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Habs postmortem

Posted by MP / May 3, 2006

habs.jpgFun fact: Montreal has had its very own hockey team for decades. They're called the Canadiens. They lost in the first round of the playoffs last night. We could spend hours lamenting this loss and trying to figure out why it happened, but why bother when Montreal Canadiens Blog has already done it for us, in a style much more readable than the master of hackneyed hockey writing, Red Fisher ?

What was hands down the most exciting playoff game of the series and of any series so far this year ended suddenly in overtime with a long slapshot that changed direction and caught just enough of the inside post to deflect into the net and end the game. A typical broken goal ends an excellent goaltending series.

The deflection was definitely a Craig Rivet error that should not have happend. As he strided towards Cory Stillman elongating his stick I thought to myself ‘there’s no way he’s going to put his stick in front of that puck’ but he DID and the second he did it was bad news. Clang and in the net.

You could also argue that Michael Ryder didn’t get the puck deep and that the play began on his error. You could also say that even if deflected Huet should still have had time and been in position to block that shot. But how far do you go back? You could blame Tomas Plekanec for missing his breakaway earlier in the game and hitting the post. For that matter you could blame him for missing chances 1 or 2 games earlier.

The blame can’t fall on a single player or single play. It was a team effort and a team loss and took 6 games not 1 deflected shot.

The post reflects a new trend in Montreal sports fandom: a departure from high expectations, and an odd (for Montreal) sense of gratitude. Most writers this time around (including Fisher, who, actually, except for one classic "You can take this to the bank" line, did a decent job) offer kind assessments of the season. Which is nice in some respects, but I have to wonder: aren't such declarations of lowered expectations similar to those made annually by Leafs fans and sportswriters? If so, we must be careful.



Dave / May 3, 2006 at 12:19 pm
Too bad. It's been a while since downtown Montreal has seen a good hockey riot. That was the fun thing about the Habs making the finals. Win or lose, there would be some flipped cars. As someone who doesn't own a car, awesome.

OJ / May 3, 2006 at 12:50 pm
Wait, was I the only one flipping cars last night? I for one couldn't believe it when fans were quoted as saying 'at least it was close,' and, 'they gave it their all.' Sheesh, obviously it wasn't good enough. What kind of hab fans are you?

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