Game 3 Review

Two more posts. Helluva lot of near misses. That's two games in a row that the Habs thoroughly spanked them on posession, shots, chances... everywhere except in the crease (more on that next paragraph). For a fan of a team that got their fair share of luck this season, I suppose you gotta admit that thems the breaks.

Goaltending. Price was awful again. Halak played the 3rd. So how's that Huet trade looking now? Below average playoff goaltending on a 1st place team is a steep price to pay just to give the kid experience. If he turns into a brick wall next season (particularly in the playoffs) then it may be worth it. So I won't call for Gainey's head until we see what happens next year.


Thanks Derian! Your meatheadedness didn't quite hand us the game, but you sure as hell tried. Hatcher may be a dirty slug, but I believe he can be rehabilitated. You know, with the right combination of drugs, tough love and drastic brain surgery, he can once again become a productive member of society. Possibly as a pro wrestler or a trash barge.


Millen Math: 3.5 - 2 = 0.5


Higgins / Koivu / Kovy (13 min EV)
AKost / Pleks / SKost (10 min)
Begin / Smoke / Kostpls (10 min)
Streit / Lapierre / Dandy (8 min)
Markov / Komi (12 min)
Hamrlik / O'Byrne (15 min)
Bouillon / Gorges (14 min)

Umberger / Carter / Upshall (12 min)
Prospal / Briere / Hartnell (10 min EV)
Thoreson / Richards / Lupul (10 min)
Kapanen / Dowd / Downie (8 min)
Coburn / Timonen (15 min)
Hatcher / Jones (14 min)
Kukkonen / Smith (12 min)

Koivu vs. Carter, Plekanec vs. Briere, Smolinski vs. Richards, Begin vs. Dowd.

Timonen/Coburn vs. Koivu.

The shake up on the 3 and 4 lines had some good results. Particularly Begin taking Lapierre's place at centre. The kid's chance trading tendencies are a bad fit for a player with a centre's responsibilities.

Shots, from timeonice:

You can't really fault the team's play. Right now, the worst thing Carbo could do would be to take drastic action. They're beating the Flyers in every way except the score (and goaltending).

Bonus Game 2 Material

I was at a charity auction and missed the first 30 minutes of the game. Our bidder number? 74.

The 30 minutes I saw were frustrating for sure. The Canadiens had chance after chance and were either robbed by Biron or the goalpost. Judging by the numbers, it looks like the first half of the game went the same way. We can take solace in knowing that if the remaining games of this series go the same way except the goaltending, the Habs are pretty much a shoo in for the Conference finals. Biron was lights out, Price was disturbingly poor. Again.

Higgins / Koivu / Kovy (12 min EV)
AKost / Pleks / SKost (12 min)
Begin / Smoke / Kostpls (14 min)
Streit / Lapierre / Dandy (6 min)
Markov / Komi (15 min)
Hamrlik / Brisebois (13 min)
Bouillon / Gorges (15 min)

Kovalev and SKost switched placed in the 2nd half.

With Hartnell back on Briere's line, Markov/Komi were matched against them more tightly. Incidentally, once saddled with Lupul the Richards line became brutal.

Koivu saw Briere and Carter, Plek saw Richards and Carter, Smoke saw Briere and Richards, Lapierre faced Dowd.

Prospal / Briere / Hartnell (13 min EV)
Umberger / Carter / Upshall (11 min)
Thoreson / Richards / Lupul (11 min)
Kapanen / Dowd / Downie (9 min)
Coburn / Timonen (15 min)
Hatcher / Jones (17 min)
Kukkonen / Smith (12 min)

It looks like Timonen's assingment was Koivu/Higgins, not Kovalev. Hatcher's assignment was to lumber off the ice as fast possible when Koivu was on.

Shots, from timeonice:

The shot numbers really say it all. Chances were 20-9, says Millen.


Anonymous mikado said...

Halak should start every game they have left, Pricey has totally lost his confidence, and I really don't want to see Carey become "BESTERIZED"!!
(Nice comeback try...and if Carbo had listened to me (screaming at the TV to pull Price)after the secondPhilly Goal, we would have gotten to OT at least!
(Mind you, Carbo can prove to be stubborn with goalies, it wouldnt surprise me to see him use Pricey in the next game.........Gosh forbid!)

4/29/2008 1:11 a.m.  
Anonymous olibou said...

Price will start next game methinks. And that's not a bad bet. If Pricey stinks again, he can go with Halak without an aftertought (an important aspect in Mtl). If Jesus comes back from the dead, well...

Oh, and does Latendresse looks good against that defense or what?

4/29/2008 1:26 a.m.  
Blogger Jeff J said...

Ken Campbell:
...do you think Price might have an injury to his catching hand?

Of all the many (many) aspects of the game I don't understand, goaltending is at the top of the list. But it does seem like there have been an awful lot of pucks drop in the crease. I don't know if starting Halak is a good move. Maybe yanking Price earlier if some of the warning signs are there, or even after one bad goal rather than three.

It's been a long time since Montreal has been outplayed in goal by a wide margin over the course of a playoff series. Price still has time to pull this one out of the fire.

4/29/2008 10:12 a.m.  
Anonymous mikado said...

Nope, I think Price should sit for the rest of the series, and start thinking about NEXT year.......let's not forget what happened to Alan Bester (A young goalie who could have been a HOF player, potentially), with the Leafs, when he was put into the wolf's pit and failed, he never recovered! (I call that being "Besterized"!)

4/29/2008 12:11 p.m.  
Anonymous olibou said...

The shot charts (I get them on espn, but they are everywhere I guess) are telling... Habs shot were from the crease during the 3rd, but in the first 2 frames, they were mostly from the periphery. Too bad they don't show the missed shots too...

4/29/2008 2:08 p.m.  

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