Saturday, February 28, 2009

Sj v MTL - WIN 3-2


my predictions could not have been more wrong.

A very exciting game, and a stunning victory. This game is best summed up as a mirror of this season:
  • It started with a bang, and had expectations raised, fans stoked (3 goals in the first, and sharks looking weak).
  • After the Big Climax (all star game?) the team folds badly; letting in 2 easy looking goals and breaking the Faithful's spirit...
  • Followed by a jittery extremely tense and highly scrutinized 3rd. The Habs tightened the bolts, grit their teeth and took it, but with the help of Halak, won the game!
D'Agostini had a huge game, hitting, playing strong and skating well. He took the hits, and still delivered. Higgins and Pacioretty also skated really well. Markov and Schneider continued to be essential in Halak's success.

In the dog house? No one really. Habs had to play well to win, and everybody did. And the fans were huge also. Komisarek kinda struggled, needs to step up a bit and stop letting guys get away from him. And Lapierre was a ghost... but what can you do. If there were any holes, San Jose would have found them.

It wasn't a pretty win, and 48-21 the shots can't be something to be proud of, but this is exactly the kind of game that gets teams through the post-season: Edmonton and Calgary did this when they went to the finals. This is the kind of hockey that makes good playoff teams, believe it or not. Win unlikely games, a goalie you can lean on, trap it out, and score when you can. It won't win the cup, but might avoid a first/second round exit :)

So, there is a month to go and I hope they don't burn Halak out; because if they continue to improve, and feed off Halak like Boston fed off Thomas, then we might have a stew goin'.

One last word on Halak; he still is not technically perfect, obviously (rebounds! Halak-Attacks!) but he is playing a relaxed, focused game right now. And as long as he can keep making those saves when needed, he will be the battery to charge this team.

What a win!

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