Wednesday, December 6, 2006

97th Anniversary Commemoration

Montreal—The Montreal Canadiens commemorated their 97 th anniversary last night in front of their 73 rd consecutive sellout crowd at the Bell Centre. The occasion was marked by celebrating their long standing rivalry with the evening’s opponent, the Boston Bruins. Several Hall of Fame Alumni from both teams were introduced including Milt Schmidt, Ray Bourque, Guy Lafleur and Emile Bouchard along with Bruin Vs Habs Video highlights of which some account for the greatest moments in NHL History.

I am quite sure that nothing from last night’s sloppy 6-5 win by the Bruins will be tacked on to the end of the reel.

Bizarre would the best word to describe the game. On a night when the Habs seemed to be dominating from the opening face off, the Bruins capitalized on a shaky Cristobal Huet and later David Aebischer. For every

4 or 5 dangerous Montreal scoring chance missed, The Bruins cashed in on a harmless one. It’s not often that Boston will beat Montreal with an ineffective Bergeron, Murray, Chara, and inconsistent goaltending. The game even ended with “too many men” penalty called IN THEIR FAVOUR.

Goalie Huet, who has dominated the Bruins in the past 2 years must have taken the medication marked THEODORE in the Habs Clinic. His teammates could not redeem him this time as he does for the team on an almost nightly basis. We’ll give him a mulligan on this one. David Aebischer did not help the cause or his value with his performance.

The second lines of Kovalev, Plekaneks and Samsonov have yet to find their scoring touch a quarter through the season. Many blame Plekaneks inability to be a proper center but I feel the blame is squarely on the underachieving and overpaid Samsonov. His inability to head for the net, shoot high and manufacture goals on pure desire when all else is failing, the way true snipers do continues to frustrate fans. I’ve always contested his acquisition. He began the season by publicly questioning Coach Carbo’s decison to bump him to the fourth line. He channeled his anger into his best effort later that week. The controversy quickly subsided and with it, Samsonov’s production since. His best year was 29 goals playing with Joe Thornton. In less than a full season with Jumbo Joe, Jonathan Cheechoo scored 56. Samsonov has historically struggled in a playoff atmosphere. He would be wise to realize that Montreal is a playoff atmosphere year round. Why is it that every Quebec-born or ex Hab player always return to haunt Montreal but the reverse never happens? It would have been nice if Samsonov could have risen from his funk by burning his old team; instead, he continues to burn his current one. Damn that salary cap!

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Memo to Michael Ryder: Give the puck to Saku, get open and USE THAT SHOT! Enough with the dangling! If Ryder studied the Brett Hull technique, he’d score 40-45 easily. Instead some of his poor decisions have resulted in costly turnovers. Although the turnover that resulted in the game winning Bruin goal by Brad Stuart was a blown call by the ref on the obvious two- handed crosscheck given by Brad Stuart, Ryder should not be retreating and dangling the puck in a tie game with a 3 minutes left (don’t you love it when the guy who should be in the sin bin and the guy who burns you are one and same? Hello, Justin Williams…..)

It seems that Garth Murray is vying to be this year’s version on Niklas Sundstrom. His failure to take the 2 extra strides needed in the neutral zone to not cause an icing resulted in the Bruins fifth goal and the disruption of momentum the Habs clearly possessed after climbing back from a 4-1 deficit. It may be time to replace him with someone who has a better set of wheels and hands. Maxim Lapierre seems to fit that mould in Hamilton.

Despite some questionable lapses of focus and effort at various points of games within the last two weeks, the Habs should be commended for not having lost two games in a row all year. This claim will be severely tested when they meet Martin Brodeur and the stingy Devils in New Jersey on Wednesday night. New Jersey won the first contest 2-1 on November 4 th.

Beware! The Devils’ current coach is former Hab bench boss Claude Julien and Future Hall Of Fame Goalie Martin Brodeur is a native son and offspring of famed Montreal Canadiens’ photographer Denis Brodeur. Expect them to have a stellar performance. Hopefully, Sheldon Souray, who is enjoying a career season in a contract year is a former Devil and will continue his scoring success. He is the First Canadien to reach the 10 goal mark this year.

See You At The Game….

1 comment:

Komisarex said...

Stop picking on Garth Murray, any player that takes shots to the head like Murray does on a regular basis is due to have a few 'mental lapses'. I'd like to see how well you would type is someone for the collections department did a tap dance on your head this morning?

Touche pas a la co-clouche Garth! mon esti.