Someone has their eyes on the blogs, their ears on the talk shows. Someone before Saturday night's game told Georges Laraque he must fight.
It was pure PR. A stupid ploy to entice back the most willing of fans.
But honestly? How easy do they think we are?
Our opinions on Laraque were a little better rooted than that, weren't they? (En Route Pour La Coupe, The Other Wing, and me).
I didn't bite when Laraque fought Josh Gratton. His fight was not part of the game.
Am I hard to please? Maybe. Perhaps some of you would say impossible to please. But Laraque's fight did not answer any of the concerns that we all expressed in our well considered arguments. He did not intimidate anyone, he did not respond to any incident. All he did was throw a body check on the only guy on the ice he could catch (Andrew Alberts). He was then confronted by Gratton (incensed at the hit (and not the least bit intimidated of Big Georges!!!) and had to fight. It might as well have been orchestrated in its meaningless effect on the game.
I'd like to say that Laraque's got a long way to go to impress this blogger. Quite a hole to get out of from his supremely ineffectual first 20% of the season. Fred like me is not enthralled...
Flyers just big, not bad
Incidentally, did anyone else notice the Flyers used the exact same game plan they had used in the playoffs against us – I guess it's too much to expect Carbonneau to revise his own plan a mere 6 months after the playoffs – a plan that worked in just the same way.
The Canadiens forwards were crowded and ushered to the boards every time they entered the zone. They were rushed into passes. In the defensive zone, the Flyers forwards merely made sure they made every dump in recovery a battle.
The Flyers, nominally not that much biger than the Habs, used their big players well – targetting our small guys in mismatched battles (a coaching strategy?? I thought you were only allowed to changes lines...). They did not play dirty. And once again they showed us how to shoot.
In contrast, we helped Biron look like an NHL goalie again by repeatedly shooting from bad positions and at chest height.
This seesm to be the recipe for success against us now (not roughing us up). I wonder how long it will take our coach to catch on with his line-up selection (I'm looking at you Georges) and maybe even some new ideas one of these days.
I suspect it'll be a while.