About the next few nights …

And so, the Bruins.

Not the most desirable first-round opponent. I think your Montreal Canadiens would have matched up best against Pittsburgh or Tampa Bay had the Penguins or Lightning made the top seeds.

The Canadiens play well against fast, highly-skiled teams – the Chicago game providing the latest evidence.

Big bruisers? Not so much.

Big bruisers who have shaken their inferiority complex and think they can beat the Canadiens?

Trouble.

Arpon Basu’s analysis suggests recent record goes out the window in the postseason.

Let’s hope so.

Here’s how I see the Habs and Bs.

Goaltending: Even. Carey Price will be playing under the long shadow of Jaro Halak’s playoff brilliance a year ago. But I think Tim Thomas is the likelier to crack, especially against the Canadiens.

Defence: Even again. The Canadiens have no one to compare to Zeno Chara. Boston doesn’t have an offensive threat like P.K. Subban. I think Jacques Martin will have to dress Paul Mara, who’s been surprisingly good, against Boston. And he’ll probably lean toward Jaro Spacek over Brent Sopel.

Forwards: The Canadiens have no answers for David Krejci and his big, talented wingers, Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton. But the Bruins could have trouble with the speed of Tomas Plekanec, Michael Cammalleri and Andrei Kostitsyn. Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta, as Basu noted, have Stanley Cup rings. Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron don’t. I fear the Bruins have an edge with their third and fourth lines – unless David Desharnais plays light-out against a big team and Benoit Pouliot magically comes to life. And the Canadiens have no analogue to the wrecking crew: Gregory Campbell, Shawn Thornton and Daniel Paille. I give the edge up front to Boston.

Special Teams: The Canadiens power play has prevent goals at an 84.4 per cent rate. They’ve scored on 19.7 per cent of their power plays. They are seventh in the league in both categories. Boston’s PK is 82.6, 16th in the NHL, and its PP 16.4 for 20th. So big edge Canadiens, right? But the Habs have taken 363 minor penalties this season, second only to Pittsburgh’s 369. Boston is sixth best in the league, with only 291 minors. The Bs are more disciplined and they commit fewer pussy-ass stick fouls because they win more puck battles. The Canadiens had 35 major penalties to 73 for Boston, but that kind of stuff tends to disappear during the playoffs. The Canadiens have to stay out of the box in this series.

Coaching: Even. Both JM and Claude Julien are solid, unhysterical types who preach defensive hockey. I don’t know how much Knute Rockne Martin has in him, but “Win one for Max” may be an effective motivational tool … although the last time the Canadiens tried to win one for Pacioretty, they lost 7-0.

Ghosts: Clear advantage for the Canadiens: Ken Dryden, Don Cherry and the Too Many Men call, José Theodore. And fresh in the minds of the Bruins and their sicko fans is last year’s epic fold against Philadelphia: up 3-0 in the series, then 3-0 in the seventh game only to see it all fade away. That’s brutal, and let’s hope the God of Hurt has some more for them.

TV Commercials: Big edge to Boston.

Thursday and Saturday in Boston.

Game Three could be Sunday at the Bell Centre, which would be a very tough schedule against a physical team.

Can’t wait.

Here’s a playoff pump-up that video scout Jarred Friedman found:

•  •  •

Creative Comment from BoomBoomMax:

So we’ll be facing the Big Bad Bruins comes playoff time. Whether or not, this is a good match up for us, only time will tell… One thing is for sure, giving that scenario, the Boys will need to, some how, erase the past few meetings from their collective memory if they are to have any success against those Brutes. In all fairness, we have to admit it has been a grim affair the last 3 times the 2 teams have met… The worst coming by way of Max being taken off the ice on a stretcher, the result of a careless hit, well after game 5 had been decided.

If I may, yet again, use a metaphor… I feel the Habs need to pull off some kind of a “Back to the Future” stunt on those guys to actually regain the upper hand in the rivalry… Somehow, Biff (the Bruins) has been using his Bully credentials to great success for the better part of the latter leg of the season series between the 2 teams. Basically, I feel like the CH has been Bean Town’s George McFly as of late… It is time for George to punch back, but given my tremendous respect for the game, by no means, am I hoping for violence. I just hope we can outplay these goons…

Keeping in mind Zemeckis’ Classic…

Realistically, I doubt that George being hit by Lord Stanley’s car is going to prevail this time around… As much as I enjoyed last spring’s unlikely run, I fear that Montreal might not always fall on Lady Luck’s side of things as the second season comes around. Don’t get me wrong, we played some wonderful hockey last spring but I can’t help but feel les Glorieux could of easily been out of the Great Race, had Semin connected with twine rather than metal during last year’s first round. Let’s all be honest here, the guy was all over the ice but just couldn’t buy a goal… But hey, that’s why they play the games!

Anyways, far from me, the intention of underrating a very good hockey team… I do like our chances. I just really hope Jacques finds a way to level the table, because it sure seems to be tilted, Boston’s way. Sadly, coach Marty doesn’t own a time traveling Dolorean, but if we are to advance past les “Bruns”, he will need to find a way to regain the past MOJO… I believe he can and will!




313 Comments

  1. matraque says:

    See blow for my prediction. The one and only prediction for all series!

    ——
    Canadien en 5!
    Never go Full Retard
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svwGRJA28lY&feature=related

    • ZepFan2 says:

      Why do I have to see “blow” (again) for your prediction?

      Is it subliminal?? :razz:

      ————————————————————————
      Welcome to the newer NHL: The National Head-shots League.

  2. Vid says:

    I’m not worried about goaltending. Price is different now than when Flyers’ Umberger was scoring on him at will with the lamest shots. Defense is more of a concern but as long as the Habs keep shots down which I am confident they can do with the current D corps. The return of a healthy and rested Spacek should help. I like Mara’s strength and willingness to fight.

    Speed will only matter if more than just Cammy and Gionta can bury their chances. Last playoffs Gionta & Cammy combined to score almost 50% of the team’s goals. Considering that both snipers have struggled at times during the regular season, we’ll need others to score if we are to have a chance of beating the Bruins and whichever teams after them.

    Luckily on the backend we have Subby and the Wiz who can contribute some goals and rebound opportunities for others.

    Question marks will go on Plex and Kosts neither of whom have produced in the playoffs as much as fans would expect. I do believe they will both step it up. Really they will have to if we are to beat Boston.

    Gomez looks like he’s finally gearing up but I’m not hopeful. We won’t go far if he continues to struggle offensively but as long as he doesn’t get worse, I think the habs can still beat the Bruins.

    It’ll be interesting to see what Darche can do. I actually don’t expect much but he could be a nice surprise come playoff time. It would be so nice if Pouliot could pot a few with his laser like wrist shot but probably won’t happen.

    Also will Jeff Halpern be available to play? Can’t say that Eller & Desharnais really inspire confidence.

    • habstrinifan says:

      I have a feeling Darche wil be the unsung scoring hero in this series. He talks with so much pride in the sweater and so much disbelief but appreciation that he is actually a ‘full time’ Canadien. Hope JM uses him a lot.

      Emotion will take his play to another level.

  3. filincal says:

    Habs in 6. Just because in game 5 the B’s score on a triple deflection to win it in OT.

    I BLEED BLEU BLANC ET ROUGE!!!

  4. thebigguy says:

    I guess I’ll respond up here because I can’t down there.

    But Andrew, my point is that Carey has yet to show he can do it consistenly. Pointing out that he won a playoff series, that we almost choked, hardly stengthens your argument. Especially followed by the 2 absolutely attrocious series that followed. If member serves correct, while he’s lost 8 in a row, it was also 10 out of 12 games. Didn’t we jump to a 3-1 lead against Boston and almost throw it away? He won 1 game after we jumped up to a 3-1 lead, and then 1 out of the following 10 games. I don’t see how any reasonable person can honestly believe that he’s been a consistent NHL playoff performer in the past.

    To be honest, next year he’ll be a question mark too. Well he return to his old (bad) habits as success goes to his head, as so many players have, or does he finally understand what it takes to win.

    I think he’s turned a corner and well compete in this playoff. I won’t, however, be shocked, if after a 72 game season where he exceeded expectations and carried an injury ravaged team, if he doesn’t have much left in the tank to play well.

    To be honest, I’m really not quite sure why you’re belabouring this point.

    • ManApart says:

      I swear, sometimes I feel Andrew’s goal is to take a point that is as close to fact as you can get and try to somehow argue it to make it untrue. It’s not the first time I see him question a point incessantly that seems almost irrefutable. He likes the challenge or something. Seriousfan is like this also.

      • This is actually complete BS, the problem is that you consider anything that YOU personally say to be irrefutable fact. It’s why so many people on this website think you’re a troll. You’re so supremely overconfident in your middling hockey knowledge that you will never and have never conceded to be wrong even though you are almost ALL the time.

        • ManApart says:

          I just said I was wrong about saying Price’s losing streak was 11, when it was actually 8.

          And to below, (these are not exact quotes, but more or less satements you have made) you’ve stated that Ovie was not a winner because of his playoff resume, that he can’t be considered a great player because of his playoffs, and was all over him for what you deemed “choking” at the Olympics. That is also the time you were big time critisizing Heatley and Thorton. Was all over Kovalchuk for disappearing in the playoffs, even though he barely played any games and have been on many other guys like Luongo and Thomas for their playoff performances. You are probably the most vocal guy on dismissing a player when he doesn’t have a great playoff resume. Just asking for consistency.

          • 1) Ovechkin DID choke in the Olympics. Almost every Russian did.

            2) You’re full of crap, I never said Ovechkin wasn’t great, I said he wasn’t as good as Crosby, which is the thread you’re referring to because I remember arguing that relentlessly during the Olympics, and he isn’t as good as Crosby, probably never will be.

            3) Kovalchuk does disappear in big games, ask the NJ coaching staff. Lemaire said as much publicly this year, for the exact same reason I stated. When the pressure is on, Kovalchuk doesn’t use his linemates and tries to do everything himself, and it never works. If you disagree with that, well maybe you should apply to be the next John MacLean.

            4) I said prove I said that, and you just repeated yourself. So until you stop making things up, later.

          • ZepFan2 says:

            Dude, you “dismissed” our entire team last year.

            You: we wont beat the Caps, we wont beat the Pens, we wont beat the Flyers (one out of three, not too good).
            This was after you said we wouldn’t even make the playoffs.

            Your “predictions” are usually wrong.

            ————————————————————————
            Welcome to the newer NHL: The National Head-shots League.

          • @Zep he also said the Leafs would finish above us in the standings, and he said that this year too.

          • _Habsoloutly_ says:

            You’re wrong about everything. You’re a douchebag troll. You live a sad pathetic existence. Get a life moron. This post is directed at the troll manapart, since the dude above thinks I directed it at him.

          • showey47 says:

            Don’t even know how price can be tagged for 4 of those 8 losses which came against the bruins when the team only scored like 5 goals that entire series. No goalie past or present (no observer not even reimer)would have won that series for us.

        • saskhabfan says:

          So true,if manapart’s right/wrong record was recorded like a teams win/loss record he would rival the 74/75 capitals.

          • LA Loyalist says:

            Guys, guys, guys, c’mon – you’re missing the entire point of this website formerly known as HIO, which is to insult Gomez!

            Seriously, given the horrific injuries, many mailed in performances and pathetic coaching we still made the playoffs. Playing Boston we have a chance if we can get into their heads early and don’t take stupid penalties and can assemble some sort of power play.

            Clean piece of paper. We can fight about this other stuff all summer.

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      …Andy is just bein’ Andy BGuy …ignore and don’t worry ’bout it

      Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY
      http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

    • Misunderstanding. If your point was consistency, then I agree. But reading your initial comment the point seemed to be that he has never shown that he can make the stops, in any situation, since his rookie year. That’s what I took issue with.

      However the narrative that Price was responsible for the sweep against Boston is one of the most enduring notions of BS on this site.

      • thebigguy says:

        I don’t think he’s ever shown it in the playoffs. He dragged us up in a series 3-1. Played amazing.

        But since game 4 of his rookie year, he hasn’t played consistently in the playoffs. That’s a concern and until/when he shows, it will remain one. I think it’ll happen in this playoff, but I won’t be shocked if it doesn’t.

        To be fair, I’ve always felt that Halak is overrated as a result of a 2 game over 500 run :P where he had to take a couple games off. Glad we traded the kid. I think by next year his contract, which was the result of a Riemer-esque (is that allowed here) run of about 30 games, will be viewed as a bad one by midway throug next season.

        • If he played amazing for 5/7 games in a 7 game series… He’s shown it in the playoffs. That’s all my point was.

          As for Halak, he’s a good goalie. I don’t think the contract will look too bad, but he isn’t a guy who can play 60 games and carry a team, he’s a guy who needs a strong backup to play 25+ games.

          The problem with Halak is that he’ll now always be judged by a string of excellent and lucky play that he may never accomplish again. I feel bad for him.

  5. WindsorHab-10 says:

    I’ll take my chances with the Goons from Boston.

    “Bruins SUCK”

  6. samTHEman says:

    Why is it you can say pussy-ass without having your post deleted, Mike? lol

    ~Kiss my ass Lucic!!!!

  7. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …I have the kind of personality that prefers meeting My most important challenges head-on …so starting-off with the Teddy Bears was My fervent hope
    …in July, how could We have enjoyed this season’s playoffs without meeting and laying another humiliation on that team is beyond Me …yes, it’s a rationally large risk, but ain’t THAT the reason most of Us get out of bed in the mornin’ ?
    …I’m not often transfixed by Timo’s comments, except in varied levels of shock …but His comment below, simplistic as it is, has hit the nail on the head
    …”skate for 60 (SIXTY) minutes. Not a single shift off …Eat the sticks, take the slashes and hits and stay out of the box… and skate, skate, skate …that is it !!!”
    …couldn’t have said it better Myself Timo

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY
    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

  8. This series is very winnable, if winnable is even a word?

    Habsnation is still standing.
    http://www.wix.com/habsnation/canadiens

  9. habs001 says:

    we probably will have 2-3 o/t games and mostly 1-0,2-1 and 3-2 games…because the scores will be so close either team can win in 4-5 games…

  10. Yeats says:

    Later Hawks, no Cup for you!

    • habs001 says:

      unless dallas pulls a carolina…if that happens hawks vs canucks would be a great series…if the hawks had all their players from last year they would be odds on favourite to win the cup…if the cap system continues ,one day we will have a great team ,win the cup, and the following year same thing will happen to us..

      • thebigguy says:

        Why, one dominant team since the lockout has had to dismantle, Chicago.

        Detroit, Pittsburgh and the 2 perenial regular season great teams, Washington and SJ, have consistently trotted out similar lineups year in year out despite regular season/playoff success.

        Glass half full should get you excited that Chicago was able to win a cup with 1 terrible contract (Huet) and one bad one (Campbell). Right now, the Habs are over[paying on 1 contract so that shouldn’t eliminate us from Stanley Cup contention.

      • Yeats says:

        I can’t see the Stars losing that game. TB is a much better team than Carolina. The same can’t be said of The Wild going into this afternoon’s game.

  11. thebigguy says:

    Whether we like it or not, Carey is a question mark going into the playoffs simply because he’s yet to show, even after the regular season heroics of his rookie season, that he’s capable of making the stops we desperately need to make up for our lack of um, talent, everywhere else.

    Do I think he’ll do it, yes. Everything he’s shown this year leads me to believe his career has turned the corner. Will I be surprised if he doesn’t have a great playoff, sadly, no.

    • How is he yet to show it? Does this year not count?

      • thebigguy says:

        I figured that was fairly obvious. Paragraph 1 explained that.

        Then paragraph 2 explained how I felt that he will do it, because of the season he’s had.

      • Chris says:

        For the same reason that so many gleefully predict that Tim Thomas, who has one Vezina Trophy under his belt and will likely add a second based on this year’s performance, will crack under the pressure.

        Whether fair or not, regular season excellence and playoff excellence are strongly decoupled in most people’s minds, especially when it comes to goalies.

        When you play game after game against the same opponents, the coaching staffs of both teams start to see the little idiosyncracies of each player and attempt to exploit them.

        The Flyers found that Price did not like getting bumped a couple of years ago, and subsequently made sure to make contact with him as much as possible, even if it drew a penalty.

        The Rangers discovered that Martin Brodeur is sometimes susceptible to sharp-angle shots along the ice because of his style.

        We’ll see if the Bruins find a hole in Carey Price’s netminding and/or whether the Habs can find a hole in the Bruins’ defensive scheme to exploit this post-season.

        • Actually Chris, those are for completely different reasons. Tim Thomas has actually been pretty solid in the playoffs, but he cracks against the Habs all the time. That’s why people doubt his ability to shut down the series.

        • SnowManHabs85 says:

          I really think Tim Thomas ain’t that of good goalie if you put Chara into a Habs uniform. This what “makes” him incredible is the highlight reel dives to make the save. It makes it dramatic and it works and manages to make the highlights of the night.
          Most shots Thomas made saves were shots taken from the outside, thanks to the help of Chara and his bullies.
          He was given great amount of rest by Rask during the regular season than Price who has still accomplished competitive stats to Thomas.

      • ManApart says:

        Did you not read playoffs? I mean you’re always the first one to rag on players for having big regular seasons and not having great playoffs. Thorton, Heatley, Ovie, Luongo, Kovalchuk, I mean the list goes on and on of guys you totally discount because of not a great playoff resume. Don’t be hypocritical, just because it’s a Hab.

        • I wasn’t being hypocritical, he said Price has yet to prove he can make the big saves, well he’s won a playoff series so he’s already proven he can do it, it’s about consistency now. And after 70 starts and 38 wins anyone who doubts Price right now isn’t “erring on the side of caution” or anything like that, we’ve watching him for nearly 200 hours this year, we’ve seen what he’s capable of. Things don’t magically change in the playoffs.

          As for your list, Ovechkin’s playoff numbers are spectacular, what are you talking about? Heatley’s aren’t too shabby either, especially on Ottawa’s cup run. Thornton’s been criticized because his game doesn’t work in the playoffs, he doesn’t have enough intensity. Does anyone question Carey Price’s intensity? At this point people questioning Price are the same people who were hoping he would fail this year, and yes James, you’re one of those people. Don’t even try to deny it.

          • ManApart says:

            Since when does winning one playoff series mean he can make the big saves? His overall playoff record shows the exact opposite. That’s what Me and others are stating. We’re not predicting a Price failure, but just saying he hasn’t been good in the playoffs to date and we’ll see what he does next week.

            ??? You were the one critisizing Ovie and Heatley for their playoffs, not me. I disagreed with you on Ovie. I’m not sure if you even know what point you want to make. You’re not being hypocritical, yet you won’t admit Price has proven nothing in the playoffs, but you critisize Ovie for his playoffs, now say he’s had spectacular playoffs. I mean you are a very confusing guy to follow.

          • No no no no no. You don’t get to make sh*t up. What I’ve said about Ovechkin is that he doesn’t do the little things necessary to win, and he doesn’t. But he has a whole team. With his production he does his part if his team can pick up some slack.

            I don’t remember ever criticizing Heatley, but apparently you have every comment I’ve ever made in a giant codex so why don’t you go find that one and throw it in my face. Perhaps you should calm down your obsession with me.

    • showey47 says:

      Its going to take everybody playing to their full potential to win against the bruins,not just price. Even though halak played very well for us last year in the first 2 rounds we also had the luxury of playing against teams,though loaded offensively, had questionable goaltending and defence. This won’t be the case against the bruins. We have to outwork,outskate and be more disciplined to beat the bruins. If we don’t,we won’t win regardless how well carey plays.

  12. Chris says:

    Should be an interesting series.

    Can I state, for the record, how much I hate the “Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta have Stanley Cup rings” argument?

    While Gionta and Gomez were key players in last year’s playoff run, who were some of the other clutch Habs players last season?

    Jaroslav Halak, who entered the season with 3 career playoff games under his belt.

    Mike Cammalleri, who entered the season with 6 career playoff games.

    Josh Gorges, who entered the season having never gotten past the second round in his NHL career.

    P.K. Subban, who logged heavy minutes despite only having played 2 career games in the NHL.

    If our point is that the Habs have more playoff experience than the Bruins, that is probably true. But in Mark Recchi, Zdeno Chara, Andrew Ference and Tomas Kaberle, the Bruins have a quartet of players with ample playoff experience in their careers. And the Bruins have a good group of younger players that have still got some playoff experience under their belt.

    The series will come down to which team can impose their will on the other: can the Habs stay away from the physical play the Bruins will try to impose and dominate with their speed? Can the Bruins stay away from trying to impose their physical will so much that they take ill-advised penalties and let the Habs get some easy PP goals?

    Will Carey Price rise to the challenge? Will Tim Thomas? Because for two defensively oriented teams, the goaltenders will have a large say in who wins this one.

    • SnowManHabs85 says:

      IMO both teams will experience fewer goals against and goals for during the best of seven series. It’ll be an awesome match up. If Habs sweep the Bruins, get ready for the riots in game 4. I’m just saying, this is gonna be awesome.

  13. Timo says:

    There is a very simple winning formula against the Bruins – skate for 60 (SIXTY) minutes. Not a single shift off. That is it. Talent wise Bruins don’t have much, so it comes to the work ethic. Eat the sticks, take the slashes and hits and stay out of the box… and skate, skate, skate.

  14. rocketsglare says:

    McGuire said on NBC’s televised game that he doesn’t believe the Habs
    have a chance because of Chara. Either Pierre is in love with Chara or
    kissing Milbury’s ass again. No wonder he is seen as a joke by most fans.

    • Jeff says:

      Do you actually give a flying f what Pierre has to say?

      He’s a # 1 douche in my estimation.

      • Awwww, poor Jeffy is butt hurt because McGuire promised that Toronto was going to be awesome last year and he was wrong.

      • _Habsoloutly_ says:

        Hey look, it’s the leafs troll. Enjoy the smackdown the Habs put on the laffs? Did you enjoy watching that smurf Kessel get pushed around by that tough hard-nosed hab Ryan White? I know I enjoyed it, especially watching red light Reimer let in all those goals. Enjoy the golf season!

        • ManApart says:

          Why are you even here? You add absolutely nothing to the conversation except juvenile rants. They aren’t even remotely witty or amusing. Just like hearing a 12 year old try to make a point.

          • _Habsoloutly_ says:

            like you and your “the habs suck”, “Gainey Sucks”, “Gauthier sucks”, “the leafs are better than the habs”, posts are really adding to the conversation. You’re a F’ing idiot. STFU and get a life loser.

    • t1tan5 says:

      Everyone and their mother knows that McGuire hates on the Habs when outside of Montreal. When on Montreal radio, he seems to curb his enthusiasm. All this means is that he’s a two-faced hack who shouldn’t be listened to.

    • Exit716 says:

      Rather than torching cop cars after the upcoming victory celebration against Boston, fans should torch McGuire and Stock’s cars instead.

    • Preacher Harry Powell says:

      I don’t treat McGuire as a fountain of wisdom but Chara is a great player with size that the Habs will be hard to neutralize. Of course he is a great player-Mad Mike Milbury traded him away when he was an Islander!

      Amazing how often Montreal plays Boston in the playoffs. Makes for great hockey. Let’s hope Versus here in the States shows it..it could because Boston is one of NBC/Versus favorite teams although I imagine they will shove Rangers vs Washington down out throats.

  15. VancouverHab says:

    Much as Coach’s Corner last night was absolutely dreadful — I mean totally completely embarassingly bad — it was gloriously redeemed by Don Cherry’s post-game segment.

    Right off the bat, Ron MacLean referred to that peurile dancing Leafs toy mouse as a gerbil and made a ribald remark on Don & gerbilling.

    Then the mouse ran out of battery and went d–e–a–d. You couldn’t have scripted their own appreciation of the symbolism more perfectly.

    Then Grapes had a great complimentiary section highlighting Ryan White, who has excellent and deserves it. Followed this by a video breakdown on the Habs playing JM’s system [TM] to perfection and berated the Leafs for not doing the same “because the Habs are showing how you win in this League.”

    Then he bashed the Leafs ineptitude some more and showed the heartbreak of an honest fan.

    Now that’s the stuff we need.

    • twilighthours says:

      I saw it a bit differently. He spent 6 of his 7 minutes during Coach’s Corner with a love-in/eulogy of the Leafs. After the game, he spent 20 seconds and one random clip praising the Canadiens’ system, then he sounded like a frustrated fan-boy when complaining about the Leafs penalty kill.

      You’re too easily pleased. All season long, he spent less than a minute discussing positive aspects of the Canadiens. And this is “the stuff we need”? No thanks.

      PS – I actually don’t care and I rarely watch Coach’s Corner, so I don’t know how much time he has spent discussing various topics. But he’s a pathetic and disgusting Leafs homer, a bigot, a hypocrite, and probably an idiot.

      • Cherry is about 20 years behind in his analysis of the game, and sees everything in simply black and white terms. Either someone is a “good guy” or someone is “gutless”. His rant against modern statistics last year without even understanding what they meant was hilarious.

        • VancouverHab says:

          Much as I hate to admit it, that is not all too far off the mark.

          Probably might have a bit more charity toward what is effectively more or less a universal human universal among people who get to their twilight years…

          “Hey you kids: get the Hell off my lawn.” etc.

          • The problem is when people stop caring about understanding. A couple years ago I had no idea what Corsi was, and when I first heard that Gomez was a dominant player based on that statistic I felt like dismissing it, but when you learn about Corsi and Fenwick and Qualcomp statistics and what they’re useful for telling you, they’re extremely interesting. I’m not sure the lack of interest in learning is an age thing, but it certainly seems to be more prominent in those above the retirement age.

          • habstrinifan says:

            Hey watch it with the “twilight years” crack! I’ll whack you over the head with my walker.

        • Exit716 says:

          Cherry was 20 years behind when he started in 1981. So that would mean he’s 50 years behind the times now. As Bobby Hull said of his brief HNIC analyst career. Who knows more about hockey? Some guy that played one game in the league or someone who scored 600 goals?

  16. 24 Cups says:

    The Florida Panthers have fired head coach Peter DeBoer.

    Detroit ahead of Chicago 2-1 half way through the game which will decide the Hawks playoff hopes.

    In the who cares department, Coach Lemaire to announce his plans for next year right after today’s game.

  17. ooder says:

    this series… WE HAVE TO WIN! point finale
    ——————
    GWG = game winning gionta!

  18. ManApart says:

    Should be a very interesting series. I think it will generally be hard fought, but the Bruins offensive depth and physicality will be too much for the Habs to handle. . Lucic, Horton, Krejci will be in Price’s face all series and I don’t think the Habs can do anything about it. The Bruins seemed to have solved Price’s early career dominance over them with 2 recent blowouts as well as sweeping them 2 years ago. Price still has a lot to prove come playoffs as he is currently on a 10 or 11 game playoff losing streak.

    On defense the Bruins just have to take a page out of the Flyers book from last season and they should be fine. Punish Habs players anytime they want to go near the net. Keep them to the outside and don’t take too many penalties and you shouldn’t have a big problem. Chara’s intimidation factor will be huge here. Thomas is the Vezina trophy winner this season, so he should be very solid. I don’t expect him to have to be lights out, as I don’t see Montreal getting a ton of second chances. Sorry to say Boston in 6.

    • deuce6 says:

      “Relax, chill out.”
      —————–

      Yes, I’m a Hab fan..Wanna fight about it?

    • I must say James, I absolutely love your logic. It’s so batsh** that it makes my day.

      For Price, games from 4 years ago in the playoffs count against him right now, but for the Habs, only 2 of the last 3 games against Boston count in your evaluation of the series. Keep going, I wanna see where you’re going with this.

      • Jeff says:

        Calm down Andy, the man just submitted a reasonable assessment that sort of coincided with the article. What’s your problem here, make some intelligent responses if that’s possible?
        I say the Habs are in tough but with Price’s great goaltending and the speed & smarts of the forwards well anything is possible.
        As far as the physical thing goes, Horton is a pussy, Moen can handle that…the others well don’t go looking for trouble, skate hard, play hard….Da Booins aren’t so BAD!!!

        Most NHL teams are Pretenders !

        • If you could actually read above a 2nd grade level Jeff, you’d know that I’m very calm, snickering in all honesty, maybe as much as chortling. You’d have also noticed that I broke down ManApart’s analysis to show that it was complete and utter BS. I believe using logic is a pretty intelligent comment, you should try it sometime.

          • Jeff says:

            Go get a drink and try to fleece some seniors out of their pension funds tomorrow. Your assessments match your brain, a few cells short of a complete dork.

          • OneTimer says:

            Jeff’s profile:

            “Favorite current player: Mikhail Grabovski
            All-time favorite player: Darryl Sittler”

            Why is he here?

          • ManApart says:

            Oh sure lol. You really showed Price’s playoff history as well as some recent games they played are useless to take into consideration. People look at players playoff histories when talking about various players and story lines leading up to a current matchup. With Price that has no logic. Looking into the most recent games of the teams matching up, under a playoff type atmosphere, also is ridiculous because, who knows. Get real Bro.

          • You’re picking and choosing stats from 4 years ago and 3 games ago and ignoring everything in between to fit your narrative James, so yes, it’s illogical and makes no sense. All your overconfidence and bluster does is make you look more like an arrogant ignoramus.

          • Trisomy 21 says:

            Jeff challenged Andrew to make an intelligent comment. He did, and Jeff responds by calling him a “dork”.
            Class

          • @trisomy21 Jeff also accused me of being a scam artist for some reason. Not sure where that came from but oooook.

      • ManApart says:

        My logic, was saying Price hasn’t been good in the playoffs his entire career, not just 4 years ago. He didn’t lose 11 in a row 4 years ago. It was over several years. He has seemed to really have turned it around this season and proved he can be a top goalie, so my point was, it will be interesting to see if he can prove it in the playoffs. I think looking at his overall playoff history is very fair in evaluating a series.

        Looking at the last few games is also fair, because it showed me the Bruins are capable of scoring some goals against Montreal’s D/ Price, which they’ve had trouble doing for the last few years, minus playoff sweep 2 years ago. I never said the other games don’t count, just mentioned the blowouts, because those were the games that did show the Bruins could score. I think you just can’t take looking at the other side of the coin.

        • Jeff says:

          Very well stated. I wonder how that 2nd grader Berky will have to say about your intelligent and calm response. Batsh..t aside.

          Some delusional fans here cannot stand the truth because they can’t handle the truth! Ha! Ha!

          • ManApart says:

            Yeah, when people come on here and try to point out some facts from the opposing point of view, instead of a biased Habs point, folks like Andrew can’t take their bubble being burst and take it personally. I mean It’s not like I made anything up. Price IS on an 11 game playoff losing streak and the Habs have been hammered in the GAA department 2 out of the last 3. Trying to argue that bringing those facts up, the way I did, has no logic, is silly.

          • Actually Price ISN’T on an 11 game playoff losing streak, and you did make that up, but keep trying bub.

        • I can look at the other side of the coin just fine, thank you. However you only look at the negatives. And no, games in the playoffs from 4 years ago are not relevant. Price has a 8 game losing “streak” in the playoffs, not 11. A cursory look at a stats page would show that he has 11 playoff losses overall, and considering he won a series it would be impossible for all those losses to be in a row. You’re also overlooking the face that Halak lost one of the games to Philadelphia in 2008. As per usual, you’re ignorant of the facts because they don’t support you.

          What’s relevant to this year is this year. There are all of 5 players on the Canadiens who were there when we were swept by the Bruins in 2009, and of those players Yannick Weber won’t dress in all likelihood. Of the 4 players who will dress who were there; Price is having a career year, Kostitsyn is playing the best all around hockey of his career, Hamrlik has had his best season as a Hab, and Plekanec has become one of the dominant 2-way forwards in the game.

          Since this team has been assembled we’re 9-3 against the Boston Bruins. This year we’re 4-2. Yet in some imaginary world you live in,we have the disadvantage. There’s literally nothing between the two teams that supports this idea.

          • ManApart says:

            Im not just picking stats from 4 years ago. I’m choosing stats for Price’s whole playoff career, including last season. and I’m not discounting other games. I’m bringing up the 2 blowouts because that shows that the Bruins can score vs the Habs. And ya the Habs have won the season series, but I put them as an underdog because they are not the better team. Look at the standings and look at the how the teams are built and that’s why I put the Habs at a disadvantage.

          • Actually the difference between the Habs and Bruins is based largely on several Bruins shooting way above their career averages, which is pure luck, along with several Canadiens shooting well below theirs. That luck usually equals out and Boston’s luck is likely to run out in the playoffs.

            Not to mention that Montreal carries puck possession better than the Bruins do, and over an 82 game season “mighty” Boston has managed a whopping 2 more wins than Montreal. Boston is not a heavy favourite by any stretch of the imagination, in fact the only advantage they have is on the injury front.

        • Mark C says:

          Price has never lost 11 playoff games in a row, he’s only lost 11 in total. He has an 8 game losing streak.

          • ManApart says:

            Ya, you’re right, it is 8 games and not 10 or 11. But my point still stands as Price’s playoff 8 game losing streak as well as his .894 SA% and 3.17 GAA are numbers that very much show Price hasn’t proven he can be a top goalie in the playoffs.

      • _Habsoloutly_ says:

        Thats what the idiot manapart does, he cherry picks stats to jive with his batshit opinion about the habs. He’s a loser.

    • Jeff says:

      How do you respond to this Berkshsire fool? I guess your approach is to ignore him?

      Gee, a great idea, a battle of wits with an unarmed person….

    • Bigdawg says:

      They key to winning this series is to frustrate Chara non-stop. Either he will overextend himself and get injured or get suspended. Chara is a hothead and that is his weakness.

  19. SnowManHabs85 says:

    I say Price has the edge mentally against Thomas who during the regular season has been rested quite nicely by Rask instead of 72 games Price had played and still managed to put up quite a competive numbers against Thomas.

    • deuce6 says:

      Price’s overall game is more refined and his skill level in goal is unmatched by a very rare breed in the NHL, right now..The kid is in a league of his own, IMO..

      ——————

      Yes, I’m a Hab fan..Wanna fight about it?

  20. rocketsglare says:

    Keys to winning Bruins series:
    1) Price being solid in net
    2) Solid D play, especially around the net
    3) Attack Bruin D and net with speed/grit
    4) Gionta, Gomez, Kostitsyn, Plekanec elevating their game
    5) Secondary scoring
    6) Discipline, discipline, and discipline (staying out of the penalty box)
    7) Capitalizing on the PP

    The Habs must simply outwork and outplay the Bruins for 60 minutes and more if they are to prevail in this series.

  21. homerbowen says:

    Should the Bruins put another “beat down” on us in the first game we will be done in 4 or 5 if we’re lucky. I suspect they will attack PK to no end to throw him off his game. They do know how to beat us as much as I hate to say it. That being said we had “lady luck” last year and that’s the only thing I see where there may be hope.
    Hopefully management will address the lack of size and toughness in the off season.

    • deuce6 says:

      THE SKY IS FALLING!! WE’RE DOOOOOOOMED!!!

      There is a reason the game is played on the ice and not in the media..I actually think our superior speed/skill will over come and beat the Ruins in 6…

      ——————

      Yes, I’m a Hab fan..Wanna fight about it?

  22. Habsfan16 says:

    I predict the Habs in 6, Julien looking like a confused Jabba the Hut, and a pissed off Chara.

    But I will admit, I’ll be missing the Gorges – Gill heroics of last year.

    Bring Hartley to Montreal!

  23. BKAK72 says:

    For whatever reason I have found over the years the first-round in the NHL playoffs is won by the team that has a psychological edge with a clear better goalie. I would take PRICE in this category over THOMAS, however don’t have that inside scoop about their mind frame.

    I’m a HABS fan and will stick to my heart: HABS in 6

    — HABS INSIDE/OUT R.I.P. –

  24. Jdub1985 says:

    If JM magically transforms into this behind closed doors:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WO4tIrjBDkk

    We’re golden.

  25. JD_ says:

    * Sportscene Inc. – which operates the Cage aux Sports – reported Q2/F11 earnings of $0.21 per share as compared to $0.25 for the same period last year. Although revenues were up a modest 3.2%, a year-over-year decline in margins led to the earnin’s drop. Now, I’m no restaurateur – although, I do play one on the Internet – but am prepared to speculate that the source of the margin hit stems from the Habs’ scorin’ slump underpinnin’ a bloatin’ of the chain’s signature FreezerBurned’N’Flavourless™ chicken wing inventories, thus triggerin’ the kind of uncontrollable chain-reaction of devastation that is had when the vile little things are stockpiled in a confined space. At least, that’s my guess.

    * After last night’s Laffer, it dawned on me that I had only really noticed Mikey K on one play; I don’t know what his ice time was, but I suspect it wasn’t much higher than mine. The play in question was his last-second appearance on a Loafs’ PP, the one where he, after makin’ as if to pass the puck forward, somehow managed to send the puck in the opposite direction and out of the Habs’ zone. My son and I immediately turned to each other with a WTF just happened look on our face. I’d be interested in seein’ a replay, because it arguably takes a huge talent of some sort to defy, nay, shatter the laws of physics like that.

    * Would have preferred a seven-game series against either TB or the Pens but, then again, would rather face off in the first round against the Broonz than either the Caps or Bobby Clobbers. If and when the Habs take the series, they should be in a better psychological position to face the Caps in the second round, who I believe will demolish the Sathers. If, however, the Sabres take the Bobby Clobbers out, the Habs would then have a more favourable second-round series against either TB or the Pens. With that in mind…

    * Go Sabres Go! GO SABRES GO!!!

    * I’ve got my ear to the ground and am hearin’ grumblin’s of a full-scale meltdown in Beantown, with infightin’, backstabbin’, shortsheetin’, and attention-grabbin’ all contributin’ to a significant number of rifts in the Broonz dressin’ room. Apparently, it’s gotten to the point where each player has a problem with every other player, suggestin’ only the application of permutation mathematics can fully assess the scale of the problem:

    Assumin’ a full roster of 23 NHL players, where n is roster size and r is a specific feud involvin’ two players, although order doesn’t matter because a feud is two-ways, I believe the followin’ calculation is employed – n!/(r!(n-r)!) – which, in this case, equals 253**.

    Don’t know about you, but I fail to see how the Broonz are gonna pull through with that kind of shiznat tearin’ them apart.

    ** Perceptive fans will note 253 is also the consecutive number of years the Loafs have failed to qualify for the playoffs.

  26. Max_a_million says:

    Got Reds yesterday … very excited!

    Wow it was so easy this time.

  27. thebigguy says:

    Final thoughts on the Leafs before we start slagging on the Bruins for the next 2 weeks.

    I don’t get how anyone is fooled by the Leafs annual solid post elimination run. There’s no reason to think the team we saw until February won’t rear its head again. Last year, we were told that the Monster was the real deal and that with a year of solid goaltending, the Leafs would be a playoff team. That they had one of the best defensive units in the NHL. It’s a team that still can’t kill penalties nor can they score on the powerplay.

    Burke, no surprise, still builds his team for a pre lockout NHL

    • Bill says:

      People are fooled every year because the media tells them what they want to hear.

      The supposedly reborn Leafs lost 4-1 to the Habs and did not look good doing it. Nevertheless, all we heard about all night was The Future. All I know about The Future is that it’s a common setting for fantasy and science fiction stories, which sounds about right for the Leafs. “All these promising youngsters!” Hey, what happened to Luca Caputi, anyway? Wasn’t he supposed to be The Future last year? Kadri? Did he play last night? Reimer? Beaten four times by one of the lowest scoring teams in the league.

      The best part was at the end, when the Leafs saluted their fans and got a standing ovation (from the 50% of fans who were still there at the end). Six years in a row and a standing ovation?

      Full Breezer 4 Life

  28. jefff says:

    ok ok you guys…you are wayyyy too smart to be fooled any longer. You have it right, i am a Laffs fan and i AM on here to stir up trouble. The reason i do this is because your Habs are such a better team than my Losers Even After Forty Seasons Mople Laffs that in utter desperation i need a diversion for myself so i dont dwell on what an idiot i am for supporting this cast of blue-clad clowns all my sorry life and go take a nap on the 401 to rid myself of these…..impure thoughts ive been thinking lately.
    Congrats to you all and your superior canadiens hockey club for making the playoffs yet again while me and my fellow Loaf Nation fools are repeatedly forced to watch from the outside. Can u unde3rstand why i have these mixed up emotions? I really am the worst kind of loser for subjecting myself to this humiliation and embarassment that is leafs hockey, year in and year out. I wish i could renounce my misplaced loyalty to the blue and white and jump ship, step up to Habs Fandom, but my stinking drooling leaf fan buddies would have my tiny, girlish balls garnishing their cereal in the morning for doing that.
    I admit it, the Habs are a much better team than the leafs and we deserved the pasting we got last night. So once again, please accept my sincere apologies for coming on your forum and insulting your vastly superior Canadiens. Please forgive me for being such a dolt,m i have erectile dysfunction, incontinence, and cant wear Depends cuz of my hemmorhoids. Also, my wife rightfully suspects i like to dress up in her clothes and pick up men in gay bars. Sighh….im such a mess.
    On my knees begging your forgiveness,
    Jeff the Loaf Fan

    PS: Please disregard all my future posts that may seem to have me reverting to my old trollish form…those are just times that i forgot to take my medication. I dont mean what i say in those posts.

  29. Jdub1985 says:

    White in the line up (period)

    NEXT.

  30. SeriousFan09 says:

    Feature on Greg Pateryn
    http://bit.ly/gYr4aC

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  31. thebigguy says:

    Only 48 triple low fives left in the season!

  32. showey47 says:

    LMFAO. You should use that as a signature.

  33. MathMan says:

    Boston is the best possible opponent for any lower seed, whether it’s Montreal or not.

    They have by far the weakest underlying numbers (puck possession, shots, etc.) of all the top seeds; in fact, those numbers are significantly lower than Montreal’s, which are admittedly excellent.

    Boston’s defense is suspect and highly reliant on Tim Thomas making miracles; they have allowed among the most shots in the entire league. Their offense is also predicated on an unusually high shooting percentage, not on actually controlling the play; that’s something that’s highly volatile and can come down in a hurry, or for those who don’t believe in luck, something that can be foiled by quality goaltending. If the opposing goalie makes saves, Boston just doesn’t generate enough chances to make up for it. Heck, they get outshot more often than not.

    All of this points to a Boston club that’s not nearly as good as advertised.

    The playoffs are a complete crapshoot and anything can happen, and usually does. The better team in a 3-6 matchup can’t have more than a 55-60% chance or so of winning any given series. That being said, there’s reason to believe Montreal is the better club here.

  34. J.J. of Turku says:

    Wonder if there is somewhere downloadable playoff calendar with dates… I really need it, because I have to plan my workdays… :)

    http://media.turku.fi/kamera1.html

  35. observer says:

    Habs are good enough to beat Boston, but ONLY if Habs forwards aren’t terrified at being hit.

  36. G-Man says:

    This is the best time of year to be a fan. It is time for the Habs to prove the doubters wrong once again. It is time to for the hold-on-to-your-seats-white-knuckled ride we call the Playoffs.
    The improbable Habs against the oh so big and tough and dirty Booins.

    Habs in 6. Game On.

  37. habs001 says:

    6th spot is not that bad…if either the flyers or caps get upset we play pitts/tb winner…we can only play the flyers in the eastern final…while we would take a tough 7 game series win over boston for us to have any chance in other rounds we have to win in probably 5 games …. this is where some of our other players have to step up because once they dont produce their ice team will be cut and we will end up with about 8-9 of our players playing monster minutes this may work for a couple of rounds but will finish us by the third round

    • observer says:

      caps not losing the first series. they are the best bet of the 8 first round matchups. last year the #1,#2, #3 seeds didnt make past the east first round. Flyers could be beaten by Buffalo who last year like Washington was upset. Pitts/TB is a tossup if Stamkos is scoring again like it seems he is doing again.

  38. Hockey Socks says:

    8 Simple Rules for Beating the Boston Bruins

    RULE #1

    Don’t get suckered into playing the physical, grinding game that the Bruins want to play against the Habs. It’s beyond doubt that the Bruins have a much larger and physical team than the Canadiens. The Bruins have home-ice advantage, so with the power of last change, they’ll be sure to play Milan Lucic and Zdeno Chara against guys like Spacek, Weber, and Desharnais. On the road, those kinds of players will get massacred so smart, quick decisions will be crucial.

    RULE #2

    Let Plekanec do what no one else does as well as he does – play defence. 5-on-5, Plekanec is going to have to match up against Boston’s best offensive players and shut them down. He will be a non-factor offensively unless it’s on the power-play or in OT. Pleks gets knocked for disappearing in the playoffs, but I suspect its only because the coaching staff asks him to play a more defensive role.

    RULE #3

    Defense-by-committee. Everyone has to back-check on every play. That means Mike “I like to hover at the blue-line” Cammalleri and Andrei “The Caveman” Kostitsyn too.

    RULE #4

    Offensive is governed by defensive effort. Like in last year’s playoffs, the Habs used a strict counter-attack style to knock off teams like Washington and Pittsburgh. They have to be opportunistic off of turnovers and smart defensive plays. Run-and-gun is the way to go – no fancy plays through the neutral zone (a la Scott Gomez). The importance of powerplays, also, cannot be understated.

    RULE #5

    Carey Price can’t choke here. He has to be better than he has been all season.

    RULE #6

    Force the Ruins into making bad decisions. It’s too bad Lapierre is no longer on the team because he was great at that. They’re incredibly idiotic and guys like Marchand are prime targets to antagonize. P.K. Subban, do what you gotta do.

    RULE #7

    Clear the crease. I honestly believe the Canadiens would have beat the Flyers last year if they were better at clearing the crease. They had no answer for Scott Hartnell and other goalie-crashing monsters. Hal Gill, Roman Hamrlik, and Paul Mara are no pushovers. They’re big, strong guys that can take the body. They have to do their job. In fact, the Habs should call up a guy like Alex Henry just in case.

    RULE #8

    Game 3 – win or lose – make Zdeno Chara’s life a living hell.

    • habstrinifan says:

      You are right. Max Lapierre WILL be missed. He was able to antagonize opponents and even if he did draw peanlties it did not affect his game overall nor (once the PK was killed) was there any great loss to losing Max Pac for shift or two. While P.K. can do the pest thing, losing him for a shift is not worth it.

      Wonder who will fill the agitator role?

  39. SeriousFan09 says:

    Larry Brooks reports the cap is expected to raise to 62.2 million next season, giving MTL an additional 2.8 million to spend.

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  40. habs001 says:

    if pouliot does very little in the playoffs is he back next year?

  41. HABS_FAN_NS says:

    Habs in 6

  42. Bill says:

    Any chance of a Markov Miracle?

    Reaching, I know. It’d be a different series with him. And Max Pac, obviously, but no way should he play in my non-professional opinion.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

    • Bill J says:

      I think we would all love to see them both return, I also think most of us would prefer they skip the playoffs & return 100% ready for next season. As opposed to risking delaying their return next season by returning too quickly for the playoffs.

      • ABHabsfan says:

        If there is a possibilty, Markov should play. There is no next yeart because he has no contract. If he is truely not ready then don’t play, but there is nothing to be cautious about if a player is under no obligation to be a Hab in the future

        • habstrinifan says:

          “but there is nothing to be cautious about if a player is under no obligation to be a Hab in the future”

          Yikes! Hope you dont mean that as bad as it reads.

      • Bill says:

        Pacioretty is a definite no-go. I understand that he is not showing post-concussion symptoms, but another head-shot this soon after the last could seriously aggravate the problem.

        Markov is different. His surgery was four months ago. He’s skating. Lightly, but still. I think the main thing holding him back from a playoff return is his contract situation, and no, I do not blame him one bit. If he comes back and has ANOTHER injury, it means he probably gets nothing this summer.

        I’m one of those who feels the Habs should take a flyer on Markov. Three years, $16.5 million. If he plays, awesome. If he gets hurt, pick up a short-term replacement with the cap relief. When healthy, he’s the best all-round defenseman in the NHL, IMO.

        Full Breezer 4 Life

  43. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Bruins? Pfffft. Bring ‘em on! Go Habs!!!

  44. habs001 says:

    goal scoring wise at the top end of the forwards boston and montreal are pretty close…the bruins advantage is their 7-12 forwards who have more goals than the habs…if pyatt,moen,white,eller,pouliot and dd dont score goals than it will be not enough for our top forwards just tying the bruins forwards in production but they will have to beat them by a pretty good margin….

  45. Getting out to a quick lead in games will nullify Boston’s 4th line in a hurry. You don’t ice your big bad Bruisers when you are losing a must win game and all games from here on out are must win games. That’s all it takes, a couple of quick one’s and then you kill them with speed, speed, and more speed the rest of the way. If you want to take the big team out of the series, hit em where it hurts!

  46. dre1744 says:

    Habs take it in 7

  47. DrA says:

    Has the first goal in a game every carried any more importance that it will on Thursday for the Habs?

  48. diehardhab says:

    Can anyone explain why they would play Spacek over Sopel? Sopel is a MUCH better penalty killer and don’t forget he has a ring from last season. Clearly he’s no slouch.

    The torch be yours to hold it high!

    • Mike Boone says:

      Sopel is very slow and does not make the first pass as well as Spatcho.
      Mike Boone
      Hockey Inside/Out blogger
      Gazette City columnist
      mboone@montrealgazette.com

    • filincal says:

      I’ve always held Sopel in high regards, from back when he was with Van. Yet for some reason he’s looked very average since arriving. I thought he’d be tougher and better offensively, but even his defensive game isn’t that great either. The way it’s going, Id have to disagree with you and insert a somewhat “refreshed” Spacek instead of Sopel (Mind you this is based on us going into game1).

      I BLEED BLEU BLANC ET ROUGE!!!

    • deuce6 says:

      Sopel has been hurt, recently, and Spacek is fresh…Spacek has a little more offensive edge over Sopes…We may see a rotating door between the 2..Having Hammer wince last night was worrisome..We can’t afford to lose him..
      ——————

      Yes, I’m a Hab fan..Wanna fight about it?

    • WestHab says:

      I would have to think that Spacek is much faster than Sopel. Not just in terms of skating but in terms of decision making. The question is do you play boston trying to be as big as them or do you try and use the skill sets that you already have, team speed. The last time the Habs tried to outmusle the bees it didn’t workout so well. In terms of special teams Spacek is an option for the second unit. Sopel better for the pk yes Sopel is a possitive asset and I think he will see action against the bees.

    • CanadienBoy says:

      Spacek plays last years again Ovi was greatness

    • Mark C says:

      Statistically this season, Spacek has been better than Sopel.

      Sopel has a 5-on-4 GA/60 minutes of 9.12, Spacek is 6.22. Mara is 5.67 and he has been getting only 12 seconds less of SH ice time than Sopel.

      Between Gill (3.37) and PK (3.30), Spacek, and Mara; the need of Sopel’s presence in the lineup is diminished. However, Spacek’s puck movement and ability to play on the PP are needed.

      • observer says:

        regardless defense nor price the problem. scoring goals and scoring 5 on 5 are the habs problem and they cant come from behind at least all this year.

  49. punkster says:

    Pundits all lining up and picking the Bruins as expected. Excellent. As long as they keep undervaluing the Habs and considering us underdogs I have no problem. Sounds familiar.

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  50. nick says:

    That was a helluva video.
    I want some hockey NOW.

  51. _Habsoloutly_ says:

    What’s that sound? Is it raining? Nope, it’s the sound of a million Leaf fans crying in their cornflakes. :lol:

  52. showey47 says:

    Cool video.

  53. Mr.Hazard says:

    Sick video!

  54. habstrinifan says:

    A MISTRAL from New France! Be Afraid New England! Be very Afraid!

    A STRANGE game! Started out with playoff-like intensity from the HABS and then left to simmer to conclusion, with Cammy and Gionta and Pleks turning up the heat occasionally.

    Two small points for playoff seeding; ONE LARGE DRAFT of confidence for the battles ahead.

    Now on to the WAR! The troops are ready!

    CAMMY! He has become more engaged these last few games. As if he has shed some spite and emerged from an anomie to join the ranks for the march to the front. He has strapped on his haversack, shouldered his rifle, and now joins in, full-throatedly, in the ribald doggerel of camaderie which unites them on the march to the front.

    GIONTA! Much as Cammy seems to have assumed his full load, Gionta seems to have tossed away the deadweight of his. He no longer too heavily burdens his game with the futile worries of leadership. His visage to his men is one of emboldening assurance. His eyes are worry-free and sparkful. He is again skillful and imaginative on the ice. He is now the accomplished general, instilling in his troop not the stress of battle but the belief in a fight well fought.

    GOMEZ! He has had his talk with the five-star General Gainey. Now he knows that GLORY comes not from capricious circumstance but from purposive performance.

    WHITE! He fears no foe; worries before no battle! If a fight is at hand
    it WILL be fought.

    PRICE! An impregnable wall. Will defend and hold the line until the sniper units destroy the enemy’s thrusts.

    GILL! The old soldier who is NOT READY to fade away… YET.

    SUBBAN! His arsenal is dominating! His will is overpowering. His goal is
    VICTORY!

    You know them WELL Boston!. The HABS!

    They carry the colours of a regiment esteemed in historic battles
    against you.

    From Maurice the Rocket to the legerdermain of Lafleur. From the
    leadership of Robinson to the roar of Roy! From Gainey’s oft bulldozing of your forces to Dryden’s cerebral denouement of your misfortune.

    The HABS are coming Boston! And HELL is coming with them!

  55. LA Loyalist says:

    “Hey Gomez” (a regular feature) this is what Saku did last night:

    “…and made it 2-0 on Saku Koivu’s conversion of a tic-tac-toe passing play with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. ” (winning goal, set up one of Selanne’s goals the night before).

    Ducks finish 4th having to use their #3 goalie. Selanne gets 5 for fighting (first time in his career).

  56. Caper says:

    Great video. I’m pumped!

  57. PrimeTime says:

    Habs absolutely need to win 1 in Boston this week….preferably game 1…just to add get into their heads and remind them of their playoff incompetance. Let them try and bruise us while we spin their heads with speed. Habs need to work on quick exits from their own end. To much playing time in our end will kill us…..with the size disadvantage Habs will wear a path to the box with penalties. Quick puck control and exit will create speed and put B’s on their heels. If we can make it a speed series, we win. If not, and it becomes a game of 1 on 1 battles, they win.

  58. voyageur9 says:

    this deserves a read, maybe even a separate posting. It’s a lovely and intelligent short essay, written by a literate and intelligent Caps fan living in NYC who recently watched her first game in Montreal
    http://www.onfrozenblog.com/2011/04/06/nous-sommes-tous-canadiens.html

    • LA Loyalist says:

      I will let my life-long Caps fan friend know (he stills thanks me regularly for Rod Langway) that there ARE “literate and intelligent” Caps fans. Who knew? :)

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Very nice. I will now cheer for the Caps as my 2nd team in these playoffs.

    • Gorges_the_great says:

      Great read. It contains the most accurate description of a Habs fan I’ve ever read:

      “And, as I watched their team bumble around on the ice, missing passes right and left and seemingly lacking the confidence to shoot the “%&@# puck!” (to paraphrase my neighbors), I couldn’t help but feel like this team was, well, Hab-less. Pardon the horrible pun, but it fits. With the Canadiens, it’s not a matter of a standard to live up to (La Coupe Stanley). The Canadiens can only be defined as the best team in hockey. Anytime these players fall short, they cease to be Habs. They wear the jerseys, but as with Macbeth, they don’t fill them: “like a giant’s robe/Upon a dwarfish thief.” I cannot surmise how the players withstand this pressure.”

    • t1tan5 says:

      Beauty of a read. Thanks!

  59. Caper says:

    No need to wish for a better match-up. It is what it is. I keep hearing from other hockey fans how the Habs are out in the first round. The Bruins have more pressure on them. They choked last year and the Habs have nothing to lose as was the case last year. Montreal is expected to lose and I expect every panel member on TSN and Sportsnet to pick the Bruins in 5. Bring it on. As someone who remebers the 70’s , 80’s and 90’s playoff battles, this is going to be a treat. There is not much better than a Habs-Bruins match-up.

  60. 24 Cups says:

    One of the ads at the top of the page (Angus Reid) is doing a survey on whether or not Don Cherry should retire.

    What are the odds that anyone on this site would ever vote “NO”?

    • Caper says:

      It’s a link that has been there a long time. They use it to draw people in to be part of their surveys on numerous topics.

      Caper

    • TommyB says:

      Watching last night’s Coaches Corner, and Cherry playing with a musical teddy bear for close to a minute….does anyone really need any more proof that Don should pack it in?

  61. filincal says:

    Hey Observer, SALE on “glad” garbage bags at Canadian Tire. You should join you Laffs at most locations and pick some up for next year too.

  62. SnowManHabs85 says:

    The problem with Boston is that they improved in all areas, defense,forward, positions. They acquired some good talent this season, Habs acquired 2 defensemen, and called up forward. Our best forward was Max. So this is going to be an interesting match. Habs need to stay out of the penalty box. It’s what killed them on 7-0 loss.

    • observer says:

      yes basically gauthier STOOD PAT! he did add 3 defensemen, one back from last year the other 2 wiz and sopel but they were added to fill the much larger sized shoes of markov and gorges. while boston’s gm smartly bolstered his squad both last summer in free agency and at this years trade deadline.

      this is something gainey/gautier does not use at least since 2004 – trade deadline deals to help BETTER the club.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        “basically gauthier STOOD PAT! he did add 3 defensemen, ”

        Can’t you at least be logically consistent?

        Is that too much to ask?

      • showey47 says:

        The only ufa’s boston signed last summer were nathan mciver and jeremy reich.

      • HUDSONHAB says:

        The Habs were never in a position this year to make trades like Boston did. They were hurting from the get go and had to fill holes just to stay afloat. Nobody wanted what they had to offer and if someone wanted Gomez, they certainly didn’t want his contract. We were never in a position to make trades this year, did you want to give up maybe the only players someone would want like Pleks or AK46? Or maybe we could of bundled up Price and PK for a million draft picks. Sheesh!

        ….Hab4life….

        • showey47 says:

          I agree,i wouldn’t be giving up a 1st rounder plus a prospect for a guy like kaberle who has no contract next season or how the kings overpaid for penner.

          • SnowManHabs85 says:

            I’m not saying trading for someone bigger names like Kaberle and Penner. I think Penner wouldn’t fit with the speed of the Habs and Penner is as inconsistent as Pouliot is this season. Theres alot of 3rd liners out there that could potentially fill a top six forward At times during the season that could’ve help better than Pyatt, Halpern, and Moen on the top six experiments JM has put.

      • t1tan5 says:

        You can’t compare the moves made by Chiarelli to those made by PG. The Bruins had a relatively healthy season this year. This afforded Chiarelli the luxury to “bolster” the line-up with role players like Peverly and Kelley as well as a marquis guy like Kaberle. PG made his moves out of necessity. If Markov and Gorges weren’t injured, then he could have risked a first rounder+ to improve an already solid D and get role players. However, with those two players gone for the rest of the season, he needed to replace what was lost instead of adding to an existing core. As a result, he had to go out and get a Markov replacement in Wiz and a couple Gorges replacements in Mara and Sopel (who himself was injured for a period).

  63. HUDSONHAB says:

    There are a lot of cliches in hockey. A lot of “if ands or buts”.
    Here is the one that I am hanging my Habs hat on.
    “KEEP YOUR FEET MOVING!”
    It’s how we beat the B’s, it’s how we beat the Flyers.
    No gliding to or with the puck. Keep your feet moving!
    No standing waiting for a pass. Keep your feet moving!
    “If” we do this “and” we are disciplined, we will kick their “butts”.

    ….Hab4life….

  64. observer says:

    How about in the West? Chicago if they win today at noon in regulation they finish in 5th place(actually tied for 4th but losing that tiebreaker) BUT if they lose in regulation today and Dallas wins in regulation at 6pm – Chicago misses the playoffs entirely.

  65. HabFanSince72 says:

    The other problem with Boston, gooning aside, is that they’re playing really well.

    • observer says:

      And their goalie.

    • CanadienBoy says:

      Lets not forget Pouliots keep taking dump pen.. and ours bigs guys are White and Mara just saying

    • TommyB says:

      The only likelihood of any Bruins gooning would come at a point in any game where Montreal has the game locked up. The Bruins can’t be finding themselves in the penalty box too often if they expect to win this series. So as long as the officiating is fair and consistent (I know that’s a big if considering the father and son Campbell scenario) I like the Habs chances. Close games down to the wire, I think, would work in our favour. If the Habs do get out to a big lead in any game, Martin has to be aware and do his best to protect key players.

      • LA Loyalist says:

        why would Martin suddenly start protecting his key players? He never has here in Montreal. We are damn lucky PK and Price came out of Toronto ok. I just realized why Martin insisted on playing them last night. He wanted his stupid 600th win. He put his own ego ahead of what was best for the Habs getting ready for the playoffs. Why am I not surprised?

        • showey47 says:

          Yeah,that’s exactly what happened. Cause there is no chance martin would have got his 600th win next season,right? Use your head. I’m not defending martin,personally i’ve never been a fan of the guy. But your comment saying martin put his own ego ahead of risking the health of his meal ticket players like subban and price is pretty weak.

        • WestHab says:

          It was not stupid to play key players since the next game is only Thursday. Especially in Price’s case. Pk can take care of himself. He is a hard guy to catch. I had no worry about him getting hurt last night. PK had his own record to catch. So it would have been kinda crummy for Jm to sit him.

          • showey47 says:

            Could you imagine the backlash had martin sat subban being one goal short of tying a 40 year old team record?

    • t1tan5 says:

      The Bruins are extremely streaky as evidenced by multiple stretches of losing many games in a row or winning only 2 out of 5, 6, or 7. If we catch them on one of their down periods (and they are due), I think we could win handily. Of course, if they hit a crescendo, we’re screwed.

  66. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    I think it would be a touching gesture if the Bruins invited Don Cherry to stand behind the bench and manage their line changes, just as a gesture of respect.

    • observer says:

      Say what? It is now 2011 and Coach Martin led the league and by a clear margin in most “too many men on the ice” penalties this year.

    • Danno says:

      Claude Julien has the magic touch too as I recall from game 7 vs Flyers

      ________________________________________

      “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
      http://dennis-kane.com/

    • showey47 says:

      Maybe Cherry can also bring the stuffed gerbil (the actual gerbil not ron maclean) he had on tv last night behind the bench also. The stuffed animal is probably the mot intelligent thing to sit on a HNIC panel in decades. Not sure how the gerbil can view the game with cherry’s colon blocking the view though

  67. 24 Cups says:

    Mike’s preview is spot on. The only thing that I would add would be the possible impact of the three players Boston added to the roster at the trade deadline.

    Kelly, Peverley and Kaberle should make a significant difference although they haven’t really been that impressive since they arrived. The Bruins gave up lots of future assets so it will be interesting to see if it was worth it.

    Speaking of the future, I’m glad to see that Toronto had a better 2nd half to their season. It means that Boston will draft 9th or 10th which should be just outside the circle of elite entry level players.

  68. kirkiswork says:

    We took the Bruins in the season series. They might win one game but we will take the series.

    GOHABSGO

  69. JF says:

    I would actually have preferred the Flyers over the Bruins. They seem to be in some disarray, and their goaltending is obviously a problem. I think the Sabres, who have been playing great hockey lately, will take them out.

    That said, the Bruins have weaknesses we can exploit. Speed should be on our side, and I think our defence is better. Thomas is very good, and he had great numbers this year, but he can be caught out of position if a lot of Habs are buzzing around the net. And he seems to let the Habs get into his head. Then there’s mental toughness. The Bruins have shown as recently as last week that that can be a problem.

    Finally, motivation. Revenge for Pacioretti. Forget taking anyone’s head off; just beat them in 5 or 6. Someone posted on here yesterday that when Price was asked what team he hoped to meet in the playoffs, he answered, “The Bruins, because I f—-ing hate them!” So do we all.

  70. habsguy says:

    cant wait !!!!!!!

  71. Danno says:

    When is the playoff schedule coming out?

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    http://dennis-kane.com/

    • ritcey14 says:

      I heard CBC say Habs Bruins start Thursday night… Im not 100% sure but Im 90% sure that is what I heard.

      • observer says:

        Eastern matchups were known by 10pm last night. The top 3 West teams who open at home know their first 2 series games are at home. NHL must be either waiting to release the entire 1st round playoffs schedule at the same time or they still have possible conflicts with the NBA in a couple of those spots.

        They probably know the eastern schedule, but aren’t releasing it yet.

      • t1tan5 says:

        Habs-Bruins cannot start on Wednesday because the Celtics are playing at home that night. Thursday-Saturday is the best bet for the first two games, after that it’s a crap shoot.

    • HabsFanInTampa says:

      10pm EDT the schedule comes out.

  72. Rugger says:

    I think all 4 eastern matchups look very good. Caps should have the easiest time, but they have yet to show they can bring it in the play-offs. Miller could end the Flyers early and TB v Pitt should be a fun series. Habs-B’s it doesn’t get any better.

    • observer says:

      Washington aimed their entire year at winning in these playoffs after last year’s huge upset. They are the hottest team in the East. The Rangers don’t even deserve to be in these playoffs. There are a handful of teams beneath them in the standings better than them. It took 3 tank jobs one by Cooke and Pittsburgh, a two by Boston and Philly who both after easily opening up a 2 and 3 goal lead on them, suddenly lose all their effort giving the Rangers 3 gift wins in the last 2 weeks. Then when all they had to do to get in was beat Atlanta they get shutout 3-0 at home. And only get in because of the choke job Carolina pulled last night.

      Wash/NYR is a complete mismatch – a skilled team against an American Hockey League level team.

  73. observer says:

    Upon further review, and off the last 3 games of this series it is a terrible matchup for the Habs but it wasn’t in the game in between until Pacioretty got hurt. Complete silence lately on when he may return? Will it be in game 3?

    I thought playing either of the 2 other possibilities as of yesterday at 7pm – Philly or Pittsburgh, the way they are currently playing would be much better for Montreal.

    However, last year this Habs team went south the last 3 games against 3 non-playoff teams losing all 3 as they headed into the playoffs. This year they beat Chicago the Cup champs in a great game, score a clutch late game-tying goal in final minute in Ottawa to clinch a playoff spot and then easily outskate the Leafs last night.

    Boston this year is nowhere near the team Washington and Pittsburgh were last season. Those were impossibilities. Those were huge upsets.

  74. ritcey14 says:

    My predictions
    (1) Washington 4-1 New York (8)
    (2) Philadelphia 2-4 Buffalo (7)
    (3) Boston 2-4 Montreal (6)
    (4) Pittsburgh 4-3 Tampa Bay (5)


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