HabsWorld.net -- 

Well… thanks
for coming out! Only twice in the NHL has a team come back from a 3-0 series
deficit to win. The first time was the Leafs in ’42, the last time was the
Islanders in ’75. It is more than unlikely we will add Montreal in ’09 to that
list, as there have been very few positives to even suggest getting a token win
on home ice, let alone winning 4 straight. The amount of talent listed on the IR
far exceeds the performances of the rookie replacements, and the forwards
haven’t scored enough goals to win games while the goaltending hasn’t been good
enough to steal wins. Anyone out there think Montreal has it in them? We all
hope Montreal can find a bit of magic and come back in this series, but
unfortunately that’s what it has come down to: hope and magic.

Playoff hockey. Simple concept for the themes:
Black or white. Left or Right. Positive or negative. There’s no middle ground
in the second season, so let’s look at who is "In It," and who is "Out
of It.

In It:

Brisebois 2.0:  Yannick Weber is making a statement
for next season. We saw the good (good first pass, sniped shots) and we saw the
bad (pretty much everything in Montreal’s end) but that’s exactly how we know he
plays, and I think it’s good enough to make the team next season in a Brisebois
role. For those of you that just shuddered, I would like to remind you of the
importance of the powerplay.

Hit Parade:  Following the strategy, "If you can’t
beat’m… beat’m!" a lot of Habs showed up to punish the B’s. Laraque, O’Byrne,
Latendresse and Lapierre all laid out some heavy hits. Things quieted down in
the 3rd, but it was good to see some horizontal Bruins while it lasted.

Thumbs Up:  Alex Kovalev (I think he should be
double shifted more often. I am not happy in Bob Gainey’s generally safe use of
Alex, who has made something happen almost every shift this series), Chris Higgins,
Yannick Weber, Roman Hamrlik, Guillaume Latendresse.

Out of It:

"You Mean There Are 3 Periods?":  Montreal had 5 shots in the 3rd
period when down 3-2. That doesn’t exactly make a case for an intense, fighting
spirit needed to win any game, let alone a playoff game. It comes down to
confidence. I’ve met bulimic teenage girls with more self esteem than this team.

Playing "Offensively":  I mean that in that I was offended by the
play of Tomas Plekanec and Saku Koivu. Gainey sat Plekanec last game to send a
message. Tomas was back in for Game 3, and was given a lot of ice time,
including many powerplay shifts. -3 on the night, 3 giveaways, no points. Wow.
And Koivu… generally invisible outside of losing a battle to a younger,
hungrier Bruins player in Chuck Kobasew, who muscled past the Saku to put the
puck in an empty net. These are our #1 and #2 centermen?

Missing Markov:  *Note: I had actually written down that title
before CBC used it for an in-game graphic. I am using it now because I was, in
fact, original enough to come up with it first, but not original enough to come
up with anything else since.* Man oh man does that powerplay look terrible.
That’s two playoff years in a row now Montreal’s powerplay has been shut down.
One can’t help but wonder where this series would be in Montreal had a healthy
Markov and Schneider. For Game 4, even if he needs crutches, I want Andrei on
the ice. Same goes for Robert Lang actually. Would their play actually hurt
Montreal at this point?

Thumbs Down:  Tomas Plekanec, Saku Koivu, Mike Komisarek, Andrei




 Carey Price B-  Saku Koivu C
     Alex Kovalev A
 Yannick Weber B+  Gregory Stewart B-
 Josh Gorges B-  Tomas Plekanec D
 Mathieu Dandenault B+  Chris Higgins A-
 Ryan O’Byrne B  Andrei Kostitsyn C
 Roman Hamrlik B  Maxim Lapierre B-
 Mike Komisarek C+  Guillaume Latendresse B
     Tom Kostopoulos  C+
 Powerplay C-  Glen Metropolit B-
 Penalty Kill A  Georges Laraque B+
     Matt D’Agostini C+


This article was written

by a melancholy but unsurprised Tristan Tapscott