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Habs Go for the Throat

  • The Montreal Canadiens will look to steal their second straight road playoff victory tonight in Carolina. Pretty much written off as not having a chance the Canadiens went in and despite giving up a very early goal beat the Canes quite badly.

    Can they do it again? Carolina will be playing a little more desperately as they realize if they head back to Montreal down 2 games to none that their chances of winning the series are that much worse. The Canes will be feeling the pressure even more so this game and the Canadiens having already accomplished their goal of getting a split should be calm and cool and be able to play their style.

    All the pressure is on the Canes. A team that was never pressured all season long. Can they handle it? The Canadiens relaxed and played soccer on their day off while the Canes were probably working feverishly watching tape and wondering what went wrong.

    As it normally does, goaltending should play a big role. If Cristobal Huet’s goaltending is strong the Habs most definitely have a chance for the victory. On the other hand if Martin Gerber doesn’t rebound well and plays poorly the Canadiens will pounce all over him.

    If the Habs can get to Gerber early it could take the Canes out of it. Gerber’s GAA and save percentage have plummeted drastically at the end of the season and another poor game would bruise the Canes confidence even more.

    First goal is always crucial for the Habs but especially against a Canes team that almost never loses after scoring first. Gotta get to Gerber to keep that doubt in the Canes and keep those fans walking out the building.

    That being said, this Carolina team won’t roll over. They will come hard and fast and this is now the most important game in the young series. Canadiens going home up 2-0 would be devastating to the Canes but a 1-1 split evens it up and steals the momentum of the Canadiens huge opening win.

    Kovalev looks like the playoff performer that he is. When he is motivated and turns on that extra effort he is extremely dangerous and very fun to watch. Kovalev has that look in his eye and expect another big effort and big game from him. Kovalev has never lost a first round playoff series in his career and he seems intent on keeping that streak alive.

    The Habs can be the first team in the playoffs to go up 2-0 in a series and you can imagine the atmosphere at the Bell Centre Wednesday should that happen.

23 Comments
  1. That’s what I love about playoff hockey…each and every game now is the most important game of the season. The team that doesn’t take any nights off will be the one rasing The Cup!

  2. Statisitics are for statisticians, I know, but in the event that anyone is interested… Kovalev has never played on a team that lost the first round of the playoffs. Never. His ‘teams’ have gone 7-0 with him in the line-up.

  3. Statistics – sorry

  4. #4 Gumper says:
    April 24, 2006 at 1:57 pm

    The Hurricanes are dangerous until they are eliminated (if they are). As euphoric as Habs fans seem to be right now, they should remain realistic about early successes. The first battle is won but the war isn’t over. Game 2 will reveal all – and show us where both teams stand in every characteristic.

    If we fall behind early, my concern won’t be goaltending but the character of the Habs as a unit. They’ve fallen apart more often than not when the heat is on.

    So,.. KEEP IT SIMPLE AND DON’T PANIC

  5. They’ll hammer the Canes again tonight just like the back to back Leaf victories.
    You can take that to the bank!

  6. It’s about time I could take something to the bank. Thanks!

    ;-)

  7. The thing is that it’s very hard to figure out what kind of Carolina team will show up tonight. Carolina played extremely well for most of the year, then they got too comfortable, and crused for the last 15-20 games of the season. Once you develop bad habits, it’s very hard to get rid of them. Can they turn it around and start playing well immediately, or are they going to need 4 – 5 games to get all the rusts out?

    I think that Carolina will come out with a lot of intensity tonight, yet still be a bit rusty, which means they will make a lot of mistakes… The trick for the Canadiens, is to play solid defence, and capitalize on any mistakes Carolina makes.

    Tonight’s game is winnable.

  8. #8 theo sucks says:
    April 24, 2006 at 3:28 pm

    Key for winning:GIVE THE PUCK TO KOVALEV

  9. Agreed. Go Alexei!

    I think the Canadiens’ heads are in the right place. They aren’t floating above the clouds in the aftermath of their Game 1 victory (at least not from what I’ve gathered), and they were already looking to play better for Game 2 at the conclusion of Game 1.

    That said, they can go out and play an incredible game tonight and still come up short. They’ll need to capitalise on their opportunities and also have an element of luck, in my opinion – the puck doesn’t always bounce your way.

    At any rate, I think that most of us can agree that the final score isnt going to be 6-1 again tonight. It will likely be a much closer, hard-fought game. No?

  10. #10 Rugger says:
    April 24, 2006 at 4:25 pm

    How in heck can Kovalev ever be allowed to be open on the right circle when 90% of his goals are from the same exact spot?

  11. #11 Harman says:
    April 24, 2006 at 4:30 pm

    GO HABS GO…GO SENS GO…..Go Leafs Go(wait there not in the playoffs)

  12. #12 riser8 says:
    April 24, 2006 at 4:37 pm

    The Habs have to play the same opportunistic style they played in the first game. Even though the shots were supposedly 43-21 in favour of the Canes, the actual scoring chances were 17-15 Canes, which points to a very close game. Lets face it the difference between the two teams was goaltending and special teams, with the Habs dominating both.
    Tonight should be a much closer game and I look for the Canes to play with a greater sense of urgency. I also look for Gerber to play at a higher level then the first game thus making it a much greater challenge for the Habs to score tonight. I look for the Canes not to lose two games in a row at home to start this series; it will be close but I see them prevailing 4-2. I hope for the Habs sake that I am way off base and if they do win tonight it will be a sweet victory.

  13. Gerber is rattled. I think that Carolina will have to solve Huet several times tonight to get a win.

  14. LOL
    I just saw Martin Gerber on TSN saying that he had diarrhea on Saturday.

    Ya that’s why they lost.

    I hope he’s on the pot right up until puck drop tonight.

  15. #15 hip hip huet says:
    April 24, 2006 at 6:44 pm

    Lol man i think the habs will win in 5 … im not saying thta im not a hardcore fan.. but i think that the canes will pull on out of there @55.. lol
    GGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGOooooooooooooooooooo habs

  16. #16 hip hip huet says:
    April 24, 2006 at 6:46 pm

    habs will win gerber needs to stop some rubber or cam ward will have to do it .. and no offence to cam but … he hasent been concistant all season

  17. #17 Phil says:
    April 24, 2006 at 9:06 pm

    Nice to have the refs on your side….GD bucnh!!Only way they can win!!

  18. #18 I am Canadien says:
    April 24, 2006 at 11:00 pm

    6-5 Double OT
    Who can go to sleep after that rollercoaster ride?
    Up 2-0 in the series. We cannot let this one go! We must take game 3 to really make the Cane hold their sticks really tight. They won’t be nearly as duanting if that happens.
    NOTE: I really cannot stand that delay of game call when a puck is shot over the glass. It’s a stupid rule and its go to go!! OR make all the glass in all of the rink 10 ft tall along the sides if the NHL is THAT anal!!

    HABS are RULING!!!

  19. ‘I just saw Martin Gerber on TSN saying that he had diarrhea on Saturday.’

    Kovalev’s wrist shot would give me diarrhea too.

    Carolina is finished, by the way. A Double OT loss to go down 2-0? More crushing than another 6-1 blowout (something that this game probably should have been, to my dismay), in my opinion. They’re finished.

  20. #20 Gumper says:
    April 25, 2006 at 12:05 am

    Good point (and post), “joey”

    Now, where did I put those high blood pressure pills again?
    ___________________________________________________________

    There’s the character I was hoping to see. Went ahead 3-0,(full head of hair) many bullshit calls later, blew the lead (grey hair starts), came back and went ahead (salt and pepper), Canes tie and force overtime (bald patch on crown). First OT (lookin’ like Fryer Tuck!). Second OT – Ryder!!! (assisted by Kojak)

    Now, it’s onto the greatest city in the world and the Bell Centre to finish up!

  21. What a game. Was that exciting or what.

    I was watching the game hilights, and one of the carolina players was saying that it does not matter they are down 0-2. They won 52 games in the year, and they will be able to win …

    Yeah right… wake up dude ….

    Montreal looks scary right now… I know it’s only two games, but this team reminds me of the 93 canadiens…. only time will tell…

  22. What I witnessed tonight:

    - A Montreal Canadiens team dominating the Carolina Hurricanes in every single aspect of the game throughout the entire first period of play. As this period wore on, Carolina looked flustered, frustrated and completely incapable slowing down the Canadiens offense, solving their defensive play or Cristobal Huet.

    Then…

    - A soft, ‘Lalime-like’ goal allowed by Huet early in the second changed the complexion of the game entirely… temporarily. This was, of course, followed by some rather lousy calls, two of which led to a 5-on-3 powerplay for Carolina and their second goal of the game… and mounting confidence in themselves, which led to a 4-3 lead early in the third… with the help of some more powerplay time.

    But then…

    - The Habs showed tremendous character by coming right back to not only tie the game but take the lead in a 36-second span. Only their mistake of sitting on a one-goal lead and not trying to extend it allowed Carolina the opportunity to tie it again late in the third on yet another uncharacteristic goal allowed by Huet.

    But THEN…

    - The Habs returned to form and had the better of the play throughout the first overtime, and 2:36 of the second overtime, when Ryder decided that neither Game 1 nor the first period of Game 2 were the result of some kind of fluke.

    Remarkable how a soft goal can give a team that was previously in complete control of a hockey game a world of trouble. This game could have easily been another blowout had Huet not had a brainfart early in the second.

    That being said, I am NOT criticising Huet at all. I think he’s a phenomenal goaltender, and that those types of goals can and do happen to the best of them. I’m just suggesting that Carolina was LUCKY to make this game close at all.

  23. #23 habzman says:
    April 25, 2006 at 7:08 am

    I’ve been debating on a habs tattoo for some time, my brother has one on his right arm, I think if they win this series, I will be sitting in the chair soon. It took a good hour after the game to get my blood pressure back to normal parameters allowing me to sleep. I dont see work getting my “Best Game” for the next week or so. Hopefully even longer.

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