News for Friday, December 21st

A big win by the Habs over the Washington Capitals is the news of the day. As Mike Boone, of Habs Inside Out, noted, "The Whiners" were "The Winners", as two players who let it be known they were unhappy to be passed over for duty on Tuesday night, Cristobal Huet and Guillaume Latendresse, were the difference makers for the Habs. Huet stopped 35 of 37 shots, coming up huge in his first game since missing seven starts with a groin strain, and Latendresse scored two goals, and now has nine on the season.

The Globe and Mail carries an AP story focussing on how the win will help get Latendresse get back in Coach Carbo's good graces. "Nobody is happy when they're sat out for a game," quoth Gui, and I am sure he is right. Why was he benched, for the fourth time this year? "He has to play without the puck," is Carbo's explanation. Hey, if the guy can score two goals with the puck, why would you want him to play without the puck?

The Sports Network (not, apparently, to be confused with TSN) quotes Huet sounding dismissive of the Capitals generous edge in shots on goal: "We capitalized on our chances. They tried to force everything, throwing the puck at the net all night." Translation: "We got lucky, and I bailed these guys out again."

The Washington Post is not known for its hockey coverage, but they have an article worth reading on the struggles of their long-time starting goalie, Olaf Kolzig. After allowing 5 goals on 21 shots against the Habs, Kolzig is 3-4-1 with a 3.46 GAA and a .856 save percentage so far this season. Kolzig accepts part of the blame for his bad numbers, but also implicates new coach Bruce Boudreau's system: "We're playing a system now where you don't get a lot of comfort shots, a lot of perimeter shots."

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