Monday, February 4, 2008

Spectacular Super Sunday

Great Super Bowl. After cheering for the Patriots all year, I found myself pulling for Eli Manning's Giants. It was incredibly exciting, maybe the best Super Bowl I've ever seen.

The Habs had an up and down weekend. After pounding the lacklustre Islanders on Saturday afternoon, the Habs came out flying and jumped out to a 3-0 lead. The Rangers turned it into a game by getting physical with the Habs and playing their style of hockey. The Habs are more of a finesse team and that was evident for the first half of the game, when they were flying all over the ice and their crisp passing had the Rangers on their heels. The game turned right after that and Ryan Hollweg took his frustration for out on little Andrei Kostitsyn for an elbow he absorbed from Alex Kovalev. Guy Carbonneau kept Kovy off the ice for about four minutes after the hit and finally Hollweg just went after a guy with the same initials.

I maintain that if Sergei hadn't sold the hit to the officials by laying prone on the ice for a minute or two, no major or game misconduct penalties would have been assessed on the play. Look at Chris Higgins the day before: Just as vicious a hit, but Higgins bounced back up so it went mostly unpunished.

I'm not overly concerned about the loss being a turning point for the Habs. I didn't give them much of a chance going into the game but I admit to being surprised they managed to blow a three-goal lead. Mitch Melnick was on point today when he mentioned that several veterans, including Roman Hamrlik and Saku Koivu, looked tired on Sunday afternoon.

It's too bad the Habs couldn't close out the Rangers, if they had then tomorrow night's game would have been a battle for first place in the Eastern Conference. It's still a huge game as the Habs can pull to within a point of the Sens with another tilt on Saturday. There's no reason to think that the Habs won't come out strong, the time is now for them to overtake the Sens, who are dealing with infighting and injuries to Daniel Alfredsson and Dany Heatley. If they don't catch them with those two guys out of the lineup, they won't catch them at all.

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