and made it impossible to get the puck in
deep behind the slow-footed Flyer defence.  That lead to further
frustration by the defence and caused them to just chip it out off the
boards or glass to take the pressure off.  That’s ok once in a while but
when that becomes your break out, then your in big trouble.  Forwards
(no matter how skilled) can’t be expected to pick up a shoulder high
chip pass with any kind of control.   That second pass is maybe even
more critical than than a good first pass, particularly if they want to
be able to back the opposition’s defence up and use their vaunted speed.
You can’t “get it in deep” if you don’t have control of it.

It
amazes me that million dollar players can’t grasp the concept of making
passes that go tape-to-tape.  At the price they are paid, I don’t think
its unreasonable to expect them to be able to make passes that aren’t 2
feet behind the recipient, in his skates or four feet off the ice.  It
was really frustrating to witness the number of broken plays and missed
opportunities
caused by their lack of attention to that one, most fundamental detail. 
Even the Peewee team I coached this year understood the importance of
good passes.  I’m sorry but for that kind of money, there’s no excuse.

Just
sayin…

54 Comments

  1. Aaron13 says:

    Montreal must resort to the way they played against WAS and PIT. Hug the enemy: deprive them of space and time; fervent forechecking, hitting, fast skating, net presence and, shoot the puck at the net at all times. If you don’t shoot you’ll never score. If you do, there’s a 50/50 chance of scoring.

  2. harrow15 says:

    The Habs are a small, speedy and skillful team, they should play like that accordingly. Dress Darche (speed, intensity), scratch OB (not enough playoff time), and emphasize puck possession with calculated speed and courage.

    -Pacquiao vs Mayweather will rock the world.

  3. harrow15 says:

    The Habs are a small, speedy and skillful team, they should play like that accordingly. Dress Darche (speed, intensity), scratch OB (not enough playoff time), and emphasize puck possession with calculated speed and courage.

    -Pacquiao vs Mayweather will rock the world.

  4. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Dump and NOT-chase-but-go-for-a-line-change looked like the prevailing offensive strategy yesterday. Time and time again. If more of those pucks had been pursued, maybe we would have scored, maybe Pronger and co would have tired out.

    Or were all the zillions of line changes because our guys were the ones who were tired out?

    So, again, does this mean our sole option is to do the same thing again, only better?

  5. TripleX says:

    Agree dump and chase can effectively counter the left wing lock.  But it only works if the team is committed to it 100%.  Just dumping it in with no aggressive forecheck just allows the Flyers to come out with no obstruction.  Last game there was no commitment from the Habs, how many times did they dump the puck in and go for a line change?

    I don’t know if it is the players or JM insisting on these line changes even when an odd man rush is taking place.

     

    “Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement.”

  6. SeriousFan09 says:

    Marleau’s a high-pressure choker, PASS.

     

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  7. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Yeah, read and agree with Coach K. So does it just come down to execution? Or is the implication that the Habs are just bad passers so we’re doomed?

    How about the Flyers stacking the slot? 4 sometimes 5 skaters! How do you persuade them to disperse? Clearly Lav is worried about Leighton’s  fat rebounds, so we should be investing in creating some space so we can get some secondary shots.

    But how?

     

     

  8. Bob Barker says:

    Marleau would likely crumble under the pressure in montreal. 

  9. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Thanks Longtime and Tony.

    But. Wasn’t dump and (fast) chase what we were trying to do for part or most of last night? Didn’t the Flyers solve that? 

    I agree about the importance of scoring first. But the extension of that logic means the game and the series are over if we don’t. And maybe that’s true. 

    Are you saying we need to do again what we did in Game 4, just more effectively? Maybe that’s all we have. Are there other things we could try?

    (Taken as given that everyone tries step up a bit, that under-producers try to start to produce, that we try not to squeeze the stick).

  10. longtimehabsfan says:

    What’s a bumbaklaat?

  11. longtimehabsfan says:

    Nevermind.  I googled it.  From the Urban Dictionary:

    “a word from da patois language of da jamaican people, originally bumba is ass and claat is cloth hence asswipes”

  12. Bugs says:

    Habs Backs to the Void.

    Flyers thrown under the bus.

    Screw’em.

    Agitated but regulated, I aspire as

    L.Bugs Potter, esq. Undersecretary of North-East Division Propaganda Bureau, Section Chief of Flannel Department, and Field Operative for Habsbros Data Dissemination Services: http://habsbros.blogspot.com/

  13. longtimehabsfan says:

    How about John Ferguson?

  14. longtimehabsfan says:

    Habs can use a forward like Marleau.  Take the money you’re going to spend on Pleks and sign him.  The problem with the Sharks isn’t Marleau.  That team is simply cursed. 

  15. longtimehabsfan says:

    Dump in deep and chase with speed.  Or play rope a dope in our end, which is risky.  But the best way to beat this style is with puck possession but we have to win more face-offs and make better passes [see Coach K’s post].

  16. Dunboyne Mike says:

    If the neutral zone trap killed our speed-game in Game 4, what can we do different to win on Monday?

  17. HabFanSince72 says:

    You really are a broken record aren’t you?

  18. Mrs.Price31 says:

    I love how Carey supports Halak even when everyone else starts to doubt him. I don’t know but I have never seen Halak do that to Carey. (Not trying to cause a Halak vs Price fight here) I’m just saying….

    Following site shows how Carey helped Halak keep his focus and confidence in game #3.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MCZv0sIBEo&feature=player_embedded#!

  19. Bob Barker says:

    Not related to hockey but this video made me laugh. The Habs should consider doing to Philly. 

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnXh3XR9zyM&feature=channel

  20. HabFanSince72 says:

    Where the plan falls apart is the “Chris Pronger type D man” Not that I wouldn’t want one.

  21. jew4jah says:

    laraques a bumbaklaat. 

    he doesn’t take a shred of responsibilty for his situation. which means he’ll have the same attitude if he signs elsewhere.  good riddance. 

    he’s rotten.  they bought the dude out!  sent him packing.  c’mon, even sergei’s still with the team. 

  22. Xtrahabsfan says:

    I’ll say it again….The Habs need Taylor Pyatt,Deric Boogaard, Artukin and one Pronger type Dman….And then we’ll go to the top….Stanley Cup Baby…Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. Storm Man says:

    Konopka.

  24. munch17 says:

    For me – when BGL wouldn’t go after Lucic last year – even if Lucic didn’t want to – that was it .

    Not mean enough. We need a 4th liner who is mean and has a few loose screws!


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