Before I get to tonight’s matchup with the Flyers, I just have to first congratulate the Habs for a fantastic Centennial Celebration last saturday night. As a Habs fan, history buff, and all around geek for the game I couldn’t help but get chills time after time as the organization honoured the past legends of the team. Secondly, didn’t that game feel a lot like Game 7 in 07/08? With the Bruins in town for a pressure-filled game with the weight of all of the massive expectations on their shoulders the Canadiens responded.. big time.
And so tonight the Canadiens begin a 2 games in 2 nights stretch against the Flyers and Sens. When your team is straddling the .500 mark doesn’t it always feel like every game is a must win? A victory would propell the Habs into 8th place (with anything but a win for the Lightning), and allow them to jump over the Islanders and Rangers who are idle this evening. But don’t count your wins before they hatch… or something like that. The Flyers, who many picked to contend for the Cup, got lit up by the Caps 8-2 on Saturday night, and are in the dangerous position of a team seeking to redeem itself after an embarassing loss. Should the Habs lose tonight, and the Panthers win, Montreal could be in 13th place. With 6 teams seperated by only 3 points in the East, such is life unless Montreal can string together a group of gutsy wins in order to seperate themselves from the pack. With 52 games left in the schedule it seems crazy to be talking about playoff positioning, but we’ve seen this movie before. Every year the playoff race comes down to a group of teams who struggle to climb over each other just to make the post-season. If Montreal can do some of the heavy lifting now, they will be in a much better position come Spring.