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Road to the Cup: Sens or Canes?

  • Well if it was not already a clear choice, the confirmation that the Ottawa Senators will not have the services of Dominik Hasek for the playoffs makes it a pretty clear choice who the Canadiens want in the playoffs.

    As expected, Hasek’s injury is not healed and the veteran netminder is unable to play. Ray Emery has been a questionable goalie all year long. If he hadn’t been playing for the Senators to begin with his numbers would be far worse and maybe not even have a job in the NHL. The Senators with Hasek and the Senators with Emery are two very different teams. The Sens are also known choke artists in the playoffs.

    No one thinks it’ll be easy but with the Canadiens playing the way they can and a stroke of luck – the Senators are definitely beatable.

    Not to mention the Canadiens have defeated the Senators several time this year where Carolina has dominated the Habs. Ottawa is a division rival and happens to be just a couple hours West and would make for great atmosphere and maybe a new bitter rivlary from here on.

    How do the Canadiens assure that matchup? Well they can’t guarantee it but there are numerous possibilities.

    • A win against New Jersey will keep the Habs in seventh spot and they’ll have to hope Carolina wins or loses in overtime to assure themselves first place.
    • A loss against New Jersey combined with a Tampa win and an Ottawa win combined with a Carolina loss.
    • A loss by Ottawa, Carolina, Montreal and Tampa Bay.

    Getting confused? There’s too many possibilites that could occur.

    If things fall into place it will be Montreal and Ottawa starting as early as Friday night.

  1. Truth be told, I’d be willing to face either at this point in time. Ottawa has been subpar, no doubt, but Carolina hasn’t exactly been putting the fright into their opponents as of late either. (Quite the contrary, in fact.) Further, as much as I don’t like Ottawa, I’d much rather two Canadian teams NOT meet in the first round. I’d actually like to see them all advance to the second round (ya, good luck, Oilers!!!) because if the Habs can’t get it done, then it’s high time that SOME Canadian franchise does! But Habs first, of course.

    My dream and Bettman’s nightmare:

    Calgary at Montreal
    Game #3
    Stanley Cup Finals

  2. #2 Gumper says:
    April 18, 2006 at 2:36 pm

    “say it ain’t so Joe!”
    I personally don’t think Carolina’s recent minor shifts in play truly represent a tangible worry for them. Their core confidence seems stable.
    Ottawa, on the other hand, has ALL the pressure on them. They are now realising (as are Sens fans), that without Hasek, there’s a real possibility they may not make it thru to round 2. And it’s really a shame too. They could have had the whole puzzle complete with him in nets. No one will know how far they could have gone. Can he make it back? If so, how long can he last. I really feel bad for Sens fans… it’s true, cause this guy keeps wiffin’ out on teams, taking the money and runnin’. He’s had this injury for years. And please Sens fans don’t tell me you have a snowball’s chance seeing the Stanley Cup with Emery, wheather you advance to the final or not.

  3. Too true, Gumper, too true. The Senators certainly do have all the pressure on them to succeed this season. And I do agree that they are the lesser of the two teams with Hasek out and Emery in – Emery is not going to take them very deep into the playoffs, in my opinion, yours, and those of many others. Still, Carolina’s line-up is tainted with a few question marks as well. For example, can Gerber, who has been on a bit of a slide as of late, perform in the playoffs as he did for the larger part of the regular season? And doesn’t he have zero playoff experience as well? He’ll soon find that a different ball game awaits. How will he respond… ? Also, both Weight and Recchi have been more a monkey wrench in the Hurricanes’ line-up than anything else, to my surprise (although I feel that Weight is an overrated player). Have they had a negative impact on team chemistry… ? In addition, will Staal be able to contribute what Carolina needs him to in the post season… ? We’ll know the answers soon enough.

    As to what’s best for Montreal, The Habs, as we all know, have faired horribly against the Hurricanes this season but have played very well against the Senators. But there are two ways to look at this: (1) Carolina has Montreal’s ‘number’ and simply plays too well against them for the Habs even to have a chance of defeating them, or (2) the Habs are due to beat this team. The latter is more than wishful thinking, however. Residing where I presently do, I’ve watched the Sens beat up on the Leafs quite a bit during the regular season and then have difficulty doing as much as scoring a goal against them when it matters the most, in the playoffs. And while the Sens have developed a reputation of being choke artists in the post-season, it should also be considered that this Carolina team is yet to prove itself when it matters most.

    Having said all that, I could be completely full of bullshit here. It’s happened before, and recently. 😉

  4. As an aside, I’d like to express my joy at not being able to see the Habs-Devils game tonight. My consolation is Leafs-Pens. But that’s OK… because who would want to see two playoff-bound teams go at it in a fairly meaningful affair when the ‘opportunity’ to see two non-playoff-bound teams exists, one of which is trying to climb out of the basement of the NHL and finish second to last, and the other, drained from its ultimately fruitless late-season surge, will most likely choose to not show up at all? Should be exciting…

  5. That Joe guy is, at the moment, an embarrassed yank from Pennsylvania. And they wonder why…

  6. #6 habzman says:
    April 19, 2006 at 8:09 am

    Easy on the “Yank” stuff. Fans don’t have borders.

  7. Hi guys glad you took of that guy off!! ..,had to reply….like I said before Habs in 6.

  8. I’m the yank, habzman.

  9. *Sigh*

    go canes go,

    Your DNA must cry itself to sleep every night.

  10. No bother:=)Let some children speak. Money talks bullshit walks…Habs in 6 Enjoy the Hab wrightings ..keep up the great work!!

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