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Round 1 Game 1: Habs/Caps

  • And so it begins. The Playoffs is the best time of the year. Every game has meaning that simply doesn’t exist save for a select few regular season games. If a team takes a night off, they are likely to be gone. The playoffs is the time when good players become great ones, where every player has the opportunity to re-create the storyline that has followed them the entire season. While all of the prognosticators rely on regular season data to predict what will happen, it can all be thrown out the window with one or two good early performances.

    Do you think it is fitting that on Tuesday almost everyone picked higher seeds to win their respective series’ (with the exception of Detroit/Phoenix of course), and by Thursday morning the exact opposite was true? Ottawa, Philadelphia, and Colorado all scored 1st game upsets, while Phoenix took on the playoff giants the Red Wings and won. Nobody has given Montreal a chance in their series, but there is a reason that you play the games. The Capitals are the better team, there is no doubt. But often in the NHL, the ‘better team’ finds themselves on the losing end. It all comes down to pucks finding the back of the net. Montreal has the opportunity to serve notice that they will not just allow Washington easy passage to the next round.  It all begins tonight, so get your refreshments in the fridge, and find a comfy chair with sturdy sides, because one way or another, you’ll need them tonight.

  1. #1 Senet1 says:
    April 15, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    Well said Mats. We have to score 4 to 5 goals to win. Or play a very close 2-1 game. I believe if we score 4 goals Halak will do the rest. That is my prediction.

  2. #2 Mats Naslund says:
    April 16, 2010 at 10:09 am

    I said to a friend before the game that no matter what happened, “it was only 1 game – no reason to burn down the city”. What a fantastic win in OT. What better guy to score the winner than “Thomas – Becoming a Man – Plekanec” after some dumb controversy. The Habs utterly dominated the overtime period after they finally did some good work at the tail end of the Greene penalty. I was actually surprised to see that shots in that period were 10-6. The chances weren’t even close.

    Montreal played a very good road game, and yet I can’t help but acknowledge that without some incredibly timely saves from Jaro, they wouldn’t have even been in it. Washington had SO many great chances early it isn’t even funny. You know that it only takes one of those bounces to go in and the beast is un-leashed. I was in awe of the way Washington created offensive chances all night long, in a way that our forwards simply cannot.

    That said, you saw the fruit of playoff tested veterans last night. You couldn’t have watched that game and missed the impact that guys like Gionta, Gomez, Gill (even though he cause a goal), Hammrlik, Spacek have on the game. These guys have been to the dance before, and they know as well as anyone that when it comes down to it – ANY team in the playoffs has a shot at the Cup. For all the predictions out there that Montreal would struggle to win 1 game let alone 4: eat it.

    We’re no where near finished with this series. I expect Washington to come out looking to pulverize the Habs on Saturday. We’ll need more of the same to be effective. Weather the offensive storm, and take care of those chances when you get them.

    Go Habs Go!!!

  3. #3 Senet1 says:
    April 16, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    Well you had to know that the Caps would come out firing to get the crowd in the game and get a couple of early goals, and you had to know that Montreal knew that too but the Caps had the adrenalin flowing and our team was going to have to play good defence for the first 10 minutes. We weathered that storm even though the had some great chances Halak was up to the test and Cammy as I predicted would find the range and score a goal to break his slump. Once we got past that first period, the boys seem to gain momentum as well they seemed to be agressive on the puck and caused the Caps to expend a lot of energy in their own end. This was good because for guys like OV he had to work so hard to get the puck out of his own end that they did not have the extra drive or energy to work harder in our end of the rink. That has been the strategy of a lot of teams, force him to work hard in the defensive zone. Get him tired before he gets into our end. It worked for Team Canada, it has worked for other teams playing the Caps and it worked last night.

    Hopefully we can keep it going.

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