3000th win + a hat trick = YAY!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Apparently it's the week of the hat trick. Just three days after Andrei Kostitsyn got his first hat trick against the Pens, it would seem that he had the rest of the team wanting to get one too.

I actually liked how the Habs started out the first period. They seemed like a team who wasn't about to slack off like we all feared. They seemed like a team who had enjoyed a little bit of the overly nice Floridian weather. Well, they had me screaming when a stupid pass in the Panther's zone lead to a goal by.... wait... his name is coming to me... give me a sec.... Frolik who got the pass from Mclean who was the one who took the puck in the first place. In all fairness - not that I like to be fair or anything - it was a nice goal. Mclean looked as though he was going to rip the puck when instead he passed it to Frolik who was pretty much alone in front of Price and bingo. Goal. Was this a sign of things to come, I couldn't help but wonder. Don't forget, I'm the eternal pessimist. Anyway, my mood wasn't exactly improved when the Habs got a lucky goal off the skate of one of the Panther's guys. Oh and it was 5-3 for the Habs so of course that wouldn't have been very cool if they hadn't got a goal. Right? Right. So it was a weird goal that had everyone wondering just who had scored it. Was it Tanguay who seemed to get the pass from Kovalev? Was it Lang who looked perky as ever when the puck goes into the net? Turned out later it went to Kovalev. Whatever. A goal is a goal. Yahoo! But still.. the Panthers were playing like a team who desperately wanted a win while the Habs were playing more and more like a team who would like a win but wasn't quite ready to battle it out for it.

With a break after the first period, I was hoping that the Habs would realize that the Panthers wanted this win badly and that they would wake up and get working. Well.. Within 37 seconds Komisarek was set off for holding and the Panthers were enjoying a power play. Guess they didn't get my brain signal. Actually I won't have anyone saying that the Habs are no good on the power play. They were excellent on the powerplay this time around. It's just almost too bad that it wasn't their own powerplay. But this was better. Plakanec chased down the puck as it sailed into the Panhers' zone and promptly whipped it over Anderson's head. 2-1 for the Habs. Now, the Habs decided to make their lives incredibly hard as Sergei Kostitsyn made the stupidest passing attempt in the world in front of Price which gave the puck to Booth who scored. If I was screaming before, I was murdering the desk now by pounding it. This was stupid. Two completely preventable goals given away because of stupid passing. YUCK! Another stupid thing about the second period was the rash of penalties. There were five for the Habs and four for the Panthers. The Habs actually ended up playing three on five for a while due to some stupid plays from Plekanec and Komisarek. Begin was already in the penalty box for fighting. They should build those things bigger 'cause the three of them looked really squashed in there. Anyway, all this happened but there was no more scoring from the Panthers. Obviously not for a lack of trying. When the penalties finally stopped, Lapierre managed to get a goal in on Anderson with four minutes to go in the second. It was kind of a stupid goal from Florida's point of view actually. Lapierre went to the right, Anderson follows him. Anderson thinks he's going to around the other way and pass the puck to someone up front, Anderson sprawls across the ice, Lapierre goes around to the left, sees a whole open net because Anderson is playing dead, so he puts the puck over him and scores. Oops.

The Habs looked a lot better in the third period and showed in only two minutes and forty seconds in as Lapierre gets another goal past Anderson who really should have had that one. The puck seemed to slide right passed him. I dunno if he thought that the defenseman was going to get it or what but he missed it. At this point Anderson got pulled for Vokoun. The end of the period was a little not so nice. The Habs took a penalty for delay of the game with 30 seconds left to go. By this point Florida had already pulled Vokoun and had the man advantage. Things didn't go their way at all however, when the Lapierre stole the puck back at the Panther's blue line - I guess the Habs had tried to clear it before - and put it away in the empty net. HAT TRICK! There was a lot of Habs fans there actually so hats did get thrown. I'm still waiting for the day when Halak will throw his hat.


The Good:
  • The hat trick was nice.
  • Price was good again.
  • I liked how the Habs bounced back from a sloppy second period and really took more control in the third. They had the same number of shots in the first and third periods as well as the same number of penalties, and yet, the third looked a lot better in some ways. Even when they were up 4-2, they didn't pull the same stunt as when they were in Pittsburgh where they just rolled over and let Price do all the work.
The Bad:
  • The slew of penalties in the second period.
  • Those two stupid passes that lead directly to Florida goals.
  • The powerplay wasn't looking too hot tonight. Don't try and tell me that 5 on 3 goal was pretty. It wasn't. It was still nice though *g*
  • Where did D'Agostini go? I haven't seen him do a heck of a lot in the last couple of games. Dont' die now!
  • ... on second thought, that whole Tanguay/Lang/D'Agostini line could have been a little more impressive....
The interesting:
  • Plekanec going crazy and attempting to beat the heck out of Radek Dvorak for some reason. I honestly didn't get what Dvorak did to deserve that other than maybe he tried too hard to get the puck off of Price - which failed miserably, in case you want to know. I dunno. That was just insane.
And finally, some things to consider:
  • Why Maxwell is still on the roster when Chipchura is healthy and can play? I'm still trying to figure this one out. Maybe I'm missing something here but I haven't seen Maxwell make too much of an impact here.
  • Brisebois wasn't looking very good tonight. Again. Either reduce the guy's ice time or give O'Byrne another shot. As long as Price stays in the net, he can't score on himself, right? Right.
Now let's see if the Habs can put up a similar, if not better, game against the Tampa Bay Los....Lighting.


Team Canada had a little bit of a problem tonight, winning only 5-1. I'm sure most people looked at this matchup with the often relegated Germany as another walk over. Well, the Canadians didn't play a very clean game, taking a total of NINE penalties. The offense seemed to have trouble getting going from the little bit I saw but it obviously wasn't dead and from I could see the German goalie was miles ahead of the poor guys that Kazakhstan has. First off, Grubauer was not pulled at all which says something right there. And second, he stopped 44 of the 49 shots that he faced. That's better than the 12 of 13 shots that Pickard stopped. I'm not dissing Pickard at all. He's here because he's good. But hats should definitely go off to the German goalie tonight. I think this bit of adversity is good for them. The result was really never in danger. They've gotten more of a work out than they have had in all the official bits of the tournament. This should help them against the U.S.A. as long as they learn not to take so many stupid penalties - what are you, the Habs?!

Oh and if you saw Evander Kane's goal... you hopefully saw all the work that PK Subban did in getting the puck to the net and getting a really good shot on the goalie which allowed Kane to get the goal. I'm very happy that Montreal signed him *G*


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