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GDT: Habs vs. Penguins


l.moustakas
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Price was unbelieveable tonight. The only reason he got beat on that 5 hole was he was cheating the pass. Subaan was beat and the other D didnt play the pass. Price anticipated the pass early me thinks. Man did he play awesome. 1st star for sure. Highlight reel saves and great rebound control!

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My 2 cents on the game since Louis is covering the 3-Stars tonight (so I can write here instead):

I was really impressed with the team's play in the 1st period - you knew the Pens were going to come out flying; I thought the Habs responded and countered well. In the 2nd, they got a little undisciplined and paid for it on the scoreboard. Unfortunately, the PK's took away their momentum and we looked flatfooted for the rest of the period and a good chunk of the 3rd in the early going. It's funny, I thought we were scrambling in the final few minutes trying too hard to force the attack, turns out it worked out in the end so who am I to complain?

Price was stellar, no doubt about it. Hopefully this'll get him (and the fans) feeling better heading into the home opener Wednesday. I'm a little concerned with the Gomez line, the goal notwithstanding of course. In terms of consistency, I thought Pouliot was the best out there of that trio which isn't a good sign though it's nice to see Pouliot rebound. Boyd's speed continues to impress me, though I'm starting to understand why he's never been a major scorer at the NHL level.

On defence, hard not to be impressed with Subban, though I wish he'd try not to do so much at times. Also, without solely looking at the negatives, he was starting to become too predictable in terms of when he'd backtrack, that could be a concern moving forward. That said, his rushing abilities really helped get the attack going and his shot is certainly a weapon. I also thought Spacek rebounded well from a so-so outing. As for Gorges, I thought he struggled mightily in the 1st but got better as the game went along.

All in all, another quality effort for the Habs, this one leaves me in a good mood to start putting the HW Recap together for tomorrow. (The HW Recap is so much more fun to write coming off a win, I must admit...) :)

Tonight's game stats: http://www.nhl.com/scores/htmlreports/20102011/ES020016.HTM

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You know Pouliot was the best player on their line tonight. Gomez is trying to carry the puck in too much and getting it stripped.

I'm surprised Gionta isn't showing more, given the "C" on the jersey and all. Then again, he's a complementary player more than a guy who makes things happen single-handedly. That's Gomez's job. So I think you're probably right. He'd better turn it around double-quick; hopefully tonight's Thanksgiving Turkey (MAF) gets him going.

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Gomez was noticeable in our end.. he did make a lot of defensive plays. His offensive play is still not clicking.. (except for that gift goal, at least he shot it).

Price played very well. Made some of those unexpected saves that lifts the team and frustrates the opposition. Hope he keeps it up. A nice run is just what a goalie needs to build up the confidence.

PK is going to be a joy to watch this year. He will definitely screw up a few times (it will be ugly), but he sure can pump up the team energy level. when's the last time we had a D who was willing to lead the rush! He also uses that tank like body in ways Komo can only dream of.

Moen looks better then I have ever seen him as a habs. We need a guy like him to step up and replace Metro as that unexpected scorer!

I don't think we have seen the best of this team yet, the passes are still fugly. they will get better and have more effective rushes in the coming games...

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My 2 cents on the game since Louis is covering the 3-Stars tonight (so I can write here instead):

I was really impressed with the team's play in the 1st period - you knew the Pens were going to come out flying; I thought the Habs responded and countered well. In the 2nd, they got a little undisciplined and paid for it on the scoreboard. Unfortunately, the PK's took away their momentum and we looked flatfooted for the rest of the period and a good chunk of the 3rd in the early going. It's funny, I thought we were scrambling in the final few minutes trying too hard to force the attack, turns out it worked out in the end so who am I to complain?

Price was stellar, no doubt about it. Hopefully this'll get him (and the fans) feeling better heading into the home opener Wednesday. I'm a little concerned with the Gomez line, the goal notwithstanding of course. In terms of consistency, I thought Pouliot was the best out there of that trio which isn't a good sign though it's nice to see Pouliot rebound. Boyd's speed continues to impress me, though I'm starting to understand why he's never been a major scorer at the NHL level.

On defence, hard not to be impressed with Subban, though I wish he'd try not to do so much at times. Also, without solely looking at the negatives, he was starting to become too predictable in terms of when he'd backtrack, that could be a concern moving forward. That said, his rushing abilities really helped get the attack going and his shot is certainly a weapon. I also thought Spacek rebounded well from a so-so outing. As for Gorges, I thought he struggled mightily in the 1st but got better as the game went along.

All in all, another quality effort for the Habs, this one leaves me in a good mood to start putting the HW Recap together for tomorrow. (The HW Recap is so much more fun to write coming off a win, I must admit...) :)

Tonight's game stats: http://www.nhl.com/scores/htmlreports/20102011/ES020016.HTM

Perhaps the streaming video is affecting my judgement, but I wasn't sold on Pouliot's performance tonight. He made one or two nice passes, but I simply do not sense him involved or creative enough. As I mention in the 3 stars (yes yes, tooting my own horn), I felt that most of the top forwards seemed rather inept and are not providing the scoring needed for the team to win regularly. Andrei Kostitsyn can't seem to go to the net. Honestly, I saw him in front of the net once all evening. And Scott, we get it, you like to carry the puck out of the zone. How about trying something different for a change? Gionta was unimpressive, but given his character and history, one suspects he will soon rebound. As for Boyd, he reminds me a bit of Jan Bulis in the sense that he will get far more chances than goals due to his speed, but simply does not have the tools to finish.

I agree that both Spacek and Gorges played well. What struck me the most is that Spacek actually got pucks to the net, 3 to be exact, which I find to be a wholly refreshing change. We all talk about Markov's return as being key for the powerplay, but Spacek finding his (long lost) form would be very beneficial as well. Moen's speed and net drive were also most welcome, and he almost scored on a couple of occasions.

HW 3 Stars: http://habsworld.net/article.php?id=2222)

Edited by l.moustakas
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Perhaps the streaming video is affecting my judgement, but I wasn't sold on Pouliot's performance tonight. He made one or two nice passes, but I simply do not sense him involved or creative enough. As I mention in the 3 stars (yes yes, tooting my own horn), I felt that most of the top forwards seemed rather inept and are not providing the scoring needed for the team to win regularly. Andrei Kostitsyn can't seem to go to the net. Honestly, I saw him in front of the net once all evening. And Scott, we get it, you like to carry the puck out of the zone. How about trying something different for a change? Gionta was unimpressive, but given his character and history, one suspects he will soon rebound. As for Boyd, he reminds me a bit of Jan Bulis in the sense that he will get far more chances than goals due to his speed, but simply does not have the tools to finish.

I agree that both Spacek and Gorges played well. What struck me the most is that Spacek actually got pucks to the net, 3 to be exact, which I find to be a wholly refreshing change. We all talk about Markov's return as being key for the powerplay, but Spacek finding his (long lost) form would be very beneficial as well. Moen's speed and net drive were also most welcome, and he almost scored on a couple of occasions.

HW 3 Stars: http://habsworld.net/article.php?id=2222)

I thought that Moen played better tonight, but frankly I'd rather see him being moved to make room for White. He just has not played with the consistency you expect from a veteran player. I think Halpern as a centre is more versatile as the plugger to keep around. Your 3rd/4th liners HAVE to be CONSISTENT. the top liners can float here and there as long as they are being productive, but you need to get a consistent effort from the bottom six.

With our current horses, I"d like to see Eller with G&G. If Pouliot isn't going to drive to the net, I'd rather have him play with two guys who will drive to the net and have some offensive potential like Laps and Boyd (i'd love to see White and Laps with Pouliot - but IMO someone be moved or hurt to bring up White and have him player a regular shift. You could send down Darche (who I just don't get why he is here), but it's pointless to bring up a young guy like White just to sit in the press box. But since I can't see Gauthier moving Moen, I'd rather have the 4th consist of true 4th liners like Moen-Halpern-Pyatt.

Edited by hab29RETIRED
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I'm a fan of everyone who puts on a Habs sweater. But I thought that fake a fight move by Lapierre was really weak. He actually started to shake his gloves off, only to stop when Talbot threw his down. Doesn't he want to be respected in the league?

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I'm such a slut. I like wins. Even when they're gifts from MAF. Price started with a lifetime reel stop on Crosby and played a terrific game. I doubt that the management was gambling much when they evaluated the prospects for this year. I really liked the way we came out in the first but really got slowed and tired by penalties as the game progressed.

On the whole, it was a pretty good outing for a road game and I saw a lot more that I liked than what I didn't. How cool is that PK? What a gas! I wasn't able to watch closely enough to critique players too much , but I'm not feeling too bad about our prospects this year.

Good game Habs! :hockey:

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I'm a fan of everyone who puts on a Habs sweater. But I thought that fake a fight move by Lapierre was really weak. He actually started to shake his gloves off, only to stop when Talbot threw his down. Doesn't he want to be respected in the league?

Yep, he is tough to like with stunts like that, but at least he is showing signs of life this year.

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Yeah, what's with Gio and Gomez? Is Pouliot dragging them down, or something? They're garbage out there.

Gomez is a traditionally slow starter. It's really an unexplainable phenomenon. He sucked for a couple of months to start last year (although Gionta didn't).

Two games, let's not jump to any rash conclusions, though. And that was a good team they played there. They created more against Toronto, just didn't finish. This one they got a lucky break to get that all important 3rd goal.

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I can see why Martin loves Pyatt. He had such a strong game. I really like the little things he does. Boyd is fast. I really like the way Moen is playing this year. As for Laps... he fought this year in the preseason, and it looks like he learned a few things. He fought Comrie... well, held him and wrestled him down. I know Comrie is not a fighter, but last year's Laps would have lost. I liked the glove shake thing. Good move and got us a power play. as long as he throws down once in awhile this year, I wont mind that stuff. As far as Moen goes... I'm impressed with his play this year. I certainly wouldn't want him to lose his job to White. If he keeps playing like that, I will be happy. I was just about to come on here and rip Gomez and Gio for floating when he scored that goal. Very funny

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I'm a fan of everyone who puts on a Habs sweater. But I thought that fake a fight move by Lapierre was really weak. He actually started to shake his gloves off, only to stop when Talbot threw his down. Doesn't he want to be respected in the league?

Haha..I think people put too much weight into being respected, players after they retire have frequently said they have played up an injury to get a call, plus, Laps is not fighter, he's an agitator, and he agitated Talbot into taking a penalty.

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What an epic game. This felt like a playoff game! Letang wasn't kidding when he said the Pens were starting to hate us as much as the Flyers/Caps!!!!! I've rarely seen the Pens play this dirty, especially in the 1st period. They did calm down in the 2nd/3rd tough.

We won despite having the ref against us. This team rocks! Suck it crosby!

Price, Cammy, Gill, Gorges , Boyd were our best players IMO.

Edited by Jean
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Yep, he is tough to like with stunts like that, but at least he is showing signs of life this year.

The role of the agitator (Lapierre) is to get under the other team's skin and cause penalties if he can. That is what Lapierre did when he did not drop his gloves. The other player did and got the penalty. Sometimes it is wiser to get a power play then to show off your fighting skills. There is a time to fight and a time not to fight, it does not depend on what the fans would like to see.

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Watching this team play, it's hard to believe I used to like the Koivu-Kovalev teams so much. I LOVE this team. PK is so damn fun to watch, he stands up to everybody. Gionta, Gomez, Cammalleri and Plekanec are small but they're hardcore forecheckers and really strong two-way players. Gorges and Gill did an amazing job of stopping the Pens goons from approaching Price after whistles. Price stole the win. Just wait until Markov and Hamrlik come back. Even the bottom 6 looks good. Moen has serious power moves and Lapierre, Eller, Halpern, Pyatt and Boyd can all actually play hockey.

The problem with this team is the same as last season: we don't have the firepower to create high quality scoring chances at even strength. Last night looked like a game where we put in a solid effort, had great goaltending but were going to lose anyway because we couldn't score. Pouliot, Kostitsyn and Eller aren't going to create much offense out of nothing. Our goals almost always come out of innocent plays.

Hopefully Markov and Hamrlik replacing Picard (useless) and O'Byrne will help launch our counter-attack but I doubt it. This is just the way we'll have to win games all season, I suspect.

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The role of the agitator (Lapierre) is to get under the other team's skin and cause penalties if he can. That is what Lapierre did when he did not drop his gloves. The other player did and got the penalty. Sometimes it is wiser to get a power play then to show off your fighting skills. There is a time to fight and a time not to fight, it does not depend on what the fans would like to see.

I agree. And I don't need to see fighting, it does nothing for me. I suppose it's the way I was raised. Act like you've been there before, don't tell people what you can do, show them. It worked, he drew a penalty, and he's on my team hopefully for the next ten years. I'm just not into those antics.

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Watching this team play, it's hard to believe I used to like the Koivu-Kovalev teams so much. I LOVE this team. PK is so damn fun to watch, he stands up to everybody. Gionta, Gomez, Cammalleri and Plekanec are small but they're hardcore forecheckers and really strong two-way players. Gorges and Gill did an amazing job of stopping the Pens goons from approaching Price after whistles. Price stole the win. Just wait until Markov and Hamrlik come back. Even the bottom 6 looks good. Moen has serious power moves and Lapierre, Eller, Halpern, Pyatt and Boyd can all actually play hockey.

The problem with this team is the same as last season: we don't have the firepower to create high quality scoring chances at even strength. Last night looked like a game where we put in a solid effort, had great goaltending but were going to lose anyway because we couldn't score. Pouliot, Kostitsyn and Eller aren't going to create much offense out of nothing. Our goals almost always come out of innocent plays.

Hopefully Markov and Hamrlik replacing Picard (useless) and O'Byrne will help launch our counter-attack but I doubt it. This is just the way we'll have to win games all season, I suspect.

Really a good post. You accurately capture something that I've maintained about this ream all along, that it is fundamentally likeable and chock-full of appealing, fun players that sensible fans pull for. Bruised by the psychodrama disasters of the Kovalev era, Gainey rebuilt this team for gumption and CHARACTER. Only hysteria over wins and losses can lead people to lose sight of this. PK Subban just raises that 'likeability' factor up a notch. His game, potential and charisma are the stuff of future legend, and barring injury or cap mismanagement, or perhaps his own mushrooming ego, he will be THE defining player for the Montreal Canadiens for the next 15 years. I know that sounds like hyperbole...but I don't think it is. Easily the best Habs rookie since Koivu - the real Koivu, not the injury-damaged one.

At the same time, you're also right that our core maybe isn't quite good enough to blast open games. There are X-factors here - what if Subban really starts to explode? What if Eller, Kosty or Pouliot really begin to buzz? - but these are more cases of wishful thinking than probabilities. (If Cammalleri had ever heard of assists, he might become that gamebreaker, but it looks like he is a pure lurk-in-the-weeds-and-explode sniper, and it's hard to demand more). We still need a legitimate power forward in the top 6. Absent that, expect lots of harrowingly close games, lots of near-death experiences along the lines of 'shit, what ifwe head back to Montreal with an 0-2 record??' and things like that. Also expect enough moments where Pleks, Gio, Gomez, and Cammy and our vastly improved bottom-6 snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Gonna be another roller-coaster...as it is for most teams in the cap era. But whatever happens, it'll be a fun ride from one of the most entertaining and likeable teams in hockey.

Edited by The Chicoutimi Cucumber
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Really a good post. You accurately capture something that I've maintained about this ream all along, that it is fundamentally likeable and chock-full of appealing, fun players that sensible fans pull for. Bruised by the psychodrama disasters of the Kovalev era, Gainey rebuilt this team for gumption and CHARACTER. Only hysteria over wins and losses can lead people to lose sight of this. PK Subban just raises that 'likeability' factor up a notch. His game, potential and charisma are the syiff of future legend, and barring injury or cap mismanagement, he will be THE defining player for the Montreal Canadiens for the next 15 years. I know that sounds like hyperbole...but I don't think it is. Easily the best Habs rookie since Koivu - the real Koivu, not the injury-damaged one.

At the same time, you're also right that our core maybe isn't quite good enough to blast open games. There are X-factors here - what if Subban really starts to explode? What if Eller, Kosty or Pouliot really begin to buzz? - but these are more cases of wishful thinking than probabilities. (If Cammalleri had ever heard of assists, he might become that gamebreaker, but it looks like he is a pure lurk-in-the-weeds-and-explode sniper, and it's hard to demand more). We still need a legitimate power forward in the top 6. Absent that, expect lots of harrowingly close games, lots of near-death experiences along the lines of 'shit, what ifwe head back to Montreal with an 0-2 record??' and things like that. Also expect enough moments where Pleks, Gio, Gomez, and Cammy and our vastly improved bottom-6 snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Gonna be another roller-coaster...as it is for most teams in the cap era. But dammit, it'll be a fun ride.

We do actually have 3 reasonably sized players with top 6 potential... it's just that none of them are (currently) explosive enough to do much other than compliment our Big 4. I'm talking about Pouliot (6'3, 198), Kostitsyn (6'0, 214) and Eller (6'2, 198). [numbers taken from Canadiens official site]. It just sadly happens that of our 7 forwards with top 6 potential, the three biggest ones are also the three worst.

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Slight change of subject, but boy, it is refreshing to have so much hate directed at the Canadiens. Mere days after facing off against arch-rivals Toronto, Kris Letang and cie openly expressed their dislike of the Canadiens. On top of that, P.K Subban was booed all night by the Pittsburgh faithful. And, usually, good teams are more despised than poor teams. The year may be another roller coaster, but the Habs may just be on the right track.

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Watching this team play, it's hard to believe I used to like the Koivu-Kovalev teams so much. I LOVE this team. PK is so damn fun to watch, he stands up to everybody. Gionta, Gomez, Cammalleri and Plekanec are small but they're hardcore forecheckers and really strong two-way players. Gorges and Gill did an amazing job of stopping the Pens goons from approaching Price after whistles. Price stole the win. Just wait until Markov and Hamrlik come back. Even the bottom 6 looks good. Moen has serious power moves and Lapierre, Eller, Halpern, Pyatt and Boyd can all actually play hockey.

The problem with this team is the same as last season: we don't have the firepower to create high quality scoring chances at even strength. Last night looked like a game where we put in a solid effort, had great goaltending but were going to lose anyway because we couldn't score. Pouliot, Kostitsyn and Eller aren't going to create much offense out of nothing. Our goals almost always come out of innocent plays.

Hopefully Markov and Hamrlik replacing Picard (useless) and O'Byrne will help launch our counter-attack but I doubt it. This is just the way we'll have to win games all season, I suspect.

I clearly remember the AK - Plex - Cammy line creating high quality scoring chances at even strenght at some point last season (just before AK got injured). Give them 10 more games and I'm sure they'll be able to bring some firepower on the table.

I'm more concerned about Gomez-Gionta though, but again, it's just 2 games in a long season. The Captain will want to bounce back, that's for sure.

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