Well this is more like it! A lot more of what I expected out of the Habs this year, building a lead through two periods and blowing it in the third. I know it’s a pessimistic point of view, but one thing I’ve learned from Les Habitants is to never count your chickens before they hatch. My one key to this game was to shutdown Tavares and Moulson, the only offensive punch the Isles have. Instead, they combined for 4 points with Montreal giving them ample opportunity on the powerplay.
The Islanders are sitting fourth in the league with a 25.4% powerplay, so as Michel Therrien, what is the one message you are sending your players? Stay out of the box! It’s a strange trend this year in regards to penalties and the Habs. It seems to go both ways as Montreal is leading the league in powerplay time and is in the top three for total penalty kill time.
With Les Canadiens playing so well 5 on 5, this is a trend that has to change. And with a cold powerplay that has gone 1/13 in its last four games, you begin to wonder if they can really compete with the best of the East. Because in order to compete and be successful, especially in the playoffs, special teams are the key. What does it say about your team when you lose momentum going on a powerplay?
Notes from Thursday night:
-Plekanec finished the game at 68% on faceoffs, notable that Desharnais was 61%. Faceoffs are so important and I feel the one thing lacking for this team is a faceoff specialist. Every successful team has a guy who they throw out in the defensive end to take faceoffs, (Stoll with LA and until recently Malhotra with Vancouver). Maybe with Ryan White doing this in the NYR game the other night he could change his game to be that role player. Anyone know what Yanic Perreault is up to?
-Pacioretty has finally got his bounce back. The one thing I loved about his game last year was his release. He has a great shot and can get it off quickly and this is something he has found again. He is red hot right now and I expect him to produce consistently for the rest of the year, just like last year. Fantasy Hockey pick for next week? I might just go with my gut on this one.
-Nabokov played a solid game and there’s an interesting goaltending situation brewing on Rhode Island. I guess they have given him the starting role as they placed DiPietro on waivers today and brought over Tim Thomas to reach the cap floor a couple weeks ago. What does this all mean??? I’m so confused, is Thomas actually going to dress for them? Who else do they have for goaltending depth? Does anyone know what Garth Snow is thinking? So many questions…
I’m hoping Gallagher dresses for the Saturday game vs. NYR. I will keep my fingers crossed, either way should be a good game (hopefully a better one for Tortorella’s sake).
GHG – cjet14, non-associated press. Just a guy with a computer.
Check out my blog here: http://cjet14.wordpress.com/