Monday, March 7, 2011

Monday Morning Thoughts

On the Habs/Bruins game tomorrow:

Calling up tough guys for a single game is ridiculous.  Last time i checked, all the tough guys on the Bruins are also pretty good at something else: playing hockey.  You'll just be hurting your team if you bring up inferior players to counter them.  Look, the Bruins are good, they can play any style, they can play the speed game as well.  The only thing the Habs can do is play their game and not lose focus like they did last time around.  Losing focus and actually believing that they were inferior to Boston is why they lost, not because they actually were.  If anything else, bringing up players would just confirm the fact to the Bruins that the Habs are scared of them.  What a weak statement to make going into a game...
I'm a big believer that hockey, and sports in general, comes down to the psychological battle more than anything else.  If you look back to the much-talked about bloodbath against the Bruins, you'll remember that the Bruins dominated us physically, but you may forget that the Habs were never really out of the game until half way through the 3rd period.  But that was only on the scoreboard; you could tell that the Habs players were clearly thinking more about IF and WHEN the next fight might happen, and not actually focusing on playing THEIR game.  The point is this: Montreal lost the game because they lost the psychological game, pure and simple.  If they had kept their heads, forgotten about the fights, and focused on taking care of business 5 on 5, the game probably would have gone a whole lot differently.  Hopefully this time around, if a fight happens, the Habs will let it slide off their back--if they don't, it'll look a lot like last time...

On Trevor Gillies:

Have to say Don Cherry was bang on Saturday night when he said that the Gillies hit on Clutterbuck wasn't that bad, that it was actually a hit to the shoulder not the head.  For the first time, maybe ever, a player's INTENT and not the CONSEQUENCE is what got a player suspended for multiple games.  Gillies is out 10 games, and Clutterbuck barely missed a shift.  Maybe Colin Campbell is finally getting the message.  Maybe we'll start seeing more serious suspensions for hits that aren't hockey plays.  Honestly though, I think this was a situation where Campbell suspended Gillies because he had to, and not really because he wanted to.  This was more an aberration than anything else, in my opinion.  Also, this wasn't even the kind of hit that people are sick and tired of seeing.  We've yet to see Campbell harshly penalize players for hits on players when they're in a vulnerable position.  Clutterbuck was not hit in the numbers; he wasn't vulnerable.  This suspension wasn't about anything else other then the NHL coming down hard on one player because he's a nuisance to the league, a irritating fly that Campbell felt had to be swatted away.  He was an easy player to make an example of.  Until Campbell comes down hard on the Matt Cooke's of the world, I will not feel that there is any kind of culture change in regards to dangerous hits to the head.

1 comment:

  1. wow, great foreshadowing. Though the story seems to have went in the opposite direction...:s