Must win. Nothing else to say.
The Canadiens simply can’t lose twice to the league’s worse team in the last stretch of the season.
Powerplay – Check
Penalty Killing – Check
Goaltending – Check
1st line – Check
3rd line – Check
4th line – Check
Georges Laraque – Check
2nd line – ?
Well I hate to blow my own horn but when everyone was wanting to get rid of Dandy, I was saying how valuable a player like him can be when it comes to versatility. I must admit that I had some weak moments when things were going badly and trying to find a package of players that we could trade to get some offensive help. But overall I have always said that I like what Dandy brought to this team. Unfortunately or fortunately you never get to see this value until our defence gets injured and we need someone to step into playing defence. Dandy is a natural defenceman and remember he helped the wings win a cup not too long ago.
Well it is onto Toronto, we need to show them that we are a good team and win that game. They were the team that woke us up two weeks ago when we got out played badly. It was like we hit bottom and suddenly realized that you cannot win without 100% effort. So now lets show them how a real team plays.
You’re noticing the exact same thing I am Joseph….no second line scoring. We are playing much better all round hockey than a few weeks ago, but is this lack of secondary scoring gonna be our Achilles heel again this post-season?
Even finishing first last season, we were still bounced rather easily from the playoffs. Hoping for the best here, but looking at last season as a guide, it’s probably gonna go something like this….shut down our first line, hit, bang and crash all of our forwards into submission, and get bounced once again.
Kudos to Gainey and our squad for turning things around, but we have 5 games left to get our 2nd liners hitting the scoreboard or it’s gonna spell trouble. GO HABS GO !!!
It was a solid effort against a team that is simply decimated by injury and trade. The Islanders had two more rookies make their pro debut last night – which brings the running total to 18… wow. This team needs its goaltender, its best defenseman, and one of its best forwards back, as well as about 6 years worth of #1 picks. Hopefully they can get the new Arena built, because it would be really sad to see a franchise with such rich history die such a painful death – especially if that means another franchise in a football market like Kansas City. I won’t get into the lunacy of the NHL’s desire for #4 status in mid sized American markets (behind football, college football, college basketball – and probably NASCAR, golf, arena football, poker ..yadda yadda).. Not that there are any ACTUAL hockey markets without teams right now..
Back to the Canadiens. It has been refreshing to watch them lately. The brutal unconfident team of the past few months is gone. The swagger is back and now we are in the driver seat as far as the playoffs goes. The 2nd line is stalled right now, but if it wasn`t for a post last night Kostitsyn would have had his 24th and an enormous monkey off of his back.
Personally I think it is unlikely that the habs will move any higher in the standings. This isn`t due to a sense that they will stop winning so much as I don`t see the teams ahead losing. The most likely candidate to fall is the Flyers, but since we don`t play them, and they have a game in hand over the rest of the conference, I think 7th may be our resting place which to me is fine because it gives us Washington in the first round. I think the Habs match up as good with Washington as anyone in the conference. It would still be a crazy series, but they lack the physical grit that has given Montreal problems in the past. Speaking of which – if the 4th line continues to play with such efficient handling of the puck, there will be no need to talk about Montreal`s lack of physicality. I`d love to see a guy like Lucic or Hartnell or Avery take liberties when he`s matched up against Laraque and Stewart.
If we continue to play like this I believe we could make it to the finals and even win it all.
Well Kevin77, your my kind of guy talking positive is what we need. It may be over the top but as hab fans you got to believe. Here is how I see things playing out.
Rangers beat Boston in seven,
Canadiens beat Washington in six
Carolina takes New Jersey to seven and win
Pittsburg wins against philly in six.
Pittsburg beats rangers in seven
Canadiens beat Carolina in seven
Montreal beats Pittsburg in six
The West will be just as vcrazy with either Calgary or Vancouver surprising everyone and we have a All Canadian final.
Now how is that for optumism?
All upsets huh Senet1? !)
I personally see it shaking down this way:
Boston over Rangers in 5
Canadiens over Washington in 7 (who would i be if I didn’t pick us to upset in the first round?)
Pittsburgh over New Jersey in 7
Carolina over Philly in 6
Boston over Montreal in 7 (sorry fellas I think they’re for real this year
Pittsburgh over Carolina in 6
Pittsburgh over Boston (who are so banged up after a knock-down-drag-out series with the Habs) in 6
A useless prediction, but one I can see happening!