Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Two Can Play At That Game

Well, everyone was wondering how Pittsburgh would respond to Montreal's stifling tactics... would they come out screaming? Score 100 goals? Would Malkin and Crosby continue to play frustrated and stand out of the way?

No -- Pittsburgh answered the call in the best way possible. They decided to play the same game: tight, stifling Defence, hard in the corners and in front of the net, and wait to get a Power-Play to finally score a goal, forcing the other team to open up.

They had the patience to say: Hell, we'll go to overtime 0-0 with 15 shots a side if need be; we are the better team, and can beat you at any game you want to play.

And so now the tactics get a little more interesting. Do Martin and Muller stick to their game plan, realising they managed to frustrate the Pens for 40 mins before Malkin's goal? The "fight" with Gionta woke Malkin up, but who knows how long that will last. Or is it now up to the Canadiens coaching staff to come up with a different game plan?

I'm not sure the Habs can develop another game plan -- they have to stick with the one they have (trap-n-pray?) and hope next time the posts are a little more accommodating.  I suspect the Habs will be able to win 1 more game; but now that Pittsburgh has got the confidence in their game-plan, I see them taking the series without much difficulty.

Had the Pens lost tonight, playing the style they did, there may have been a sliver of hope. But Pittsburgh adjusted where Washington could not; and the Habs might not have any other tricks to counter with.

But this is why we watch the Playoffs! Let's see what Thursday brings!

and, of course, Go Habs Go.

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