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Game Analysis: Pregame And Postgame Discussion


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What's the Purpose of this Thread?

While the game threads in the Gameday section are fun and provide immediate gratification for members following a Habs game in real time, it might be a bit frustrating to see your well-crafted, 1000-word post disappear within seconds as 12 more members posted quick hits about the game in progress. To encourage thoughtful, in-depth analysis of individual Habs games in a format that prioritizes substance over style, we are introducing the Game Analysis: Pregame and Postgame Discussion thread.*

* Special thanks to GreekHockeyCoach for coming up with the idea for this thread.

What You Can Post

When posting in this thread, there are two golden rules to remember:

  1. You can discuss individual games in whatever detail you want, provided that the discussion is centred on a particular game and not a free-range general discussion that belongs in State of the Habs, If I were GM, or any of the player threads.
  2. One-liners are frowned upon. The point of this thread is to generate in-depth discussion. If you just want to show support for the Habs by cheering them on, please visit the appropriate game thread.
Some examples of acceptable content*:

Statistics

  • Past history of the team we are currently playing
  • Head-to-head records this season
  • All-time records for individual players
  • Who's hot and who's not
  • Playoff/standing implications, if applicable
  • The other team's top scorers' stats against us
Analysis
  • Individual player performances
  • Comparing player performances
  • Officiating
  • Coaching
  • Line matchups
  • Special teams
  • Game summaries for members who missed the game
* These are just examples. Feel free to come up with different topics for discussion.

How It Works

While a Habs game is in progress, this thread will remain locked. At all other times, this thread will be open for discussion. For ease of use, one of the moderators will periodically re-publish the rules for posting in this thread.

Remember...

The Code of Conduct still applies in this thread. :)

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Guest HabSuperStar

great thread!

even if my english is not perfect, i'll post here a lot

For tonights game, we definitively need to beat them, we need to prove that we can beat ottawa, and clinch the divison againts them. Let's just hope that all the injury won't hurt too much... IMO, the biggest lost is Mike Komisarek, no, not Koivu, I said Komisarek! and IMO, Koivu is not a captain anymore...

Who's hot and who's not

Lets hope Serge Kostitsyn will have a great game with Ryder and Higgins

we obviously have to look out for Spezza's line

and, STOP TAKING STUPID PENALTYS! (well, this is easier when Koivu's not there to take a hooking penalty ;) )

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Guest bigsby

i don't like the ryder-sergei-higgins line. i have no problem with sergei at centre but i find higgins and ryder struggle together. i honestly can't think of a better line combination with koivu out but...i'm still not sure about it.

thoughts on how that trio will match up against the sens?

was kovy's line matched against the heatley line last time? they were effective if i recall until carbo changed it up in the third. i hope they go with the same game plan....

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Guest TheFly

Game analysis:

Big positive for montreal, no Corey Stillman...why? Everytime Sens have a powerplay his rocket of a shot from the point always seems to get through our box and past price. Ottawa without Stillman limit their already limited secondary scoring.

Tonight's keys of the game.

- Kovalev's line vs Spezza 's line, force against force.

- Get the pucks deep behind the Ottawa D men, they don't force the play downlow and allow forwards to walk in behind the net.

- Rebounds, pay attention! Gerber has given huge juicy rebounds his whole career, test him early

- For God sake's please don't make the Spezza line shoot from the high slot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- Clear the front of the net

- Play for 60 minutes!

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Guest JIMVINNY

Key for me tonight was the PK. It was fantastic, and has been for the last few games. It really seems like our special teams are gearing up for the playoffs. PP % has dropped off, but that's the norm for the playoffs. If we don't allow any PP goals either, and that's how it's looking like it's going to be, we should definitely see some playoff success.

Duplicate of the game thread...Oh wait... :P
Jl, you don't have to like it. You also don't have post here. :P
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Guest thefooligan5

I only managed to get home in time to watch the second half of the game but from what I saw, the habs were playing a simple yet dominant style of hockey tonight. According the NHL.com stats, Montreal blocked 24 shots to Ottawa's 14. Granted the difference does not seem as large as it did while watching the game. I was watching the Sportsnet stream and they could not stop talking about how great the Habs were blocking shots through the entire game. I inclined to believe considering their obvious Ottawa bias. I also noticed that O'Byrne blocked 5 of those 24 shots himself. I am really glad to see that Ryan is stepping up and filling in as the 'tough' defenseman while Komisarek is out (granted he only had one body check but I think the blocked shots are a stronger positive).

Another positive statistic from this game was that the Habs only had 4 missed shots. I do not have the stats to back me up here but I know that typically when I watch a game I am quite often frustrated by the number of blown opportunities because someone had missed the net. Granted I feel the Habs have been more accurate this year than seasons past but I would still consider 4 missed shots to be exceptionally low.

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Guest Cenner Hice

It's very rare that I'll be able to post in this thread as we get so few Habs games on tv over in Europe. However, last night's game was one ...and what a one!

I went to bed at 3:15am local a happy hab fan and wondering who the three stars would be. My choices were (in no order), Price, Gorges and A Kosty. The stars actually chosen were 1. Price; 2. Higgy; and 3. A Kostitsyn. So I was close. I still feel that Josh played a great game filling Komisaurus's skates.

Thoughts on the game: Great. Thank's guys for making the late night totally worthwhile. :D

Division title and 100 points (though these relate more to the season than the game)

Carey's 3rd shutout!

AK27's 35th goal (most by a Hab for 12 years)!

We actually out-shot the Sens in the first period. I think this is unusual enough for the Habs to warrant mention.

There was some great shot blocking and just getting in shooting lanes going on, frustrating the Sens (and, although it's his way of playing, Neil was getting properly frustrated and no-one rose to the bait - good level headedness)

I can't explain the refs' decisions, indecisions and lack of decision. But who can?

All in all, good signs for the next few weeks (and months ...and years) :D

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Key for me tonight was the PK. It was fantastic, and has been for the last few games. It really seems like our special teams are gearing up for the playoffs. PP % has dropped off, but that's the norm for the playoffs. If we don't allow any PP goals either, and that's how it's looking like it's going to be, we should definitely see some playoff success.

Agreed. Against Ottawa, it seems like our PKers were pressuring the shooters a bit more and winning more battles to and for the puck. Climbing back into respectability (18th overall) is very sweet, and will be critical once the playoffs start.

Jl, you don't have to like it. You also don't have post here. :P

QFT. :)

Very happy to see us outshoot and outplay Ottawa in the first period, when we're usually a bit lackluster. Yes, we did get outshot on the game, but that was mostly because of penalties, and a number of shots came later in the third period when the game was essentially salted away.

Finally, I loved Price's puck-handling last night. Absolutely stellar work and he even helped to start the rush that led to Dandenault's goal.

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I was really blow away by last night's overall performance. I thought Carey Price was spectacular. He really is starting to feel confident out there and it shows.

Hamrlik was a monster as McGuire would say. I really like the way he protects the crease for Price. Hopefully his leaving early isn't anything serious as he's be sorely missed.

One thing that I am really pleased with is our PK lately. It was really bad a month ago and you can tell they've made some adjustments and practiced it. They were too passive, allowing too much space to the defensemen at the blue line. Now they aggressively make them hurry their plays and it's paying off.

In terms of team performance and 60 minute effort this was one of the best games of the season imho.

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Guest GreekHockeyCoach

Buffalo (38-30-12) at Montreal (45-25-10)

Preview: Game info: 7:30 pm EDT Thu Apr 3, 2008 TV: MSG, RDS

Last season, Carey Price raised the Calder Cup while playing in minor leagues. This season, the 20-year-old goaltender hopes he can help the vaunted Montreal Canadiens lift the Stanley Cup for the first time since 1993.

After helping Montreal secure its first division title in 16 years, Price and Canadiens meet the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night at the Bell Centre.

Price stopped 32 shots for his third shutout as Montreal clinched the Northeast Division crown by beating Ottawa 3-0 on Tuesday. Considered the Canadiens’ goaltender of the future after being selected fifth overall in the 2005 NHL draft, Price took over as the No. 1 goalie Feb. 26 when veteran Cristobal Huet was traded to Washington.

In 13 starts since then, Price is 10-3-0 with a 2.29 goals-against average and two shutouts. Two of those wins have come against the Sabres in Buffalo.

Following a stellar junior career, Price joined Montreal’s AHL affiliate in Hamilton, Ontario late last season and helped lead them to a championship. Though the Canadiens have won an NHL-best 23 titles (even though Montreal has 24 cups, only 23 were won while in the NHL), they haven’t captured the Stanley Cup since beating Los Angeles in 1993.

Coach Guy Carbonneau, a member of Montreal’s last championship club, believes Price has the mental toughness necessary for a long playoff run.

“I think everything that we’ve thrown at him, he’s responded very well,” Carbonneau said. “He did the same thing in junior, he did the same thing last year in the American (Hockey) League, he seems to get better when the pressure’s on and the games are important.”

Against the Senators, Alex Kovalev registered his team-high 35th goal and Mathieu Dandenault and Andrei Kostitsyn also scored for Montreal (45-25-10), which reached 100 points for the first time since 1993. The Canadiens can finish no worse than second in the Eastern Conference.

Kovalev was held without a point in his first five games against the Sabres this season, but has notched a goal and five assists in his last two. That included a career-high four assists - three coming on power-play goals by Tomas Plekanec - in a 6-2 victory Feb. 29.

Buffalo (38-30-12) won the Presidents’ Trophy last season by setting franchise records with 53 wins and 113 points, but is sitting in 10th place in the East.

The Sabres reached the conference finals each of the last two seasons, losing to eventual Stanley Cup winner Carolina in 2006 and Ottawa last year. Now, Buffalo is trying to avoid joining the New York Rangers (1992-93) and Montreal (1969-70) as the only teams since 1967-68 to miss the postseason after leading the league in points the previous season.

Buffalo staved off elimination for one more night Tuesday, defeating Toronto 4-3 on Maxim Afinogenov’s goal in the sixth round of the shootout.

“We absolutely needed it,” said the Sabres’ Ryan Miller, who denied the last three Maple Leafs he faced the tiebreaker. “Maybe it’s a starting point, that we can feel like we can play with a little more pressure on us.”

Miller has surrendered 17 goals in six games against Montreal this season, but 10 have come in the last two matchups - both losses.

Derek Roy, Steve Bernier and Thomas Vanek scored in regulation for Buffalo on Tuesday. Roy is riding a career-best 10-game point streak (five goals, 12 assists) and has a career-high 32 goals this season - one behind Vanek for the team lead.

Roy has a goal and six assists during a five-game point streak versus the Canadiens.

Notes

- Buffalo is now 6-24-4 when trailing after two periods this season. ... The Sabres are 4-9 in shootouts this season and 19-18 in franchise history. ... The Sabres are 14-18 on one-goal games. ... F Derek Roy is on a 10-game point scoring streak (5G, 12A).

- Montreal earned a point for the seventh time in its last eight contests after defeating Ottawa, 3-0, on Tuesday. ...

- Rookie G Carey Price stopped all 32 pucks he faced to earn his third shutout of the campaign. He improved to 22-12-3 on the season. ...

- RW Alexei Kovalev scored once and set up another on Tuesday, giving him 198 career points with Montreal. He has nine points in his last six games on the strength of four goals and five assists. ...

- LW Andrei Kostitsyn scored the final goal to put the game away with 8:38 left in the third period. He has seven points in his last six games. ...

- RW Guillaume Latendresse returned to the lineup after missing four games nursing a sore neck. Latendresse collected one assist in his return, giving him four points in his last four contests.

Goals

Thomas Vanek Buf 33

Alexei Kovalev Mon 35

Assists

Jason Pominville Buf 52

Alexei Kovalev Mon 48

Points

Jason Pominville Buf 79

Alexei Kovalev Mon 83

Plus/Minus

Jason Pominville Buf 16

Alexei Kovalev Mon 17

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Guest GreekHockeyCoach
Nice weather and a tan I hope to go with your golf game. :D

Great weather and a golfer's tan. I'm peeling already :lol:

Back to game analysis:

Injury report for the Habs:

F. Bouillon D Mar 30, 2008 Day-to-Day Foot

S. Koivu C Mar 29, 2008 Day-to-Day Foot

Injury report for Buffalo:

Teppo Numminen D

Congratulations to Carey Price

Carey Price, who helped the Montreal Canadiens clinch their first division title in 16 years, on Wednesday was named the NHL’s Rookie of the Month for March.

The fifth overall pick by Montreal in the 2005 draft, Price posted a 7-3-0 record with one shutout, a 2.67 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage during the month as the Canadiens claimed the Northeast Division crown, their first division title since securing the Adams Division in 1991-92.

The 20-year-old netminder allowed two or fewer goals in five of his 10 starts - including a 4-0 shutout victory over the New Jersey Devils on March 11. In 39 appearances this season, Price has posted a record of 22-12-3 with three blankings, a 2.64 GAA and a .918 save percentage.

Price edged Edmonton Oilers center Sam Gagner, Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom, Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane and Los Angeles Kings goaltender Eric Ersberg for the award.

Price joins previous rookie of the month winners Kane (October), Atlanta Thrashers defenseman Tobias Enstrom (November), Backstrom (December), Phoenix Coyotes center Peter Mueller (January) and Gagner (February).

The Montreal Canadiens are aiming for first overall in the Eastern conference and while most of the experts predicted that we'd finish in 12th place and miss the playoffs they are now eating their words. With a surging young goaltender in Price and a resurrected Alexei Kovalev the sky's the limit for this young phenomenal team that has taken the hockey world by storm.

Taking a phrase out of the movie "My cousin Vinny" I can only say that the "youts" are more than earning their keep while providing high paced, explosive and entertaining hockey for all of us fans. The hockey world has acknowledged that we're for real, and we, the fans, have acknowledged what we've seen all along. There's no quit in this team and tomorrow night's game against the Sabres should be no different than any other game that we've played as of late. Les boys know what they have to do and what's at stake and I fully expect that Carbo has them both mentally and physically prepared for tomorrow's test. GO HABS GO.

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Guest bigsby
It's very rare that I'll be able to post in this thread as we get so few Habs games on tv over in Europe. However, last night's game was one ...and what a one!

I went to bed at 3:15am local a happy hab fan and wondering who the three stars would be. My choices were (in no order), Price, Gorges and A Kosty. The stars actually chosen were 1. Price; 2. Higgy; and 3. A Kostitsyn. So I was close. I still feel that Josh played a great game filling Komisaurus's skates.

Thoughts on the game: Great. Thank's guys for making the late night totally worthwhile. :D

Division title and 100 points (though these relate more to the season than the game)

Carey's 3rd shutout!

AK27's 35th goal (most by a Hab for 12 years)!

We actually out-shot the Sens in the first period. I think this is unusual enough for the Habs to warrant mention.

There was some great shot blocking and just getting in shooting lanes going on, frustrating the Sens (and, although it's his way of playing, Neil was getting properly frustrated and no-one rose to the bait - good level headedness)

I can't explain the refs' decisions, indecisions and lack of decision. But who can?

All in all, good signs for the next few weeks (and months ...and years) :D

gorges was rds' third star ;)

pk was huge last night, i couldn't agree more but the frustration that built up among the sens was my game highlight. the habs came out skating and, off the opening face off, had the sens d reeling and i sensed that if the habs kept forechecking and keeping the zone their d would be in trouble :D .

sixty minute playoff ready performance was what i saw last night. outstanding job by the boys.

as boone wrote, "What a team effort! No passengers on the bus tonight, not one."

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Guest GreekHockeyCoach
I am pretty sure Teppo Numminen was cleared to play last game.

Did he get injured or is he actually sitting out?

As of today they have him listed as injured, I'll re-check.

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