About last night …

Four elimination games.

Four wins.

The Ol’ Blogger does not know what to make of this.

And it’s not like your Montreal Canadiens are playing the Little Sisters of the Poor.

Down 3-1 to the number one seed in the East, they rallied to force a Game 7 and win it in Washington.

Down 3-2 to the Stanley Cup champions, who were determined not to repeat the run-and-gun mistakes of the Capitals, the Canadiens force ANOTHER Game 7 with a come-from-behind W that had fans roaring the roof off the Bell Centre.

Something is happening here, and I don’t know what it is.

The Commenter known as dicktracy (which betrays his age) captured the spirit: 

 

Maybe I’m getting old but as far back as I remember cheering the Habs…1966…all those great teams, players, cups,…I never ever remember being so emotional!

 

CBC had a great game intro:

 

JOo60x1GjjM

In the jam-packed and joyous Canadiens’ room, Mike Cammalleri talked about “playing hockey when you’re a little kid and dreaming about this.”

A dream-like quality has permeated the Canadiens’ postseason – and it’s bringing out the little kid in all of us.

And no one wants to wake up and realize this is an eighth-seed team that barely made the playoffs and had NO F. Chance against Alex Ovechkin and Friends or Sidney Crosby and Friends.

But a couple of funny things happened on the way to an ignominous exit.

The Canadiens got brilliant goaltending from Jaro Halak.

Mike Cammalleri started scoring – 11 of the 34 goals the Canadiens have in the postseason. His game-tying backhander electrified fans who cheered all the way through a commercial timeout, rocking the Bell Centre to such a degree that PA announcer Michel Lacroix had to wait till the end of the break to announce AK46 and Roman Hamrlik had assisted.

Scott Gomez, a graduate of Lou U in New Jersey, began to flash the skill set that made that damn fool Glen Sather sign him to an insane contract.

Max Lapierre, coming off a poor season, is recapturing the form that made him the Canadiens’ most improved player in the ill-starred 2008-’09 season. His goal was the winner, and it came as a result of a brilliant sequence in which Lapierre – trying to eat minutes – made a series of superb, heady plays.

Even Andrei Kostitsyn got into the act in Game 6. Jacques Martin went out of his way to praise the much-maligned AK46 for passes that figured in both both of Cammalleri’s goals.  And how about that crunching hit on Jordan Staal?

And the D – suffering a casualty rate to rival Ypres – has found new heroes every night.

Jacques Martin used two pairs to protect his lead in the third period:

• a former undrafted free agent and an untested rookie: Josh Gorges, who played 25:51, and P.K. Subban, who led BOTH TEAMS with 29:11 of ice time.

• the reunited Czech connection: Roman Hamrlik, who looked like a spent force in the latter games of the regular season, and Jaro Spacek, seeing his first action since Game 3 of the Washington series.

In a humane 18:25, Spacek scored a goal, blocked three shots and made some brilliant, extra-effort defensive plays to deny marauding Penguins clear paths to the Canadiens’ goal.

Key stat:

The champs had 37 shots. Jaro Halak is 16-1-1 in games when he faces more than 35.

The Canadiens, Cammalleri said, are “by no means a great team.

“We’re trying to be as good as we can.”

That’s good enough to force a seventh game against a no-longer-swaggering team that really doesn’t want to play one.

Because in Game 7, you never know …

“We’ll be ready,” Martin promised.

 

164 Comments

  1. badangel says:

    you want his babies as much as I do

    don’t deny it 😉

  2. Chuck says:

    Yep… I LOVED him calling out the “class of the NHL” for acting so… classless. Good on Josh!

    _____________________________________

    Cheer for the crest on the front of the jersey, not the name on the back.

  3. HabsFanInVictoria says:

    Un-F-Real

  4. 11habs11 says:

    I predict a goal from Gionta next game. He loves these situations

  5. 100HABS says:

    MAB was not part of the initial rebuild. He was a desperate attempt to plug up the D due to injuries. He did better than expected.

    Heart could also be attributed to almost everyone else on the team, it’s just these were the blocks that Gainey picked up this summer to build this team.

  6. Chuck says:

    True!

    A lot of folks have crapped on him, but he’s been a very necessary part of the team.

    _____________________________________

    Cheer for the crest on the front of the jersey, not the name on the back.

  7. 100HABS says:

    That is a good article. Thanks for the link.

    Cammaleri: “Now, we belong and we’re having fun. Now, we have an opportunity to go knock these guys off in Game 7, so let’s go enjoy it.”

  8. andrewberkshire says:

    I feel the same way. It’s nothing against Gio at all, but Gorges has been spectacular in play and leadership. I want him to get the C I think.

  9. Chuck says:

    My guess?

    Gill, Markov, Spacek, Hamrlik, Gorges, Subban. If you dress 7D, then Bergeron. Otherwise, Bergeron sees spot duty on the 4th line for powerplay minutes ans a few other shifts as required.

    Not an easy decision, but it would be a nice problem to have.

    _____________________________________

    Cheer for the crest on the front of the jersey, not the name on the back.

  10. andrewberkshire says:

    I love this team.

  11. diehardhab says:

    Guys one thing Cherry has right is Gorges is playing like a captain. Did you see the stairdown he gave crosby after the scrum at the end of the game?! Man thats captain material! I was leading the bandwagon of Gionta for captain but Im on the fence now.

    The torch be yours to hold it high!

  12. Y says:

    Why is MAB forgotten in all of this?

    He too made the finals with Spacek et al.

    😛

  13. Chuck says:

    Pardon my mancrush, but the guy is a stud.

    _____________________________________

    Cheer for the crest on the front of the jersey, not the name on the back.

  14. Mr. Biter says:

    After 95 games JM may have to make his biggest coaching decesions if the year. Under manned all year, if both Gill and Markov are healthy for game 7 who plays? if we win game 7 we will win the cup.

  15. Chuck says:

    Heart, yes… and above all, they’re WINNERS. They’ve won Stanly Cups (or on the case of Spacek, been to the finals) so they know what it takes to sucessfully get through the grind of the playoffs. No “deer caught in the headlights” looks from these guys.

    _____________________________________

    Cheer for the crest on the front of the jersey, not the name on the back.

  16. Chuck says:

    Actually, Jaro played in 45 games, and started 43. Carey’s corresponding numbers were 41 and 39.

    _____________________________________

    Cheer for the crest on the front of the jersey, not the name on the back.

  17. Chuck says:

    Oops… another double.

    _____________________________________

    Cheer for the crest on the front of the jersey, not the name on the back.

  18. richie336 says:

    I said the exact same thing to some friends while watching the game, and they all agreed as well. Halak is a good story, and he has played well, but Cammalleri is right near the top of the scoring race. He has been consistent with his work ethic and point totals thoughout the playoffs. If we were to go all the way, he’ll more than likely end up with 20+ goals and 30+ points.

  19. PrimeTime says:

    Yes you did!

  20. Chuck says:

    I believe that I’m being quite fair with my comments regarding Jaro. He’s deserving of the praise that he’s received, but he’s far from the sole reason that the Habs will be playing hockey on May 12.

    Halak has made his reputation on the back of a three game stretch against Washington, in which he was 3-0 with an incredible .978 SV%.

    In the rest of his playoff games? A .909 SV% and a record of 4-5… with his SV% declining over each of his last five games.

    If the real Jaro is the guy who played over the last three games against the Caps, I’d be more than happy to have him be our #1 for as long as he could keep it up. If it’s he 4-5, .909 SV% Jaro? Not so much.

    Oh… and Bowman’s opinion was voiced about Price, not Halak.

    _____________________________________

    Cheer for the crest on the front of the jersey, not the name on the back.

  21. 100HABS says:

    You know what I think? I think that when Gainey blew up this team and rebuilt the core last summer, size was a critical component in his choice of players. Not height or weight, he only judged the size of the heart.

    This goes for Gill, too. He may have the height and weight, but Bob chose him for the size of his heart because it’s as big as Moen’s, Spacek’s, Gionta’s, Gomez’s, and Cammy’s.

  22. Xtrahabsfan says:

    With out a doubt it’s because of Halak….this is all Halak and the rest of the Team FOLLOWED…..IT’S CAPTAIN  HALAK !

  23. Chuck says:

    There’s no arguing that we win 3 straight against the Caps without Jaro standing on his head. That said, we wouldn’t have needed to win 3 in a row if Jaro had been better than average in the previous games in the series.

    In those last three games against Washington, Jaro had a combined SV% of a stunning .978 (134 shots, 131 saves).

    But take those three games out of the equation, and he has a less-than stellar .909 SV% (252 saves on 277 shots) and a record of 4 wins and 5 losses. What also needs mentioning is that his save percentage has also declined over his past 5 games.

     

    _____________________________________

    Cheer for the crest on the front of the jersey, not the name on the back.

  24. Xtrahabsfan says:

    UH-HUM,I predicted the rise of Halak long ago  and the blind could see it too!

  25. RetroMikey says:

    You still have not answered my questions. 

    Based on your comments tonight about Jaro, and in previous comments about him, you still cannot accept the fact he is our Number 1 goalie now and for years to come. 

    Come on Chuck, give credit to the guy, he deserves to be in the spotlight more than any Habs player with Cammy a close second and Hal Gill in third.

    So much for Scotty Bowman’s analysis in Halak, eh?

     

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  26. habz says:

    pens have Crosby WE HAVE CAMMI!!

  27. badangel says:

    I’m still so excited and riled up from the win tonight I can’t sleep!!!

    Anyone going to the Bell Centre on Wed to watch the game on the scoreboard?!?! I’m going with a friend.. I doubt it will be as exciting as tonight but considering the pib of 75 ppl went ape shit…. I’m thinking a Bell Centre crowd will be so cool! Win together or we lose together

    It’s truly inspirational watching the Habs play.. against all odds (and refs way too often) they’ve fought til the very end of every game. I hope they really know how appreciative the fans are in Montreal of their efforts.

    Habs for life <3

  28. Shiloh says:

    Why is this happening? Well, there’s many reasons but chief among them is that we have a goaltender who has the confidence of the team. Some nights he’s been average, but most nights he’s been great – a couple of games he’s been unconscious. Let’s not forget that, even this year, Price played more games. There’s no way we squeak intyo the playoffs if Jaro had been the Number One goalie the entire year.

    Also – the injuries to key players. Markov (x2), Cammy, AK46, Spacek – we’ve had so many guys out that we likely would have been a number 3 or 4 seed without the key injuries.

    I had a nice little drink after the game and the players who came to mind were Metro and Darche. Remember the games they won for us when we were so shorthanded? This team has a lot of character – my friends who have never been Habs fans are saying the same thing – “Wish my team would play like that.”

  29. PrimeTime says:

    Did you get a tissue from Sid or ask for his?

  30. HardHabits says:

    Are we seeing new team of destiny?

    Another great article by Scott Burnside.

  31. 100HABS says:

    I said essentially that to my buddy tonight.

  32. badangel says:

    ah there are no words for my love for Cammy.

    He fits in so perfectly in Montreal… like the fans Cammy does not accept losing. This guy has winner written all over him.

  33. PrimeTime says:

    Well again you blow any integrity. First of all I did post your first quote but never the second “I am the real Habs fan and you aren’t” although i have implied that in your direction and the truth is in the pudding. No one could have predicted this playoff run, or Halak’s rise, but perhaps some should have never assumed to know the thought process behind BG’s “chemistry experiment”. I guess he is the only prophet but I don’t think we’ll ever hear him say so. A little too much class than others who say “I can’t always be right” when at the losing end of a debate. Btw, stars don’t bring home cups, Teams do….ask any of them. And yes, many here have said that all year. Fold that for 2 years!

  34. likehoy says:

    definitely arguable.

    if halak didn’t stop the pucks, would cammy’s goals have been enough?

    that’s the question we should be asking.

    – What if Jaro Halak’s hand was indeed shaking? What if you took the CHOKE out of Ovechkin? — History Will Be Made

  35. Saku is my man crush says:

    The CBC intro for Game 6.


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOo60x1GjjM

    So So Good!

  36. Vid says:

    pretty sure cammy wouldn’t have signed with TO.  He wanted to keep that as a city where he could spend his summers which is one of the reasons he ended up in Montreal.

  37. likehoy says:

    drafting top-end picks is not a sure-fire way of winning championships but it’s a good way to start. you can get that top-end centrepiece that you can build the team around, but in the end, you have to find those spare parts and the right coach and the right team chemistry to get it all together.

    – What if Jaro Halak’s hand was indeed shaking? What if you took the CHOKE out of Ovechkin? — History Will Be Made

  38. HardHabits says:

    Do you ever stop being a jerk? I mean you are 10x a bigger douche than Pierre McGuire ever could be, which is hilarious considering you’re old avatar.

  39. ManApart says:

    Cammy has been great, and so has Gill, Gorges, Subban, Gionta and Lapierre. There is no question, that if the Conn Smyth was awarded today, Halak wins hands down. One false move in all of these games and the Habs are gone. He has been everything you want in a goalie and more. I know you wanted Price to be the main guy all year, and thank God the Habs didn’t agree with you. You have been dead wrong all year and still are now. Everyone knows that, maybe one day, you will too.

  40. Bouleau noir says:

    Loved his huge mid-ice hit on Stall as well….. what a game tonigh… is it ever gona end !

  41. likehoy says:

    let’s not forget that crunching hit he layed on jordan staal.

    his facial expression didn’t even change going into the hit and coming out of it. “Just another day at the office”

    ahh..AK teasing us with his skills yet again.

    – What if Jaro Halak’s hand was indeed shaking? What if you took the CHOKE out of Ovechkin? — History Will Be Made

  42. HardHabits says:

    First of all. I was wrong. Not about building via the draft and finishing low to draft high (tanking as I affectionately call it), but that a team can’t be built via free-agency in a salary cap era. Nobody, not even smug PT with his “there’s no more room on the band-wagon” and “I am the real Habs fan and you aren’t” mentality could’ve guessed this could happen. Not after we saw the team teeter between mini-win streak to maxi-losing streak all year only to hover at .500 for most of the season. Not with a defensive corps that had more holes in it than swiss cheese. Not with a team that was 19th over-all. Not with a team that was 23rd in scoring and what, 30th over-all 5-5.

    ’86 was the biggest Cinderella win ever in the history of the franchise and they haven’t even made it to the Conference Finals and this is even looking like more remarkable by comparison.

    I’d still like to see the Habs get some a nice draft pick or two and all those years of seeing the Toews’, Stamkos’, Tavares’, Crosbys, Malkins, Ovechkins, Doans, et al go to other teams still pisses me off to no end.

    So, you know what, given this remarkable run I am glad that the team didn’t take my advice and tank. I am glad though that they took my advice on bringing up PK for the playoffs (and maybe for only a few NHL games during the regular season as they did).

    I can’t always be right.

  43. VancouverHab says:

    How will I take Gionta in a heartbeat over Kovalev? Let me count the ways! And Cammi as Tanguay’s replacement?! That’s like Byfuglien as Pouliot’s replacement…..

  44. Chuck says:

    Huh? What does recognition for the effort that Cammalleri has put forth have to do with either Carey or Jaro?

    _____________________________________

    Cheer for the crest on the front of the jersey, not the name on the back.

  45. SeriousFan09 says:

    Cammalleri was signed before Gionta and basically as Tanguay’s replacement, Gainey was waiting on Kovalev who wouldn’t make up his mind so he went to Gionta instead.

    Calgary sure looks stupid for letting Mike get away in FA so they could sign Bouwmeester who had less impact this year than the guy the Flames traded (Leopold) for him for his negotiating rights.

     

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  46. Harani says:

    From HNIC twitter: “Further punishment for Leafs fans..don’t forget Mike Cammalleri was the 2nd round pick the Kings got in the Aki Berg deal.”

    Or how about, they could have signed Cammi as a free agent AND kept their picks instead of Kessel. Burke is smart like that! Good on Bob! 5 million for Kovy or 6 million for Cammi? Not the much of a tough choice eh?

    “I gotta feeling…that tonight’s gonna be a good night!”

  47. Tis Himself says:

    I have a nice buzz on following this evening’s game. And, I am going to go to bed knowing that I have been granted a chance by the hockey gods to watch my team play in a deciding game on Wednesday night. If this is what Bob Gainey planned for me, he is aces in my book!

  48. RetroMikey says:

    Do
    I detect a little jealousy that Halak is starting and getting the
    credit for this team which he rightfully deserves and not your main guy
    Price who is riding the bench?  What do you have against Halak?

    Sorry but I disagree with your MVP selection, it starts in the nets with Jarosalv Halak, he is the MVP as I see it, hands down.  I did not think we had a chance at all but with the solid goaltending in Halak, I am starting to believe this team can beat the Penguins in Game 7.

    We would not be here still talking about hockey if we did not have Halak in the nets.

    Brodeur brought New Jersey a Cup in 1995 with their boring no offense .neutral trap zone hockey and Marty saved the team many times in their quest for the Cup with hardly any offense the Devils had that year.

    If you have solid goaltending as we have, the goals will slowly come and that is what is happening to our club.

     

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  49. PrimeTime says:

    Maybe pull your head out of Jaro’s butt and try again. 

  50. Chuck says:

    Star selections are made by journalists and sportswriters who play their favourites, and at time don’t accurately reflect the true stars of the game. Getting a star is nice, but I’d guess that an agent wouldn’t be using them as leverage in contract negotiations.

    Hell, if I were voting tonight I would have given a star to Halak’s posts. They were hit FOUR times befor Cammy scored his second goal.

    Jaro has been deserving of the credit that he’s received, but I think it’s time that some folks realise that this is a team game, and that there are far more players on this team deserving praise than just Jaro.

    _____________________________________

    Cheer for the crest on the front of the jersey, not the name on the back.

  51. SherbrookeW says:

    Habs Since ’68

     

    And Lapierre is the reincarnation of Claude Lemieux ’86

  52. SherbrookeW says:

    Habs Since ’68

    Let’s not overlook the excellence of AK, who got two assists, was plus-two, played hard and even got a shout-out from the phlegmatic JM.   Good going…and the best win since ’93 and the loudest crowd ever.

  53. PrimeTime says:

    Nothing has been won yet but it sure feels good to be there. Sure glad the team didn’t Tank (or fold for 2 years HH) to the satisfaction of some. Glad the team is in more capable hands than us or the media.

  54. TripleX says:

    Cammi is very ZEN.

     

    “Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement.”

  55. TripleX says:

    You do realize that statement makes no logical sense.

     

     

    “Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement.”

  56. TripleX says:

    Star selections mean crap?  Really?  Are you saying Halak was undeserving of first star in those six games and Cammy was undeserving tonight?  Please explain?

    Halak IS THE BETTER PLAYER in this series and was BETTER than Ovi in the last series.  Do you disagree?

    This team would be golfing with SOLID goal tending dude.  This team is where it is because of SPECTACULAR goal tending.  WTF?

    ps if your goalie pitches a shut out YOU CAN’T LOSE!!!!

     

    “Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement.”

  57. SeriousFan09 says:

    That was another great moment of the game, this series is just one giant emotional roller coaster that we’re all very fortunate to be a part of.

     

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  58. Harani says:

    Thought you guys should see this. Cammi’s pre-game visualization ritual which was shown by Cherry in Coach’s corner. Pretty sick stuff!

    “I gotta feeling…that tonight’s gonna be a good night!”

  59. PrimeTime says:

    So true. As posted on the game blog, Roy may have been the center piece of ’93 but he didn’t score a single goal.

  60. Chuck says:

    Star selections mean crap. Halak has more 1st star selections that Sidney Crosby, but that doesn’t mean that he’s a better player.

    During these playoffs Halak has been incredible, crap, and everything in between… though mostly good to great. But the fact of the matter is that your goalie can pitch shutouts until the cows come home, but if you don’t score, you lose. In the playoffs you need solid goaltending AND scoring.

    _____________________________________

    Cheer for the crest on the front of the jersey, not the name on the back.

  61. 11habs11 says:

    If Philly forces a game 7, we’ll have a longer break than our opponent heading into the conference finals! Looks like Bettman’s plan could backfire

  62. Go Habs Go Theme Song Guy says:

    Insane! What a ride. I’m gobsmacked. Flabbergasted. 

    Discombobulated. Utterly blown away with awe and admiration. 

    That’s my team out there.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/ahengnbo

     

  63. J. Ambrose says:

    Suffice to say both of them have made huge contributions. It begins with Jaro giving them the confidence that they can hang in there with the big dogs, then veterans like Gill, Gorges, and Gionta up-ing their games. Now the whole team (except Pouliot) is into it and contributing above and beyond all expectations. But Cammy is truly on fire!

  64. SeriousFan09 says:

    From Friedman at HNIC Twitter: After Cammalleri interview, Mr. Beliveau walked
    by. He said, “This is too much for my heart.”

     

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  65. TripleX says:

    Mr. Boone has his definite favs and I just like to even the playing field.  LOL

     

    “Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement.”

  66. TripleX says:

    Halak has a .933 save percentage in the playoffs which is BETTER than any Roy put up.  Enough said.

    In the SEVEN wins that the Habs have in the post season, Halak was the first star in SIX and Cammy the one tonight.  Enough said.

     

    “Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement.”

  67. PrimeTime says:

    What does it matter? You have a mirror…..admire yourself…..why do you need others to?

  68. J. Ambrose says:

    Too funny: just last night, before bed, I was listening for the first time in about 30 years to Rare Earth’s live album — which by the way is one of the all-time great live records. Hmm, foreshadowing peut-etre?

  69. Harani says:

    Elliot Friedman tweets: After Cammalleri interview, Mr. Beliveau walked by. He said, “This is too much for my heart.”

    “I gotta feeling…that tonight’s gonna be a good night!”

  70. PrimeTime says:

    A true winner (as Habs are showing) only care about winning, not the accolades. Leave that to the Agent (Lawyer).

  71. TripleX says:

    Hey Mr. Boone, Pleks who played over 20 minutes was a PLUS TWO and 16-5 on faceoffs was not bad either.  Just saying.  Where is the love for Pleks or is it all spent on Gomez?

     

     

    “Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement.”

  72. J. Ambrose says:

    I loved that moment just before the start of the third when Le Grand Jean walked by Metro standing in the corridor and gave him a fist pump. How must that make a player feel to have a living legend encouraging you?!

  73. PrimeTime says:

    How the world turns. Isn’t respect great?

  74. Chuck says:

    Halak has, at times, been otherworldly with his goaltenting, but I consider Cammalleri to (so far) be the true MVP of this playoffs. He’s scored a THIRD of the Hab’s goals. Without him, we would have been toast long ago.

    _____________________________________

    Cheer for the crest on the front of the jersey, not the name on the back.

  75. KamiDave says:

    Wow! This was an exciting one to watch. Going into the third it still was worrisome, good on Lapierre to give us a win… I expected to see him first star until I saw Cammalleri come out for the first star and then I remembered that he got us two goals. This has been a crazy ride and need to stop getting so hammered for games! Go Habs go, I get to drive home from Alberta to BC thinking about a game now instead of mourning a loss. Whatever happens I’m happy… who am I kidding. Lets win this!\

    And yeah, Kostistyn had started hitting, but man did he show up when he was needed tonight. Awesome, can’t wait obviously for game 7, and lucky me I have it off. Hope Gill is back.


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