Sunday, December 27, 2009
The coach who prides himself on defensive, disciplined hockey has watched his Habs give up 186 shots in the last four games, including 49 last night in a 3-2 OT win over the Leafs (sic). That's four wins in a row for them and their rubberized G Jaroslav Halak—the only reason Montreal (19-18-3) now sit 7th in the East. The Canadiens have turned their zone into a comfortable lounge, complete with La-Z-Boys, free wifi, and complimentary coffee and Danish. Luckily, their PP is at 25%, #1 in the league, and their PK is a strong 7th. This "winning" formula is very reminiscent of their squad a couple of years ago that was consistently dominated at even strength, but won games because of specialty teams and goaltending. Except: this team is getting outplayed even worse. There's no way Halak can keep up this level of unconsciousness, and they're not the Oilers of the 80s; they don't have enough offense to keep succeeding this way. Next game on this 7-game road trip: tomorrow against the injury-depleted Senators, so a fifth straight win is very possible.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Two in a row, BAYBEE. Who cares if the Habs have been outplayed in both wins over the awful Islanders and average Thrashers. Who cares that the only reason they won both games is because Jaroslav Halak—who's probably being showcased for a trade—stopped 87 of 90 shots. (I do care what they get for him, Bobo Gainey. Let's make it more than a fucking second round pick this time. Actually, maybe trade Carey Price instead.) Who cares if the Canadiens continue to take idiotic, undisciplined penalties. Who cares if they're a one line team, with Andrei AK46 Kostitsyn amazingly, inexplicably, finally playing like an actual power forward (that's mostly due to the continuing superb playmaking of C Tomas Plekanec). Who cares if they're still under .500 (17-18-3) and out of the playoffs. Who cares if there's five more games left on this seven game road trip. Andrei Markov is back, and they're 3-0 with him in the lineup—Go Habs Go! (sigh). Next game: tomorrow at Carolina...three in a row?
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Last night, Montreal (12-13-2) was blanked by one of the very worst defensive teams in the league, at home. While the Habs blogs wearing rose-colored glasses point to the injuries, I again point to the off-season moves, every one of which was a monumental mistake (Yes, I said this at the time). Because, besides Andrei Markov, none of the sidelined players is Doug Harvey or Maurice Richard or even Pierre Mondou. As I said in October, this is solidly a .500 hockey team. G Carey Price, who's played quite well recently, can't cover the opposing forwards skating freely in his zone, or backcheck, or hit somebody, or complete a headman pass or FINISH. Next game: tomorrow at Buffalo, followed by Boston at home on Friday. I don't see a win.