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» 2011 » April

  • Game 82: Habs/Leafs

    The regular season comes to a close tonight as the Canadiens face the Maple Leafs on Hockey Night in Canada. While the Leafs etechnically have ‘nothing to play for’, we certainly the difference. Leafs Nation would like nothing more than to take one last shot at their rivals before the post season begins and the Leafs take their annual summer vacation plans. Ok, that was a cheapshot.

    The reality is that the Canadiens who do not need to win this game to make the playoffs, would still like to finish strong with a victory in Toronto, both for pride, and in order to gain the 6th ranking in case a lower ranked team pulls off an upset – you never know.

    There isn’t much more to add – the real season begins shorly, and just like the pre-season, this game has more of a psychological meaning.

    Go Habs Go!!!

  • Game 81: Habs/Sens

    I’m going to use this space to talk about a player who (barring catastrophe) will not actually play tonight when the Canadiens face the Ottawa Senators in the penultimate game of the Habs’ regular season (I really don’t get the opportunity to use the term penultimate that often). While the Habs will face a way-to-late-and-puzzlingly-resurgent Ottawa squad in Canada’s national capital tonight, I can’t help but be amazed at the year that Carey Price has had – and wonder what the heck is in store for Habs fans as they watch this 23 year old turn into a superstar before our eyes.

    Think back to the Canadiens’ pre-season game against the Bruins on September 22nd 2010. After a 4-2 loss, some fans (and where are they now?) boo’d Price off of the ice after he struggled in the Habs’ first test of the silly season. Price was asked after the game to respond to the boo-birds – which were almost unanimously angered by the off-season decision by Pierre Gauthier to trade Jaroslav Halak. Price handled the situation in his typically calm attitude, saying simply: ” Relax, Chill out.   We’ve got lots of time. We’re not winning the Stanley Cup in the first exhibition game.”

    Incredibly, the 23 year old had the internal fortitude to stand in front of all of the hockey world, and to say essentially: things are going to be just fine. Price struggled in his next game, getting shelled by the Ottawa Senators en route to a 6-2 loss. Montrealers who thought Gauthier had made a huge mistake were apoplectic.

    Of course, we now know – as Paul Harvey was famous for saying – “the rest of the story”. At least we know what the regular season story for Price will be. He will play in the final game of the year – bringing his total for the season to an incredible 72.  Though other goalies in the league are having great seasons, Price’s story is one of redemption. Written off prematurely by many in the hockey world, Price’s season has been as good as many of the famous shirts that hang in the Bell Centre’s rafters. There can be no doubt – Carey Price is the Montreal Canadiens best hope for the future.

    So today I tip my hat to Carey, and along with many others in the Canadiens’ blogosphere, I say congratulations on a fantastic season, and thank you for rescuing our team on an almost nightly basis.

    Go Habs Go!!!