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Playoffs start Thursday – Habs/Caps

  • I’ve been feeling a lot of deja vu lately. In 2006/07, the Canadiens their last game of the season against the Toronto Maple Leafs and were subsequently bumped from the playoffs. Once again this year, on the last day of the season Montreal managed to lose to the Leafs, this time in overtime, luckily needing only one point to advance to the post-season. It was close. Too close. Last season the Montreal Canadiens lost 3 of their last 4 games to end the season in 8th place setting up a first round matchup with a dangerous, young team with the most points in the league. Sound familiar?

    Montreal’s late season melt-down has brought forth a problematic new reality for any faithful souls who hold onto the hope that Montreal can make a long post-season run. Our first round opponent had 33 more points than us in the regular season. 15 more wins to be exact. For all the talk of their goaltending problems, Washington held a +85 goal differential during the 82 game regular season. Let’s just say you don’t want to know what our differential was.

    But even though the Caps hold a definite advantage in all statistical categories there is evidence to suggest this series has the potential to be an exciting one. During the regular season the Habs held a 2-1-1 record against the Caps. The games were all close, and while most people are predicting a short series with a Washington win, you can never count a team out in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. We’ve seen too many upsets over the years to think differently.

    This much is for sure: to have ANY chance in this series, Montreal will need to have fantastic goaltending by whoever finds themselves between the goal posts. There is very little margin for error when you’re facing a team that threatens to score on almost every shift. The Habs will need to play a smart, defensively sound game and find a way to capitalize (no pun intended) on their scoring opportunities when ¬†they get them. Down the stretch this is what truly killed the team. From the powerplay on down, Montreal forwards started running cold. We failed to take advantage of the openings that other teams gave us, and as a result our results were not good.

    The fun starts Thursday in Washinton. Giddy-up.

    Go Habs Go!!!

  1. #1 Senet1 says:
    April 12, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    My view of this playoffs is thar Washington can be had. I have been saying this since the Olympics. I watch how team canada shut him down, and we had similar success shutting him down during the regular season. So if we can shut him down for 4 games and our goalie out plays their goalie we can win. I look for Cammy to come out of his slump and with that don’t be surprised if AK46 does too. Gomez line will start to jell, and our third line will contribure. We will winin seven??????????????
    That is my prediction. Oh one other thing, don’t be surprised if Price wins the deciding game.

  2. #2 TillyCapsFan says:
    April 13, 2010 at 10:13 am

    Friendly greetings from the Capitals blog “Capitals Kremlin” (www.capitalskremlin.com):

    Canadiens Trivia (or, Why the Habs May Not Be Intimidated by Us)

    –Upper deck sightlines at Bell Centre obstructed by Stanley Cup banners (24); upper deck sightlines at Verizon Center obstructed by Washington Mystics attendance champion banners.

    –Canadiens, Capitals have the same team colors: red, white and blue. But the Canadiens been rocking the red a lot longer.

    –Canadiens, founded in 1909, are the only existing NHL club to predate the founding of the league. Capitals were founded in 1974.

    –Canadiens mascot Youppi is a two-sport athlete: He was the Montreal Expos mascot until the Expos became the Washington Nationals. Slapshot plays only hockey (and had a 4-year-old score on him in the Mighty Mites game Sunday).

    –Canadiens motto: “To you from failing hands we throw the torch. Be yours to hold it high.” Capitals motto: “Rock the Red!”

    –Canadiens nicknames: Les Canadiens, Le Bleu-Blanc-et-Rouge, Le Sainte-Flanelle (The Holy Flannel Sweater), Le Tricolore, Les Glorieux, Les Habitants, Le Grand Club. D.C.’s nickname: The Caps.

    –NHL’s goal-scoring trophy named after Canadiens player Maurice “Rocket” Richard. Caps have a (cough, cough) former Richard Trophy winner.

  3. Caps are -650 against the Habs. For those not sure about betting lines, this pretty much means the Habs have zero chance in Vegas’ eyes.

  4. #4 Mats Naslund says:
    April 13, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    I don’t like predictions.Especially when its the Habs. Every time I’ve predicted anything (good or bad) the exact opposite has happened lol. Caps in 4?

  5. #5 Senet1 says:
    April 13, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    Good one Mats, that is sure to jinks them.

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