Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Habs/Bruins: Anger Management

It's been 3 games of pretty intense competition thus far between these two storied franchises. There's been a lot of energy, a lot of nice hits, goals and saves.  Overall, it's been very entertaining, and the casual fan is probably enthralled.  For me though, I sense something integral to the series missing: visible hatred.  Besides two moronic plays, one being Chara rubbing out Plekanec for no apparent reason, and another where Pouliot ran a Bruin player for equally obscure reasons (you'll remember that White had already done the job quite satisfactorily on that play), the series hasn't really displayed any of the anger-filled elements from the regular season series.  Strangely, it appears as though the Canadiens are the more angry and physical team, as if the Bruins are convinced that if they resort to violence they'll lose via the power play.  This strikes me as odd because the Bruins seemed to be an unstoppable force when they controlled the physical side of the game during the regular season.  It would appear that both coaches are instituting their very own schools of anger management, so to not let the series careen out of control.  Sadly, this may mean that the games from this point forward will be, in a word, boring.  If the Bruins start playing Jacques Martin hockey, which is to get the lead and try to stifle the neutral zone, limiting the opportunities for an up-and-down, ebb-and-flow-like game, it could become a real snooze-fest.

Good thing we have the Sharks/Kings to watch.  Last night's game was absolutely absurd.  Here was a case of two teams, the Sharks in the first, and the Kings in the second, completely dropping the ball defensively.  If you're a Habs fan and want to find out what happens when Price doesn't sit on his head, now that was the game for you.  Niemi gave up 4 goals on 10 shots, the goals being the shots that were the toughies, so to speak.  You expect your star goalie to at least make a couple of big saves: he made none.  But who cares about defense, let's talk offense, and in particular the San Jose Sharks.  If you want to know what kind of forwards I'd like to see on the Habs, just to take a quick look at the Sharks second line of Heatley, Couture and Clowe.  Each player can score, hit, pass and control the puck with ease in the down-low cycle. The smallest player on the line: Couture at 6'1 200.  Clowe is like Travis Moen but better at everything, Heatley a 6'2 version of Cammalieri, Couture plays with the same gusto and perseverance as Plekanec, but can actual score on a breakaway. In short they're a dominant trio, and need i remind you, it's the Sharks SECOND line.  Oh to dream...

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