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Playoffs Thoughts

  • The Canadiens falling short definitely hurts, being that close and not getting in is a tough pill to swallow.

    The only comforting thought now is that the good hockey teams and the bad hockey teams have been separated. Now the good teams are ready to pound each other into submission on the quest for the Cup. That makes for great hockey.

    There’s no better time for hockey than right now. In the first round of the playoffs there are at least two quality playoff hockey games every single night. With the Leafs not included. What more could you ask for?

    Habs Blog Eastern Predictions:

    Probably the most intriguing series of the first round is Pittsburgh and Ottawa. The Senators who are perennial favorites but never seem to do anything in the playoffs – go in with a little less pressure on them, but still enough that no success might will cost the Head Coach and General Manager their jobs.

    Add the whole Gary Roberts situation. The Sens criticized for never being gritty or tough enough in the playoffs not only let the Roberts ship sail, but now they have to face him in the first round. Can you imagine a Gary Roberts OT winner in game 1 – in Ottawa?

    Don’t forget that Crosby kid either. Do you think there will be any other guy on the ice who wants it more than he does?

    Most importantly, goaltending is what wins playoff series. Two unproven, untested goalies will be the deciding factor in this one.

    Pittsburgh [4] Ottawa [2] – Pittsburgh advance.

    Buffalo [4] New York Islanders [0] – Buffalo advance.

    The Sabres are far too strong for the Islanders. Face it, the Islanders fluked their way into the playoffs. Giving up a goal with less than a second left to clinch your post season? Medicority defined. The Isles defense can’t handle the Sabres. Are Brendan Witt and Sean Hill capable of playing 30+ minutes a game – every game? With no Rick DiPietro (or a concussed one) and the firepower that Buffalo posseses – this shouldn’t last long.

    New Jersey [4] Tampa Bay [2] – New Jersey advance.

    Goaltending wins Championships. It’s been proven year after year. Tampa has a potent offense -or a potent ‘trio’ to be more precise. But their goaltending is not even in the same ball park as Martin Brodeur. In fact their defense cost the Lightning their Division and nearly a post season chance.

    New York Rangers [4] Atlanta [3] – New York Rangers advance.

    This one could go either way. The Thrashers have made the playoffs for the first time in their history. They also win their Division and get home ice. Both teams have very similar road records but you have to think MSG will be the harder building to play in than Atlanta’s. There has never been a playoff game in Atlanta – ever.

    A goaltending battle between Kari Lehtonen and Henrik Lundqvist will be great to watch and the one who gets hot early should lead their team to the next round. Jaromir Jagr can still take control of games when he wants too. Neutralizing Jagr will be a tall order for the Thrashers.

    The other great thing about the playoffs is that anything can happen. Anything. One goalie, one player, one team can get hot and surprise a lot of people. Get ready.

    Eastern Conference Winner: Buffalo Sabres

    Sleeper Pick: Pittsburgh Penguins

25 Comments
  1. Living on Vancouver Island, I’LL HAVE TO ROOT FOR the Cannukle Heads. I’M MORE CONSERNED WITH WHAT’S going to happen with the retooling of the Habs and looking forward to open discussions on the matter and do I ever got 2 bits to throw in !!!Go Cannukle heads, “I’m going to puke”!

  2. #2 HabsFan says:
    April 9, 2007 at 1:30 pm

    very dissapointing season…3 months ago i thought that the habs would finish top 5 in the NHL, and be a real cup threat, challenging the sabres.

    sure that norwalk virus stopped their momentum and caused them a few games, but they should’ve turned it around sooner. we missed a solid scorer (80+ points) and a veteran leader who everyone respects to get out of the slump.

    news out of montreal says that gainey currently has the virus, and did not attend the game because of that. gainey will have a big task this summer: get rid of samsonov, get someone to motivate kovalev, and sign markov (and souray if they can afford him)

    rookies did well, should improve next year..i hope

  3. #3 Chris says:
    April 9, 2007 at 1:33 pm

    I have to agree with Pittsburg being a big threat in the East. In today’s NHL these young teams dont have time to work over a few years to then go for the big prize. They have to do it now, while,the team is all together..because those three kids will not all stay in pittsburgh once Crosby gets his fat deal.
    It is unfortunate that our guys could not get it done in Toronto, but a saving grace is that despite the Leafs win, they are not in either…watching the playoffs with the Leafs in the mix would have made for a bitter playoff taste.

    But here we are…cup is up for grabs, and yes anything is possible

  4. #4 HabsFan says:
    April 9, 2007 at 1:36 pm

    of all teams to eliminate us, the leafs…
    damn it…

  5. #5 nigelski says:
    April 9, 2007 at 4:15 pm

    It’s revenge for last year, when those 2 losses in Montreal really killed their playoff hopes.

  6. #6 Habs#1 says:
    April 9, 2007 at 5:38 pm

    I’ll watch the playoffs, but I don’t care who wins.

    Four players or moves I’d like to see the Habs make, not counting re-signings(Markov and Johnson). Who knows if these UFA’s will want to come to MTL, a lot of them don’t seem to want to:

    1)First off there are no big name centres WITH SIZE(Briere, Drury and Gomez are smurfs. The Habs don’t need any more of those) so a trade will be in order. David Legwand is the Preds 3rd line centre and has over 25 goals. He is young and is a big kid. He would take pressure off of Saku and would give the Habs a physical presence on the PP and 5 on 5. The Habs would start to score 5 on 5.

    2)Secondly, the D. Souray won’t be back if he get’s a big offer from some GM out west and either Boullion or Dandenault need to go, so they’ll need a D man. Preferably a physical guy. Enter Andy Sutton or Garnett Exelby from Atlanta. Both are good in their own end, are fairly smart with the puck and they both hit like freight trains. If Gainey could steal one of them from the Thrashers it would be a boone for the Habs.

    3)Once the Russians are gone there will be a whole in a top 2 winger slot. Ryan Smyth or Jason Blake would both look great there. Both would command a three year deal worth about 5-5.5 million.

    4) The Habs need a heavyweight. I don’t care what anyone says, all the big boy teams(Buffalo, Pittsburgh, New Jersey, Ottawa, New York Rangers) all have a heavyweight. Enter Adam Mair. This guy can play and has gone toe-to-toe with McGratton and Neil. He’s a carbon copy of Chris Neil. He’s look great in a Habs jersey. If Mair signs elsewhere Gainey should make a strong push for RFA Derek Boogard.

    This is what I’d like Gainey to do. Now this is probably to much to ask for, because Gainey, like Kevin Lowe, has one of the hardest jobs of any GM’s to attract UFA’s cause simply playing for the Habs isn’t good enough anymore.

    And I completely agree with what Mitch Melnyk said today on the team 990 along with Pierre McGuire. If you blame Saku for what happened this season you don’t know shit about hockey. He had career highs in points and goals this year, and coming down the stretch in clutch time he averaged over a point a game. When the other veterans didn’t step up he carried this team. Although I don’t agree with them on Kovalev, he’s a living joke and needs to go.

  7. #7 smiler2729 says:
    April 9, 2007 at 5:39 pm

    I’m rooting for Craig Rivet out in San Jose, he’s a good guy and deserves a Cup.

    Now if the Sharks fail, I’d like to see:

    A Buffalo Sabres win -
    For Lindy Ruff, who’s been through a lot with his 11 yr old daughter’s serious illness, the death of his brother in that ’88 Swift Current junior bus crash that still haunts the Ruffs and putting up with the media and fans of Buffalo calling for his head for years. Also, it would really piss off the Leaf Nation idiots.

    An Ottawa Senators win –
    How sweet would it be if the other team from Ontario won a Cup before the moronic blue & white? VERY SWEET! And it brings the Cup back to CANADA.

    A New York Islanders win –
    Cuz Ted Nolan got balckballed for almost a decade and it would bring back an iffy franchise back to the forefront BUT more imporatntly, for what they did to the Leafs yesterday (Sunday).

    and lastly,

    A Pittsburgh Penguins win -
    They’re young, they’re entertaining and those fans and Mario deserve it after years of hanging on as a franchise even though it seemed they were destined to move to some stupid American market where no one cares about the game (ie. Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Portland, Oregon).

    TEAMS I want to see fail:
    New Jersey Devils, for their treatment of Claude Julien and to bring Crazy Lou back down to Earth.
    Atlanta Thrashers, nobody cares about hockey in that city and I’m sick of these southern markets capturing the Cup (see Tampa and Carolina).
    Anaheim Ducks, Burke’s a goof and they still have a stupid name.
    New York Rangers, Jagr’s an overrated twit and Stan Fischler’s a condescending know-it-all who thinks his S-H-I-T don’t stink.
    Detroit Red Wings, two words, Dominik Hasek.
    Nashville Predators, (see Atlanta reason above).
    -and-
    Vancouver Canucks, Bobbo Luongo’s a conceited jerk and the Sedin sisters bug the you-know-what out of me just looking at them.

  8. #8 Dan Im Fed UP says:
    April 9, 2007 at 7:14 pm

    What about the West Habs Blog?

  9. Why does the league want toronto in the playoffs.did you see the philly game where the refs called a no penalty in overtime to give the laughs the win .Why does the league not favour any other canadian team.Montreal fans should cheer for dallas as they are twin teams that gainy built

  10. #11 HABMAN says:
    April 9, 2007 at 9:48 pm

    Now that the Habs are out I probably won’t bother watching the playoffs. The passion just wouldn’t be there and summers on the way :-) )

  11. #12 joburg says:
    April 9, 2007 at 10:12 pm

    Well Smiler 2729 on # 7, I have to disagree with you on Luongo, he is totally a team player, first on the ice and last off at practises, he has never had a playoff game, so conceited he is not !
    I sure would love to see Ted Nolan go back into Buf and win that series, but I also like Lindy, he’s a good guy who has been through a lot, but I would like to see Ted do well.

    I’ve enjoyed reading all updates from everyone, so thanks everyone,
    now it’s 2nd choice or no choice at all.
    Everyone take care

  12. HABMAN,feel the same way Bro, but if you don’t watch you don’t know who would be a great addition to the Habs,Iswear B Gainey wasn’t watching film clips and stats on Samsonov !!! HABS#1 ,NICE POST ON #6 . We see eye to eye except on Souray,I’ll explane . There are 3 things the Habs need more of;1)size and toughness…2)Leadership…3) Howitzers from the blue line. So Souray’s departure makes it even worse. Get rid of most of the Vets,Keep koivu,ryder higgins,souray,boullion,markov,KOMASARIK and the YOUNG new guys who been on the team for 2 years add some more bulldogs and add guy’s like you mentioned on post #6 AND LET THEM JELL. PRICE AND halak added in the mix and we’ll be in the finals next year. And save money’s for trade deadline !!!

  13. THIS YEAR WE GOT OUR ASSES HANDED TO US….NEXT YEAR,WE DO THE ASS KICKING !!!! Long live the World Famous Ass Kicking Montreal Canadiens!!!!!!!

  14. #15 fan4066 says:
    April 10, 2007 at 7:44 am

    I’m following the Pens the reast of the way…or until it end for them. I want to see Van-city go far roo…Luongo is awesome. I want him to do well

  15. #16 fan4066 says:
    April 10, 2007 at 7:45 am

    I just realized I can’t even spell today!!

  16. #17 Joshtm says:
    April 10, 2007 at 9:32 am

    I say get rid of the veterans: Koivu, Dandenault, Bouillon, Huet, Murray, make room for the rookies. That is our only hope for the cup, cause with the cap, and with the American teams breaking all the rules, honestly, that is the biggest scam.

  17. #18 Joshtm says:
    April 10, 2007 at 9:53 am

    I have stood with the habs through thick and thin, I must say this has got to be the second worst Habs team ever!

  18. #19 hab-dab-a-do-nothing all spring says:
    April 10, 2007 at 10:20 am

    The habs just signed Price to a three year deal.

  19. #20 Joshtm says:
    April 10, 2007 at 10:47 am

    I think it’ll be a final the Sharks against the Devils, a final shootout with Cheechoo winning the final cup winner. That is my prediction.

    At least I have to thank Gainey for signing Price. But hey Bob, a lot of good that will do, in a way I am sorry for Price, he has to basically put up with Dandenault and Bouillon, the evil twins who are the greatest Anti-Habs ever, or worse get dumped on by Souray, like Souray headhunted Huet early in the year, honestly I don’t know what the habs have against their own goalie honestly!

  20. #21 smiler2729 says:
    April 10, 2007 at 10:53 am

    Oh come on josh, how can this be the second worst Hab team ever? 42 wins and 90 points is not terrible. Those late ’90s teams were horrible with ’99 being real bad as Rucinsky led them with 17 goals! And then ’00 with Sergei Zholtok, a nice player, but if he’s your best offensive threat, you are a bad team.
    And I do seem to remember some sub .500 seasons in the early ’80s under Bob Berry et al.

    Looking into the goofy crystal ball, I somehow sense, Souray will stay and end up as captain with Koivu asking for a move out of here, just a gut feeling… Now THAT would alter the dressing room leadership atmosphere.

  21. #22 Joshtm says:
    April 10, 2007 at 11:18 am

    Its sad, here you had the laffs with less wins basically pushing Montreal out of a play off spot, just by points alone doesn’t tell the dismal year Montreal has had, the slump, the lacklustre play, at least in the other years they made up for it with fights, pushing hard to win, trying hard and not winning is different than the horrible season Koivu and Kovalev have given us and the horrible defense duo of Dandenault and Bouillon, honestly, I change my comment, this is the worst Habs team ever, if only defensively! Now what I’ve said all year long, we could get the worlds best goalie and have him play like they are not because of Dandenault and Bouillon!

  22. #23 Joshtm says:
    April 10, 2007 at 1:28 pm

    We’ll get the worlds best ever goalie, only to have him worn out and busted down to the leagues worst goalie thanks to Dandenault and Bouillon!

    This has got to be the worst Habs ever!!!! Even those bastards that cost us Roy couldn’t do worse than the horible management have done that Gainey and Carbo did to this team!

  23. #24 Joshtm says:
    April 10, 2007 at 2:37 pm

    What does that tell you, in Bettman’s world, if you win 3 out of five that doesn’t mean you get a playoff spot? That is the tale of the habs. Here they get shut out by a team with less wins under their belt! Crooked I tell you, kinda like that old nursery rhyme, “there was a crooked man who walked a crooked mile” that is Bettman. And with the habs “there was a crooked GM who forced rookies to walk a crooked mile while he flew in his crooked chartered helicopter”….hahahahaaa!!!!!

  24. F%^K YOU – you absolute, no brain, arm chair ,zero. I bet five thousand dollars you can’t even skate. I’m never coming back to this blog just so I don’t ever have to listen to your idiot comments again. Why don’t they hire you for G.M. bandwagon boy. Yo make me want to puke, honest to goodness.
    The rest of you have been interesting to read. Too bad you Joshtm cannot be bannished from this blog and/or the planet
    Later
    Go Montreal!

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