JF - (Jane Findlay)Member since November 10, 2007
Habs fan since: 1961
Favorite current player: Tomas Plekanec, Josh Gorges
All-time favorite player: Jean Béliveau
- Comment on Liveblog: Game 29: Budaj wins on the road again as Eller, DD score in Shootout (2013-12-04 21:42:11)
That turnover is fuel for those, including Mike Babcock, who think PK is a risky player.
- Comment on Liveblog: Game 29: Budaj wins on the road again as Eller, DD score in Shootout (2013-12-04 17:21:59)
New Jersey plays disciplined defensive hockey, but they don't really use the neutral zone trap, at least nothing like to the extent they did under Jacques Lemaire. Since Peter DeBoer became their coach, the basis of their game is unremitting hard work and an absolutely ferocious forecheck. It used to be the case that in order to beat the Devils, you had to figure out a way to get through the neutral zone and to the net. Now I think the way to beat them is to outwork them in the corners and along the boards. Last game the Habs looked as though they were not prepared for this. They were expecting a boring, passive, patient game with few chances. Instead they found themselves facing a team that checked them into the boards and the ice and was constantly first on loose pucks. It took them about half the game to adjust. I hope tonight they'll be more prepared and pounce early.
- Comment on Habs on a roll heading into New Jersey (2013-12-03 17:46:21)
Good post. I ventured to suggest the same thing about a week ago. SteverenO (or something like that, the guy who posts long pieces full of statistics purporting to show that Therrien is an idiot and is using all the wrong players on the powerplay) immediately jumped down my throat. A few weeks ago, people were criticizing Therrien's personnel decisions, claiming he couldn't make in-game adjustments and was getting regularly out-coached. Hell, I was beginning to have a few doubts about him myself (and I've been a Therrien-supporter since he was hired). Right now he's doing a great job; but let's wait and see how he handles another rash of injuries or a slump.
- Comment on About last night … (2013-12-03 11:03:00)
We still talk about the Devils' trap as though Jacques Lemaire were still the coach, but the team I watched last night did not use the trap at all. They're as difficult to play against as they've always been and just as good at stifling the opposition, but they do it in a different way. Since Peter DeBoer became coach, the keynote of that team is not the trap, but an absolutely ferocious forecheck that seems to have caught the Habs off guard. It took us pretty much until the third period to adjust, but that period was much better and much more exciting. I hope the team will be better prepared (as well as more motivated) on Wednesday.
- Comment on About last night … (2013-12-03 10:45:20)
Likewise. The only big UFA signing in recent years who has really lived up to expectations is Marian Hossa. The others all disappoint slightly, and the cap hit and term are too much.
- Comment on About last night … (2013-12-03 09:08:46)
Agree that the Oilers are a disaster. It's partly, as you say, the makeup of the team and the massive contracts to talented kids who haven't really done anything yet, but it's also the way they're coached. Lars Eller was right on when he said they play junior hockey. The forwards seem to have no defensive responsibilities but rush around all over the ice trying to score pretty goals. They're not learning to play as a team and they're not learning to win. A week or so ago, I wrote something about the intangibles that the Habs are developing well - confidence, a winning attitude, responsibility, playing as a tight unit, and so on. These are essential for any team that aspires to be a Cup contender, and none of them are happening for the Oilers. Even when they fill all the holes in their roster, they'll be no nearer to winning because all they're learning at the moment is how to lose.
- Comment on About last night … (2013-12-03 08:22:26)
The game was for the most part pretty hard to watch, and I certainly never thought, even after we took the lead, that we'd win it. Stifling, fun-draining Devils' hockey at its most lifeless and most frustrating. For the first period, it looked as though we were never going to get anywhere near their net, and Price, despite Desharnais's excellent performance, was for me clearly the star of the game because he kept us in it (with some help from P.K.). The Devils had so many wide-open looks at our net in the first period alone they could have put the game away right there. I found Therrien's press conference afterwards very revealing. He said he had expected the game to be difficult after the passion and excitement of Saturday's game and he could feel in the atmosphere as soon as he walked in yesterday morning that the guys were not very motivated. Yet he managed to keep them to their game-plan, keep them doing the right things on the ice even after falling behind and being massively out-shot and out-played. That's good coaching and proof that the team is buying into what he's doing with them. Earlier Habs teams would probably have done no more than go through the motions in this kind of game. I also liked his reaction when asked about Galchenyuk. He smiled and said he was very happy when the kid scored the winning goal. He looked happy too. He also said he sent Galchenyuk out at the end of the game when we were protecting the lead to show his confidence in him. I have no fears that Therrien will "ruin" any of our young players. He handles them very well, protecting them, putting them out in situations where they can succeed, and applying a little correction when needed. The kids will learn from it. One of the guys on L'Antichambre contrasted this with the situation on the Oilers, whose talented kids just go on playing and don't seem to be called to account for their defensive shortcomings. We sometimes play better against the Devils in their building than in ours, so I'm hoping Wednesday's game will have a little more life to it. But even a split would be a much better result than we usually get against that team.
- Comment on About last night … (2013-12-03 07:52:55)
Maybe not. Don't forget the losses coincided with injuries to key players. The importance of Emelin cannot be over-estimated, Pacioretty took a good half-dozen games after returning to find his groove, Murray is faultless on the penalty kill, and both he and Parros add a necessary element of size and toughness.
- Comment on Liveblog: Game 28 – Canadiens beat nemesis 3-2 (2013-12-02 17:02:49)
We have to get to Brodeur early. He said a couple of years ago that it takes him longer now than when he was young to warm up and loosen up once the game starts. He gets sharper as the game goes on. If we don't score on him in the first period, we likely won't at all.
- Comment on Four games in six nights for Habs (2013-12-01 22:18:05)