Among the various hockey books sitting on my shelf is a copy of the 2007-2008 Canadiens Media Guide, which I keep around so that I can peruse assorted facts and stats that I’ll never remember. It’s comfort reading, a Habscentric little tome that I can turn to when I want to forget that other teams exist. It’s got a nice faux-deteriorated photo of a vintage sweater on the front. Tonight, however, I would gladly trade in the folksy nostalgia of the image for the words DON’T PANIC in large, friendly letters.
I want to panic. No, wait, first I want to throw a giant screaming tantrum. I mean, another one, in addition to the one I already threw during the third period. And I want to burn a teddy bear in a Bruins jersey. And punch a Kennedy. So order of operations: recap, tantrum, teddy bear, Kennedy, panic.
1. Pop Quiz! Carey Price has:
a. A rather unfortunate, and possibly unlucky, new haircut.
b. Something still to learn about when to glove the puck and when to play it.
c. Asperger’s Syndrome
d. Balls like fossilized Mesozoic watermelons.
e. Un-fucking-believable talent that doesn’t preclude the occasional crappy period.
2. The trajectory of this game makes me think that the Habs’ primary problem was overconfidence. They came out, in the first period, absolutely flying and ended it with one goal that could easily have been three or four. The kind of game they’d play in the regular season when whomping the Bruins. During the second period they slowed down a bit, but the Bruins’ second goal early in the third- the one on Price’s misplay- seemed to hit them like Satan’s sledgehammer. They weren’t expecting it, and, suddenly faced with a deficit and not much time to make it up, they tried to push a kind of sloppy, desperate offense that offered the Bruins just the kind of mistakes they need. Cue shameful collapse. My only point being that, if they’d played the more disciplined, wary style they did on the road, they probably wouldn’t have lost, and almost certainly wouldn’t have lost as badly.
3. Kovalev Fan, one of my semi-regular commenters, gets prescience-points for sticking to his/her contention that the power play is a problem. Yes, the power play is most definitely a problem. Once upon a time, the Canadiens had the best power play in the League, but my friends, those days are over. The power play is dead, and the penalty kill is rapidly deteriorating into catatonia. I hereby call for the Habs to begin using a skillful combination of diving and retaliation to ensure that any penalty called against either team will actually result in simultaneous penalties to both teams. The four-on-four is still okay, let’s make the best of it.
4. Lapierre and Latendresse are determined to prove that there is a necessary trade-off between offensive pressure and defensive responsibility- their best game in terms of creating chances was also their worst for giving up goals. It’s probably just youth and inexperience, but I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that the only solution is take cells from Begin and Kostopolous and use them to grow replacement organs to be transplanted into rookies. This is why the world needs stem cell research. Plekanec, on the other hand, is getting better with each game. And Hamrlik ends the night +1 in a 5-1 loss- now that is consistency.
You know what, though? Even bad games have their good points, especially in
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a long to-do list.