For those of you
still stuck on stage 2 of the 7 Stages of Grief; denial; let me help you move on
by saying that no, games can’t be redone because of a blown offside call. The
game, the series, the season is over. Mercifully. Being swept by the Boston
Bruins is a fairly fitting end to a season marred by a ridiculous amount of
adversity. With such "highlight" occurrences of: consistently inopportune
injuries to Georges Laraque, Alex Tanguay, Mike Komisarek, Mathieu Dandenault,
Saku Koivu, Christopher Higgins, Carey Price, Robert Lang, Guillaume Latendresse,
Francis Bouillon, Andrei Markov and Mathieu Schneider; three Habs players being
affiliated with a mobster; the firing of the head coach, the team president
flaming the fires of francophone politics in the organization and fanbase; and
the current uncertainty of ownership stability, how many obstacles were fans
expecting this team to overcome and still win the race? As you can see, it’s
hard for me to focus solely on grading game 4. In this article, I will
occasionally step back and look at the bigger picture. Please indulge me there,
but I will try to stay on track.
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 was "In It," and who was "Out
Too Little…: It was good to see Andrei Kostitsyn
not miss the net and not shoot the puck into Thomas’ chest. It’s been awhile
since he flew on the ice like he did. Unfortunately, it took a little too long
for Stella to get her groove back, and whatever mentality he found for Game 4
best not be forgotten again in his career in Montreal.
Tit for Tat: It may not be the best strategy to try
to out hit the Bruins, but Montreal tried really hard to match their physicality
and intensity. Like last game, I was impressed by the big hits thrown down by
players in red. All for naught in the end, but it was the most enjoyable aspect
of the games for me.
Thumbs Up: Alex Kovalev, Andrei Kostitsyn, Guillaume Latendresse,
Georges Laraque, Glen Metropolit.
Out of It:
0 for the Series: Montreal’s nonexistent powerplay in the playoffs
just highlighted how important Andrei Markov is to this team, and how important
it is for Bob Gainey to make sure he brings in backup for next season.
The "Fans": Jeering Carey Price in this game was shortsighted and
ignorant. If you can’t look past the scoreboard and see the porous defensive
play and/or coverage on 3 of 4 Bruins goals, then at least do everyone a favour
and keep your mouth shut. Price was absolutely right to give them the Patrick
Roy salute. It was embarrassing behaviour by an understandably frustrated group
of fans. The thing is, these same people who boo the talent right out of
Montreal are the same ones who ask every July, "How come top end players won’t
sign in Montreal?" Ridiculous.
Questionable Defense: I am unaware of any successful defensive
maneuver that involves punching the back of someone’s head, but Ryan O’Byrne
tried it and was justifiably sent to the box for it. I am also not sure what
Roman Hamrlik was thinking when his clearing attempt went 6 feet right to
Michael Ryder’s stick. Chris Higgins attempt at a backcheck involves missing a
big hit and watching his man move in to score. Bob… I think having a defensive
coach next season is worthwhile.
Giving Up: Yet another 3rd period with a disproportionate level of
energy for the high importance of the game. Everyone just looked spent. Perhaps
it was the jeering from the home fans that killed their motivation. Maybe it was
the 3-0 series deficit and the 3 goal gap in the game that left them with no
confidence. In the end, it looked like no one wanted to win, and that’s really
Lacking Class: Mike Komisarek stayed in the dressing room instead
of shaking hands with the Boston Bruins. I don’t like that.
Thumbs Down: Tomas Plekanec, Ryan O’Byrne, Roman Hamrlik, Mike Komisarek.
This article was written by Tristan Tapscott
who has moved on to stage 7: acceptance and hope.