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Canadiens Win Again

  • A headline I’d like to write after each and every game. The Habs won their 4th straight game with a 2-0 shutout victory over the New York Islanders. The win put the Habs in a 3 way tie for 6th place with the Devils and Lightning.

    Cristobal Huet continues to impress with his 6th shutout turning aside 36 shots. The game was a goaltending battle and despite Rick DiPietro’s fantastic play the Habs got one early and didn’t look back. Chris Higgins potted his 17th and should break the 20 goal plateau in his rookie year which is great to see.

    If the season ended now the Canadiens would occupy 8th spot as they have fewer wins than the Lightning and their head to head record against New Jersey is a losing one.

    That’s not to say that with a couple more well timed wins and a little luck the Habs could stay in 6th and put some distance between the teams below them. The Habs now have a 5 point lead over 9th place with only 10 games remaining.

    If you’ve followed the 10 must win games the Canadiens have played 7 and are have a winning record with 5 wins and 2 losses. The next 3 games will be played at home against the Capitals and Bruins which on paper is the easiest schedule they could possibly hope for.

    One game at a time, but these are all very ‘winnable’ games. If the Canadiens find a way to take all 3 they will have won 7 straight games and gone 8-2 for 16 points. With 6-7 games left that would almost guarantee at least an 8th place finish but more likely a higher one.

    1st step: Ovechkin’s Capitals.

  1. What a gift Huet has turned out to be. And it’s very possible that he can ride this hot streak deep into the playoffs. And, with the team playing extremely well in front of him, there’s nothing to say that the Habs can’t shock three teams in the East come post-season. But, I don’t want to get ahead of myself – as you say, one game at a time…

    Despite their role of ‘spoiler’ as of late, I am confident that the Washington Ovechkins will fall to the Habs tomorrow night… just as long as the Habs bring the same effort to the rink that they have over the past 4 games. Also, if I’m Gainey, I start Huet for the next two and let Aebischer play the second game against Boston, prior to heading out on the road.

    All that said, the seedings…

    Despite my confidence in the Habs to emerge victorious against Ottawa in the first round, I would still much prefer a sixth place seeding. (And damn the Devils for pulling out a win in Ottawa last night – can’t the Sens do anything right?) I feel that the Flyers are more ‘beatable’ than the Sens – their defense is slow and their goaltending isn’t solid. The Rangers don’t exactly put the scare into me either – shut down Jagr, find a way to throw Lundqvist off his game and the Rangers are as good as eliminated. (Perhaps easier said than done, but… a charged Habs team can certainly pull it off.) As for Ottawa, well, their proven playoff choke artists, and Emery isn’t the best solution for their previous playoff woes.

  2. #2 habzman says:
    March 29, 2006 at 2:10 pm

    Look into the future with a cristobal. They should start singing o’le o’le and substitute o’le with Huet, Huet Huet.Phenominal battle of goalies last night.It was great to see a long Island native put some education into the pud that tripped up Huet. Send a message early. I wonder what theodore is thinking right now in Colorado, probably about improving his golf swing. Jose who?

    c-ya

  3. #3 SaskHab says:
    March 29, 2006 at 4:07 pm

    “if I’m Gainey, I start Huet for the next two and let Aebischer play the second game against Boston, prior to heading out on the road” If I’m Gainey I don’t even consider playing Aebischer until a playoff berth is mathematically secured. Talk about resting a goalie all you want, but every goalie I’ve ever played with has wanted as many minutes as possible, which is why I doubt Huet is any different. Also, the team just has a different swagger in front of Huet, and for good reason. Try to imagine if Aebischer had played last night. We would have lost by at least three goals and I don’t think we can afford to interrupt this groove we’re in right now. Momentum and confidence build up from game to game, it doesn’t just reset every night and Huet starting for at least the next seven games insures a certain amount of confidence that Aebischer cannot provide.

  4. If I’m Gainey I don’t even consider playing Aebischer until a playoff berth is mathematically secured.

    I actually agree with your thinking entirely. I only said what I said because I think it safe to assume that Gainey will put Aebischer in at some point again soon, and I reasoned it best to get him in for the second game against Boston… before heading out on the road… against tougher opponents… where Huet will be needed.

    If it were up to me, which it certainly isn’t, I wouldn’t play Aebischer again this regular season, unless either a) Huet really needed the rest, or b) Huet got injured (which is obvious). Now, forget I even mentioned scenario ‘b’, because it’s not going to happen.

    They should start singing o’le o’le and substitute o’le with Huet, Huet Huet.

    I just posted the same thing yesterday. I’m even surprised we haven’t heard at the Bell Centre yet.

  5. What do you think Colorado is going to do with Theodore when he’s ‘ready’? Play him 4 straight in the playoffs?

    = guaranteed sweep.

    We’re in a great goaltending situation despite Abeischer’s poor start.

  6. #6 Gumper says:
    March 30, 2006 at 12:24 am

    Great game alright.. good threads here too.
    Yeah, watching Theo come back in Colorado’s gonna be weird. Who knows what’ll happen. If he stinks out the joint in his remaining games and the playoffs, it’s safe to say he’s washed up. After, all that’s the real question here. Granted, Roy had an epiphany of sorts when he left MTL, but will the same happen to baldy?

    Let’s hope the Habs make the best of what’s left of the season. Theo was just a bad dream far as I’m concerned. All i know is, my arse isn’t as puckered with Huet in net.

  7. A great American writer once said , to know America one need only know baseball. I guess it is trite to say to know Canada one need only understand Hockey. I was thinking of that fact when suffering through The CBC’s increadle slight to the Geofferion family,The Canadiens,the people of Quebec,Habs fans across the country and to the great tradition of Hockey that at one time so defined us as a nation.

    If, indeed we can find ourselves in the love of our game, then what does CBC’s treatment tell us about our coountry, what can we learn when an institution like Hockey NIght in Canada is usurped to the point where we as Canadiens must understand our game and ourselves only if viewed from the perspective of the Leaf Nation,a media bias eminating out of Toronto, that would impose a perspective of what we are as a country that has no basis in reality.

    If to know Canada today one must understand Hockey then it is easy to understand why some in Quebec no longer see themselves as part of the game , atleast not the one proferred by CBC Hockey Night in Toronto.

  8. You know it’s funny. CBC acts like the bully that kicked you in the stomach so many times and then tries to pretend they’re not that way at all. How can a company say they’re “All about Canada” and then turn and show Tie Domi’s 1000th game over Boom-Boom’s number retirement? The Bombastic Boomer invented the slapshot. What did Tie Domi do except manage to avoid getting his clock cleaned by Bob Probert? I’ll tell you what he did. He endeared himself to the Centre of the Universe known as Toronto and especially to the leader of Leafs’ Nation, a low-brow “intellectual” known as Don Cherry. Scott Moore says that the CBC showed more Habs games than any other English broadcaster. I suppose he thinks he deserves a medal for this. CBC is NOT an Ontario institution, it is a CANADIAN institution and as such should be showing an equal number of games from ALL SIX Canadian hockey teams. The CBC is a crown corporation, publicly funded and should not care about advertising. To do so is to be corrupt. TSN is all-private and if they want to be the Toronto Sports Network, that’s all fine and dandy because they aren’t doing it on the taxpayer’s dime. Scott Moore says that CBC has done alot for the other 5 teams in Canada? I say no. I say that CBC has done far too much for the Toronto Maple Leafs and not enough for the other 5. It’s gotten to the point that I am SO SICK of the Toronto Maple Leafs that I’d rather watch Vancouver vs Calgary 26 times a year over even ONE more Leaf game.

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