Sunday, December 13, 2009

2 tough losses

The Canadiens have had a tough end to the week, with 2 losses that could have gone either way.

They lost to Pittsburgh in regulation 3-2, in a game where they played great. That was one awesome hockey game. Price out-played Fleury, and despite a shaky first period, the Habs talent got down to work and really made a game of it. They shut down the opposing stars, and played smart to score their goals. In the end, it was decided by a fluke tip shot that bounced of Price's head, and a quick whistle by the referee. It was a frustrating loss: 1) Price certainly didn't deserve a flukey goal against - those usually happen when a goalie is not having a good game; but Price was on fire. 2) It seems that whistles are all too slow against Pittsburgh, and all to quick for them. I notice this in any game they play, not just against the Habs. Its annoying, because it seems the refs are giving the super-stars the benefit of the doubt, which makes everyone else on the Pittsburgh team think they're super stars - we're all super stars with the ref's help.

If there was such a thing as a good loss, this was it, and I really enjoyed that game. Despite the frustrating outcome.

The game against Atlanta... are we done playing Atlanta yet? I'm sick of seeing these guys. They seem to make for fairly even games, OT and shootouts and all, but come on. Maybe this is what relegation looks like: playing the same crap team over and over again. Forget that idea of a 2-tier NHL! Anyhow, this one seemed to be going well for the Canadiens - scored first, Andre Kostitsyn continuing his hot streak; I really like the Laps/Gomez/Sergei line - Sergei is gonna start putting in them Gomez passes, you'll see. Price was once again playing a great game. I saw him make at least 2 incredible saves -- and yet we walk away with a loss. But a helpful point, I suppose.

The point I am trying to make is I like the way the team is headed - they seems to be figuring out how to play with eachother, and they seem to have stopped looking to Gomez and Gionta (of course, he's hurt) to do everything. Max Pacioretty has absolutely come to life, and Andrei is starting to score his goals -- Jacques seems to have found good line combinations. Gorges and O'Byrne are really playing tough back on defence, and Hammrlik is doing a pretty good job of shutdown defenceman. Price is playing his best hockey I have seen in a while, no doubt about it.

So 2 annoying losses; but nothing to lose heart over. I hope Jacques keeps them focused, helps tweak the problems and identify the mistakes (useless penalties) and can keep this team firing on at least 3 of their 4 cylinders :)

Winning would be nice too.

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