Masters Of The Powerplay

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    Photo credit: Streeter Lecka, Getty Images

    By Habster
    If Canadiens fans were concerned about what kind of effect the absences of Sheldon Souray would have on the powerplay, those concerns should be dispelled after a 7-4 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes last night. The Canadiens went 5 for 8 on the powerplay with Tomas Plekanec leading the way with 4 powerplay points. The Canadiens PK also performed well denying the Hurricanes a powerplay goal on five PP chances.
    I have already posted numerous game reviews and post game reactions from various news agencies so I won’t get into any further game reviewing but here are game points I would like to share with you:
    • I think Guillaume Latendresse is playing much better lately but I have to admit it’s excruciating to watch him skate. He is by far the slowest skater on the Canadiens ( Kyle Chipchura is no Gazelle as well but is better positionally) which is surprising because he came into camp in great shape, losing 10-15 lbs in the process. Is it my bad eye sight or does he look even slower than last year? During last night’s game, he received a nice lead pass from Mark Streit and was slightly behind the Hurricane’s defense but looked like he was skating on sand. Could you imagine what Latendresse could accomplish if he had that extra gear to go with his shot and size!!??
    • Tomas Plekanec is the most opportunist player on the Habs with the puck following him all over the ice. He is always facing the puck and is very creative with it as well. He and Kovalev are starting to build some nice chemistry together with Plekanec not being intimidated along side Kovy this season. You can sense that he is starting to build confidence in his game and is a second line center, period!!!
    • I thought Mark Streit played a terrific game at both ends of the ice and utilized his skating to break up some odd man rushes by Carolina. Streit should have been placed on the second pairing with Roman Hamrlik after training camp but I can’t say Patrice Brisebois hasn’t played well,…..he’s been pretty good especially on the powerplay. So far, Brisebois has been a nice pick up by Gainey, let’s hope it continue being that way!!
    • Kyle is here to stay, folks!!!!! Kyle Chipchura continues to impress me with his solid play especially along the boards and his positioning. The guy understands the game and did you see that beautiful wrist shot to the top corner that beat Cam Ward for his second goal,…a thing of beauty!!!
    • You have to love the will, desire and hustle that Tom Kostopolous and Mathieu Dandenault are showing on a nightly basis. Both their motors are running constantly and did you see the determination that Dandenealt showed to out race Matt Cullen for the empty netter!!!
    • Did Michael Ryder play last night? He certainly wasn’t noticeable throughout the game and did not have a good night (TOI:15:42 G-0 A-0 -1). Why is it that when a 3rd or 4th liner is struggling, they take a place in the press box but a 1st liner doesn’t???? I think it’s time to let Ryder sit up stairs for a game and give Andrei Kostitsyn a chance to play with Koivu and Higgins.
    • Speaking of Higgins, he is in another world as far as intensity and work ethic goes. He has been the most consistent Habs player since the season started and is setting the example for his teammates. Higgins has taken the “A” on his sweater very seriously with a mission in mind and is setting the bar high for the Canadiens on ice performance. With players like Koivu, Higgins, Komisarek, Smolinski, Hamrlik, Kovalev and Begin (to name a few), the leadership question shouldn’t be an issue on this team!!!

    These are someof my opinions. Hab’s fans tell me what you think about the Bleu, Blanc et Rouge’s performance to date?