Monday, January 21, 2008

Long Weekend's Over

It was a great weekend.

The New England Patriots stayed perfect with an imperfect game in which Tom Brady was less than perfect.

It's been amazing to see the Patriots charge towards a perfect season. Really saying f___ you to the rest of the league with every down.

The Giants have been equally impressive. Ever since they took the Pats to the brink for a 38-35 thriller in Week 17 this has been a team possessed. They've won 10 straight road games, a single-season NFL record. During their three playoff games, Eli Manning has emerged as the quiet leader Tiki Barber said he wasn't. He hasn't thrown a single interception over the same span after tying for the league lead in regular-season INTs.

Plaxico Burress had one the of the best games for an NFL receiver all year long. He dominated Al Harris.

I think that barring a minor miracle, Randy Moss and the speedy Patriots receivers will get the best of the Giants in the heat of Arizona. The key to the game will be whether the Giants pass rush can get to Tom Brady. I don't expect they will.

But this is a blog about the Montreal Canadiens.

The Habs are tied for the fewest home wins in the league. They're 8-8-5 at the Bell Centre after Saturday night's loss to the Penguins. Hardly time to push the panic button but disconcerting nonetheless. It's just one of those indefinable things. My take is that they're trying to do too much for the fans. The adrenaline can onlt take them so far before it becomes jitters. Performance anxiety. It seems that they're almost scared to get booed which in turn causes tentative play which of course causes the rumbles from the fans.

In other news, Michael Ryder appears to be back on a line with Saku Koivu and Chris Higgins. I have been unimpressed with the line of Ryder, Guillaume Latendresse and Bryan Smolinski's line, so maybe this change can kickstart Koivu and Higgins. Those guys look like they're running out of gas right now and the Habs need them rolling in order to be effective.

The other concern right now has to be the Habs power play. They're 0 for 8 with the man advantage in their last three games, dropping them to 2nd in the NHL with a 23.7% success rate.

It's not all bad. The Habs deserved better against an inspired Pittsburgh team the other night and should continue their success against Boston tomorrow night. They're seeking their ninth straight win against the Bruins dating back to last March.

Tim Thomas has been great for the Bruins this year but has struggled against the Habs. He's lost all three starts against them this year with a 4.70 GAA.

Against the rest of the league he's 15-8-3 with a 2.04 GAA.


No comments: