Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Points count coach

I honestly have no problem with the Islanders getting a much deserved two points over the Habs on Tuesday, but honestly, could it not have turned out differently? Could we not be sitting here talking about the Canadiens clinching a playoff berth tonight instead of needing a point in their final two games to simply make the postseason dance?

Because in spite of a horrendous game played before a weaker opponent, the Canadiens got to a shootout against the Islanders after blowing a 3-2 lead with 2:01 to play in regulation and killing a penalty to finish overtime. And once in that shootout, Jacques Martin decided to choose as his opening shooter a certain Maxim Lapierre. Yes, Lapierre was good tonight. A hell of a goal on a breakaway after splitting the defence, five shots on goal to match a season high, an all around solid night. But does that mean you should be the lead shooter in the shootout? No. Not when this shootout is so vital, when it can clinch you a playoff spot.

But really, that's not what lost the Habs the game. A horrendous first period where they were outshot 15-5? That was a contributing factor. Blowing two one-goal leads, leads that Martin evidently felt comfortable enough to sit on? Yeah, that didn't help. Or how about allowing the Islanders to make 81 shot attempts. 81! That's a phenomenal number, well over one a minute. There were 42 of those that hit the net, three went in, another 26 were blocked and 13 missed the net. That makes 81. Just digest that for a moment, and then try to incorporate the fact the Canadiens managed only 52 shot attempts at the other end.

Considering that, the Habs were lucky to come out of it with a point. But that second point would have been nice, and leading off with Lapierre in the shootout was not the way to go and get it.


MathMan said...

I had no issues with the selection of Lapierre, who is historically one of the Habs with the highest shootout success rate.

It's if Martin had picked say, Plekanec that I would have questioned his sanity.

Anonymous said...

What about Cami not getting it in? From what I can read in the stats (and please correct me if I'm wrong), Cami scored 2 goals this year in the shootouts and Laps, 1. So if I were to throw any arrows I'd probably wonder why Cami didn't do better. And his game altogether...I'm not getting Cami.

Laps was brilliant tonight. One goal, one near-goal, went to help out Markov when he was threatened took a total of five shots on goal. I think the Laps bashing needs to come to rest.

Olivier said...

Screw the shootout, it's a freakshow anyway.

How bout that PK at the end of overtime?

This team is, by far and wide, the most resilient, never-say-die bunch I've seen over the last 10 years. They also rank up there in pure talent.

But jeebus almighty are they erratic or what? How can they be so inconsistent in defensive coverage? How can they, again and again get 3 fowards behind the opposing net in an ill attempted pinch that gives automagically a 3 on 2?

What a curious bunch of fellas. I don't get them. I just don't.


V said...

The goal the Islanders scored with a minute left was just a defensive breakdown. Can't blame Martin for that. I suspect if they did what he wanted them to do it would be a different story. They would have successfuly defended the lead and we would be talking about how great a job they did by shutting it down.

Lappierre in the shootout - it's only a problem when he doesn't score. Don't have the stats but have the impression he's been pretty good with them.

Just looking at the articles about last nights game and can't believe the negativity. They have one of the best records of any team since the Break... what the hell do people want?

Topham said...

Who would you send Arpon? Nice breakaway goals from the Habs in the last month have been sewn up by Lapierre...

Arpon Basu said...

I would have sent Kostitsyn or Gionta or Gomez or Plekanec (in that order) before ever considering Lapierre in such a vital role. Why wait until the most important shootout of the year to change things up?

pfhabs said...


-they are a bubble team and do not "rank up there" in pure talent

-roster for roster they are where they belong in the middle

-their 5-on-5 is near the bottom of the league, their PP has sunk to new lows this year and if not for shootouts and goalies standing on their heads the CH would be clearly out of the playoffs where shootouts do not exist

-as for resilience is that the positive side of being an average team---not amongst the best nor amongst the worst

Olivier said...

PF: So, in a nutshell, they suck?

How novel.

And when I said "rank up there" in pure talent and spoke of resilience, I was refering to the last 10 Canadiens teams, not the league. Misunderstanding stemming from crappy grammar and syntax. Such is the toil of the commenter trolling in his second language.

Also, I applaud you blissful indifference to the differences (if only roster-wise) between the team as it was in december-january and as it is now. I guess it doesn't matter, as their record since the olympics demonstrate.

pfhabs said...


-I wouldn't say they suck which in my parlance would be worse than being average

-their D is older and slower, they rely on a defensive disaster to bolster the PP but need to hide him on the 4th line, they are inconsistent, cannot manage an injury to a top 6 forward because they have little depth. personally I'd use Sergei up front but Jacques the mastermind doesn't want to. he'd rather put up Moen, or Darche or Pyatt in positions to fail...they are 3rd and 4th liners whereas Sergei has more skill than those 3 together.

-the mastermind refuses to use a forward on the point in a PP and like an old tete dur continues to use Hamrlik and Spacek there instead of more gifted forwards

-the mastermind has overworked the D to the point of costing the team points late in games and plays a system not suited to the forwards Gainey went out and paid huge money to get

-so for all of the above they are not with the elite nor the best nor are they with the worst...they are in the middle and lucky to have 2 good goalies of which one is playing with the top dogs in the league

-as for the roster explain to me why Gomez who might reach 60 points is an upgrade over Koivu. Gionta and Cammalerri absolutely over Tanguay and Kovalev if not in pure talent then in heart, grit and leadership

-Pouliot is starting to play like the guy that Minny wanted gone. as for the D they are less talented, no more durable, much slower and older than what they had or could have had

-they continue to be a bubble team and once again we awaited their fate with 2 games to go

-where's the beef (aka pure talent upgrade) ? and if I agree they are better explain being the worst 5 on 5 team in the league

-as for pre or post Olympics imagine where they'd be if their post Olympic run wasn't in the almost 700 range.

-in the totality of the season which is 82 games not a spurt of 20they are an average team. exactly where Bob and Gauthier has had them for going on 7 years

-I expect no '93 miracle in the coming weeks...it's possible but not something I'd spend mortgage money on

-its not novel...its realistic