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Game Analysis: Pregame And Postgame Discussion 2008-09


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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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  • 4 weeks later...

I guess I'll be the first one to post in this thread.

Tough loss tonight for our season-opener.

It was a good game by both teams, but the outcome was not the one I expected nor hoped for. We beat them in five of eight games last season, and they have already upped us by one this year. Each goalie looked excellent for their respective teams, as they each made the stops when they had to down the stretch.

The only two goals came in the first with Lang scoring his first goal as a Hab, and Vanek scoring his first for Buffalo. Robert Lang's goal was simply because of hard work crashing near the net and putting back the puck. Unfortunately, I happened to miss Vanek's goal...most likely on a bathroom break (I seriously did not realize that Buffalo scored until late in the opening period).

The second period for me didn't have enough action and I didn't pay a whole lot of attention, but in the third period that quickly changed. In the third period the puck was moved fast by both teams and they each had their fair amounts of opportunities. Once again, it was a scoreless period and we headed into OT. Overtime once again settled nothing, and we were sent into the infamous shootout.

In the shootout Lang went first and deked, rather than shot and came up empty. I think that if he had simply raised the puck, he would have found the back of the net. Buffalo scored on their first to shots, and they both happened to be blocker side on Carey Price. Then it was up to Koivu to keep the shootout going...but he lost the puck. He easily had Ryan Miller beat with his dangles, but the puck just slipped away from him.

To sum up, it would have been a great game to win, but we came up just a bit short. All I can say is that at least we got the single point for losing in a shootout, and we have to move on and look to tomorrow night...when we face the Toronto Maple Leafs.

I thought I'd just write a little summary from what I saw in the game for those who missed it.

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I guess I'll be the first one to post in this thread.

Tough loss tonight for our season-opener.

It was a good game by both teams, but the outcome was not the one I expected nor hoped for. We beat them in five of eight games last season, and they have already upped us by one this year. Each goalie looked excellent for their respective teams, as they each made the stops when they had to down the stretch.

The only two goals came in the first with Lang scoring his first goal as a Hab, and Vanek scoring his first for Buffalo. Robert Lang's goal was simply because of hard work crashing near the net and putting back the puck. Unfortunately, I happened to miss Vanek's goal...most likely on a bathroom break (I seriously did not realize that Buffalo scored until late in the opening period).

The second period for me didn't have enough action and I didn't pay a whole lot of attention, but in the third period that quickly changed. In the third period the puck was moved fast by both teams and they each had their fair amounts of opportunities. Once again, it was a scoreless period and we headed into OT. Overtime once again settled nothing, and we were sent into the infamous shootout.

In the shootout Lang went first and deked, rather than shot and came up empty. I think that if he had simply raised the puck, he would have found the back of the net. Buffalo scored on their first to shots, and they both happened to be blocker side on Carey Price. Then it was up to Koivu to keep the shootout going...but he lost the puck. He easily had Ryan Miller beat with his dangles, but the puck just slipped away from him.

To sum up, it would have been a great game to win, but we came up just a bit short. All I can say is that at least we got the single point for losing in a shootout, and we have to move on and look to tomorrow night...when we face the Toronto Maple Leafs.

I thought I'd just write a little summary from what I saw in the game for those who missed it.

Thanks for the summary. Here's my take on tonight's game. The team looked slow and rough around the edges. I was not very impressed with Tanguay and Koivu. Latendresse totally looked like he didn't belong in the NHL tonight. I know a few people will get mad for me saying that, but he looked really lost out there. The fourth line without Kostopoulos was pretty useless and although I feel that Tom played well tonight, I don't think he belongs on a line with Lang and Sergei. In my opinion though, neither does Lats. I know it's only one game but if it's a sign of things to come, then it's time to give Pacs his chance and sent Lats packing.

Lang was the best player on the ice tonight, besides Price. All those rumors about him not using his size or his body were put to rest for me tonight. He went out there and was a major force the whole game. I really like him with Sergei who looked much better than his brother tonight. Higgins was definitely missed, he adds the extra grinding that that line requires and he handles the puck better than Lats. Kovalev had a strange night, so did Pleks. It seemed like they couldn't hang on to the puck.

The penalty kill was a bright spot tonight and it seemed like they could do no wrong. Same with Price, he saw the puck all night and was able to come up with the big saves. He seemed alert and extremely quick and agile. I was concerned about Carey (I still am) but his performance tonight put me more at ease of what's to come.

Ultimately I know it's going to get better. Tonight was not a very good game and it definitely wasn't the same crisp passing, fast skating Habs that we've come accustomed to. I'm also mature enough to know that it's only one game and we also have to give credit to the Sabres for coming at us as hard as they did. Same way that everyone that played poorly tonight will likely rebound in the games to come, including Lats, who I was hard on with my statements above.

In hindsight though, being positive does not dismiss the frustration that I felt as a fan watching my beloved team tonight after a long summer of anticipation and expectation, play as poorly as they did. Tomorrow is another day and attitudes around here change as frequently as we change our socks, myself included.

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Amazing rivalry and another solid game to watch...for Habs fans of course.

Tonight was one to watch if you like the Canadiens. Four players on Montreal's roster had 3-points or more in tonight's game, and five skaters scored goals for us with Sergei Kostitsyn leading with two of his own. Alex Tanguay had a huge night leading the Canadiens with 4 points, while Latendresse, Koivu and S. Kostitsyn each had 3 points.

Unfortunately, the six goals scored by the Habs seemed to overshadow Jaroslav Halak's performance. He played a phenomenal game allowing only one goal on 25 shots. But on the other end, Toskala wasn't so lucky allowing the full six goals on 23 shots.

The only good thing I think that the Leafs can take from this game is that they gave Curtis Joseph some playing time. This may just get him familiar playing against a skilled regular season team by facing Montreal tonight, and use this as confidence for him down the stretch.

Going back to the Habs' goals...they seemed to all come easy for us by playing simple hockey. Basic passing and stick handling can go a long way if you use it to your advantage.

Although we lost last night's game, we made up for it in a big way tonight. Montreal ruined the Leafs' home-opener, as I hoped for, and we look to add onto this win as we continue early in this year's season. Next up we'll travel to Philadelphia to face the now tough Flyers.

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This was my blog entry for this week:

Week in Review: Oct. 10-18, 2008

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Since this will be my first entry of "Week in Review", and also considering the fact that the season has just begun, I will add the first two games that we played this year.

In the first week of the 2008-2009 NHL Regular-Season, the Montreal Canadiens have already played against their fair-share of hard teams. We have started the season with an amazing boost posting a 4-0-1 record.

Game Results:

  • 10-10-08 MTL @ BUF - (SOL 2-1)
  • 10-11-08 MTL @ TOR - (W 6-1)
  • 10-13-08 MTL @ PHI - (W 5-3)
  • 10-15-08 BOS @ MTL - (W 3-4)
  • 10-18-08 PHO @ MTL - (W 4-1)

Player of the Week: Alex Tanguay. For Habs fans, this has to be no surprise! I mean the guy has tallied 6 points (3 goals, 3 assists) in his first 5 games as a Canadien. It looks like he's already found his place in Montreal's line-up, and has filled the void that Higgins has left since he's been injured. Tanguay has done it all this season - he's scored, set up players, and beat the Bruins in a shootout. I hope that this is only a sign of things to come as we watch the rest of this year's season play out.

Between the Pipes: This week Carey Price played four of the five games, while Carbonneau let Jaroslav Halak start against the Leafs. So far in this short season, both of the Canadiens' goaltenders have shown amazing talent. Price has posted a phenominal .939 SV% and a 1.92 GAA. Back-up Halak has shown good signs for the Habs' as well allowing just the single goal in his only start. His stats this week were .960 SV% along with a 1.00 GAA.

Also this week, we got our first glimpse of Georges Laraque in a Montreal Canadiens uniform. In his first two games for the Habs, he already has 14 PIM, 10 of which came from fighting majors! It seems that he has begun to do what we brought him into our organization to do - defend our players, no matter their skill level.

The way that the first week and a half has gone this season, I can not wait to see more.

Next Week's Games:

  • 10-20-08 FLO @ MTL
  • 10-25-08 ANA @ MTL
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  • 2 weeks later...

This was my blog entry for the past week:

Week in Review: Oct. 19-26, 2008

2yuaihs.jpg

During the Canadiens' second week this season, only two games were played. We managed to stay high in the Eastern Conference standings by going 1-1-0 for the past week. Physical play and having a scoring touch helped us in our win against Florida this week, but allowing to many goals against Anaheim resulted in a loss.

Game Results:

  • 10-20-2008 FLO @ MTL - (W 3-1)
  • 10-25-2008 ANA @ MTL - (L 6-4)

Player of the Week: Saku Koivu. This week it seemed to be a harder decision for this award. Koivu tallied 2 goals in the two games this week, with 1 coming in each game. He got the Habs' off to an early lead against Florida last Monday night and tried to keep the game close on Saturday against the Ducks. His leadership this season continues to shine through as he is tied as the team's leading scorer along with Andrei Markov. I expect more of the same from Koivu as the season progresses.

Between the Pipes: This past week, Jaroslav Halak got the nod to start both games. He managed to play another phenominal game against Florida allowing only 1 goal on 36 shots. Yet, against Anaheim he didn't fair as well letting up 4 quick goals on 12 shots and getting pulled shortly into the second period. Overall this week Halak posted a 1-0-0 record with 0.896 SV%. Carey Price only played in the half-game after Halak's pulling against Anaheim. He also didn't have the greatest showing allowing 2 goals on a meager 13 shots and surrendering the loss. He posted a 0-1-0 record with a 0.846 SV% once the week concluded.

Looking forward, I hope the Canadiens will win against their two match-ups next week and continue to hold a high spot in the Eastern Conference standings.

Next Week's Games:

  • 10-28-2008 CAR @ MTL
  • 10-30-2008 MTL @ MIN
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This was my blog entry for the past week:

Week in Review: Oct. 27-Nov. 2, 2008

ac2xcl.jpg

Wow! Was this week fun for being a Habs' fan. We won all three games this past 7 days, and did it with excellence. Out of the three games that were played, the most exciting to watch had to have been against the New York Islanders on Saturday night. We started off pretty rough, but after trailing 4-1 going into the third period we turned on the jets! The Habs scored 4 unanswered goals in the final 20 minute period and claimed the 5-4 victory over the Islanders once the final horn rang.

Game Results:

  • 10-28-2008 CAR @ MTL - (W 3-2)
  • 10-30-2008 MTL @ MIN - (W 2-1)
  • 11-01-2008 MTL @ NYI - (W 5-4)

Player of the Week: Alex Kovalev. This week it has to be a no brainer. Alex Kovalev put up 5 points (3 goals, 2 assists) in three games. He got off to a slow start by tallying only 1 goal in the first two games this past week, but last night in New York against the Islanders, he had a total of 4 points (2 goals, 2 assists). He scored the first goal of the game, and the last one as well which ended up being the game winner.

Between the Pipes: This week, Carey Price started each and every game for the Montreal Canadiens. He added three more wins to his record and allowed 7 goals on 93 shots. His stats now stand at a 6-1-1 record, .928 SV%, 2.17 GAA and 0 SO.

Now we will simply have to wait until this upcoming Friday to watch our beloved Habs again. We only have two games this week and I expect to see more of the same results as the season moves along.

Next Week's Games:

  • 11-07-2008 MTL @ CLB
  • 11-08-2008 MTL @ TOR
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  • 1 month later...

I just want too say that last nights game was a great display that our team play is coming into it's own. We are what a coach calls a team in motion, our game will be at it's peak if we use speed,the transition game and have good puck movement. I was very Impressed with Tanguay we all could tell he had something too prove to Keenan and Flames management. I have been a loyal die hard fan for over 35 years and I feel this is the year for #25.

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  • 2 months later...

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