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Washington @ Habs: GAME 3


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Good teams can overcome adversity, bad to average teams can easily collapse.

You can write it off as excuses or cop outs, but it exists.

Gomez himself said the Devils blew a lead against Philly and it took them a game or two to recover.

They got it together in time to win the series coming back from 3-1 and eventually won the Cup.

That was a Stanley Cup contender with a core of previous winners, so i don't think it is a stretch to say that

this Canadiens team could fall apart after Game 2.

Being shook up because you blew a lead is one thing. Being stunned because you allow the first goal early in the 2nd is another.

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Being shook up because you blew a lead is one thing. Being stunned because you allow the first goal early in the 2nd is another.

The two go hand in hand, Kozed. They don't blow Game Two, then maybe that goal isn't a back-breaker. But the Habs were in a position where they needed to prove to themselves that they could win. That goal extinguished that already-damaged belief. They'd just thrown their best period at the Caps and failed to score, to boot. Of course they were demoralized. The overwhelming message of Game Two and the first period/first goal of Game Three was: no matter what you do, you cannot win.

It's human nature. The 1980 Montreal Canadiens lost Game 7 to Minnesota after shellacking them with about 20 shots in the first period and not scoring. Steve Shutt told Dick Irvin after the first: 'I think we just blew it.' Now you can scream, 'hey, man, suck it up and fire another 20+ shots at the guy!' but no one can impugn Shutt's championship character; and he was acknowledging the simple facts of life. I heard Gainey express a similar frustration in the 1987 series, against Philly I think it was - how the team had been stoned by the goalie in one game and had trouble re-creating that energy for the next. The point is, no human being and no team of human beings is psychologically invincible. Crushing blows are crushing blows. People need time to recover and no amount of hard-ass tough-guy lecturing will change this.

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The two go hand in hand, Kozed. They don't blow Game Two, then maybe that goal isn't a back-breaker. But the Habs were in a position where they needed to prove to themselves that they could win. That goal extinguished that already-damaged belief. They'd just thrown their best period at the Caps and failed to score, to boot. Of course they were demoralized. The overwhelming message of Game Two and the first period/first goal of Game Three was: no matter what you do, you cannot win.

It's human nature. The 1980 Montreal Canadiens lost Game 7 to Minnesota after shellacking them with about 20 shots in the first period and not scoring. Steve Shutt told Dick Irvin after the first: 'I think we just blew it.' Now you can scream, 'hey, man, suck it up and fire another 20+ shots at the guy!' but no one can impugn Shutt's championship character; and he was acknowledging the simple facts of life. I heard Gainey express a similar frustration in the 1987 series, against Philly I think it was - how the team had been stoned by the goalie in one game and had trouble re-creating that energy for the next. The point is, no human being and no team of human beings is psychologically invincible. Crushing blows are crushing blows. People need time to recover and no amount of hard-ass tough-guy lecturing will change this.

CC, I dont know how else to put it...

The

Habs

collapsed

because

they

allowed

the

FIRST

GOAL

early

in

the

SECOND

period.

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The two go hand in hand, Kozed. They don't blow Game Two, then maybe that goal isn't a back-breaker. But the Habs were in a position where they needed to prove to themselves that they could win. That goal extinguished that already-damaged belief. They'd just thrown their best period at the Caps and failed to score, to boot. Of course they were demoralized. The overwhelming message of Game Two and the first period/first goal of Game Three was: no matter what you do, you cannot win.

It's human nature. The 1980 Montreal Canadiens lost Game 7 to Minnesota after shellacking them with about 20 shots in the first period and not scoring. Steve Shutt told Dick Irvin after the first: 'I think we just blew it.' Now you can scream, 'hey, man, suck it up and fire another 20+ shots at the guy!' but no one can impugn Shutt's championship character; and he was acknowledging the simple facts of life. I heard Gainey express a similar frustration in the 1987 series, against Philly I think it was - how the team had been stoned by the goalie in one game and had trouble re-creating that energy for the next. The point is, no human being and no team of human beings is psychologically invincible. Crushing blows are crushing blows. People need time to recover and no amount of hard-ass tough-guy lecturing will change this.

No question. Thanks for writing another couple of paragraphs for me. We HAD game 2 and the first period. We CAN have game 4. We played some simply excellent hockey. Quite frankly , if we fall out, I will not be that bugged about what we brought to the playoffs. And we ain't gone yet. We have some excellent leaders on this team and if the Caps don't go crazy we should give them some game. Why the hell not?

Go Habs Go! Players experience the same emotional swings as the fans.

Fan up men! :clap:

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CC, I dont know how else to put it...

The

Habs

collapsed

because

they

allowed

the

FIRST

GOAL

early

in

the

SECOND

period.

I don't think the SH goal did it. It just started the downslope. It was the next goal some 3 minutes later that really set them reeling. Mostly bad luck. Then the third, while they were still in a bit of shock. Kaplooie.

I don't fault them. They were playing a terrific game after playing a great couple of games.

Go Habs GO! :)

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Sorry, but that's utter rubbish. Sure, the loss in OT in Game 2 hurts, but you turn the page. The Habs were on the PP and the Caps opened the score. It's early in the 2nd, you're 1 man up and you already cower because you allow a bad goal? Come on! How weak is that!? It's hockey, you're not gonna score first every game but to let it stun you is absurd. A real competitive, confident team would have answered by swarming the Caps right then and there on the PP. Instead the Habs looked like an insecure team trying to reassure themselves by whispering "We're ok, we're ok" while pissing their pants.

Give me a break with the gut shot and human interest touchy-feely crap. It's hockey, it's sports, it's a fight, a battle of skills and wills. It's push and pull. You get pushed, you push back. You dont curl up in a ball hoping the other will stop pushing. You have to dominate with your will first, the rest will follow. If your will to win breaks down so easily, stick to knitting.

I'm so damn freaking tired of these excuses and cope outs whenever the team falters because of a fundamental lack of competitive spirit.

Win or die trying, period. It's not idealization, it's a value that hung 24 Cup banners up in the rafters.

Kozed, man, I don't know how you have that ability to take what's in my head and post it. Every time I read your posts it's like "yeah, that's exactly what I was thinking"

I always know when the Habs are defeated. They are in their own end, stationary, waving their sticks arounds from 2 feet in front of the opposing player, giving him ample time so his teammates can get in position for a pass. I acknowledge the disadvantaged skill level argument, the size factor, the age factor on defense - what I can't accept, especially in the playoffs, is the intellectually-challenged decision making on countless plays. Are we disadvantaged there too? Penguin vs Humpty Dumpty, probably lost that one too. I don't care what anyone says, there are some facets of this team's disabilities that MUST be on Martin. Good coaches know to make transitions within a game, change strategies, change tactics. He hasn't impressed me one bit. When these playoffs started, all I hoped for was to go down gracefully, with pride, maybe keep the series close, get some respect. Afer the meltdown in Game 2 and the embarassment in Game 3, I just don't know anymore.

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No question. Thanks for writing another couple of paragraphs for me. We HAD game 2 and the first period. We CAN have game 4. We played some simply excellent hockey. Quite frankly , if we fall out, I will not be that bugged about what we brought to the playoffs. And we ain't gone yet. We have some excellent leaders on this team and if the Caps don't go crazy we should give them some game. Why the hell not?

Go Habs Go! Players experience the same emotional swings as the fans.

Fan up men! :clap:

I wish I was drinking the same kool-aid.

In game 2 Gomez has a brain cramp up when we are up 4-3 and decides to fight for probably 4th or 5th time in his career and is gone in a trade off with Poti :wacko: Game 3 he takes a 10 min misconduct. Game 2, Cammy takes two very stupid slashing penalties that are almost identical, on the delayed penalty call on the 2nd instance, the caps tie it up. yeah, i know composite sticks snap easy, but you have to be aware of makkng a dumb move like that in the offensive zone TWICE!

I'll give Pleks and Gionta a pass because it was out of character - i actually had thought the misconduct was on Gionta and missed Gomez getting the misconduct when I went to grab a drink.

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I don't think the SH goal did it. It just started the downslope. It was the next goal some 3 minutes later that really set them reeling. Mostly bad luck. Then the third, while they were still in a bit of shock. Kaplooie.

I don't fault them. They were playing a terrific game after playing a great couple of games.

Go Habs GO! :)

You could feel it. After the SH goal the Habs were just stunned. They were matching the Caps' energy up until then, but after that goal they were knocked out.

Which is the point I'm trying to make. I'm not debating some great teams will be discouraged after doing great and coming empty-handed like the examples CC used. The difference is: you have great teams, confident in their greatness, who throw everything they have at an opponent and come out empty-handed. That gives instant credibility to the adversary, that's where the stunning comes from.

Habs are not a great team, and they hadnt thrown everything they had at the Caps up until that SH goal. The Caps didnt even score on a great play. The Habs had absolutely no excuse in the world to be shook by such a small thing. Yet they were. Why? Why did it took so little to rattle the team. How comes a minor setback had a major effect?

I theorized that it's because the Habs' entire game plan hinged on that stupid notion of "getting the first goal". I say it's a stupid notion because it's symptomatic of the poor coaching preparation and strategy Martin has failed to instill in the team. Instead of being prepared to play 60 mins and end on top, the Habs come into games with a sort of step-by-step program where they, basically, need to score first and then hang on for dear life trying to protect the lead. The Habs can't do it, never could all season long. That's what failed us in Game 2. They had the same plan in Game 3, because Martin dont know any other way; and getting scored on first just crushed the player's confidence.

It is, I think, one of major flaw in Martin's work. His coaching is rigid, players are asked to submit to the system. In itself, nothing exceptional. But with Martin it feels like players are asked to bend so much into the system & the plan, they're devalued individually and lose confidence in themselves. That's why they've been so emotionally flat so many times.

I haven't really seen it this clearly up until now, but in my eyes what we've seen is the Habs going from one extreme last season (too much freedom) to the other extreme this season (not enough in freedom). Last year players weren't listening to a damn thing the coaches were saying; this year the coaches hold unto the players too tight. The guys that are left on the roster right now are the guys that won't step a toe outside of the limits drawn by the coaches. Again, in itself not a problem.

But in a case where the limits are so narrow that a small little thing like allowing the first goal throws the entire plan into oblivion, now there's a problem. Right now what I see is players being so concerned about following the damn plan, so focused on themselves and how they do their own little thing; they forgot about the most basic aspects of the game itself, starting with the fact that you've got another team in your face and that you have to be better than them. Martin keeps harping on about execution and completely forgets about competition. Execution is following the game plan, competition is going into the slot and banging on a rebound 4 times while getting cross-checked across the back. What I see is players that have been stripped of the better part of their instincts and that dont play at the gut level enough.

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Very good point Koz about the impact of that first goal. I agree with you. Sadly at this point it's probably a lost cause to instigate a paradigm shift. So the players better stick to Martin's plan and execute.

The most beautiful thing is that it's only 2-1 for the Caps in the series! (although it feels like the Caps have a 3 games lead) Hopefully the Habs can rebound better to that 1 game trailing than how they reacted when they allowed the 1st goal in game 3.

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That first goal absolutely changed the game.

It changed the way the Habs defended and attacked. We gave up, we believed that we could not beat that other team. It was like standing up to a much bigger bully, punching him a couple of times then getting hit hard in the face. Fall on the ground and turtle.

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Well they played a good first period. Didn't show up in the final 2 periods.

The collapse happened game 2 in the third period. The habs aren't good enough, mentally or physically tough enough to recover from something like that.

Washington is the much better team, the habs have played pretty well at times, but over a long series, the undermanned team has to play there best game every night, the Habs have proved all year they are up and down.

I hope they win 1 more game at least. It will give management an opportunity to figure out who needs to stay and who needs to go.

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