Habs Link Checks: December 16, 2011

The Montreal Canadiens coming off a hard fought 4-3 loss at home to the Philadelphia Flyers, sit in tenth place in the Eastern Conference.  The loss snapped a modest two game winning streak.  Yes two games is a streak for the Habs.

The Checking Line:

Czechtacular and the topsy turvy Habs loss to the Flyers.

Matthew Brigidi's take on the Flyers win and the emergence of new heroes.

Flyers' fan rejoice as John Russo with another discussion about the Flyers beating the Habs.

The Media:

Louis Leblanc's first goal from the official site of the Montreal Canadiens.

Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette taks about the Habs' power play woes.

My Thoughts:

The game itself last night was really entertaining.  Even when the Habs were trailing, chances were being created and you felt that goals would come.  The team gave a good effort, well some of the team, and eventhough it was a loss it showed that the Habs can roll with anyone.

What was disconcerning was the amount of giveaways in our own zone.  Three goals came off of mistakes.  There seems to be a disconnect with the defencemen and the forwards.  Simple breakouts don't seem to be working and the each Hab doesn't seem to know where to go and whom to mark.  I have to admit that it was P.K. Subban's worst game of the season.  I know he plays his game with a very cool and sometimes disinterested attitude, see Carey Price, but last night he was easily our worst defenceman.  He didn't win one race to the puck and his inability to hit the net from the point on the power play was inexcusable.  It seems even players on his own team are getting tired of his antics.  Erik Cole looked bemused everytime Subban's point shot hit him in the shin guards. 

Generally the forwards played well.  Yes they looked a bit discombobulated in their own zone but it was nice to see players crashing the Flyers net.  Erik Cole was once again the star.  He worked hard every shift and his ability to sit right in front of Bobrovsky made it difficult for the entire Flyer D.  Max Pacioretty wasn't a presence at all last night.  Mike Cammalleri should have been sitting in the press box.  Lars Eller and Louis Leblanc needed more ice time.  Leblanc after scoring his first goal didn't see the ice much for the rest of the game.

Moving forward the Habs D needs to clean up its passing and coverage.  The coaching staff needs to continue to work on simple things like breakouts.  The power play needs to change.  Tomas Kaberle has to be the quarterback and P.K. Subban shouldn't be on the number one power play.  I don't mind Kaberle playing the entire 5 on 3 but Subban shouldn't

Overall the game was pleasing to watch.  We didn't get the win but we showed we could hang with the Flyers.  Yes I know Philly fans you didn't have Claude Giroux nor Chris Pronger in the lineup.

Shahab Khan the Schoolboy