It’s hard to put forth an enthusiastic effort when the team you’re covering fails to do so on the ice. Fortunately, I was taping the contest so when I just about fell asleep, I didn’t actually miss anything. Perhaps it was the week off, but Montreal looked rusty and had absolutely no jump, except Alex Perezhogin.
Nothing lengthy tonight, since yours truly has been writing exams and has had little time for much else.
Theodore: You could argue he kept the team in the game with some of the saves he made. You could equally argue that he made a few errors that cost the team some momentum. $5 million should get you more. B-
Streit: Now enjoying the wonderful feeling of splinters.
Bouillon: A less than stellar game where it seemed he was running around at times. Perhaps that had more to do with his partner of the moment. B-
Dandenault: A decent game where he actually joined the rush when the team got down. While he wasn’t spectacular in his own end, neither was he horrible. B-
Komisarek: He started the game with more poise than I’ve seen in a while, then tailed off as things got confused on the blueline with the attacking speed of the Ducks. He needs to work on recognizing and anticipating the play. C+
Souray: One of his better games, actually. He managed not to have so many turnovers, and was more of a threat up front. B
Rivet: Good game where he did what was asked. B
Markov: Interesting that he was awarded a star of the game. His early moments were his worst of the season and he caused no end of trouble in his first shifts. After that, though, he did settle and play a typically strong game. B+
Murray: He had one devastating hit and a lot of relaxation time on the bench.
Perezhogin: Ostensibly a fourth-liner tonight, he was actually the most impressive player, working hard on every shift and making things happen all the time. A-
Begin: Not his finest effort actually, and he made some uncharacteristic give-aways. C+
Sundstrom: I felt he was weak particularly in the first, and as a result, I think he sat a lot of the rest of the game. C
Higgins: Hard work went for naught as his linemates went AWOL. He deserved better from his team. B-
Bulis: Another discombobulated effort up front. While he works hard, he seems to have trouble putting it together into a useful offensive package. C+
Zednik: The biggest problem with our forwards lately? Too much individual play. Yeah, he’s great on the boards in the offensive zone, but he needs to pass the puck. B-
Plekanec: Uncharacteristically poor in his own end. Two goals were from his inability to cover his man. On the other hand, he worked really hard up front and showed once again some very good skill. C+
Dagenais: I see him working harder, but he makes only about three passes every four games, and that hurts the team. He’s incredibly selfish. His shots from everywhere increase our shot total, and yes it does mean he gets a chance to score (you don’t score if you don’t shoot), but he needs to realize he’s part of a team. C+
Ryder: One of his poorest efforts of the season. It was like he was on his own out there – he didn’t look for his teamates much at all. A huge disappointment. D+
Ribeiro: Tries to do too much on his own and is completely unable to accomplish much since he’s a) too slow, and b) too weak. There’s no doubt his work ethic is infinitely better than it was last year. There’s also no doubt that he’s not adapting well to the new game. B-
Julien: Can someone explain to me how this team came out with virtually no emotion after a week off? Shouldn’t they have been charged up and running rampant all over the Ducks early?
PP: Movement equals goals. We moved, we scored goals.
PK: A lack of movement equals goals. Worse than that? A lack of discipline equals yet another goal against while down with two men. Surely we lead the league in two-man shorthanded situations.
Fan’s Game Puck: No question it goes to Perezhogin who had his best game in a long time. He created turnovers, was moving constantly, and looked like he had some of that confidence that will make him one of the better players in the game.
Two pieces of good news: Koivu might very well return for Tuesday. They’re playing it safe after seeing what happened with the groin injuries of Bonk and Gagne. I’d prefer that over losing him all year. Secondly, Kovalev might actually be making the trip with the team to Edmonton later this week if rehab continues as well as it has. A team! We might be able to ice a team!!
Somehow Julien has to turn this around. Injuries can’t be an excuse, and right now the play of many players is significantly sub-par. Either motivate the players, or start wondering if you’re the man for the job. Every team goes through droughts, but the better ones get out sooner rather than later.
A Concerned Fan