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Despite the return of captain Saku Koivu to the lineup, the Montreal Canadiens lost their sixth game in their last seven. The Habs came out strong and outshot Buffalo 13-3 in the first period, 36-17 for the game… but failed to convert on all their scoring chances, while Buffalo were opportunistic and managed to steal one on a night they should have lost.


It was another frustrating loss for Claude Julien although his team did give a pretty good effort. It’s the same old problem, the forwards simply can’t score. 


Buffalo 1-0: On the PP, Rivet was hurt blocking a shot… Buffalo immediately attack his side, from Drury on the boards to Brière on the side of the net who uses his quickness to get to the front of the net before the hobbling Rivet and beats Theodore. Tough break for Rivet, good heads up play by Buffalo.

Let’s mention the true goat here, Zednik who took an unnecessary slashing penalty on a backcheck… giving the Sabres the PP opportunity. If you’re not scoring and can’t make a pass to save your life, at least stay out of the box Richard.


Buffalo 2-0: There’s a scrum in front of the net, Ribeiro is having a hard time containing Drury but finally manages to make him lose control of the puck far a split second. Hossa comes in to takes the puck away but whiffs on his attempt and skates right by, Drury regains the puck the play continues and it eventually gets to Kotalik who surprises Theo with a quick backhand. 


Montreal 2-1: Nice play by Audette who enters the zone on the rush on the left side, breaks half-way and finds Breezer coming in late on other side… nice cross-ice feed. Brisebois gets a good shot off, while Zednik bothers Noronen in front of the net… the rebound is on the goal line and Audette comes in to finally cash in.





         Koivu did well for a first game back, if only Zednik had any hockey sense whatsoever there were a few opportunities to see some more scoring tonight. At least Audette can still pass a puck.

         The kids line had it’s chances too, although you can see other teams really keying on Ribeiro. Still, the kid is fighting through it and providing his linemates a few prime scoring chances every night. But Hossa & especially Ryder missed some good chances.  

         The Habs PP looked better early, Souray is now rightfully being used on the 1st PP unit… and Koivu provided a spark, although he was really in playmaking mode tonight. I look forward to him shooting more as he gets into the swing of things.

        Did you miss Perreault tonight? I sure didn’t. If you think he should have played, just look at the Oilers’ 3rd goal in the last game… you’ll see why he’s riding the pine. He apparently had a shouting match with Julien on the ice during practice this morning, finally a veteran getting a talking-to.

        Oh the joys of having a real enforcer, I had forgotten what it was like. Langdon got in a long, drawn out fight tough guy Boulton… half way through Boulton was completely exhausted and couldn’t wait for the fight to be over. No outright winner in this one, but at least the times of one-punch knockouts and easy take-downs for the opposition are over.

 –        Pierre Dagenais, whom the Canadiens acquired as a free agent this summer, is known for having the hardest shot of any player in the organization. He just scored a hat trick tonight in a 5-4 OT win for thr Hamilton Bulldogs tonight. If the Habs’ offensive woes continue, don’t be surprised if he eventually gets a callup.


Habs’ hero: It was a tough night to call, good work but no obvious stand outs. I’ll go with Audette & Brisebois, both have taken a lot of slack the last few years… but they did very well tonight. Audette threw his body in harm’s way all night in the offensive end… and it was by pure will that he finally broke the Canadiens’ streak of futility.

Brisebois was called upon to play more minutes given Quintal’s absence, and he responded with a very strong game when we needed him to have one. The only goal was thanks to his shot, again the defensemen supplying the offense.


Habs’ zero: Richard Zednik. Koivu must not have been too thrilled with him tonight, a few times all Zed had to do was pass the puck to the open man and we had a goal… he did the same to Hossa vs. the Oilers. Add to that the stupid penalty that allowed Buffalo to break the scoreless tie, and effectively steal 2 points from the Habs.

This is a guy who just had a breakout season, who’s supposed to be coming into his own… it’s even the last year of his contract, what’s it gonna take Richard?!? Wake up!



Final Thoughts:


Sometimes you play well but you lose, this was once of those nights. They have to keep plugging away… as Koivu shakes the rust off he might be the spark that will get things going again. It will only take one game where the puck actually goes in, and we’ll be able to turn the page on this sorry offensive stretch.


For once the Habs actually continued fighting back in the 3rd, for the first time this year when they were behind. Let’s hope that signals the start of a turn-around. They get another crack at it tomorrow night, revenge anyone?