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. HUDSONHAB says:

    Yeah but will they win the cup or just blow it like always.
    The Bruins are just like the Leafs, their Stanley Cup is beating the Habs, and that doesn’t even happen that often.
    The Hunchback, Mouth piece and McStupid are not enough to win the cup. Their just big hemroids hanging off the big A-hole that is the Bruin’s organization.

    ….Hab4life….

  2. HUDSONHAB says:

    MY dream final…Habs/ Nucks.
    So I’m taking all B’s and Hawks in my hockey pool.
    If I have to suffer emotionally at least I can benifit financially.

    ….Hab4life….

  3. RetroMikey says:

    Bruins in 5.
    We would have had a better chance to play Tampa Bay and blew it.
    We way have more skill, but are just not big enough to tame the Bruins who do have size and skill like the Flyers.
    We can hope, but it’s going to be an early playoff exit and a disappointing one in the books.
    Better luck next year as they say, we need bigger players come in the fall.

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

  4. Jdub1985 says:

    Just to put a lil perspective on our glorious 2007 Eastern Conference champion record.

    #3 Detroit has the same record: 47 – 25 – 10 = 104 pts

    I guess we were lucky the East was so sh*t back then.

  5. king ddd says:

    ooH yeaH! baby! my 2nd favorite team is in the playoffs. choke Vancouver choke! i smell an upset by the hawks!

    go habs go! go hawks go!
    ** Buck Fruins **

    • gmd says:

      Luongo will choke once again, but I think Vingneault won’t hesitate this time to yank him and put Schneider in.

    • Timo says:

      I sure hope so. I like the Blackhawks, I think they will take the nucks out. (and no, it has nothing to do with the Flames… get it through your heads people, i couldn’t care less about the flames)

  6. Kristopher7 says:

    Full playoff schedule, 10pm EST.

  7. showey47 says:

    wow,can’t believe dallas lost to the wild.

  8. Chris F says:

    Awesome pump up video.
    I wonder if there is any chance for a little surprise in the way of a Markov come back, or even patches?? Man, that would put an interesting spin on the series against the goon bruins. I posted on an earlier thread what I believe should be done next year in terms of addressing the teams lack of size.
    Here goes, how do you think this line-up would stack up against the big bad bruins?
    Pacioretty Gomez Gionta
    AK Plekanec Cammy
    White Eller Pouliot
    Moen Konopka (Eager or Boulton)
    If I were PG, and wanted to make a real splash, my line-up next year would look something like this. And before you say, the fourth line won’t be fast enough to play more than 6-7 minutes, ….isn’t that what’s happening now anyway?? The difference would be, nobody, and I mean nobody would f*ck around with our skilled players anymore. Period.
    Go Habs Go

  9. Kristopher7 says:

    If Dallas wins are they in? I’ll be disappointed if a second team in a second consecutive night can’t find it’s clutch to push for a playoff berth.

    Carolina failed last night, and now Dallas has a chance, but it’s 3-2 Wild at the moment….

  10. TorontoHabsFan says:

    Is Boston an ideal opponent for us? Not really – but neither is any other team in the playoffs.

    WAS – The best offensive player in the game (currently playing) looking to avenge last year’s embarrassment? Scary.

    PHI – Even with their late season swoon, 6 players with 20+ goals (and Leino with 19) is the kind of offensive balance that would give us fits.

    PIT – Even without Malkin and Crosby extremely unlikely to play – they have an excellent defense and let’s not forget the French Goalie factor ;)

    TB – Stamkos is lethal, and St Louis/Lecavalier/Gagne are all legendary Hab Killers.

    So I’ll take our chances with BOS, we’ve often been able to solve Thomas, our special teams are far superior and once you take the fighting out of the equation, I don’t think that “toughness” is as one sided as some would make it.

    Looking forward to it!

    • Steven says:

      I’d be afraid of Washington, and Philly if they regain their form(I don’t think they scare anyone, the way they are now).

      We can beat Pittsburgh. Last year, they had an even better team and we still took them down. Plus Fleury has to be the only French goalie who never excels against us(Except that one shutout in Game 3 I believe last playoffs. He evened that out with his dismal Game 7, though)

      Tampa is basically a poor man’s Washington from last year. They have no goalie and their offense is all they rely on(but theirs is almost strictly on Stamkos while the 09-10 Caps had their scoring spread out)

      Despite all that, I think we match best with Boston, either way. If we avoid the tough stuff(Whether it’s really as lopsided as that or not, as you said), we’ll take them apart.

  11. Kristopher7 says:

    Any mods able to manage the trolls, there are about 3-5 for certain that just make the comment sections unbearable to read, honestly. People are going to stop reading and posting and just quickly browse the main articles/about last night. Such a large % is just troll posts/replies to said trolls.

    Any game plan by the site management/mods? Freedom of speech is all cool, but when it’s pure troll posts, even if they don’t curse or use racist language, they’re allowed to post? PURE troll posts?

    Pick it up HIO, it’s getting as bad as some pretty trashy boards/comment sections out there. Not to mention the amazing posters that have already left/or still read but stopped posting.

    • LA Loyalist says:

      What, anyone who disagrees with you is a troll?

      • showey47 says:

        Where does he say that? It looks like he is talking about the site in general. Which he is pretty much spot on with his post.

        • LL says:

          I agree too…there is a lack of respect recently. If not careful, this turns into all the other blogs…you know the “Your team sucks”, “No, your team sucks kind of NESN, TSN kind of blog.

          • showey47 says:

            Never been to the nesn blog. It must be tough to decipher a blog language mainly made up of grunts and armpit farts. Once in a while i will go read some stuff on tsn when the potential for entertainment value is high (like after last nights game)but i don’t post anything there. This is the only site i post on.

          • LL says:

            LOL re NESN

            Same here, I never even considered posting anywhere else. HIO is like a community, all the rest, as you said, just fluff. But what Kristopher says could be looked into, unless hits are the only object now?

          • showey47 says:

            Maybe it’s just me but it seems like posting has been down since the site change over. Maybe thats why there is very little site moderation,to keep the hit numbers as high as possible. Personally i’ve always been in favour of an “ignore”feature.

          • LL says:

            The ignore button is a very good idea!

          • showey47 says:

            Noticed you changed your handle to just your initials. Was that due to the leaf troll last night?

          • LL says:

            No, (even though that was brutal), like he said, I can handle myself.

            I was fiddling around with this new site’s profile page, and noticed you can use a nickname, so I’m experimenting. I kinda like LL, short and sweet. ;)

  12. Timo says:

    I am loving the Master’s final round. Aside from Cabrerra no pot bellied oldies in the running. Great golf.

  13. CHsam says:

    @thebigguy LMAO actually Im only reading the blog on my iPhone where I have no idea whether you’re replying to AndrewB or not…. And Im assuming your last MSG was directed at me. Relax. I can say pretty much what I want to here, and so can you. You could be troll. I don’t think you’ll lose sleep over a comment like that. Neither will I. Lol

    word to Larry Robinson

  14. Rugger says:

    Lemierre not returning to the Devils next year. I imagine
    Muller will be on the short list. Anyone know if they are allowed to talk with him before the play-offs are done?

  15. HardHabits says:

    Need. Play-off. Hockey.

  16. CHsam says:

    Hahaha, what’s going on in here today? Trolls vs Andrew Berkshire? Lol.

    Timo FTW!

    N.A.G.
    Word

    • thebigguy says:

      Excuse me? As one of those people Andrew’s been discussing with, unless you see the world through the red white and blueest of shades, how can what I’ve been saying resemble trolling?

      But comments like this -> “You’re wrong about everything. You’re a douchebag troll. You live a sad pathetic existence. Get a life moron.”

      That’s not trolling?

      • LA Loyalist says:

        No one is going to respond to takes like that except to rip the guy or defend you (one would hope), so this site should theoretically be self-cleansing and the poster should get bored if we don’t respond to him or encourage him.

      • _Habsoloutly_ says:

        No, it’s not trolling, it’s calling out the trolls and putting them in their place. The trolls want you to argue with them and go on and on forever. Sorry, I call em like I see em and manapart is a douchebag troll.

        P.S. you’ve been here since August 2010, some of us have been here a lot longer dealing with the day in day out trolling of manapart and others, I for one am fed up with him and am not gonna engage him in discussion when all he is interested in is comments like”habs suck”, “Price sucks, should traded him”. So don’t come here and tell other people how they should act when they have been here a lot longer than you.

        • thebigguy says:

          I came here to talk hockey, not to name call. When possible, I contribute to discussions. You don’t like that someone felt we should trade Price last offseason (at the time, a fairly reasonable opinion), that’s hardly worth attacking someone personally.

          If August of 2010 isn’t a reasonable timeline for when you can start namecalling and stop contributing, what is? Is February of 2010 acceptable? Is 2009?

          • _Habsoloutly_ says:

            lol, you’re sticking up for manapart? pathetic. Actually I don’t like how he bashed Price day in and day out and bashes management day in and day out. If you don’t like my posts don’t read them Timmy. Now run along and stick up for your other troll buddies who hate Carey Price.

    • _Habsoloutly_ says:

      It’s manapart and all his little troll minions that he has brought to the site to bash Price and management and any fans who stick by their team.

  17. showey47 says:

    Don’t know if anybody else is watching the bruins/devils game. But jack edwards just referred to the devils fans as “nordiques nation” after they were cheering when the devils scored.

    • Yeats says:

      Evidently, a bunch of fans from Quebec came down to the NYC area this weekend. They were supposed to protest not having a team outside the NHL’s offices yesterday and attend the Devils game this afternoon. It’s not hard to get good tickets at the Prudential Center.

      • showey47 says:

        Ah,ok. Now it makes sense. Would be nice to hear some ole ole oleing or some go habs go from them.

        • Yeats says:

          Everyone is on pins and needles at The Rock. Taking his cue from Lebron James, Jacques Lemaire is supposed to announce his future intentions after the game in a poor-man’s version of The Decision.

        • Yeats says:

          Yep, I could see Kirk going there as well, although some have pointed out to me that he might end up with the Sens because they’re closer to where his family lives.

          • showey47 says:

            Possibly,the devils might shy away from hiring an assistant coach also and go with a proven head coach because of the bad results they had with maclean.

          • LA Loyalist says:

            If we lose Muller after losing Boucher and we are still stuck with Mr. Happy who risked the health of PK and Price so he could get his 600th win… I don’t know what to tell you.

            That’s putting the team first.

          • Mark C says:

            LA what are you talking about, JM risked the health of PK and Price for his 600 win? If he was so interested in winning 600, then why didn’t Price start in OTT? Also, JM has coached well enough this year to keep his current job or get one elsewhere next year and win his 600th game then.

            Guy Boucher didn’t sit any of his key players last night. Shouldn’t you be calling him out and all the coaches that don’t rest players in the final games of the season?

            When other coaches do something it’s cool, but when JM does the exact same thing it has to because of some selfish motive.

          • punkster says:

            LAL…LOL…ya that JM, he’s such a loser.

            ***Subbang Baby!!!***

          • showey47 says:

            Great point Mark C. If anything LA said was true, price would have started in Ottawa. Especially with JM being a former sens coach.

    • Yeats says:

      Nords fans are making a move to the lower area of seats!

      • showey47 says:

        Saw that also,pretty cool. I think its just going to be a matter of time before it happens.

        • Yeats says:

          Then all we need are the Whalers and we can have the old Adams Division!

          • showey47 says:

            I’m thinking the first movement will be an eastern team like atlanta going west hence allowing the redwings to come east. Which apparently an agreement has already been made between the league and redwings if such a scenerio happens.

  18. ZepFan2 says:

    @Andrew

    Yeah, if I remember correctly, he said the Leafs would be better because their defense was better than ours.

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

      • ZepFan2 says:

        But they have Phaneuf, Schenn and Komisarek. No way should the Habs beat them! :razz:

        What’s the saying, “predictions are for Gypsies.” or something like that.

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

        • And don’t forget Reimer, the greatest goalie who’s ever lived ever of all time anywhere in the universe.

          • ZepFan2 says:

            Yeah well, we all know what planet Tony’s living on. It’s just not here.

            Not saying he’s shit. But “greatest goalie ever”….really?!?

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

          • I’m pretty sure next year Reimer will be exposed as mostly crap. He has really shoddy lateral mobility and wears large equipment. Next year he’ll probably have a save % around .905


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