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GDT: Buffalo vs Montreal (3-28-09, 7 PM EST)


dlbalr
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The only team I fear playing is NJ, everyone else is a crapshoot. There is no for sure things this year, and I think in the future the 'new NHL' will prove it, that getting to the playoffs will give anyone a shot. Even in the West teams have issues: Detroit has questionable goaltending, San Jose is upset prone, Calgary is so up and down.

I try not to look at the playoffs all analytical, because the game is played on the ice, not in some number crunching simulator.

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Last night was not a disaster, but I do think it highlights the basic issue. We don't have the weapons to go deep. We put all our eggs in one basket and with enough PP time, they can get us a lead. Price was decent enough last night and certainly gave the team a chance to win the shootout.

Perhaps if AK comes back and plays amazing, we will have 2 lines, but I am not counting on it. At least the team is playing most of the games like it matters, I am just not sure that matters when we play other teams like Buffalo who are also playing like it matters.

Boston would have to implode for us to beat them in the first round. NJ would be a nightmare.

All that said, if the boys give it there all for the rest of the season and are in every game, I will be satisfied. I couldn't stand the crap hockey of the second half of the season.

You hit the nail square on the head with that statement. This team needs EVERYTHING to go right and get 5+ pp chances per game in order to compete on the scoresheet. If the majority of the game is played 5v5, its not even close. Everyone keeps talking about BOS slowing down ... they've beat NJ and PHI recently and they just play harder and stronger than the Habs do most nights. Over 6-7 games it's going to be quite noticable, and while I don't think the Habs will get swept, BOS is #1 in the conference and has been all season for a reason.

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Well people should fear anyone in the playoffs. I still don't see the habs even making it.

Saturday was a perfect example, played well in the second. When the third and the most important period of the year so far they simply didn't show up and left Price out to dry. They couldn't get the puck deep and were outshot 16-6. I don't even think thye had a shot in OT.

There is simply not enough character, leadership and dicipline to make a run. Don't let a few wins against bottom feeders fool you. You can't keep giving up 40 shots a night and expect to win.

Good news:

Played pretty well for 2 periods

PP looked alright

3 goals

1 point

Price was excellent

Bad news:

40 shots against again

Pk stunk

Dumb penalties agian (not Kovalev, that was a bad call)

Not many quality chances 5 on 5

Defense was pathetic

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Well people should fear anyone in the playoffs. I still don't see the habs even making it.

Saturday was a perfect example, played well in the second. When the third and the most important period of the year so far they simply didn't show up and left Price out to dry. They couldn't get the puck deep and were outshot 16-6. I don't even think thye had a shot in OT.

There is simply not enough character, leadership and dicipline to make a run. Don't let a few wins against bottom feeders fool you. You can't keep giving up 40 shots a night and expect to win.

Good news:

Played pretty well for 2 periods

PP looked alright

3 goals

1 point

Price was excellent

Bad news:

40 shots against again

Pk stunk

Dumb penalties agian (not Kovalev, that was a bad call)

Not many quality chances 5 on 5

Defense was pathetic

I would add the following to each column:

Good News:

-Higgins showed up and played very well, that is great news for balance on the lines

-They won more important draws that I can remember in any recent game

Bad News:

-Whatever pseudo-trap Gainey tried to play to protect a 1g lead was a horrible idea, I hope he buries that idea since this team is brutal on D most nights

-live and die by the PPG, as per usual

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Well people should fear anyone in the playoffs. I still don't see the habs even making it.

Saturday was a perfect example, played well in the second. When the third and the most important period of the year so far they simply didn't show up and left Price out to dry. They couldn't get the puck deep and were outshot 16-6. I don't even think thye had a shot in OT.

There is simply not enough character, leadership and dicipline to make a run. Don't let a few wins against bottom feeders fool you. You can't keep giving up 40 shots a night and expect to win.

Good news:

Played pretty well for 2 periods

PP looked alright

3 goals

1 point

Price was excellent

Bad news:

40 shots against again

Pk stunk

Dumb penalties agian (not Kovalev, that was a bad call)

Not many quality chances 5 on 5

Defense was pathetic

Bruins only last year in the series with us began to get strong. That is where we may begin to get stronger this year. We are still a big centre away from being a constant threat and the fact that Carey can lay an egg almost guaranteed at any given moment in a game is not a confidence builder even if he's playing great for 59 mins. His boner goals are depressing.

I like our PK. We are more dangerous on the PK then 5 on 5. Go figure. A very unnerving team to watch but with so many UFA's I can't wallow in depression. Just hope they can catch fire in time. They are looking better. That Buffalo game was very methodical, head to head coaching and and fun to watch. As long as they do that we can win and surprise. I'm not scared of 7 games with Boston, if Thomas is shakey it's anyones game.

GO HABS GO!!!

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Price laying an egg? This is what i don't get with people. Let's be honest here, who hasd been the worst players on the team this year?

Kovalev, Koivu, Higgins and Komi. Hamrlik has been just as bad. '

That is your C, and 2 assistants. They have greatly underachieved, there point totals are embarrassing for the money they make. Don't be fooled by the last 2 games against bottom feeders.

I am certainly not saying Price hasn't deserves criticism or played badly at times but he and Halak stole points for this team all year.

Why is everyone nervous about the UFA's. All they have proven is they will always fight for an 8 seed. They are coach killers and lazy.

Can someone explain why resigning this group of UFA's is so important? Thye have shown nothing.

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Last night was not a disaster, but I do think it highlights the basic issue. We don't have the weapons to go deep. We put all our eggs in one basket and with enough PP time, they can get us a lead. Price was decent enough last night and certainly gave the team a chance to win the shootout.

Perhaps if AK comes back and plays amazing, we will have 2 lines, but I am not counting on it. At least the team is playing most of the games like it matters, I am just not sure that matters when we play other teams like Buffalo who are also playing like it matters.

Boston would have to implode for us to beat them in the first round. NJ would be a nightmare.

All that said, if the boys give it there all for the rest of the season and are in every game, I will be satisfied. I couldn't stand the crap hockey of the second half of the season.

Excellent analysis. I agree!

I just hope we don't face the devils in the first round, cause if we do, it'll be a very short post-season for the habs!

I believe we can beat the Capitals and the Bruins(if we play hard every game) but we could have Mario lemieux at his best playing for the habs, and we still wouldn't stand a chance against the god damn devils!

Edited by Habsfan
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Price laying an egg? This is what i don't get with people. Let's be honest here, who hasd been the worst players on the team this year?

Kovalev, Koivu, Higgins and Komi. Hamrlik has been just as bad. '

That is your C, and 2 assistants. They have greatly underachieved, there point totals are embarrassing for the money they make. Don't be fooled by the last 2 games against bottom feeders.

I am certainly not saying Price hasn't deserves criticism or played badly at times but he and Halak stole points for this team all year.

Why is everyone nervous about the UFA's. All they have proven is they will always fight for an 8 seed. They are coach killers and lazy.

Can someone explain why resigning this group of UFA's is so important? Thye have shown nothing.

I agree, except Price is on the list. Lang (until he was injured) overachieved, but Kovalev, Koivu, Komi, Hammer, and Price have all been underwhelming. Pleks and Higgins have not been great either, but I for one didn't expect them to. Price is on the first list because he was anointed as the number one guy and was expected to be a key to our success.

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Price laying an egg? This is what i don't get with people. Let's be honest here, who hasd been the worst players on the team this year?

Kovalev, Koivu, Higgins and Komi. Hamrlik has been just as bad. '

That is your C, and 2 assistants. They have greatly underachieved, there point totals are embarrassing for the money they make. Don't be fooled by the last 2 games against bottom feeders.

I am certainly not saying Price hasn't deserves criticism or played badly at times but he and Halak stole points for this team all year.

Why is everyone nervous about the UFA's. All they have proven is they will always fight for an 8 seed. They are coach killers and lazy.

Can someone explain why resigning this group of UFA's is so important? Thye have shown nothing.

Ya laying an egg. That means playing really good and then letting in a goal that should be stopped by a 10 yr old at a critical point in a game. It really sinks a teams spirit. So starting there might help getting to the deeper problems on this team.

I'm not worried about the UFA's. My point is things will be changing this summer so I don't want to stress about who's staying or who's leaving because I don't care at this point. I still hope we can catch fire and do well, possibly even win it all for our 100th birthday. Crazier things have happened before, 93 ?????????

TKK line is looking good, Saku's playing harder knowing if he puts the puck out front there is a good chance of it getting buried. If AK and plex get going watchout. Laps line just needs to keep doing what they are doing. Should Carey turn it on we could become dangerous in a seven game series. Just trying to be hopeful.

I could come on here and be sarcastic everyday and bag on Koivu and Price, but the truth is I want them to do well, nothing wrong with that in my eyes anyway.

GO HABS GO!!!!!!!

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Here's what i don't get, Price is still 8 games over 500 on possibly the worst defensive team in the league. Price and Halak were hot early, Price stunk it up for 3 weeks or so. But the problem is they face 40 freakin shots every night, the defensive zone is horrible, plain and simple.

So people who say they need the second line to show up, that's fine. Or Koivu's new line is on fire, perhaps, but they are on the ice for just as many goals for as against. So they break even.

The defense needs a complete overhaul, i assume you have seen them play. So to say that the team feels let down when Price let's in a goal may be true, they need to play better in front of him. The players are the ones who don't show up for long stretches of time.

I totally agree with you on not caring who is brought back, i obviously don't want any of them back. The team needs a major shake up, including leadership on the team.

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Here's what i don't get, Price is still 8 games over 500 on possibly the worst defensive team in the league. Price and Halak were hot early, Price stunk it up for 3 weeks or so. But the problem is they face 40 freakin shots every night, the defensive zone is horrible, plain and simple.

So people who say they need the second line to show up, that's fine. Or Koivu's new line is on fire, perhaps, but they are on the ice for just as many goals for as against. So they break even.

The defense needs a complete overhaul, i assume you have seen them play. So to say that the team feels let down when Price let's in a goal may be true, they need to play better in front of him. The players are the ones who don't show up for long stretches of time.

I totally agree with you on not caring who is brought back, i obviously don't want any of them back. The team needs a major shake up, including leadership on the team.

Because it is easier to lay all of this on the feet of the goaltender, it requires no analysis or imagination.

Outside of last season, it has been 15 years of relying on the goaltender to save games and when they fold

they are blamed. Halak was the answer and he gets bombed out by the Leafs, was that his fault?

Price has struggled since he returned from injury. When the Habs no show he gets bombed out because he

is not playing great, when they play solid he looks solid. The two best games I saw Price play this season they lost.

Does anybody here believe Tim Thomas, Steve Mason and Pekka Rinne would be posting obscene stats if they

played behind this defense? This mess is not on Price/Halak.

They are both kids, the onus is on the veterans who have no showed this year. Kovalev, Koivu, Higgins, Hamrlik, Komisarek and Plekanec. Getting pissed off and lambasting Price, Halak, A and S. Kostitsyn, Latendresse, Chipchura etc is ridiculous. Gainey had faith in the veterans on this team to lead the way, they have failed. 1st and 2nd year players are prone to inconsistency, so getting mad when they are inconsistent is silly.

Railing about exposing youth to early is old. It is a fact of life in the new NHL! It is how you are succesful.

5 years ago the Habs would have resigned Huet because they could have afforded the luxury, in a cap world you cannot pay your goaltender's 8M+ per season. The only reason the Blackhawks can get away with it is because they have Kane, Toews, Versteeg, Barker and Keith far out producing their contracts. If Khabibulin was signed for the next 3 seasons they would be in deep trouble.

Look at Cam Ward after his Conn Smythe run. People were bailing on Ward all over the place and he has been outstanding this year. At 25 he has finally battled through his inconsistencies and is on the verge of becoming an elite

level goaltender.

The Western road trip I watched this board praise Halak after giving up 6 goals and rip Price for giving up 7. You do not give up 13 goals in back to back games because of your goaltending, you do not give up 3 shorthanded goals because your goalie's failed to make big stops.

Firing the coach wasn't the answer, it is a team defensive malaise that has existed for the better part of a decade. Questionable leadership and work ethic has also lead this team to battle for 8th every season. When will people start to look at last season as the anomaly. The future still remains bright, but Gainey has some work ahead of him to fulfill that potential.

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