Yes, the Habs won a ton of faceoffs, but in reference to the puck possession last night (and previous games), there are D-men on this team that must make better decisions with the puck in the defensive zone. There are so many times that you see Cowen and Wiercioch specifically throw the puck up the boards blindly when they have plenty of time and it gets picked off at the point. Part of that is the forwards - specifically the wingers - not getting back there to allow for a three, four foot pass up the zone, but these are unforced errors that lead to loss of possession and scoring chances.
The same applies when there's any kind of pressure in our zone. Once in a while you get that nice, crisp outlet pass at our blue line that makes for a nice breakout, but more often that not you get the half ice icing where the other team gets it in their defensive zones and switches immediately to back on the attack.
Sometimes I wonder if Jason Smith co-ordinating the defence is a mistake, because he never had the hockey sense to look for options coming out of the zone. He was good at what he did, he cleared the crease, he made life miserable for opponents and he blocked shots, but is he the right guy to guide guys like Cowen and Boro into making smart plays under the pressure? Not sure.
As for Zibanejad, we need to remember (or I keep reminding myself), that Turris wasn't the be-all at age 23. He was progressing, but we kept seeing him get into prolonged slumps and losing puck battles a lot. I'm hoping that ZBad can continue to bulk up and follow Turris' lead and blossom into an important piece. He shows a lot of flashes of brilliance, like last night when he pulled the puck back to avoid a stick check and got a good shot away on Condom.
Ryan's been good IMO. He had a slightly slow start, but props to him for telling Cameron not to separate him and ZBad so they can get some chemistry going once and for all.
Hoffman is a beauty. Wouldn't trade him now, teams are nuts not to have blown Murray out of the water in the summer, now...it's pretty much not happening.