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Washington @ Habs: GAME 3


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Our first round exit is because we screwed the pooch down the stretch. If we were playing Buffalo, we would beat them. Instead, the Bruins will beat them without several of their top players even in the series.

I have no idea why people wanted to play Washington in the first round when they are fresh. Bruins up 2-1 in a low scoring series, the kind that suits the habs much better then this onslaught.

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Price is getting the Halak treatment now... guys watching the caps shoot and shoot and shoot... no one working in front of the net to cover squat.

I think it was Pang who said.. if the Habs play like they did in the 2nd period, you could put Plante, Dryden, or a 6x4 sheet of plywood in net and you are going to lose.

I guess we will see how JM and team pushes back in the next game.

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Good posts Brobin. Who knows what happened down the stretch? Halak got tired, I think our small guys were tired (beat up), our core on D was spent from overuse, Cammy was out of sorts due to injury...and here we are.

The series is over, just like I said after Game Two. It was obvious to me...although I kind of expected at least one win in Montreal. Hopefully Game Four is it.

It'll be real interesting to see what Gauthier does in the off-season, though. We have a good core, but the weaknesses are now crystal clear (if they weren't before). Shrewd GMing might be able to address them. It's not a lost cause - just the series is.

Edited by The Chicoutimi Cucumber
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At this point, I would like to see us win game 4 at least. We might go out in 6, but at least win one at home for the fans.

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I can't watch this anymore, I'm just too tired of the disappointment. I knew the series was lost after Game Two, and so it is. But let me say this:

1. I find all the attacks on Martin absurd. Just more of the famous Montreal fan scapegoating. He's had his team primed and ready to go for three straight games. We went to OT twice and had a decided edge in the first period tonight against a team that is MUCH bigger and has MUCH more raw talent. What the hell more do you want? As far as I'm concerned, Martin has made a case for himself as a good playoff coach so far this series, not the reverse. (I agree that OB should dress, but really, the idea that this is soooo *obvious* that JM is an idiot for not doing it both overstates OB's ability to compete in a game of this speed, AND ignores the fact that most coaches with this lineup would dress the same lineup JM has, erring on the side of veteran talent).

2. The fundamental problem of our team is that we are too small. If the NHL made sense and its games were called in the playoffs in the same way they're called during the season, that wouldn't be a big deal. But it is clear that we need at least one Knuble/Corson-type guy up front and one mean-assed mofo on the blueline. We need to be able to respond when they smashmouth our G, both at our end, and at the other.

3. The D needs an upgrade. I thought maybe the veterans would be able to step up, but Hammer, as others have said, is past his expiry date, at least for a series like this. I don't think we need a total overhaul - a PK Subban, if he can adjust to the NHL game, would make a huge difference. (Not saying he should be playing right now; just saying that we need a guy like that. In fact, having such a guy would take the load off Hammer and allow us to ease him into the #D-man slot where he now belongs). Next season, bring up PK and turn him loose.

The good thing about a series like this is that it gives you a clear bead on where you are as a team. We are better than anybody thought we were. But unless we address weakness (2) in particular, next season will bring the same results.

Good call CC, I totally agree that Martin had the team well primed. A mini-fold by Halak in game 2 after gift goals from Theodorable, and tonight a bad luck shorthanded and a lucky one three minutes later, takes the wind out. Marrtin't fault? Not a bit.

We could certainly use some crunch and a little D boost wouldn't hurt, but I've mostly been OK with how we've competed. We CAN beat this team and we have shown it. We are no eighth place team.

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I won't say it's over but hopefully the Habs can fly on fumes. The only chance right now is the fear of being down by 2 games, albeit 0-2 or 1-3. Washington brought it to avoid it. Hopefully the mirror stares back hard and it's do or die.

Start hoping for miracles

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Good posts Brobin. Who knows what happened down the stretch? Halak got tired, I think our small guys were tired (beat up), our core on D was spent from overuse, Cammy was out of sorts due to injury...and here we are.

The series is over, just like I said after Game Two. It was obvious to me...although I kind of expected at least one win in Montreal. Hopefully Game Four is it.

It'll be real interesting to see what Gauthier does in the off-season, though. We have a good core, but the weaknesses are now crystal clear (if they weren't before). Shrewd GMing might be able to address them. It's not a lost cause - just the series is.

Haha wow...a cats breath from being up 2-0 in the series...to now being down 2-1 and peeps ready to throw in the towel...good thing we are the best fans in the world.

The metro change was a mistake, skost worked with Moen and Moore..laps does not. I'd say drop MAB for OB next game.

I'm not ready to give up, the caps played one good period and got the breaks in them. Can't see how you're all ready to jump ship.

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Game 4 is the decider. I say that because the Habs play better on the road than they do at home. If they find themselves in a 3 game series with home ice to the Caps, they're better off than a 5 game series with home ice. That's my opinion.

Also, I knew there would be at least one blowout in the series. It's how Montreal responds. I'd actually rather they get blown out (if they were gonna lose) because this way the Caps aren't improving. If anything, they're just picking up bad habits and playing non-chalantly. With any luck, this will carry over to the next game and they'll have a rough start.

We'll see, but Game 4 is the decider here, because the Habs won't come back from 3-1.

Oh, and did I mention that I HATE watching games on TSN? I would flying-knee McGuire right in his bald, round little head if I ever saw him. Boy he drives me nuts.

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He was done for the year.

Pretty much so. He could come back late in the playoffs if we're still around by then. I only caught the 2nd half of the game (rushed home after writing a tax exam), it's going to be rough watching the tape of the 1st half later on...

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Yeah, yeah, JM is an evil idiot.

Your analysis is forgetting one little detail, which is that the Habs are not as powerful a team as the Caps. Game 1, for instance, was *always* going to be circus in the first period. And it's HIS fault that the Habs blew a 2-goal lead, right - which is a common occurence in the NHL. Because if only Carbo were coaching, they'd have kept motoring along, even though EVERY TEAM tries to protect leads, no matter what the coach tells them, especially when they know they're overmatched. I mean, come on.

ALL coaches go with veterans in the crunch, unless the young guys have clearly established themselves. OB was not even a roster constant in the regular season. I find it hardly surprising that JM went with proven veterans.

You're blaming the coach for the fact that his team is overmatched. That's lame.

(Young players regressed, I dunno, who are these great young players? Pouliot has flourished, Pyatt has flourished, Lapierre has regressed - just like he did two years ago under another coach - S. Kostitsyn has flatlined...I just don't see much evidence either way. YOU'RE the one who wants Lapierre benched; and if OB were dressed, you'd probably be balming Martin for dressing him the minute OB got undressed by a Caps' rush).

Pouliot got going from the get go when he went down and played for BOucher. SK74 again got going with boucher. Watching MaxPax was painful for most of the year, until he finally got sent down. Hamrkik has sucked since the olympics yet he plays 20+min. Makes more mistakes the Obyrne has made. Laps needs to be benched, bcoz its obvious Martin isnt going to accomplish anything with him - hasn't all year, can't see him turning it around now.

I would hardly call Pyatt flourish - he along with Darche are guys that when they make mistakes, rarely have to pay the piper for their mistakes, unlike Obyrne and SK74, who get benched after every mistake.

I see a Colorado team that should be overmatched holding their own very nicely against SJ.

When the caps were coming back, what did Martin do, take a Time out?? nope. After they scored the 4th goal after a LONG video review, he comes out with the 3rd line. He makes TOO many tactical errors.

Did you see Lavliolette give it to the refs in the flyers-devils series??? result, suddenly flyers get PP oppertunities. What does the penguin do, stand with his hands crossed looking like an idiot.

Halak gets run, does the Penguin he speak up against the refereeing??? no, he's not going to risk givoing up $10k by making noise and putting the microscope on the refs.

His players get ragged in the media and the fans, does Martin do anything and stick up for his players like Gainey did, nope, idiot fans have a right to boo Carey Price for being the 2nd star in the game.

Martin is a useless coach - easily one of Gainey's biggest mistakes, the game has passed him by a LONG time ago and the only reason he is coaching again is becoz montreal needed an experienced (if not over the hill washed up) French coach.

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hasb29RETIRED, Colorado got DEMOLISHED by San Jose, was saved by miraculous goaltending and a horrible miscue by Boyle. If that exact same game played out with the Habs, you'd be screaming that Martin messed the bed and we fluked out an undeserved win.

Martin has tried to instil some discipline in a team that had none, and Gomez's playoff follies aside, it's worked fairly well. Remember Carbo's yelling and screaming? It got us squat AND the team copied his example by whining and puling and taking lazy penalties all the time instead of sucking it up.

Timeouts...whatever. To me, saying that he doesn't yell enough, doesn't call timeouts at the right moment, and doesn't dress Ryan O'Byrne is not serious tactical analysis. I see a team that's played close to its potential for most of this series and is just plain overmatched.

Young players, I'm saying it's unproven either way. None of the players involved are exactly blue chip.

Edited by The Chicoutimi Cucumber
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hasb29RETIRED, Colorado got DEMOLISHED by San Jose, was saved by miraculous goaltending and a horrible miscue by Boyle. If that exact same game played out with the Habs, you'd be screaming that Martin messed the bed and we fluked out an undeserved win.

Martin has tried to instil some discipline in a team that had none, and Gomez's playoff follies aside, it's worked fairly well. Remember Carbo's yelling and screaming? It got us squat AND the team copied his example by whining and puling and taking lazy penalties all the time instead of sucking it up.

Timeouts...whatever. To me, saying that he doesn't yell enough, doesn't call timeouts at the right moment, and doesn't dress Ryan O'Byrne is not serious tactical analysis. I see a team that's played close to its potential for most of this series and is just plain overmatched.

Young players, I'm saying it's unproven either way. None of the players involved are exactly blue chip.

I do think his tinkering with a third and fourth line that worked the first two games as an oversight, no offense meant to Metro, but he's not an elite player.

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I do think his tinkering with a third and fourth line that worked the first two games as an oversight, no offense meant to Metro, but he's not an elite player.

Well, I'm not saying the guy is Scotty Bowman or that all he decisions are above reproach. On this specific instance, he made a reasonable call because our depth lines got totally owned in the second half of Game Two. Whether it worked or not is another story.

I see the case against JM. But I find a lot of the attacks on Martin rather hysterical, as if it's SOOOOOOOO obvious what the right decision is all the time; it's easy to scream 'play Ryan OB,' but by this point in the series I'm pretty sure that, had he dressed OB, most people would be attacking him for doing it.

More specifically, my point here is that you cannot use this playoff series against JM. He's done as well as you can reasonably expect given the cards he's been dealt.

If you want to blame someone for the loss, blame Bob Gainey. He is the guy who built a team that is too small up front and too old on D. (And even the bitter 'blaming' seems silly. Did anyone see us as top-level contenders this year? So on what basis should we feel outraged at losing to the President's Trophy winner, exactly?)

Edited by The Chicoutimi Cucumber
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I agree with you about the attacks, but to be fair, there have been people, me included, who all year have not agreed with his vocalness and coaching strats regarding young players, so this is not anything new.

Now see how can you defend Martin in one breath then bag on Gainey in the other. Martin knew the players before he joined, it's not he woke up one day with all the players, so the use the cards your dealt argument is pretty false.

Edited by bar
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hasb29RETIRED, Colorado got DEMOLISHED by San Jose, was saved by miraculous goaltending and a horrible miscue by Boyle. If that exact same game played out with the Habs, you'd be screaming that Martin messed the bed and we fluked out an undeserved win.

Martin has tried to instil some discipline in a team that had none, and Gomez's playoff follies aside, it's worked fairly well. Remember Carbo's yelling and screaming? It got us squat AND the team copied his example by whining and puling and taking lazy penalties all the time instead of sucking it up.

Timeouts...whatever. To me, saying that he doesn't yell enough, doesn't call timeouts at the right moment, and doesn't dress Ryan O'Byrne is not serious tactical analysis. I see a team that's played close to its potential for most of this series and is just plain overmatched.

Young players, I'm saying it's unproven either way. None of the players involved are exactly blue chip.

I agree. For the Habs to have a chance to win, many things need to go right. Tonight, things weren't going so well and 4 goals in the second essentially ended the affair. Now did anyone expect everything to work in the Habs's favour in every single game? No. Tonight was one of the nights it really didn't work out.

Let's look at some positives: The Caps' PP can't solve the Habs' PK. That's good.

Ovie scored a goal, yes, but didn't do much else. Even on his goal, his linemate found him, he shot, that was it. Ovie still is not the Ovie people expect him to be. If the Habs stay on him, they have a reasonable chance of containing him.

Tonight, the Caps played for one period. They were unspectacular in the first, and unspectacular in the third. What happens when teams coast? They coast more. With any luck, next game, the Habs could have an opportunity to pounce on the Caps, and maybe take the game, evening the series.

And I've said it before, the Habs play a stingy road game. Anything can happen. Let's wait and see.

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I'm calm now. Game is over. In brooding phase right now :( It's not easy to critique the Habs in melancholy.

I could go on about it but I'll instead mention the solution. One that has evaded them during the Washington takeover - "Forget the puck"! The only way to play Washington and win is to forget the puck. Play well without the puck! As a unit! Now of course I also mean that the Habs should play the puck. And Habs, please work on possessing the puck instead of sending errant passes through the slot that amount to nothing? More hits and 2 on 1's down low in the Caps' end! SPEED! More hits! Sometimes forgeting the puck and thinking more about positional play and being better aware of your offensive passing options will lead to better results! It has a double meaning but it is the best one liner I can think of to describe what needs to be done.

"Possess the puck"!

"Forget the puck"!

:(

Edited by Athlétique.Canadien
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There's so many fundamental flaws with this team -- from the roster make up to the coaching strategies passing by the team culture -- to start picking on this one or that one. I'm a never-say-die type of fan and I'll get worked up and angry up to the very last second... but I've seen enough in 3 playoffs game to know they're the exact same team we've seen all throughout the regular season. My only last hope is for Price to pull some kind of Cam Ward circa 2006 and beat the Caps on his own.

That's really the very last rabbit the Habs can pull out of their hat. Rely on their goalie to bail them out. For the rest, this is as good as it'll ever get.

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I agree with you about the attacks, but to be fair, there have been people, me included, who all year have not agreed with his vocalness and coaching strats regarding young players, so this is not anything new.

Now see how can you defend Martin in one breath then bag on Gainey in the other. Martin knew the players before he joined, it's not he woke up one day with all the players, so the use the cards your dealt argument is pretty false.

It's not false...It's everything. We just don't have the talent the caps have. Those are the "cards" my friend, and they're not pretty.

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I agree with you about the attacks, but to be fair, there have been people, me included, who all year have not agreed with his vocalness and coaching strats regarding young players, so this is not anything new.

Now see how can you defend Martin in one breath then bag on Gainey in the other. Martin knew the players before he joined, it's not he woke up one day with all the players, so the use the cards your dealt argument is pretty false.

Well, first of all, I'm not blaming Gainey. He did a good job of rebuilding the team with quality players. But he didn't build a top-flight contender (nor could anyone have done this in one off-season starting from scratch the way he did). So what I'm saying is, this team is not as good as the Caps. Since everyone knew that all along, I'm not sure how people can be justified in blaming Martin, or attacking the players themselves, for the result so far this series.

Frankly, anger and blame are NOT justified at all. Only if you believe that our team is playing substantially under potential, do you have a right to be really angry at the coach or the players. Looking at this series, I don't see us playing way under potential. (Well, maybe in the last two periods tonight, but that's because they were steamrollered). For much of the series we have been the Caps' equals, which surely surpasses exectations.

Secondly, with respect, your second paragraph makes no sense. JM agreed to coach this team. So what? How does that make him responsible for the fact that it doesn't have the right player mix to be an elite contender?

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I'm just saying that Washington has turned a corner but since the change in momentum we have also failed to play forget the puck. They did it wonderfully in game 1. It's the biggest bummer looking toward game 4 that Washington is getting higher and we are regressing.

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I'm just saying that Washington has turned a corner but since the change in momentum we have also failed to play forget the puck. They did it wonderfully in game 1. It's the biggest bummer looking toward game 4 that Washington is getting higher and we are regressing.

That's why it was so important to win Game Two. That way, the Caps would have been near panic mode. Otherwise, they were only going to get stronger - and that's what's happened.

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Maybe I'm just an eternal optimist...but the caps played a single good period tonight, that's all...it's easy to think they've woken up, but it was the caps plumbers that won the game for them tonight, I still have hope.

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