Thursday, 6 October 2011

Game 1: Montreal 0, Toronto 2

Well, I just finished watching Maple Leaf Night in Toronto, a tough loss for the Canadiens, but I did learn a lot about the Leafs, lots of cool infographics about them and their players. Good of CBC to tailor the coverage towards me as a Montreal fan, I guess they knew I'm quite familiar with all the Canadiens players and their stories, so they thought they'd focus on Dion Phaneuf and David Steckel.

The game itself didn't have a lot of flow and emotion. The Leafs I think were kind of surprised to score the first goal and having an opportunity to win after being dominated in the first period, kind of like Vince Wilfork with an interception falling into his hands, so they started rumbling and stumbling with it, kind of like Vince Wilfork running with the ball after an interception. The Canadiens looked disjointed and listless, like they would have benefited from one or two more pre-season games with a full roster.

Jaroslav Spacek isn't strong enough to play NHL hockey. Every hit he took was enough to cause him to fall to the ice. He may be fitter than last year, but he's still overmatched by most players he comes up against.

My eye was drawn to Andrei Kostitsyn during the game, and I was rarely impressed. I don't know if I'm developing an unhealthy obsession with him, but every time I saw him he'd be circling aimlessly in the offensive zone. On his give and go with Tomas Plekanec in the first period, he floated too long before realizing he should charge the net, and got there too late to pot a fat easy rebound. Maybe the coaches saw the same thing I did, and maybe the experiment didn't last even a whole game, but Erik Cole found himself on the top line in the third period.

I also noticed that the Canadiens have Perry Pearn and Randy Cunneyworth behind the bench, but defence coach Randy Ladouceur is up in the press box. With all the young and new defencemen the Canadiens have, I think it would be important to have Mr. Ladouceur behind the bench doling out tips and encouragement. Especially if Chris Campoli is injured and we have to press Mr. Yemelin into service, this should be considered.

Not a great start to the season, and it stings that it's to the Leafs, the CBC's second favourite team after the Bruins, but it may be a little early to panic. For now.

No comments:

Post a Comment