It was a game defined by
missed opportunities and bad penalties by the Habs, with a general theme of
ugly, ugly goals. Montreal got a wakeup call after winning 4 straight games –
scoring 23 goals in that span. But they only managed to hit the back of the net
once against an injury riddled Boston team. Although you knew the offense would
die at some point, it hurts when it’s Boston that kills the streak. The
intimidation from last season’s regular season is gone, as the Bruins now come
into every game against Montreal knowing they can beat the Canadiens. It’s a
tough loss to take, but with injured players returning, it’s now up to the Habs
to regroup and take some points from the weak sisters of the league; Nashville,
Ottawa and Atlanta.
A Halak kept Montreal in the
game all night, and with 2 goals coming off deflections and 1 goal from bad
defensive coverage, none of the goals can be faulted to his play. This was one
of those games where the big L should go under "Rest of the Team" and not
He played big with 11
hits. There was a bad shift in the 3rd when he put the puck on a Boston player’s
stick twice in 10 seconds. Considering the ferocity he was playing with the rest
of the game, I’m okay with only 10 bad seconds.
He’s jumping up into the
offense more often, but he’s got to get pucks through to the net to be
effective. Tonight his shots hit Bruin after Bruin. Add on to that some
occasionally ridiculous choices with his passes from his zone (an unpressured
Hail Mary for an icing?) and tonight was an off-game but with offensive zone
Sometimes he handled the
Boston forecheck, and sometimes he was manhandled on the Boston forecheck. Not
his strongest game along the boards, but he’s still the second most consistent
defenseman for getting the puck out of the zone after Markov.
We’ve known for awhile that Hamrlik is prone
to taking bad penalties, but just because it’s expected doesn’t mean it’s
excused. It was a dumb cross check during a kill of a 5 minute major. How can
that in any way be justified? Other than that, his game was alright.
Started well, ended
badly. A fine defensive play on a 2 on 1, followed by a smart interception…
but then the bad happened. He let Blake Wheeler by him for a shorthanded chance
that shouldn’t have even come close to being as dangerous as it was. Add a lazy
hook (granted, an iffy call from the ref) and it was back to a
C night from Brisebois. I’m getting very
nervous when he and Bouillon are out on the ice.
Bouillon bailed out from
receiving a hit early in the 1st, and it let the Bruins start their cycle. He
battled along the boards, but it appears he could use a break from the game to
get excited about playing again.
Who didn’t like his
impressive showcase of puck protection? It must have made a couple Bruins feel
silly. He also shot the puck 6 times, which for his line is impressive. I would
have preferred a goal out of those 6 shots, but transformations don’t happen
overnight and it’s best to be patient with his (ever improving) game.
He got the shots and he
opened up the ice, but his grade is reduced for the Boarding penalty. It was the
beginning of the end for Montreal this game, and his second occurrence of dirty
play this season. Here’s hoping it’s his last.
His faceoffs continue to impress, often being called upon for the key ones in
the defensive zone. But
the offensive zone faceoff when he won the puck right to the middle of
Latendresse stick… and then did it again right after? Loved it. However, he
didn’t pressure the Bruins defensemen like he has for the past month, and
hopefully that is brought to his attention.
He’s looking more and more
comfortable playing with his brother, and I’m glad to see him put up points on
the powerplay. I’d like to see some more of the fire in his game that he showed
whilst trying to wrangle Grabovski on Saturday.
He deked around Matt
Hunwick AND the jockstrap the young defensemen left behind. Sadly, that’s about
all I noticed about Tomas. There were some offensive chances, but nothing
game changing, and that’s what’s required from the top line.
I saw him drive the net once or
twice, but a generally quiet night from Lang. He took a backseat to his
linemates, but as the veteran he needs to steer.
Bad pun alert! He’s going to need to chip in some offense with his linemates
soon. No one can fault his work along the boards, but at some point the puck has
to get to the net. I’d also like to see him get the puck to D’Agostini more
often as he’s the one who’s going to put the puck in the net. Interesting
that he stopped fighting once he was visor-less…
Got cute with a pass in
his own zone and it almost cost him. I hate to quell a kid’s creativity, but his
game should be north-south with slightly injured bodies left in his wake. Leave
the artful plays to Kovalev and Plekanec, play hard and simple: it’s what that
Almost put the puck in the
net on the PP, but you don’t get points for almost. Boston shut him down quite
handily, and he’ll need to adapt next time or be a non-factor again.
I appreciate Carbonneau putting D’Agostini out in the final minute of the game,
as the kid needs a shot of confidence and responsibility. But there was,
unfortunately, nothing in his play that marked deserving to be out there with
the game on the line.
There are two players I
count on to play tough against the Bruins; Komisarek and Begin. Steve? Where did
you go? It appears the 4th line would be better served with a new body once the
injured are healthy.
Trying to hit Zdeno Chara?
Seriously? Sometimes the "smaller but willing" attitude works for him, but
usually getting knocked down by a big guy isn’t an energy booster for your team.
Same goes for Tom’s fights (just a general comment, as he didn’t fight against
Boston, and it’s not taken into account for his grade this game.) He also didn’t
take his man on the backcheck who ended up scoring Boston’s backbreaking 3rd
It was the pivotal moment
in the game: a 4 on 3 for a minute and a half before having to kill off 3
minutes of a Boarding major. In this most crucial point of the game, the
powerplay…did nothing. The players were stationary and the shot selection
wasn’t great. Kovalev came close, but play setup was bad the entire time.
Admittedly, I didn’t see the powerplay when Kostitsyn scored (HW still hasn’t
sent me my official "Bathroom Bucket") so the Habs get a
B- simply for (from what I saw on the replay)
getting the puck on the net and getting the much needed ugly goal.
Held off on the 5 on 3 for much longer than expected, and even then the goal was
scored off a deflection from Markov’s stick. As for the 1st goal, a blocked shot
goes straight to Chara’s stick as he looked at a yawning cage. No luck on the
bounces for the PK tonight, but that shouldn’t mask the otherwise strong play of
shutting down all of Boston’s set plays.