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» 2006 » April

  • Go Caps Go!

    The Montreal Canadiens are idle tonight but they can still clinch a spot in the post-season from their couches if the Capitals can defeat the visiting Atlanta Thrashers. All Habs fans will have their eyes glued to the scoreboard and be hoping for some heroics from Alexander Ovechkin and his buddies.

    Should the Thrashers get another 2 points the pressure will mount on the Habs who welcome the league’s hottest team in the NHL on Tuesday. The Devils have won 10 straight games and they don’t appear to be slowing down. 2 weeks ago still questionable to be in the Playoffs, the Devils are only 1 point shy of the Atlantic lead and 3rd place! As far as early playoff predictions go, the Devils are one of the team’s to watch. If the Canadiens can get a win and end the Devils win streak right before the playoffs, that would say a lot about the Habs and it would be the best way to ‘get through’ as opposed to losing and limping in.

    The chances are still very much in the Canadiens favor. Win or lose, just getting there is obviously the important part.

    The shuffle at the top is not finished either as Ottawa and Carolina duel it out for 1st in the East. Carolina holds the lead and the extra win as tiebreaker. A win or overtime loss will secure them first place.

    If everything falls into place the Canadiens will finish 7th, the Senators 2nd and an intense (and winnable) playoff series will be slated to begin late this week just a couple hours down the highway.

  • The Elusive Point

    The Canadiens failed to earn their playoff clinching point with a 4-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres.

    The Canadiens made a couple mistakes that the Sabres took full advantage of but were not badly outplayed. Ryan Miller was fantastic in goal for the Sabres and that really was the decisive factor. Even the 4th empty net goal was one of the flukiest ones you could ask for. But the bottom line remains the same, that Habs earned no points and are not safe yet.

    It would have been great for the Habs to clinch earlier but look at the positive – the fate of the Canadiens is still theirs to decide. The Canadiens remain in 7th place. They have a final game and they can clinch with a win or overtime loss. They aren’t dependant solely on other teams. Although a losing combination can get them in as well.

    Everyone knew it would come right down to the line as it always does with the Habs.

    There is no goaltending controversy. Bob Gainey was not wrong in starting Aebischer and it’s not Aebischer’s fault the Canadiens haven’t clinched. Maybe Gainey is a little ahead of himself in trying to keep opposing teams guessing heading into the playoffs with his goalie switching. But had the Canadiens clinched already everyone would be saying how we’ve beat Ottawa with our backup goalie twice and they’re done for. Or how we have 2 hot goalies like no other team in the East.

    Instead the Habs have not clinched and people are looking to place the blame.

    There’s one more very exciting game to go. How will it all end?