Michael Ryder and Richard Zednik. What do they have in common? Both are very good goal scorers. Both play for our beloved Habs. Both have been shooting at will. They are both yet to hit the scoresheet with a goal.
Why is this? It would seem that both players have been working very hard, Ryder especially, and there have been more pucks directed at Andrew Raycroft than you could imagine. But, regardless, the sniping duo sits goalless through three games. Although, there’s no need to worry, both are too good of players to be held off the score sheet for too long.
It’s not as if the players are slumping, either. It appears that this is simply a matter of a hot goaltender and a few bad breaks.
In Zednik’s case, two point blank chances were spoiled by Raycroft in Game Three. Perhaps, as the shots did not seem overly powerful or too well-placed, Zednik is squeezing his stick a bit too hard in anticipation of his first goal in quite some time. However, as a 26-goal scorer he needs but one more oppurtunity to finish off what his teammates have started, and I’m sure that he’ll be right back in busines.
On the backend, Andrei Markov was amazing in Game Three. I’d love for him to build on what he pulled off, but can he? I mean, how much better can a defenceman get than that? As I said before, he certainly can’t match what Sergei Gonchar can pull of out of his bag of tricks, but he showed he can surely out perform his countryman on any given night.
Sheldon Souray wasn’t the fiery and indomitable force we’d all been looking for, and he’s obviously still hurting, but he’s got to be a huge influence on his teammates in the locker room and he’s a man that Boston simply can’t afford to leave untouched. If that shot of his starts to get on goal…
In net, Jose has been weak, very weak. However, we know what he can do and so can he. Confidence hasn’t been something that Theo has lacked, but one bad goal could sway the series in Boston’s favour… again. And, I don’t think any true Hab fan wants that to happen.
When it comes to injuries, what can we say? Steve Begin went down awkwardly on a sliding play from Dan McGillis, and his leg injury is surely hurtful. Although, anyone who’s ever seen Steve Begin play a hockey game knows for sure that he won’t miss this one…
Mike Ribeiro took a huge amount of heat for his performance on Sunday. Many people have called it award winning, but I’ve got to disagree here as he was a pretty awful looking, uh… thing. I understand he’s injured, but he’s also a very big figure and an important piece of the Montreal Canadiens and he can’t be pulling that crap.
It’s my personal opinion that Darren Langdon should be dressed yet again, simply for precautionary reasons. The Bruins are not happy with Ribs, and we all know that there are quite a few players on the Boston team who are familiar with their fists. If anything funny is going on, then being able to send the Langer out on the ice is a nice option.
And so, what do we make of the Yanic? Perreault has been sitting for the majority of the series to date, but I think he’d serve much more purpose on the fourth line than Joe Juneau. If the Koivu line is going head to head against the Thornton line, than it’s quite easy to throw the much more effective Jimmy Dowd-centred third line up against the Bruins second unit.
On the other hand, will the key member of the Bruins second line be in uniform? Michael Nylander and his four points has been suffering Begin-itis, a form of flu described to us by the Bruins, and this pounding, physical disease, which hit him very hard, caused him to miss the third game. There’s a chance he could not play tonight, either. Call it a game-time decision.
And at last, as fans of the Habs we gotta believe. The players are working their butts off, and as fans we’ve been excellent in supporting them (aside from the classless anthem booing). Let’s give it to the boys again and let ’em know that the fans are behind them all the way. And, I mean all the way. One win down, three to go.