Friday, January 18, 2008

Confidence & the Ks

Andrei Kostitsyn (K1) seems to have found his. I looked over at my buddy when the shootout started and said "I can't wait to see what the kid does with confidence," Sure enough, he looked completely calm and collected as he put the Thrashers on the brink before Saku Koivu and Cristobal Huet iced it. He also scored his second goal of the year candidate in the second period, splitting the Atlanta defence and roofing it on Kari Lehtonen on a sweet backhand. That line is really something else.

12 points for Kovalev-Plekanec-K1 over the 4 game road trip.

One thing that I've heard echoed by his teammates is that K1 makes highlight-reel plays in practice all the time, so they knew it was just a matter of time before he started doing it in game situations.

Sergei Kostitsyn (K2) smoked fellow rookie Tobias Enstrom into the boards really hard on two occasions. He doesn't have much in the size department but you can tell his time in the OHL added a physical element to his game. He has levelled a few guys over the last few games and continues to make smart plays. His defensive game has vastly improved during his time in the NHL as well.

The Thrashers seemed to be really pissed about something last night. Guillaume Latendresse was targeted a few times and I got the impression that K2 was a marked man at times.

Cristobal Huet wasn't the only guy to blame for the Thrashers tying it up on the turnover. Roman Hamrlik made a bad play as well. In a very awkward postgame interview on RDS, Huet took all the blame and seemed like he felt like shit about it. I get the impression that many Habs are hypersensitive about any line of questioning, fearing that their comments could be taken out of context and turned into a front page story in Le Journal.

I would like to see a bit more swagger and bravado from these guys. If they could bring the level of confidence they have on the road back to Bell Centre, there would be a lot of happy maniacs in the rafters.

The game also marked the first time this year the Habs have won a game in which they trailed after the first 20 minutes. I must say, I wasn't really concerned. Maybe I have more confidence in them. The first goal was the result of a phantom penalty on Francis Bouillon and a bad bounce going Atlanta's way. This year's edition of the Canadiens doesn't seem to let things like that stop them in their tracks as much as they used to.

Can't wait to see two of the hottest teams in the League square off on Saturday night. Sidney Crosby is a true pleasure to watch and Evgeni Malkin is no slouch either. Here's hoping the Ty Conklin's fairy tale run comes to an abrupt halt at the hands of K1, K2 and the confident Canadiens.

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