Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Boston at Montreal

The Montreal Canadiens defeated the Boston Bruins 4-3 in an emotion filled evening that included a moment a silence for the loss of Laura Gainey and the Gainey family. The Bruins were also playing with heavy hearts upon confirmation that Bruins Rookie Phil Kessel was diagnosed with testicular cancer. To their credit, both teams rallied to provide another Bell Centre sold out crowd to a most entertaining affair.

The Sergei Redemption: Broken slump or Broken Clock?

When faced with his former team and a 19 game goal drought, Sergei Samsonov responded with a brilliant 2-goal effort. Despite an atrocious giveaway by Alex Kovalev, which resulted in Bruin Marc Savard’s first of two goals, Samsonov and Plekaneks used their speed to torment Zdeno Chara and the Boston defense. The next few games will tell us if this performance was that of a struggling offensive player emerging from his cocoon or the old “even a broken clock is right twice a day” phenomenon which also explains the Leafs defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning after losing their last 7.

Can’t Spell Character without the C-H.

The Habs have displayed great character in face of adversity including the loss of key players throughout the year as yesterday’s wounded included Sheldon Souray, Steve Begin, and a near ready Chris Higgins. AHL call up Maxim Lapierre played a spirited game on the fourth line and provided his team with 4 of 5 face-off wins and a much-needed right-handed shot. He did not seem the least out place as he doled out hits, used his speed to rush defenders and assisted on Latendresse’s game winning goal. Andrei Markov’s work on the Habs’ power play goal added a new dimension that differed from the “ give it to Souray and let him shoot’ angle they have been using all year. Another key trait of the Habs consistency has been their goaltending. David Aebischer offered a solid effort last night with sound positional play. Expect Cristobal Huet to get the start against the 2004 Stanley Cup Champion Lightning

The Fine Print

The imminent return of |Christopher Higgins and the possible emergence of Maxim Lapierre and Mark Streit as effective forwards may spell bad news for Garth Murray and a reshuffling of forward lines 1,2 and 4 with decisions to be made regarding Latendresse and Plekanec. One possibility has Higgins moving back to the first line, Latendresse moving to the second line with Kovalev at center and Samsonov while Plekanec moves to the fourth line with Begin and Lapierre/Streit.

Montreal meets the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday, December 14th at the Bell Centre. Look for native sons Lecavalier, St-Louis, Perrin, Marc Denis and former Q star Brad Richards to bring their “A” game in front of family and friends.

See You At The Game,

1 comment:

Captain Crunch said...

I Think Samsonov finally played a great game. He really looked like the old Samsonov and I hope he keeps it up.

I'm glad to see Higgins coming back possibly tonight and I would like to see him centering the 2nd line or at least to try it.

Maxime Lapiere looked good on Tuesday. He seems to me like a slightly more talented Begin.