About last night …

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Who would you rather see at the Bell Centre Tuesday night, Senators or Leafs?
Those are the possibilities, pending Ottawa’s game in Boston on Sunday evening.
After watching the Canadiens easy win on Saturday night, does it really matter?
“On est prêt pour les séries,” Michel Therrien said in his postgame media scrum. “N’inquiétez pas.”
For the benefit of unilingual Canadians – who were doomed to watch Saturday night’s game on Leaf-loving Hockey Night in Canada – the coach said:
“We’re ready for the playoffs. Don’t worry.”
Hit it, Bobby McFerrin.
The last game of the regular season gave Canadiens’ fans ample reason to stop worrying and be very happy.

Anything that brings sorrow to the set of Hockey Night in Canada is cause for celebration, of course.

But the 4-1 dismantling of the Leafs was emphatic. And if the game was a harbinger of the first-round playoff series they’re praying for at HNIC, the Canadiens and their fans can look forward to Tuesday night with some cautious optimism.

Let’s review the happy points:

• James Reimer, who will face Carey Price in a Canadiens-Leafs series, was beaten fur times on 23 shots and watched the last 17 minutes of the game from the Toronto bench.

• Playing in their own barn, the Leafs were held to ONE SHOT in the second period. And seven over the game’s first 40 minutes.

• The Canadiens’ recently inept penalty-killers went 6-for-7 … and the only goal they allowed was a great shot by Phil Kessel.

• The Canadiens were outhit 45-39, but at least one check was recorded by every player in a white jersey – with the exception of Raphael Diaz, who has other virtues.

• The kid line was spectacular. Lars Eller had a goal and two assists, went 8-5 on faceoffs, played 4:27 on the PK and had six hits to lead the team. Brendan Gallagher had a goal and an assist, Alex Galchenyuk had an assist. The line was plus-8 on the game … and still played less than 10 minutes at even strength.

• Jarred Tinordi played almost 15 minutes (including 5:34 on the PK), had four hits and was plus-2.

• Andrei Markov, who had an assist in Winnipeg, added a goal and an assist against the Leafs and was plus-2 while playing a sensible 19 minutes – including a non-taxing 5:36 on the power-play and only a few seconds shorthanded.

• And Therrien continues to push the right buttons.

The coach started Peter Budaj, moved Rene Bourque to right-wing on the David Desharnais line, reunited Gallagher with Eller and Galchenyuk, managed Brandon Prust’s minutes and saw to it that his team kept its cool after falling behind 1-0.

The jury will be out on the goaltender move until we see how Carey Price plays in the postseason opener. But Therrien protected his number-one guy and gave a 10th start to a backup who has been exemplary – Budaj is 8-1-1 – this season.

Therrien said the Canadiens had played “playoff atmosphere” games in Winnipeg and Toronto and responded well to the pressure on both occasions. The easier schedule in the final week of the regular season also allowed time for some decent practices in which, Therrien said, the Canadiens worked on some basics.

We saw that work reflected in the improved PK – although some of that might have been due to the Leafs’ ineptitude. Who knew Tyler Bozak was such a valuable player?

We also saw it in the swarming puck pursuit and rapid transition that characterized the Canadiens play through the first 40 games of the season.

Gaston Therrien showed an example during his whiteboard segment on L’Antichambre. The sequence begins with Tinordi burying Mikhail Grabovski. Josh Gorges scoops up the dislodged puck, while Eller and Galchenyuk are nearby to begin the breakout that culminated in Eller’s goal.

Terrific team defence, lightning-fast transition – qualities that were missing in action during the Canadiens’ recent suckitude.

For one night, against a team that had beaten them 6-0 and 5-1 this season, your Montreal Canadiens looked like they’re ready for the playoffs.

The defence has been bolstered by the return of Diaz, the promotion of Tinordi, the excellence of P.K. Subban and the possible resuscitation of Markov. If the blueline revival continues, Price will not face the high-percentage shooting gallery in which he struggled during the Canadiens’ slump.

Michael Ryder had a rough night in Toronto. He took a bad penalty and was demoted to the fourth line, with Brandon Prust joining Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta.

But Ryder has 20 career playoff goals. I think he’ll bounce back on Tuesday.

The Canadiens will open the playoffs with a lineup that includes three rookies: Gallagher, Galchenyuk and Tinordi.

Can anyone remember this happening in the long and glorious history of hockey’s most successful franchise?

The young core of the team suggests an imminent return to glory.

Starting next week?

•  •  •

The Canadiens had eight players with 10 or more goals this season, tying Pittsburgh for the league lead … Alex Galchenyuk topped the team’s +/- at plus-14. His pal Brendan Gallagher was plus-10. Brandon Prust was plus-11, P.K. plus-12 … The Canadiens won more games on the road (15) than they did at home (14) … Andrei Markov, Josh Gorges, Brian Gionta, Francis Bouillon and Galchenyuk played all 48 games … Peter Budaj had more wins than Jaro Halak this season.

•  •  •

 

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1,099 Comments

  1. habsfan0 says:

    2-1 Ottawa

  2. Timo says:

    Senators are keeping Boston on the outside. Doesn’t bode well for Mtl who has way too many perimeter players.

    • 25insight says:

      Agreed. Sens will be a tough matchup, as they have proved all season long. And this game isn’t over yet. People are mailing it in but there’s an entire 3rd period left and the fans just brought some energy back into that arena…

    • donmarco says:

      Montreal doesn’t really play the cycle system very often. They’re more about speed and cross ice passing, so hard to say how the Sens will play against a different system. They are a very strong defensive team, though. If we do meet them, Price will have to be at the top of his game, and still probably looking at a few 2-1 games.

    • savethepuck says:

      I think the Sens keeping teams to the perimeter has been going on all year and is a big reason Anderson, Lehner, and Bishop before all have such great GAA and sve%. Although all 3 have been playing great.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

  3. thehammer says:

    There’s no easy way to the cups. Sens or leafs. Either series will be tough.

  4. Habilis says:

    The dreaded late one! Crap.

  5. Danno says:

    Peverley scores.

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  6. thorandresson says:

    Is it me, or are most people hoping for the Sens to play the Habs? They’re the better than the Leafs, they played most of the season without Karlsson (by far their best player) and a few other key players and are still in the playoffs, they’re really well coached and now they’re healthier, only player missing is Spezza. Be careful what you wish for people.

    • donmarco says:

      It’s not really that, it’s more most fans want the Habs to finish second and by default that means the Sens have to win. At least how I feel.

      • thorandresson says:

        I think part of it too, is that those fans based in Montreal could easily go to Sens games and invade their arena.

        • donmarco says:

          Yet another advantage, you’re right. I don’t think it matters who we play, they will be difficult games, so may as well pull for the intangibles. Plus if Boston loses they’ll have some serious mojo confidence issues going into the playoffs.

    • Adidess says:

      I don’t think people really mind playing the Leafs. We want 2nd seed and the division lead. If we’re playing the Leafs, it means we’re the 4th seed, with potentially no homecourt in the next round.

    • savethepuck says:

      Some of us are looking beyond round 1. Habs have been a top 5 team all year except for a 2 week slump. Home ice guaranteed in first 2 rounds is more important than being scared of a 1st round opponent.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

    • oldandslo says:

      The only frightening thing about the Leafs are the ass-clowns in stripes who will referee “impartially”.

  7. Adidess says:

    How bad is that ice! Players and referees falling all over the place. ¸

    Lehner is playing really well for Ottawa

    • johnnylarue says:

      You couldn’t tell judging from the quality of the passes Ottawa is pulling off. Man, they’re a scary good passing team.

      • Adidess says:

        Agree. Habs can beat them, but we don’t have the better team (with both teams healthy).

        I want 2nd place for two reasons. 1) Homecourt in second round; 2) Defeat at the hand of the Sens would be more ‘palatable’.

  8. sheds88 says:

    if ottawa wins are we the last North East Division Champs ?!?!

  9. habstrinifan says:

    So what do you think Cherry is doing at home NOW? .. You have five guesses.

  10. Danno says:

    Looks like the Habs will in fact be able to say they went from being worst to first in the division after all.

    ________________________________________

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    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  11. Sportfan says:

    Sens up 2-0! If we play Ottawa it will become a new rivalry most likely!

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
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  12. HardHabits says:

    I think it’s going to be awesome watching Don Cherry get all bent out of shape and conflicted trying to pick a favourite in a Bruins-Leafs series.

    • Adidess says:

      The really bad thing about a Boston-Toronto series is that one of the two will make it to the second round. I hate that thought.

      • The Jackal says:

        I don’t see the laffs getting out of a series against Boston.
        Laffs have only beat Boston once is a really really long time
        I bet the B’s get out of their hibernation once the games matter, their postponed games may have been a bit too much after their easy start.

        ______________________
        Hockey sine stercore tauri.

        • donmarco says:

          The only way that series will go long is because neither teamis playing well at all. On paper, Boston should sweep them, but the way they’ve been playing that would be a stretch to see. As long as its a long and bone crushing series I’m happy.

      • habstrinifan says:

        Would love to meet eithr in the 2nd round.

    • 25insight says:

      it will be nice seeing him be part of a controversy instead of creating one…

    • HFX-HabFan says:

      If the CBC actually lets him back on the air

  13. Danno says:

    It will be a delight to watch the Bruins and Leafs destroy each other in a seven-game demolition derby series where only a maimed and crippled team advances to the second round.

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

    • johnnylarue says:

      Dream come true, really.

      We’ll have our hands full with the Sens, though. No guarantee we’ll get to benefit from those prospective injuries…

    • donmarco says:

      Just wish they were playing on alternate nights to the Habs. That maiming and crippling would make for some pretty enjoyable watching.

  14. Habilis says:

    So if this holds, both the Boston-Toronto series and ours won’t start till Thursday.

    THAT’S gonna suck. After this fast and furious season, it’s gonna seem like a long wait.

    • johnnylarue says:

      From the players’ perspective, an extra few days of rest and practice will be a good thing.

      But yeah, expect an endless barrage of ponderous headline fabricating in the meantime…

    • The Jackal says:

      May be good for Markov, Prust et al.

      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

      • Habilis says:

        Yeah good point about the rest, guys.

        May be a non-issue though, there’s a ton of conflicting chatter on twitter right now. Apparently the Habs were promised a Tuesday start, Sens were promised Wednesday. But the Bell Centre is booked Friday, Saturday and Sunday for concerts atm.

        All that to say, it could be Tuesday vs the Sens. We’ll find out after the game, NHL is announcing the schedule then.

    • donmarco says:

      Habs could do with a practice or two, so it wouldn’t be terrible news.

  15. Danno says:

    Bruins are not the team they used to be

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
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  16. The Jackal says:

    We went through a bad slump just recently but the Bruins have looked BAD for over a month.

    If they end up playing the laffs, I hope they find their game pronto.

    ______________________
    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  17. donmarco says:

    Beautiful night in Montreal. Windows open. Heard a huge roar from a nearby house when the Sens scored. H’mmmmmm. I have Sens fans for neighbours. Guess I know where my dog is doing his business starting Tuesday.

  18. Danno says:

    Anyone know what the playoff schedule will be if it’s Sens vs Habs?

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  19. johnnylarue says:

    I think we might be playing the Sens, guys.

    And too bad there’s no way we can meet the Bruins in the first round. They’re looking pretty dead out there.

  20. Propwash says:

    Is Boston even trying? Oh well, the Habs will be playing in two home arenas.

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  21. Adidess says:

    Haven’t seen Lucic again. Did I miss him?

    Not miss him miss him – couldn’t care less about him :-), has he had another shift?

  22. 25insight says:

    Yes Sens.

    Love how everyone here is watching sens-bruins haha.

  23. habstrinifan says:

    So far So good! Keep it up SENS!

    Imagine that folks! We travelling back and forth between one home-rink to another (believe me Ottawa has more real HABS fans than Sens fans) while enjoying COMIC RELIEF of a Bruins-Leafs tilt. Shakespearean script!

    Fingers crossed everyone!

  24. Timo says:

    Ok. Ottawa it is.

  25. sheds88 says:

    2-0 ottawa

  26. donmarco says:

    Sweeeeeet.

  27. Danno says:

    Et le but!

    Cowen scores 2-0, Sens

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  28. Adidess says:

    Get ready to play the Sens, boys! 2-0

  29. otter649 says:

    So Jim Nill is the new GM in Dallas does that mean Pierre McGuire came in second again in the hiring process……

    • habstrinifan says:

      To be fair to McGuire… dont think he wanted to put himself thru the process again… it was wrenching last time. Let’s be at least that sympathetic.

      • otter649 says:

        As long as PM acts like he’s the smartest GM or coach not employed in The NHL with his I told you so or what have been telling you to the guys at TSN690 – He deserves to get some humour at his expense IMO……

  30. Timo says:

    Second period is pretty boring.

  31. HFX-HabFan says:

    In Ottawa fans’ worst nightmares, the Sens blow a late 2-0 lead as first Chara, then Redden of all people score. After a scoreless OT, Daugavins wins it for Boston in a shootout.

  32. Chilly Willy says:

    If the Habs are to go out in the first round, I rather it be due the hands of the Sens & not Leafs.

  33. Danno says:

    Hmmm…Who to cheer for… Plus P.J. Stock’s fashion statement

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  34. Psycho29 says:

    On NHL.com the only penalty at 20:00 is Marchand for slashing…
    I would have given him an extra two minutes

  35. Sportfan says:

    SO yeah go sens go? or Does everyone want Toronto after last night? I really want to see the Hab fans take over the Sens building!

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
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    • thorandresson says:

      Yah, I’d prefer the Laughs, the Sens are a better team, they have Karlsson

    • donmarco says:

      Accepting the wisdom that there are no easy games or teams in the playoffs, I’d prefer the fewer distractions we’d have by playing Sens. Home game atmosphere no matter where we play and if we win, at least one dreaded rival is gone between Goons and the Laffs, plus the always unforeseen upset by a lower seed like the Rangers or even better, the Islanders. Go Sens.

    • zorro says:

      I would prefer to play the laff’s, they turn the puck over and have a lot of question’s in goal. Ottawa defend’s well and have better goal tending. They may still get Spezza back.

      • donmarco says:

        I prefer playing the Penguins as late as possible to give other teams a chance at an upset, and 2nd overall guarantees that. That’s why I’m cheering for the Sens. That and because I just love watching Boston suck.

  36. Mondou6 says:

    That was Exhibit A for why I didn’t shed a tear when Marchand got concussed on a cheap shot.

    You hate to wish injury on a player, but in his case, and Cooke’s and Chara’s, I’ll make an exception.

  37. zorro says:

    Weasle Marchant, and their coach is no better.

    • Dwayne33 says:

      just thought of this, Montreal beat Toronto 4 1 to end the regular season last night. Montreal also beat Toronto 4 1 to end last years regular season. Glad this year was much better though!

  38. Timo says:

    Ok, where are you all watching the game?

  39. Un Canadien errant says:

    So again, how bushleague is the NHL? Why isn’t Brad Marchand thrown out of the game for such a cheap shot at one of the greatest stars of the game? That’s Dale Hunter on Pierre Turgeon territory. Ridiculous.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      You and I have both discussed ad nauseum the BS that is “Finishing your Check” in this league.

      Drives me batty!

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        And even then, that wouldn’t apply in this instance, the siren had gone at least a second before he assaulted Erik Karlsson.

        It’s completely insane the way the NHL runs its business.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Howie Meeker’s beloved finish-your-check is a positively noble pursuit compared to what that maggot Marchand just did to Karlsson.

  40. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Siren goes to end the period, Marchand slashes then cross-checks Karlsson.

    Is it in his contract? Or just his DNA?

    Might it have anything to do with the fact that Neil was in the locker-room?

    Putz.

  41. HabinBurlington says:

    Marchant is such a little d-bag.

  42. frontenac1 says:

    I like hockey fights,as long as its a good toe to toe fist festival. None this ring around the Rosie crap. Staged not staged,its all fine by me.Go Habs!

  43. habsfan1001 says:

    Wish somebody that Marchand in the beak

  44. HFX-HabFan says:

    LOL @ Marchand

  45. Ferguson-22 says:

    1-0 Senators after 1 (Condra). B’s try to goon it up after the whistle…

  46. Danno says:

    Rat Boy is up to his usual antics.

    Can somebody please flatten his ugly snout?

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  47. Timo says:

    Quite frankly I don’t know who I would rather Habs play – leafs or sens. Actually, neither. I’d rather they played rags or isles or even even boston.

    Also, now that Habs started to pick up their game I don’t think that a long layoff before Ottawa series would be beneficial for Mtl.

    • zorro says:

      We don’t want to play Ottawa, their a more balanced and well coached team, than the Laff’s.

      • savethepuck says:

        If you are worried about who they meet in round 1, you can’t expect them to have a chance in round 2. It is to their advantage to finish as high in the standings as possible.

        “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
        Carey Price

    • HabinBurlington says:

      There must be a way you can blame MT for this can’t you? :) The delay in case they play Ottawa that is.

  48. HFX-HabFan says:

    LOL @ Lucic

  49. Habfan10912 says:

    I think Neal hurt Lucy in that fight.

  50. habs1992 says:

    1-0 ottawa

    I support Carey Price

  51. Danno says:

    Today, and only today, I salute Chris Neil.

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  52. Adidess says:

    Lucic-Neil scrapping

  53. Un Canadien errant says:

    Condra scores!

    Sens 1, Bruins 0

  54. savethepuck says:

    Wooooohooooo.
    Buck the Fruins. 1-0 Sens.
    “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
    Carey Price

  55. HabinBurlington says:

    Woohoo 1-0 Ottawa!

  56. HFX-HabFan says:

    LOL @ Boston

  57. Danno says:

    Sens score 1-0 over Bruins

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  58. Timo says:

    LOL. If you go to TSN and click on the game tracker for the bruins game, after each entry for a hit there is a little advil icon. Very sneaky by advil.

  59. ffenliv says:

    The havens have answered my prayers. I knew I’d be a nervous wreck on Tuesday at work, should the Habs play the Leafs in round #1.

    The weather gods have provided me with a delightful Arctic blizzard that may mean I don’t have to work until Wednesday.

    Huzzah!

  60. Timo says:

    Senators started Lehner… go figure.

  61. bhjv1 says:

    Where’s the Bruins equivalent of http://habsonlinetv.blogspot.ca/?

  62. Adidess says:

    Sens on the PP after the break.

    Haven’t been around here today. Anybody else wants 2nd place?

  63. jon514 says:

    Re-post from other thread…

    4 Question for the HIO community:

    1) Which players have outperformed their season expectations?
    2) Which players have underperformed their season expectations?
    3) Which players have just met their season expectations?
    4) Can we say that MT’s system/style is more suited to certain types of players?

    Happy Playoffs! Go Sens!

    • Habfan10912 says:

      1. Gallagher, Galchenyuk, PK, Eller, Budaj, Emelin, Diaz
      2. Moen, Gorges, White
      3. Pleks, Gionta, Price, Markov, Bourqe, Frankie B, Armstrong,
      4. Eller, Gallagher, Galchenyuk, Bourque

      • habstrinifan says:

        Good choices. Strangely though I would say that you ‘rightly’ excluded Markov in #4’s answer… despite fact that MT tailors his pairings to suit Markov.

    • habstrinifan says:

      Me too! I would be calmer against Sens…and I am sure we will beat the Sens. I think all the stuff which surrounds a Leafs-Habs series would be best once we get our mojo going by beating the Sens.

      Edit: Wrong place.

    • Rugger says:

      1 – Too many to mention
      2 – the DD line, whether it was DD or the combo, not sure.
      3 – Price, gianta, Subban
      4 – Every system is more suited to some but not all.

    • savethepuck says:

      1. Gally, Chucky, Markov, Eller, as of the last week Tinordi, PK
      2. Moen, DD
      3. Everybody else but I’m sure I’ve some players that should be in 1 or 2.
      4. Yeah, Habs players based on their record.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

  64. habsfan0 says:

    WTF?
    Sportsnet East blacked out in the GTA.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Yup, good old NHL and their wonderful agreements with various networks and why you and I would be damaged goods if we were permitted to watch games.

      Okay I realize it is a complete money grab issue, but hate seeing games advertised on various regional networks which i subscribe to, but can’t watch.

  65. habstrinifan says:

    What no game Blog?

  66. Danno says:

    If the Sens win in regulation, what would the Habs vs Sens playoff schedule be?

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

    • Habilis says:

      Sens can win in any fashion, it doesn’t have to be in regulation. In that case, it’s a Thursday start. Beyond that, nobody’s sure. There’s a concert at the Bell Centre on Saturday, but apparently it’s one that can be moved if necessary. Could also be Thursday-Friday though.

    • savethepuck says:

      Nobody knows yet. According to tweets by Stubbs today, when this game was rescheduled for tonight, the NHL promised the Sens they would not get their 1st playoff game until Wednesday, but there is a Rihanna concert at the Bell Wednesday that probably could not be rescheduled.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

  67. HabinBurlington says:

    So apparantly the Celtics basketball game went to Overtime today, and there are great concerns for the ice conditions at tonights game.

  68. SteverenO says:

    @ commandant:

    you wrote:
    *****************************************
    commandantAPRIL 28, 2013 AT 3:30 PM
    1) Coaches do NOT use forwards on the point of their second unit. You never want to be caught with a forward playing defence at the end of a penalty and be stuck playing 5 on 5 with 4 forwards out there. If teams use extra forwards, its almost always on the first unit. With Markov and PK elite PP guys, and a top 5 PP in the league, no sense experimenting with a forward on the first unit.

    2) The PP is top 5 in the league…. I think you are overanalyzing an area that we’ve been excellent at overall.

    3) We are fighting for first place. You don’t rest guys when you have a shot at a goal. See Indianapolis Colts.

    Go Habs Go!
    Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.

    **************************************************

    All excellent points. lets break them down.
    1) Forwards on the point… The chances of a 2nd forward on the point” being victimized ed for a short handed goal allowed, is not nearly as great as having someone than Josh Georges on the point adding to the powerplay goals.If your argument that a goal allowed is somehow worth more than a goal scored than you have a good argument. ( and maybe even a valid one when when team is tied or ahead in a game).

    The fact that the team had the 5th best PP , and a line of Pacioretty, Desharnais, and Gallagher, went on on approximately 100 power play shifts ( calculated as one minute in a two minute power play) and scored a total of 8 times), is a testament to how great the other line was. It also represents a lost opportunity of at least 8 to 10 goals and more than likely a team that would have clinched their divison 3 to 4 games ago,

    3) You don’t rest guys when fighting for first. If that is an argument you choose to make than you have to expect that BudaJ is the starter for game 1 of the playoffs, and I find that very unlikely.
    secondly when resting guys give you a better chance to win , and can help them be more effective in later games can sometimes, be the “smart” decision.

    If you believe that the team was “optimizing” their fight for first place and still got slaughtered in 4 of their last 5 games, Thenfollowed by a two game win streak having made one position change, from Drewiske to Weber to Tinordii., is a team that is “ready” for the playoffs…. I sure could use a heathy dose of whatever it is your smoking.

    I am as big a fan of this team as anyone else on this site, and I truly hope that everything that MT does goes perfectly and the team Makes a healthy exciting playoff run. I hope that ‘Markov plays liek he did when he was 28 years old, and that Tinordi plays as strong as tough as his father used to. I hope that our powerplay lights it up ,and our penalty kill shuts it down. I hope that Price adn /or Buday become walls of stone. No one will be happier than me if that happens.

    I also hope that coaching staff will take advantage of the information, data and statistics, to determine which players are most likely to produce and be effective in which situations, and to ensure that our most effective and productive players be given the maximum opportunity to do what they have been doing well all season long.

    In a short, and condensed , tournament like a playoff series , the team can get a tremendous lift when players step and do even better than they did in the regular season. an Armstrong or Halpern scoring a goal, in a key situation, A Bouillon, Tinordi, or Gorges scoring on a point shot will be unexpected based on the data , but more than welcome. The reality is however, in order to win we need the players that produced all year to be given the chance to do the same as they done during the season. Just because Gorges MAY score a goal at even strength , I would hope that the coach puts Subban on the ice is the last moments of a game we are trailing.

    If Markov or any player is faltering ‘ I would hope and expect that the coach not only notices, but makes adjustments, either in his ice time being reduced accordingly.and/or his defense partner being changed.

    I don’t mind the coach telling the media that they are “ready” but I sure as hell hope he, and the players, know and believe that the next games they play will NOT be anywhere nearly as easy as the last two . They have to know that going 0 for 6 on the power plays is like making a deposit on a set of golf clubs. And they can not expect to be handed 5 on 3’s very often.

    They have to know that any line that scores at a rate of 8 goals on a 100 PowerPlay shifts is not going to cut it. Not even close.. And a coach that allows to to go on that long without adjustment does not normally make a stanley cup winning coach. A coach that recognizes his aging Defenseman is 6th best in the NHL on the PP and does not know that he is also 6th best Defenceman on his OWN team for both offensive, and defensive, production at even strength, yet continues to play him significantly more than his teammates , does not usually win the stanley cup.

    Let’s hope I am wrong, and MT will be the exception to the rule.

    (edited ) 7:24 pm. April 28th.

    regards,

    Steve O.

    • commandant says:

      1) First, its not just MT who has done that. It is virtually every coach in hockey who does this. There is obviously a reason why 30 of the best coaches in the world don’t put a forward on the point of their powerplay’s 2nd unit (though many do it on the first unit). I can’t remember a junior coach doing it either. If you can show some examples of it happening, I’d like to hear about them.

      2) Budaj was 7-1-1 before last night, and hasn’t played in a while. Having him ready for the playoffs incase he is needed was last night’s goal, not resting price. Same reason White and Moen drew in. There is a balance here… still going for first, but making sure your spares are ready if needed too.

      Go Habs Go!
      Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
      http://lastwordonsports.com/

  69. habstrinifan says:

    Do I have this right? Sens win we play Sens and get home-ice for all 7 games of the first round. And the Bruins and Leafs get to play out their version of the ‘biggest loser’.

    GO sens GO!

  70. BJ says:

    Joe Sacco canned as coach of the Avs. I assume there will be a few changes in Dallas as well.

  71. commandant says:

    Why Nieuwendyk’s firing was the right move for Dallas.

    http://lastwordonsports.com/2013/04/28/nieuwendyk-firing-the-right-move-for-the-dallas-stars/

    Go Habs Go!
    Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  72. sweetmad says:

    My brother used to coach the Magill university ladies rugby team in the eighties,he said the players never minded him in the dressing room and he didn’t take much notice after growing up with 4 sisters all older than him,who thought nothing of running around in the nude.
    GO HABS GO

    • Rugger says:

      Lady Ruggers are a different breed, I coached our club’s Womens team one year when i was out with a broken orbital bone. I don’t think anything or anyone would bother them.

  73. Habcouver says:

    Can’t wait for the real season to get going! In the meanwhile, what’s your view on Gally’s odds to winning the Calder? He played 4 less games and finished 3 less points than Huberdeau and Yaks; also, I believe he contributed far more to the team’s success than any of the other candidates.

    Waiting patiently for #25

    • ABHabsfan says:

      Being on the top line of a play-off team should be a real consideration. Both Yak and Huberdeau had 3 points last night in games that meant nothing.

      “man, I love winnin'; you know, it’s like better than losin’?”-
      Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh

      • Habcouver says:

        Exactly ABH. Gally’s points were mainly in key games which determined their outcome.
        Shiat… also, Letang gets a last minute point in a slaughter game to tie Subban. I hope these things are considered when selecting the top honours.

        Waiting patiently for #25


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