Saturday, December 15, 2007

Looking Forward

Big game tonight.

The Habs need to win one at home. They get nervous in front of the Bell Centre faithful, almost tentative. They don't want to make mistakes or fall behind. They play a much more simple game on the road. They use their speed and skill to make teams pay. At home, they aren't as fast and seem to get into a defensive shell that eventually leads to penalties and losses.

The Habs didn't take a penalty against Philly until 15:09 of the second period, which was a huge reason for their success. They have a lot of trouble killing penalties.

The PK is ranked 27th in the league and the the power play is the the best in the NHL. Obviously, they need to stay out of the box. Saku Koivu needs to stop taking stupid penalties. Andrei Markov needs to keep making those crisp tape-to-tape passes.

Mark Streit was on fire the other night and Yvon Pednault actually said "Mark Streit est en feu.", which my friends and I found to be quite amusing.

There's going to be so many Leafs fans at the Bell Centre tonight that it might not even feel much like a home game, which could work to the Canadiens advantage given their dismal home play this season.

It's Sergei Kostitsyn's first home game, and Carbo says he's going to start the game on the top line with Chris Higgins and Saku Koivu. I liked what I saw from the kid the other day, as his confidence seemed to increase with every shift. He's got NHL talent and fantastic vision.

This game tonight is huge. The Canadiens need to turn the page at home and get two points. Count on a cardiac arrest-inducing game, as these Habs-Leafs tilts so often are.

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