Thursday, December 7, 2006

Montreal at New Jersey


Maybe not….

The Habs surrendered a short-handed overtime goal to Patrick Elias and the New Jersey Devils with 8 seconds left in a 2-1 loss. A road point in New Jersey in the Martin Brodeur era is something worth shouting (good things) about. The Radek Bonk line again provides the offense while the dreaded second line collect more minuses for their night’s work.

WARNING # 2: Never operate heavy machinery when watching the Devils play. Yesterday was another battle of the trap with the Habs trying to hold on to a one-goal lead for 55 minutes a la “old NHL”. They almost succeeded if not for the brilliant work of Mr. Brodeur. David Aebischer almost posted a shutout while doing his infamous juggling-acrobat-on-a-unicycle imitation with every shot thrown at him. On most nights, his performance would lead to a minimum three goals against. Tonight the puck has eyes but recovered its GPS system in the last 10 minutes. It would appear that the only GM crazy enough to acquire him as a number one goalie is down the 401 or an organization whose every goalie is hanging out with Britney and Paris. If Andrei Markov were not to miss the game with illness, it would have been the first Hab win in the swamp since 2002.

Habs visit the Islanders tonight

Tonight finds the Habs playing the vastly improved New York Islanders without Alexei Yashin. Expect Cristobal Huet to start this one. A game in Long Island would usually be a gimme with native sons Christopher Higgins and Mike Komisarek leading the way in front of their friends and family as they had last year but Higgins will miss tonight’s tilt with a sprained ankle. Despite rehabbing the injury with an astounding 7 hours per day of exercise in the hope of being healed in time for this very game, he will not be ready. The key to Higgins’ success is his simplified game of hustle and he tenacity around the net. He creates space for Koivu and Ryder and scores most of his goals from close in. He has also created a reputation as a threat when the team is shorthanded by leading the league with goals until his injury.

The new NHL is made for scorers like Higgins who crash the net and score the garbage goals and other the Bonk line, no players ESPECIALLY anyone on the famous second line are nowhere near the net when the rebounds are there. Alex Kovalev has the type of shot that creates rebounds and Samsonov is nowhere to be found to cash in. Goal scorers cash those in when they are in a slump. Perhaps switching a Latendresse with Samsonov will provide the second line with a big body who can collect the garbage goals.

Defending Kovalev

The call-in radio shows and media are rife with everyone’s frustration with Alex Kovalev. #27 is reminiscent of Habs’ fans grievances with Claude Lemieux. The press were tired of his antics, the fans were tired of his antics, yet in the playoffs the both players show why they are worth tolerating in the long run. Fans here run them out of town and realize we can never replace them. They have both won cups and been integral parts of upsets and extending cup runs Unlike Samsonov, Kovalev has never once complained about this city. He loves pressure and I’ve never seen a player hit as many crossbars as he has this year. At the moment, everyone is blushing over a defensive liability like Souray who is having the type of season where every shot he takes seems to go in while criticizing Kovalev star-crossed season and no one is there to take advantage of the space, rebounds and respect opponents readily give him. When I’m paying an extra 20% for all 16 playoff tickets IN ADVANCE this spring, I’ll feel much better with our chances knowing Kovalev will be on the ice over a Samsonov or Souray.

A further bad omen

Les Canadiens have yet to win the second game in as many nights this season. They will need one of their best efforts of the season to halt their worse losing dtreak of the season, the shaky play of the past two weeks, and the type of panic that Leaf fans are currently greasing the pan for in the “city of drought”.

The Newby Lexicon:

Word or phrase: “ playing the typical roadgame”

Definition: a team in a visitor’s rink barely surviving during the course of the game only to escape with a positive result by the narrowest of margins. Akin to escaping via the back window with your pants and one sock on when the husband/wife comes home early when their “Religious Studies” class is canceled (or so I’ve been told).

See you at the Sports bar showing the game,

1 comment:

habsfan@nite said...

Man, watching the devils play is about as exciting as watching toe nails grow. Win or not, the trap gives Devils fans no choice but to choose to watch their toe nails grow.
F U Brodeur. Leafs Suck!