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 During the first period the Canadiens played well, had several power-play opportunities and generated numerous great scoring chances… but the impressive rookie Andrew Raycroft was brilliant. Not to be outdone Theodore robbed a goal from Murray at the end of the second to preserve a 1-1 tie going into the final period and then stopping Bergeron on a breakaway later on.


It was a good hard fought game, but when all is said and done Montreal had the better chances… and will disappointed they couldn’t come out with the win on home ice.


 


Montreal 1-0:  After dominating the first period but having nothing to show for it, the Canadiens finally get on the board at the half-way point of the 2nd period. While the Habs control the puck in the offensive zone, Rivet leaves his point position to head towards the net. Bouillon sees him, shoots to the net… and Rivet tips it past Raycroft.


Rivet has been supporting the offense more of late, and this time he timed it perfectly.


 


Boston 1-1: Now that the Habs finally have the lead after working so hard, they give the goal right back. Two minutes later Koivu loses the faceoff in the defensive zone, then on top of it doesn’t cover Rolston. The faceoff is won straight to the point, Gill let’s a shot off that hits off Bouillon’s skate as was covering his man in front of the net…  and deflects straight to a wide open Rolston who just has to push it into the open net.


Unforgivable blunder by Koivu, it ends up being the difference between and win & a tie.


 


 


Comments:


 


-         It was a very entertaining game. Despite the 1-1 score this game had a lot of offense, there was some good physical play, a few fights, some great saves… even an exciting OT. All that was missing was the win… just imagine if there were penalty shots to decide OT game in the regular season.


-     Theodore was again forced to go after a player himself after being hit for the umpteenth time. To be fair, this time around it was Rivet that clearly knocked Bergeron into Theo… but it doesn’t hurt any less if you’re the goalie.


-         Frasier was the referee tonight, and as usual he missed a few good ones. He missed Thornton high-stick Quintal near the eye, and later watched on as Thornton ripped Dackell’s helmet off and threw him to the ice. The crowd booed for several minutes after that one, now you understand why he has bullet-proof hair… so he can stay safe from potential snipers in the rafters.


-         Boston has not one but two impressive rookies this year, the goalie Andrew Raycroft was amazing in nets… and then they have the 18 year old local product Patrice Bergeron. Not only does he have the talent to make moves like he made on Markov in OT, but he’s also physically mature for his age… and made life difficult on the Habs in the physical phase of the game as well.


-         One of the many memorable plays of the game was when Bouillon, then Ribeiro threw themselves in front of the net to prevent a sure goal. On the replay you could appreciate how Bouillon first blocked the puck with his hand, and then Ribeiro came just in time to block a second shot with his skate right on the line. Nice effort by both.


-         Why is the useless Kilger still in the lineup and Dagenais in the press box?… I don’t get it.


-         And what is Juneau doing on the point on the power-play? It has never worked in the past, and again tonight it cost the Habs again. Juneau was forced to take a hooking penalty after losing the puck, and Bergeron was knocked into Theo on the play.


 


 


Habs’ hero: Ho hum, Theodore was great again for the Habs… the only goal he allowed was the result of a freak deflection combined with a man left wide open in front of the net. That save he made on Murray in the last seconds of the 2nd period was reminiscent of that save on Guerin in the playoffs two years ago.


Kudos to Dackell tonight who was very combative, and was roughed up quite a few times but fought back and stood up for himself… even if it was with his stick.


Ribeiro created a lot of offense, although he and the players around him need to finish.


Bouillon played a good game as well, and Komisarek is gaining some good experience with every game… he had a great hit along the boards. But it wasn’t the hit of the game, as Langdon absolutely crushed Zamuner in the neutral zone on what was perhaps a late hit. He also had a good fight.


 


Habs’ zero: It was a good game for the Habs, but two disappointing players were Zednik & Markov. Zednik has no vision, often chooses the wrong play selection, and is basically only effective on one-timers… if the goalie has time to square up he always just shoots it straight in his chest. It’s frustrating to watch.


The Markov of old doesn’t get fooled so easily by Bergeron as he did, he made some good plays during the game but he’s just capable of so much more so I’m harder on him.


 


 


 


Final Thoughts:


 


In the end, it was another classic Canadiens-Bruins matchup… it brought me right back to the playoff series a few years ago. Despite a difficult 2nd period, it was another good game for the Canadiens, and Theodore is still on a roll… they have to keep it up.


 


On the popular sports show 110%, they mentioned a current rumor that there are talks between the Habs and the Islanders. Apparently they are talking about switching captains, Koivu for Peca… but we would have to take on an extra salary since the Islanders are looking to cut payroll.


 


On another note, word is Bégin might miss 2-3 months with nerve damage in his shoulder.


 


 Next up for the Habs… they face Nashville on Thursday.