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Must Win Game #1: Penguins

  • The Montreal Canadiens have a favorable end of season schedule compared to the other teams fighting for the last playoff spots in the East.

    The Habs playoff chances will be determined by how well they play in their must win games.

    The Canadiens next 10 games are against opponents below them in the standings and in some cases teams that are close to catching them. These are the Canadiens 10 must win games.

    The Canadiens play 7 out of these 10 at home. Can we expect the Canadiens to go 10-0? No. Although playing .500 hockey mathematically might keep them where they are, if the Canadiens hope to guarantee a spot or rise from their 8th place position they’ll have to win the majority of these games. Who wants to cling to a 1 point lead and leave their playoff chances up to other teams? Limping into the playoffs isn’t inspiring for a bottom team hoping to upset a top seed.

    10 points out of a possible 20 is not good enough especially if those losses include Maple Leaf wins. The Leaf games in particular are both 4 pointers and chances to put the Leafs out of it for good. After the 10 game stretch the Canadiens finish their season with multiple games against the Senators, Devils and Sabres who are very tough teams in races of their own. These next 10 games are crucial indeed.

    The Canadiens post season fate is firmly in their control. The formula couldn’t be any simpler. Defeat the weaker teams below them and they are in. Will they execute?



  1. …I think the Habs have to get 14 out of those 20 points and break even or better with the Leaf games if they are going to finish 7th. Anything less is going to make it extremely close for 8th spot.

  2. #2 riser8 says:
    March 18, 2006 at 5:03 pm

    I may be too optimistic, but I feel the Habs will gather 15 points in this next stretch. They will go 7-2-1, anything less and they will be in a huge battle just to make the playoffs. The one thing they have going for them is that the Lightning and Thrashers play each other 2 or 3 times in the remaining schedule. If the Habs can take care of their own games then they wont have too worry about anybody but themselves; that would be the perfect scenerio.

  3. Well, they’re not ready to play the Pens as it’s 0-2.

    I’ll return here when the Habs wake up; it may be a future season.

  4. #4 Thamara says:
    March 19, 2006 at 1:54 am

    I must say that I am very disappointed in Gainey’s decision to leave a very shaky Aebischer in in a ‘must-win’ game. He was nothing short of horrible in this game. The bottom line: Huet comes in in the second (at some point), and the Habs win this game.

    Bad, bad goals. Possibly one of the worst displays of goaltending I’ve seen since Theodore played his last game in a Habs jersey.

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