Thinking about the changes made after the first game

Thursday night.. at long last the 2009/2010 NHL season got underway. Getting back to Habs hockey…. love this time of year.

I got to watch a good chunk of Thursday’s game. I missed some of it so I’m not going to write a game recap or anything like that. But there were a few things that I did notice that I thought were worthy of a comment.

I can remember last season, and the season before and etc…. The Montreal Canadiens had a core of players for a good number of years, the veteran guys who weren’t brought back…. some who just up and left.

One thing I found interesting on Thursday night were the penalties. And for the Habs of last year and a few years before… 3 names instantly came to mind.

First off though… I gotta partially ask this question.

Were there any bad penalties for the Canadiens??

I gotta ask that for 2 reasons, 1 if you noticed some, please feel free to comment about them. Because as I mentioned, I did miss a good chunk of the game. 2, it relates to previous seasons.

So, one thing that did come to mind Thursday night watching the Canadiens vs the Leafs was the penalties… Komisarek in particular got me thinking about it.

There were 3 guys who I remember would frustrate me at times with taking bad penalties.

1. Mike Komisarek – I’m not sure if you guys remember, but I seem to remember watching some games where Komisarek would sometimes try to be aggressive, just like he was doing for the Leafs the other night and he would take untimely penalties…. just like he did for the Leafs. But Thursday, it didn’t frustrate me at all… I rather enjoyed it. I was also reminded of some times where he would pinch in the blueline and get beaten to the puck and the result was a bad 2 on 1.

I loved Mike Komisarek in Montreal. But one aspect of his game was when he would take bad penalties.

2. Alex Kovalev – How many times do I remember Alex taking a bad penalty?? Using his stick to slow down an opponent?? Even at the end of a game with the Habs needing to score??? To man times. So frustrating.

3. Sergei Kostitsyn – I seem to remember Sergei taking bad penalties ala Kovalev on several occasions too.

One of the reasons these names came to mind was that none of them were playing for the Habs. 2 are no longer with the team and the 3rd… well… we’re not sure what he’s thinking.

I saw one bad penalty that I remember the other night. Paul Mara taking a penalty while the Habs were already on the PK… resulting on a 5 on 3. Luckily though, the Leafs played with the puck for about 35-40 seconds instead of giving the puck to Montreal….. which would have given them a near 2 minute 5 on 3. But thankfully, Toronto wasn’t paying attention.

If anyone noticed any other bad penalties (by the Habs) please feel free to comment.

There were some good penalties.

Georges Laraque fought Orr. It did send a brief message. And funny enough, Laraque was used effectively in the game while Orr didn’t really play afterwards. Orr only played a total of 1:28. Laraque didn’t play a ton. But he was out there a few shifts in the 3rd.

Travis Moen. Good penalties. Fought Rosehill…. then, Moen was also used throughout the game. Rosehill only played a total of 2:13.

Moen also fought Komisarek… although it would have been nicer to see them square off cleanly… as Komisarek was grappling Travis while he was trying to get up.

The extra penalty on Moen was goaltender interference. That was a good penalty in my opinion. Komisarek bumped Moen as he was skating towards Toskala…. Moen bumps Toskala.

Remember 2 years ago? The Flyers won the Canadiens in the second round…. they were running Price.

Having guys who will go to the net hard is a good thing. It sometimes creates opportunities and it can get the other team’s goaltender off his game. Grit and toughness was one of the criticisms on this team for too long. In that respect, there were some good signs.

Some things that concern me about that first game? Well, it was the first game. But, the biggest concern was the amount of shots on goal.

46-27 for Toronto. That is way way too much. It resembles last season’s numbers and that is bad. But, it’s only game one. So, it’s ok for now.

A positive has to be the play of Carey Price. I thought at the very start he could have been shaky. But as the game went on, Price played very well.

Price is gonna have to be good this year for the Canadiens to have success…. but that also has to be coupled with the team defense being much better then they showed on Thursday.

I’ll bet Martin had that on his list of things to “talk about”.

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