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The Elusive Point

  • The Canadiens failed to earn their playoff clinching point with a 4-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres.

    The Canadiens made a couple mistakes that the Sabres took full advantage of but were not badly outplayed. Ryan Miller was fantastic in goal for the Sabres and that really was the decisive factor. Even the 4th empty net goal was one of the flukiest ones you could ask for. But the bottom line remains the same, that Habs earned no points and are not safe yet.

    It would have been great for the Habs to clinch earlier but look at the positive – the fate of the Canadiens is still theirs to decide. The Canadiens remain in 7th place. They have a final game and they can clinch with a win or overtime loss. They aren’t dependant solely on other teams. Although a losing combination can get them in as well.

    Everyone knew it would come right down to the line as it always does with the Habs.

    There is no goaltending controversy. Bob Gainey was not wrong in starting Aebischer and it’s not Aebischer’s fault the Canadiens haven’t clinched. Maybe Gainey is a little ahead of himself in trying to keep opposing teams guessing heading into the playoffs with his goalie switching. But had the Canadiens clinched already everyone would be saying how we’ve beat Ottawa with our backup goalie twice and they’re done for. Or how we have 2 hot goalies like no other team in the East.

    Instead the Habs have not clinched and people are looking to place the blame.

    There’s one more very exciting game to go. How will it all end?

  1. I think your earlier entry ‘Who can stop the Canadiens?’ says it all. And the answer: The Canadiens can.

  2. #2 Gumper says:
    April 16, 2006 at 2:34 pm

    Don’t get me wrong, i really am pragmatic about last night’s game and the outcome. I even think the Habs will make the playoffs. i’m concerned by the way the team responds to critical situations, not necessarily on a play play basis, but as a total functioning organism, game by game. My personal observations leaves little doubt that some players ( and maybe even coaches) are NOT on the same page at a time when they all should be.

  3. #3 riser8 says:
    April 16, 2006 at 9:17 pm

    Of course I was disappointed with the end result last night, but I was pleased by the effort. If they put out that same effort on Tuesday against NJ they will hopefully be rewarded with a point or two. Buffalo is one of the better teams in the league and their confidence is sky high at this time; but it was just a few weeks ago that they were losing seven or eight in a row and looking more like a lower tier team as opposed to an upper level team. The Habs still should make the playoffs, but there are no guarantees in sport and that is why you never know what could happen on any given night. So sit back and enjoy the last game of the regular season and lets hope we can enjoy a few more come playoff time!

  4. #4 kazmojo says:
    April 16, 2006 at 9:42 pm

    Habs were once again let down by their defensive corps — basically the same group that anchored their 8 game win streak. The top 3 of Souray, Markov and Komisarek especially — although Komisarek’s goal and his nice hip check in the second made up for some of his mistakes. Maybe Bouillon’s return for the final game will get things back on track.

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