HabsWorld.net -- 

It was a better game, for sure, but in the end the result was the same.  However, for the discerning fan who understands that the playoffs this season are gravy on an already successful season, this overtime defeat where the Habs showed intensity and strong physical play should leave a satisfied smile.  Not only did the Habs play with the Bruins and limit them to few shots and fewer chances, but they played a physical game and didn’t get run out of the park at all.






Theo:  After all the good saves, he let in just about the worst goal possible for the game winner.  What more can you say?  B-


Bouillon:  Not only did he put in some heavy hits, but his offensive game was good and his defence typically solid – right until the final goal when he allowed Bergeron to walk across for an easy shot.  B-


Brisebois:  A solid game and thank goodness he stuck to the basics rather than trying to be a hotdog.  He did have a few problems down low, though, and didn’t challenge Bergeron at the end at all.  C+


Rivet:  He pinched a couple of times when he shouldn’t have; he hit a lot more than he usually does; he started the game very slowly; he went ballistic when Koivu was battered.  Inconsistent, but at least he was physical.  Defensively, not bad.  B-


Markov:  He had another quietly solid game.  He knows how to accept a hit to make a play and is smart with the puck, even in the face of tough Boston forechecking.  B


Quintal:  For a big guy, I thought he was beaten by big guys too much.  Time to thank him profusely for his years of service and welcome Komi to the lineup.  C-


Souray:  Much better game tonight.  Yes, he pinched badly to cost the first goal, but other than that he was much better both on and off the puck, and added that nasty physical dimension that makes people think twice about challenging him.  B


Langdon:  I think he should have played more, quite honestly.  He’s not the most skilled guy, but his hitting can make things happen.  N/A


Dowd:  Played a solid two-way game.  He brings a wonderful dimension to our fourth line and penalty kill.  B+


Ward:  In limited time he looked good, but I didn’t see the same physical edge that he had in game one.  Then again, when the Habs were down by one, Julien finally shortened his bench.  B-


Juneau:  Thornton’s line was contained, ergo he did his job.  No complaints.  B-


Begin:  Not only did he play here, but he was on the second line for some shifts as well in place of Dagenais.  Tonight he was fantastic, physical, had a little offensive flair, and was defensively strong.  A-


Bulis:  For two periods he used his speed really effectively.  He really is a checker and looks much better on this line than on the first.  He also adds an element of danger to that line which keeps the opposition on its toes.  B


Dagenais:  He had a couple of good shifts, but was so inconsistent and such a defensive liability that he had to be taken out.  I’m not sure we’ll see him next game.  C-


Ribeiro:  Again, he played a decent game, managed to throw the body here and there, and created an ounce or two of offence.  However, for someone in his position, that’s not nearly enough and if there’s one reason why we weren’t more competitive, it was the lack of offence from the second line.  B-


Ryder:  Back to his usual self as he banged, crashed, shot, deked and generally looked like a more complete player.  Now, if we could only clone Koivu and give him Ryder on one line.  B


Kovalev:  The first period was the old Kovalev, the rest of the game was the new and improved Kovy.  He was solid, at times dominant, made some big hits, some sweet plays , and finally looked like the star we were supposed to have received.  B+


Zednik:  Another inconsistent evening.  One moment he flailed with his stick at the puck, the next he attacked and beat his opponent around the outside, or even challenged them through the middle.  We need more.  B-


Koivu:  He was the centre of virtually all the offence tonight, and despite his three penalties, was probably the best Hab.  He was hitting, was feisty with and without the puck, and was moving with an ease we’ve not seen in quite a while. B+


Julien:  Where is Komi?  I’m glad he finally shortened his bench…


PP/PK:  Well, tonight the PK looked very good while the PP was horrid, other than that goal on the 5v3.  We’ve got to get that PP working or we’re toast.  D+/A-




An abbreviated review from vacation down in balmy London, Ontario.  Disappointing result, but at the end of it all, I only had one large question flying through my mind:  what’s with the facial hair they seem to be attempting…  Fu Man Chu?