Archive for the ‘Robert Lang’ Tag

It hurts


I feel like this bunny

What a depressing weekend… I’m not shocked by the sunday loss, and I can live with it. Even I can admit the Bruins are better than the habs right now, and Montreal is still trying to get out of its slump. So I think I could have been happy ok with an encouraging losing effort. And well, that’s pretty much what it was actually. Montreal certainly didn’t look completely dominated. The habs and the bruins played a very close game. Montreal got some scoring chances, and they never quit. Of course, the fact that Boston efficiently shut out the habs offense during most of the game was frustrating. But I really could have lived with this. Boston is the class of the East this season, and as much as it pains me, they deserve their first place.

But of course, this loss was really bad for two other reasons.

The most obvious one is the injuries suffered by Lang and Latendresse. Lats could miss a month. And Lang’s season is over. This is a huge blow. Nobody really expected this when Gainey signed him after he couldn’t land Sundin, but Lang had been one of the best habs this season, if not the best one. He was of course the scoring leader of the team, but his contribution was much more important than that. His perpetual communicative smile revealed a great enthusiasm. As a 38 years old soon to be UFA, this may very well have been his last game as a hab. And maybe even his last game in the nhl. Lang deserves a better exit. His absence leaves a big hole at center. I’m not really looking forward to see the habs going into the playoffs with only Koivu, Plekanec (who’s having a really ugly season), Lapierre and Chipchura. To make things even worse, it comes only one day after Gorges got injured after this now infamous Gauthier hit. Get well soon, Josh. The habs badly need you.

gorges down

Oh nooo, Gorges is down!

The other reason why this game hurt is the Kovalev situation. Alex was benched for almost the entire third period. Today, half the journalists in Montreal (and that’s a lot…) want his head on a pike in front of the Bell Center. And worse of all, there are those persisting rumors about an unspoken rivalry between Kovy and Koivu in the dressing room. Kovy supposedly wants to be the leader of the team. Proponents of this theory point that the team is struggling again since Koivu is back from his injury. And of course, bipolar as they are, many habs fans are now proclaiming their disdain for Kovalev, and can’t wait to see him leave as a free agent in the summer. Now this really pisses me off. Those are the same fans who massively voted Kovy in the All Star Game starting lineup, and who cheered wildly when he was named MVP of the ASG, a freaking week ago. I have no idea about what’s going on in the dressing room, so I won’t speculate about this supposed rivalry. I just hope it’s another example of the montreal media sensationalism. But if there’s any truth to this, the habs are in deep trouble.


Well, sorry this sounded so serious, I just didn’t feel like making jokes today… It’s hard not to be a bit depressed, or at least frustrated about the situation. I don’t live in Montreal, so it was maybe easier for me not to get caught in the idea that the habs are bound to win the cup for their centennial. But still. The season was very promising. Not so much anymore. I’m still convinced Montreal will make the postseason. But an early exit now looks like a distinct possibility. I want to make clear that I’m not throwing in the towel. It would be completely stupid to give up on them now, because it’s only early february, and so many things can change until the playoffs. Every team gets through tough times at some point in the season. It looks like it’s now for Montreal. They have plenty of time to turn things around, and get healthy for the playoffs.

(one last word: the suicidal bunny picture comes from the great Book of Bunny Suicides, just in case you don’t know it yet. It’s really funny)

Habs dodge a bullet


Two good periods, a shitty third, an ugly OT, and a nice shootout. That’s another two points, so I guess I can’t complain too much. Well, I don’t really know what to think of this.

The two first periods were really good. Lang is on fire, and his work with the Tits brothers is unreal. This line is working like a charm. Lang got two great assists, Andrei scored another PP goal. The brothers seem to really enjoy playing together, and it’s a treat to watch.

The Lapierre-Kostopoulos-Latendresse line is also very impressive. Lapierre is having an incredible season. He’s full of confidence right now, and is probably the most improved player of the team. And his two linemates are benefiting a lot from Lapierre’s play. Kostopoulos brings a lot of energy, and Latendresse really clicks with Lapierre.

Finally, it was good to see Greg Stewart contributing, with a nice pass to set up D’agostini’s goal in the second period.

habs-vs-senators-19preview1Lapierre being awesome

But then the third period came, and things began to look bad.

A lack of grit and aggressiveness, some dubious defensive plays, and the momentum shifted right away. The Kostopoulos goal could have killed the game for Montreal. But the habs let the sens to come back quickly. Then it became more and more obvious that Ottawa would tie the game.

In spite of almost 2 minutes of PP, the habs were even worst during the OT. At this point, I was only hoping for the shootout.

The defense was shaky yesterday. Bouillon and Brisebois had a very rough night. I don’t want to be too harsh on Brisebois. He’s a veteran with a lot of experience, he has a great attitude, and is obviously thrilled to play for this team. But he was simply bad yesterday.

This game showed glaringly that what the habs need is first and foremost a defenseman, not a star forward. Obviously, any team could use a Lecavalier, but that’s not the primary need of this team. The difficultes of the habs this season pretty much coincided with the absence of Komisarek. Gorges is playing really great, and everyone who reads this blog knows how much I love this guy, but he’s not an elite defenseman. At least not yet. An injury to Markov or Komisarek would be a huge blow to the habs come playoff time.

Halak played another very good game. He really deserves this W, and can’t be blamed for the third period collapse. I think he deserves a lot of credit for the points the habs are piling up in the absence of a lot of key players. His strong play really allows Montreal to wait until Price is completely healthy. There is clearly no need to rush him back.

I said I did not really know what to do with this game, because there are two ways to see it. On the one hand, the habs found the resources to win a road game where the momentum had completely shifted away from them. And once again, it’s two points for a team missing a lot of key players. But on the other hand, it’s annoying to watch the habs once again play only two good periods of hockey, and barely escape with the two points.

However, given their current record over the last month (11-2-1), it’s hard not to give the habs the benefit of the doubt.

gorges-scores(I forgot to post it after the Nashville game. Gorges, 1A)