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Game 4 -Putting Sunday night's game behind us,bounce back Tuesday night


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Game 4 -Tuesday, May 7... 7 p.m. CBC, RDS

Habs' Veteran Leadership Non-Existant

In three playoff games so far this year, the Montreal Canadiens have blown hot and cold. Their Game 1 loss
at the hands of the Ottawa Senators was a testament to the fact that shot output means nothing. The quality of them matters more.

The "quality" came in Game 2, when the Habs peppered Senators' goaltender Craig Anderson, going to high percentage scoring areas, providing screens and driving the net.

Last night, the Canadiens were outclassed on every part of the ice, oftentimes looking like a team already defeated after the first period. After the initial ten minute barrage of truculence on the part of the Senators, the Habs played scared. That part troubles me more than anything else I've seen so far this playoff season.

And it all begins with the team's veterans. Injured or not, they are the ones that should be providing the example to the Canadiens' youngsters, and not vise-versa. Other than Rene Bourque and P.K. Subban, not one else has stepped up to the plate.


David Desharnais:

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I think everyone can agree that Desharnais has been the biggest disappointment this season for the Montreal Canadiens. While his rise to the NHL earned him much respect in the hockey community, his standards of play have all but disappeared since he signed a four-year extension with the Canadiens on March 15th, 2013.

His greatest strengths were his ability to fend off bigger players along the boards, get possession of the puck and distribute it to his wingers for quality scoring chances. Needless to say, DD has done nothing of the sort, not having registered a single shot in three playoff games and constantly being pushed off the puck like a rag doll.

And can someone please explain why he keeps getting chances on the Canadiens' power play when he has been so ineffective for such a longer period of time? Unless we have a two-man advantage, it's still four-on-four to me when Desharnais take the ice for special teams' duty.

Pacioretty:

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That bring us to Hab's power forward Max Pacioretty. Pacioretty once described Desharnais as "the best centre he's ever played with." Well, that's not saying much.

And with that though in mind, where did Patches' game go? Last season, he was being praised for his net drive and his fearless positioning in front of opposing goaltenders. Now, he's resorted to playing like Scott Gomez, refusing to engage the mid-ice lane, and taking useless shots from low percentage areas along the perimeter.

Granted, the quick healing winger has been dealing with different injuries for the better part of the season, but this is playoff hockey!! If you know you can't be beneficial to your team's fortunes, take a breather, and let someone else carry the load. Patches took the game off in Game 2, and it didn't go so badly for Michel Therrien's team.

Ryder:

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Michael Ryder is one of those players (being a coach myself) I'd like to take aside and beat some sense into him. A perennial 30 goal scorer for the better part of his career, Ryder seems to play regular season games like they mean more than the playoffs. Granted, NHL players don't get anything in the playoffs unless they win the Stanley Cup, but still...

Skating like he's stuck in quicksand, and defensive liability, Ryder provides nothing of substance to the Canadiens' playoff roster. While he played well in the Boston Bruins' Stanley Cup run of a few years ago, his career playoff stats are a joke.

Plekanec:

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Tomas Plekanec is anothere one of those players who needs to find their game. Gone are the caroussel of wingers and free-flowing excuses. The Habs' #14 has done nothing to disspell his "I played like a girl" quote from a few years ago. That comment too was in reference to another useless playoff performance.

With a minus-13 rating in 50 career playoff games, Plekanec's defensive play seems to dwindle when the chips are on the table. Other than his 2005-2006 rookie campaign, where Plek was plus-2 in 6 games, he has not had ANY success in the playoffs.

Granted, Tomas does do the "little things" right more often than not, but those same things will not help lead the Canadiens to playoff success.

Markov:

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Canadiens' veteran blue liner Andrei Markov has not come back to the lineup...yet.

Markov has a distinct inability to pivot to his right to defend the mid-ice lane. That much was clear evidence last night, when Markov decided it was easier to follow Chris Neal than keep Jean-Gabriel Pageau from streaking up the middle. On that play alone, he left both P.K. Subban and Carey Price out to dry.

The Russian-born defenseman still has the brains to play at this level, but his legs just aren't there. He skates up the ice without the vivacity we have growing accustomed to in previous season, and has become a defensive liability on the left side.

If Markov's season has any hope of being salvaged, perhaps taking him away from P.K. Subban as a partner (who himself showed obvious frustration last night), and pairing him up on the right of Josh Gorges or Francis Bouillon.

Veterans need to lead by example, and if this is the example these players will continue to afford their teammates....FORE!!!

On a brighter note...

Coming off Sunday’s 6-1 loss to the Senators in Ottawa, the Canadiens held an optional practice Monday afternoon as they prepare for Game 4 Tuesday night .

“We’ve proven in the past that we’re capable of bouncing back,” coach Michel Therrien said Monday. “We have to bounce back tomorrow. ”

The Canadiens did get some good news Monday when right-winger Brendan Gallagher was named a finalist for the Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s outstanding rookie. The other finalists are Florida Panthers centre Jonathan Huberdeau and Chicago Blackhawks left-winger Brandon Saad. The winner will be announced during the 2013 Stanley Cup final.

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Please,lets put Sunday night's game to rest...bounce back game Tuesday night needed big time....GO_HABS_GO_zpsa021b1a8.gif
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I actually think we will not only win, but win handily. I think the boys will get back to the hockey they play well - namely, their speed game - and will finally start getting some good traffic in front of anderson.

I dont think it will be a blowout (as i honestly think those can be detrimental & backfire on you in the playoffs) but I do think we'll be in command from start to finish.

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I dont think it will be a blowout (as i honestly think those can be detrimental & backfire on you in the playoffs) but I do think we'll be in command from start to finish.

I am with ya on this jed

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I actually think we will not only win, but win handily. I think the boys will get back to the hockey they play well - namely, their speed game - and will finally start getting some good traffic in front of anderson.

I dont think it will be a blowout (as i honestly think those can be detrimental & backfire on you in the playoffs) but I do think we'll be in command from start to finish.

I'm with you too, I expect a strong, focused game.

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My only concern with tonight's game is that someone doesnt go out there looking for revenge against Eric Gryba. I dont *think* they will but you never know.

As a few of us have mentioned in other threads, Im sure Lars would much rather be "avenged" with wins than with fights that most likely would be accompanied by extra penalty minutes for our team.

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As a life long fan and completely dedicated Habs guy, I do not remember a time where I was more ashamed of the Habs than I was on Sunday night. I understand, hockey is an emotional game and tempers do flare, especially if the leadership on the team is not strong. I cannot defend this team at all, I have taken all the heat from my fellow co-workers for the clown show on Sunday. The players can say whatever they want but the only way to make up for that gongshow is with a strong outing, playing disciplined, hard-nosed hockey. The biggest key, is our transition game. Make Ottawa pay for their forecheck and move that puck out quickly and crisply. How many fanned dump ins, fanned passes and flubbed pucks! We need to impose OUR game tonight, speed, speed, speed! I really feel that Plekanec, Patches and Ryder will have big nights! 3-0 win tonight is my prediction for tonight! GO HABS GO!

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FWIW Gryba back in the Sens lineup tonight.

Should be a non issue, no retribution necessary, he's just another Senators' player to me and should be that way to all others on the team, best way to avenge Eller's injury is to win the next three hockey games!

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As a life long fan and completely dedicated Habs guy, I do not remember a time where I was more ashamed of the Habs than I was on Sunday night. I understand, hockey is an emotional game and tempers do flare, especially if the leadership on the team is not strong. I cannot defend this team at all, I have taken all the heat from my fellow co-workers for the clown show on Sunday. The players can say whatever they want but the only way to make up for that gongshow is with a strong outing, playing disciplined, hard-nosed hockey. The biggest key, is our transition game. Make Ottawa pay for their forecheck and move that puck out quickly and crisply. How many fanned dump ins, fanned passes and flubbed pucks! We need to impose OUR game tonight, speed, speed, speed! I really feel that Plekanec, Patches and Ryder will have big nights! 3-0 win tonight is my prediction for tonight! GO HABS GO!

I really noticed that last game, too. It seemed like half of the time we tried a dump-in the puck ended up getting knocked down by their defence as it went past them and then they had possession while we were still haphazardly trying to get a change in.

I'm hopeful that all it's going to take is a little more focus on playing hockey and a little less on the opponents. If we can do that then your predicted 3-0 win might not be that far off :)

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Does anyone know the lines and who's replacing them? Halpern and Dumont I assume but could be wrong.

I would say Halpern is a lock, especially considering our PK issues.

I would hope that MT will pick the next best available forward, although I could see him dressing Blunden simply for the size factor - which is fine, Blunden's not really a downgrade over any of the other options - as long as the plan isnt to try to outmuscle them again. That will not work in our favour.

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Game 4 is almost always the most important game of the series.

If you're down 3-0, you're in a big hole.

If you're up or down 2-1 after three games, there's a huge difference between being tied at 2 games apiece or up/down 3 games to 1 after four.

Do it tonight, Team. Take back home ice and GET IT DONE!

GO HABS GO!



Oh. & great GDT, FH10. Great analysis of our missing players.

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And your predictions always come true,,,,,,right, 123?

I have a 3-1 record(with me predicting the score right on all three) since the Laff game. Although I might have done the first loss to the Sens which would give me a 3-2 record but I don't remember.

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Ryan white's out of the line up with an upper body injury... Anyone wanna bet he's suffered another concussion?

He did take several good shots to the head. Wouldn't be the first time white's missed due to a concussion.

So, game 4 tonight... Will our Habs show up?

Price didn't have a bad game until the 3rd period. To be honest, up until that point, he was one of our best players. Then the wheels completely fell off. Some questionable calls from the refs, but even without it, I don't think we had much chance of winning that game.

Not the first time our habs have been down in a series. If the habs don;t show up tonight, I think that'll be the series. Tying up the series could help them gain some confidence, if they don't show up tonight... Might as well just pack it in.

We need a few of our guys to start playing... DD, Patches, Gio, Ryder (he did get a goal last game, but need more from him). Basically most of our top 6 needs to show up ready to play tonight.

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