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Game 6: Habs/Caps

  • Well, there has been a sizable crowd of Canadiens fans who have been calling for our #1 prospect to be added to the lineup now that the playoffs had reached a critical point. Habs management was adamant that Subban should remain in Hamilton for the AHL playoffs where he leads the Bulldogs in post-season scoring with 9 points in 6 games. It seems however, the persistent illness that Jaroslav Spacek is suffering has forced their hand as PK Subban has been recalled for Game 6. Speculation at this point is that either Bergeron will be removed from the lineup, or he will be placed onto a forward line in the place of Sergei Kostitsyn or Mat Darche. My gut tells me Sergei and Darche will sit in favor of MAB, although my opinion on this matter has been made clear this season. I respect the work that MAB has put in since he was signed at the beginning of the year, but his skills (in my opinion) are directly upgraded by Subban’s presence. As a forward MAB is often completely ineffective, and is usually kept off of the ice until the powerplay. I’m holding onto the hope that Martin will see that having Subban (who was like +300 this year) means he can dress 6 actual defensemen, and 12 actual forwards for the most important game of the year.

    Can you think of a more appropriate development to add to the energy of this critical game than the call-up of Montreal’s media darling, superstar prospect? I for one cannot wait to hear the roar of the Montreal crowd when PK takes the ice. I hope that he enjoys it, because its the type of reception that EVERY NHL player dreams about. Talk about pressure for a young guy. Good thing he seems to thrive on it!

    GO HABS GO!!!

  1. #1 Mats Naslund says:
    April 27, 2010 at 10:51 am

    Have you ever watched a game in which a team gave up 54 shots and deserved to win more than that one? There is a huge, undeniable difference between the team that regularly gave up huge shot totals and frustrated us to the core during the regular season and the one we witnessed last night. Of course scoring goals never hurts. But the team that we have watched since the beginning of this series when they shocked the hockey world in Washington has shown that they know full well how to play playoff hockey. They’ve shown us that given some time (try the whole season!) they can play as a cohesive group and can challenge against the very best this league has to offer.

    Was it pretty? Not always. Jaroslav Halak was superhuman last night. His performance defines what playoff goaltending is all about. His positioning was impeccable and his determination to keep the powerful Capitals at bay was palpable. More than a few pundits have brought up references to the man who led the Habs to Cup wins in ’86 and ’93 in reference to his performance. To me the more appropriate comparison is another legend of the game. The more and more I watch Jaro the more his style reminds me of a more controlled Dominik Hasek, who is remembered more for his incredible ability to ‘will’ the puck out of the net than his technical proficiency between the pipes. While Jaro still has a long way to go to become half the goaltender that these two legends were, his 53 saves last night were exactly that: the stuff of legends.

    As any good goaltender needs, Jaro got a little help from his friends last night as Habs defensemen jumped on every rebound and made quick efficient passes/ dumps out of the zone to relieve the pressure on their goalie. Josh Gorges, Hal Gill and Ryan O’Byrne have been lights out as this series has unfolded in being physical and active in their own zone, and most importantly limiting the time and space that the skilled forwards from Washington need to be effective. I purposefully left out Markov who is almost always our best defenseman, and PK Subban who last night showed everyone that he is NHL ready NOW. PK, in my opinion should be taking a regular shift, and while his offensive and puck moving abilities are well documented I was caught off guard by how ‘big’ he seemed out there. PK has become a man this year in Hamilton under the tutelage of Guy Boucher. Last night he was seamlessly inserted into the lineup and left many in Montreal cheering his every move.

    I honestly cannot say enough about the resolve and fight that this team has shown thus far in this series. I expect the 7th game to be the most physical, and intense of the series. Washington will no doubt throw every last trick they have to advance. I expect OV will play every other shift. Montreal will need to once again weather the storm and be opportunistic in their scoring. The first goal in that game, might just be the most important goal of the series. At this point the outcome is a coin-flip. I have the utmost respect for the Washington Capitals and their ability to create offense at will. At the same time, our team has exposed their weaknesses, and used old-fashioned hustle to take this to game 7. One win to shock the hockey world again boys. We know you’re already in Washington’s head, lets see about the rest of the league.

    Go Habs Go!!!

  2. #2 Donnie says:
    April 27, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    Mats, barr none…iut was the best single goalie performance I have ever seen in my life. Not just 54 shots, but the bulk of them were prime scoring chances. I was wowwed big time. The team is also playing good, and I don’t know where this team was all season.
    But anyways, I’ve gotten a feeling this past couple of nights, a feeling I havent had for a long time….pride. I was very proud to be watching the effort this team is putting forth, the job they’re doing on Ovechkin, and the superior job Halak is doing between the pipes. Loudest I have heard the Bell Center in a long time (Im watching on tv of course). Whatever happens, win or lose in game 7, this team stepped up and played great hockey against the top team in the league….alot of people, including some Habs fans gave them no chance…I kn ow cuz I was one of them….but the show they’ve put on, makes this, for me, saving an average season, and making it sucessful. Lets keep er goin Wed night. Jaro is in their heads, and he has to stay there. Go Habs Go !!!

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