Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Ouay Bounces Back: Habs 2 - Sabres El Zilcho

Someone slipped this compilation of hope springs eternal under Cristo's tear soaked pillow on Saturday night.

Hope, the belief in a positive outcome, or that after acting like an arrow pointing towards the net on one night, one can resist the urge to roll out the red carpet again for every shot directed on goal the next.

Maybe Cristobal was able to hear the frontal lobe combustion inducing "Ouay" pronunciation Bob Cole insisted on throughout the game. "What's that noise?"...you could almost hear the goalie ponder, searching out in the distance.

No such problems last night. No Cole. Needless to say however, no Briere, no Drury, no jump, no bite. The new Sabres, a suddenly toothless shark.

Not that the Habs were thaaaat much better. This shutout victory was painted on a canvass of maligned and blotchy plays. Both teams failed to generate enough offense to gain any momentum. Players were too busy retrieving pucks delivered to their skates, picking up broken sticks or pulling themselves back up after falling for reasons such as no reason whatsoever. Trap A versus Trap B. Devils 1994 against Devils 2001 (how's that for a redundancy). Jacques Lemaire in a Matrix-like rumble against a million other Jacques Lemaires.

Unchanged throughout this bedtime screenplay was the Finding Ryder storyline. If you don't mind leaving me alone with Mike for a second folks, thank you....OK Mike, we're alone now and we've got a few seconds to talk. I think you need to know that you signed a 1-year contract in August, that's 365 days. OK, so the problem Mike is that the agreement you signed lapses at the end of the season. Yeah, it really does. Would it be a major inconvenience to emerge from your coma until that time? Can we induce you out of it, because you seem a bit reluctant. Do you want me to apply a defibrillator to your chest cavity Mike? Should I stab your heart with a needle the way they did to Uma in Pulp Fiction? OK, sure, yeah think about it. You know, I'm just saying...

Despite the Ryder situation, the first line did manage to pressure the Sabres in their zone. It did become apparent during the game that Koivu and Higgins would benefit greatly in welcoming a player like Andrei Kostitsyn to the party. A case of wasted talent on any line other than the top two. Why Montreal coaches remain fixated on quarantining offensive rookies on lines 3 and 4 is beyond comprehension. Promoting defensive awareness in a player that needs to be unleashed to thrive only serves to shackle him. Let the kid run wild. Let him express himself. What is he going to create with Tom Kostopoulos? Titties on the first line, make it happen.

There isn't much to say about the Canadiens' offensive output last night. This was a game choreographed by two defensive minded coaches who once played a sterile and smothering style. No need to discuss then.

The Habs defense is becoming capriciously stingy. All three goals allowed against the Leafs were a product of luck or sub-par goaltending. In the previous game against Philadelphia, they allowed a goal on a weird bounce off a defender and another in the dying seconds of the game on a weak wrist shot that Huet would have wanted back. There are very few mistakes out there and it's becoming increasingly clear that the Canadiens have found a system that has made them difficult to pierce through. Last night was no different, so when the defence and the goalie are on the same wavelength, the result is usually going to be the shutout this team collectively manufactured against the stunted Sabres.


HabsFan29 said...

I actually thought Ryder was working hard last night. He's just snakebitten

But Tits or Grabs on the 1st line is a damn good idea

Bryan said...

leave grabovski to next year. im not sure he's ready. use him sparingly. andrei is ready though and he should for sure be with higgy and captain K