About last night …

CelebrateTB

Let’s be honest.
Were it not for the heroics of Carey Price, your Montreal Canadiens would not be in the playoffs.
But as we say in this red-hot – and, this week, unseasonably cold – hockey city, what have you done for me lately?
Heading into Game 1 in Tampa Bay, the Canadiens goaltender was 4-14 in his previous 18 postseason starts.
Price’s overall playoff record was 9-17. His save percentage: a very ordinary .905.
But .905 is better than .750.
Through 60 minutes against the Lightning, Price was beaten four times on 16 shots.
There were turnovers to create some Tampa Bay chances.
And Steven Stamkos scores against many NHL goaltenders.
But still …

The ghosts of playoffs past are never far from fans’ memories in Montreal.

Through three periods, Carey Price in 2014 was not Jaroslav Halak in 2010. That role was played by Anders Lindback, as the Tampa Bay goaltender faced a barrage of 35 shots.

And when the Canadiens blew two third-period leads, fans had to asking some questions about their goaltender.

Price answered them in OT. He made nine saves, including a game-saver on Alex Killorn, the kid who stayed at Harvard after Louis Leblanc, his friend from from Montreal’s West Island suburbs, left school to go off and ruin his career.

Killorn and Stamkos were the best players in blue jerseys on a night dominated by the guys in white.

In his postgame press conference, Michel Therrien cited “contributions from everyone”, and the stat sheet bears out the coach’s analysis:

• No fewer than 11 Canadiens skaters made the scoresheet.

• The Thomas Vanek-David Desharnais-MaxPacioretty combined for 17 shots on goal. Vanek had seven, plus two that were blocked. Desharnais, shooting more often than is his wont, had six.

• Josh Gorges played 28 minutes and, uncharacteristically, didn’t block a shot. But his defensive alertness prevented a least two Lightning goals.

• Daniel Brière picked up an assist to run his playoff point total to 110 in 109 games. Brière added playmaking punch to a fourth line that spent long stretches in the Tampa Bay end, thanks to the speed and on-the-puck tenacity of Michäel Bournival (playing the first postseason game of what I hope will be a long Canadiens career) and Dale Weise, the trade acquisition whose OT goal had Marc Bergevin hugging everyone in the Canadiens suite at the St. Pete Forum.

• Lars Eller, back from a bout with the flu, had a goal and an assist, as did his linemate, Brian Gionta. Eller added four hits to match the line’s LW, Rene Bourque.

• Tomas Plekanec scored the first-period goal that deflated the home crowd 19 seconds after Nikita Kucherov opened the scoring. Pleks won 16 of 29 faceoffs and played 2:04 of the four minutes the Canadiens were shorthanded.

Heading into Game 2 on Friday, Therrien enjoys the luxury of deploying three lines that excelled in Game 1 – and one that was OK. Playing with Pleks and the customarily energetic Brendan Gallagher, Brandon Prust struggled a bit in his first game since March 18. He’ll be better as the series progresses.

If Tampa bay isn’t better on Friday, the series could end quickly. One need look no further than last spring’s Montreal-Ottawa series for evidence that losing the first game on home ice is not an ideal start.

With the exception of Victor Hedman and Radko Gudas, who had nine hits, Tampa Bay’s D struggled against the Canadiens’ speed and peristence. Mattthew Carle had three giveaways, Sami Salo two. Eric Brewer had difficulty with the Canadiens’ speed and was beaten badly by Brière on Weise’s winner..

Not that the Canadiens shone on the back end. Mike Weaver had a rough night, as did Alexei Emelin. P.K. Subban looked shakey early on but improved as the game progressed; he still hangs on to the puck too long. Andrei Markov played 33:41, high on both teams, but had no SoG and was minus-2.

I thought this game was won by the forwards, who worked hard to keep the puck in the Lightning zone for long stretches and fired 44 shots at Lindback.

Most of the offensive pressure, however, came at even strength. The Canadiens’ power play continues to fire blanks: No goals since March 25 – nine games and counting.

But the PP’s ineptitude was a minor blemish on a solid effort.

“We kept our composure,” Therrien said. “We stuck to the game plan, and we were rewarded at the end.”

If the Canadiens play this well in Game 2 – and if Price is as sharp as he was in OT – the Lightning could be travelling north in a big hole.

• 2,200-plus Comments on the game blog. I guess it’s the playoffs, eh?

• The victory dance:

 

793 Comments

  1. habsfan4ever says:

    Killhorn, pretty impressive young Montreal boy. He would look good in a Habs jersey. Anybody agree? Could he be available in a trade sending the Bolts Bourque and Moen in exchange?

    Les Canadiens sont la!

  2. habsr4ever says:

    During the regular season Therien WAS making BAD in game reads and adjustments. After a goal he would put out his fourth line to ONLY gain energy instead of putting out a line that can score to answer right back. Last night at least he put Plekanec out after the bolts scored a goal. So he should be RIPPED by this site when he has no idea what line to put out to get the momentum back. His post game speech as well was arrogant in the fact him saying the team was well prepared for this game trying to take credit for something. People who are confident in what they are doing don’t need to brag about stuff. just say’in.

    • alain58 says:

      Meh! Of course they were well prepared, they totally dominated Tampa. Only the bad performance by Price kept that game thight. How is it arrogant to stress the good work of everybody?

  3. The Teacher says:

    Well buzz. Switching them up might help. Vanek has experience and is a great passer and can dish the puck to either Markov or Subban(who will now be much closer to the net) for one timers. As well PK has more freedom to move with the puck without worrying about getting caught. Vanek so far has been excellent defensively, and having him and the point with Markov and having subban assume the “kovalev” position might work wonders in my opinion.

  4. 44har48 says:

    I hope PK takes a step back, deep breath, and realizes he is a integral piece of a much bigger puzzle here. He is trying to do way too much. Stay within the system and game, trust your teammates man…I’m getting tired of seeing it and this is not the time of year for that kind of play.

  5. habs001 says:

    Plecks scored but was still a minus 2

  6. habs001 says:

    I noticed PK not as agile as he used to be and he seems to lose his balance a lot more..I remember it was mentioned that he muscled up in his upper body last summer but not sure if that has anything to do with it….He used to be much better at winning the battle in his D zone and getting the puck out….He has so much talent i am sure he will figure it…..There have been very few cup winners that had no dynamic D on their team…

  7. Buzz Lightbeer says:

    The shot of Parros and Murray in the press box last night. That’s the table you want to be sitting at in a strange bar if things get nasty.

  8. The Teacher says:

    As for the PP. My suggestion is that PK and Vanek switch spots on the PP.

  9. The Teacher says:

    Price let a weak one in on stamkos. That never should have went in.

  10. Say Ash says:

    Stamkos’ first goal last night instantly reminded me of Crosby’s last year. Anybody else?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNFMjIq5GE8

  11. First walk/run of the season, 6 minutes slower than last year, so this is when life slows down….42 :lol:

    TURK TURK TURK

    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    http://www.Sholi2000.com
    Custom Sports Figures
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v388/sholi2000/TBLOGO_zps4b01e03e.jpg

  12. Timo says:

    Who the hell is Palat and why do we care?

  13. habsfan0 says:

    Any rumours circulating about Kristers Gudļevskis getting the start for Tampa tomorrow?

  14. HabinBurlington says:

    Loved how often Habs had traffic in front of net, and how much play we seemed to produce from behind the net. Since the arrival of Vanek, the continued play of Gallagher, there seems to be a more infectious effort by the team to go to the dirty areas.

    The winning goal in OT was to me a reward for all the forwards efforts all night to be in the scoring areas.

  15. Chuck Kept Calm and Carey'd On says:

    Maybe putting 4 forwards on the powerplay–if just to change things up a little–might provide some spark.

    X 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

  16. Chuck Kept Calm and Carey'd On says:

    So I’m confused. Is it Therrien’s fault that we won, or Therrien’s fault that we didn’t lose?

    X 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

  17. UKRAINIANhab says:

    Love that Bergevin gif! Awesome!

    Anyways, Habs keep playing like this and it is done in 4 however, expect a big pushback from TB. Price had a bad game, so did Weaver. I expect bounce back games from both. Liked Prust on that Line, Gallagher was good as well, and Plekanec is great as usual!!! Tampa is a good rush team, can’t give up the blueline!

    And I prefer Boullion over Tinordi or Beaulieu : )!

  18. Cardiac says:

    Cooper asked about Bishop’s return: “Not soon.”
    http://canadiens.nhl.com/club/blog.htm?id=261

    “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
    – Jerry Maguire

  19. Chris says:

    Off to watch Game 1 of the Guelph Storm – Erie Otters series tonight. Should be a great series, as both teams are firing on all cylinders…Erie dispatched a very good Soo Greyhounds team in 4 straight, while Guelph surprised me by easily handling a very strong London Knights team in 5 games.

    Guelph gets Brock McGinn back from suspension in Game 2, which will really add to their firepower. With Tyler Bertuzzi stepping back into the lineup and producing immediately despite his long layoff (concussion like symptoms from a neck injury back on December 8th), Guelph’s line-up gets stupidly deep with NHL caliber talent down to the 3rd line.

    Throughout these playoffs, I’ve been VERY impressed with the play of Swiss import Pius Suter. He has quickly become a crowd favourite as a relentless forechecker and penalty killer that has stepped up and played on the top two lines when necessary due to injuries and/or suspensions. He’s a bit small for the NHL (5’10”, 150 pounds), but if he can add some muscle he could be a dark-horse to make the NHL due to his great skating. He’s performed well on the international scene for Switzerland at the U16, U17 and U18 world championships.

    I’m really looking forward to watching Andre Burakowsky (Capitals 1st round pick), Dane Fox (Canucks free agent signing), Connor Brown (Leafs 6th round pick) and Brendan Gaunce (Canucks 1st round pick) for the Otters. There is some impressive talent there. Gaunce used to drive me nuts when he played for the Bulls: you can see he has talent, but he seemed to float a lot. His NHL future is going to be dictated by his skating, which has been sub-standard through his OHL career, but he could become an elite 3rd line and perhaps good 2nd line player.

    Guelph should have an advantage in this series on defence, and I think their forward group is deeper. The wild-cards are the superlative Connor McDavid and Oscar Dansk, the Otters’ goaltender. I’ve seen Dansk a few times over the past two years and I can’t say that I was all that impressed (shocking, I know, as he is Swedish and I only like Europeans! ;) ). But he’s put in a solid campaign this year, and the Storm’s goaltending is their biggest weakness: Justin Nichols can be great, but he is often prone to giving up weak goals.

    I don’t have to say much about McDavid…he’s the best junior level player since Stamkos and an absolute treat to watch. GREAT hockey player.

    I’m really hoping Guelph can pull this one out, but it should be some very entertaining hockey either way.

  20. Strummer says:

    Chad Johnstone
    ______________________________________________________
    “It’s just an opinion- I could be wrong”

  21. Strummer says:

    Chad Ocho-Cinquo signs with the Al’s
    Chad “Quatre-Vingt-Cinque”?

    ______________________________________________________
    “It’s just an opinion- I could be wrong”

  22. Strummer says:

    Chad (Ocho-Cinquo) J0hns0n signed with the Al’s today.

    Chad “Quatre-Vingt-Cinque”?

    ______________________________________________________
    “It’s just an opinion- I could be wrong”

  23. shiram says:

    Palat to be a game time decision tomorrow.

  24. icky pop says:

    I didn’t get to watch the game last night cuz apparently paying bills is way more important than the habs in the playoffs. anyways, I came on to talk about price. he had a bad game. the team pulled one out for him. from what I read, he won the game in overtime, regardless of who scored. I think price was extremely nervous about this game. he may have won gold, and had his best season. he still has a monkey on his back when it comes to playoffs. only one series win in his career, and none since halaks 2010 heroics. the team kept this game in hand, and I believe that the overtime last night will set the pace for price in the playoffs. ill forgive another game like the one he had last night. we just need the team to win the game for him, like he did for the team all year long. we just need to win this one series. if price walks out of the series a winner with a 4.00 GAA, it wont matter. he will have won, and will do wonders for his confidence. there is more pressure on the Stanley cup playoffs than there is at the Olympics. I believe price will be in net for #25. the team in front of him just needs to do what they did last night.

  25. Da Hema says:

    I can’t wait for the Habs to beat Tampa Bay — if only to see how Marc will better The Bergevin Boogie.

    I wonder if Sam Pollock ever did a Pollock Polka?

  26. bwoar says:

    @ mdp2011

    Palat going out is bigger than people think. The kid is a 200-foot player and he’s the kind of player that can skate with the Habs and beat them. He earned his time with Stamkos and he’s a threat.

    Kudos to PK for hitting him twice, the second time rocked him good.

  27. Luke says:

    You know what I really liked about last night’s game?

    The INTANGIBLES!

    They were so good you could almost touch ‘em.

  28. Hobie says:

    I’m sure it’s been mentioned today already but the opening montage on HNIC was good as always. I know, I know, it’s about the only good thing they do.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtAeB7EhGv4

    • habsfan0 says:

      They’re pretty good at talking about the Laffs as well.

    • JUST ME says:

      Their camera shots are superior, crowd shots,city shots, ambiance reproduction and interviews with players but i think it`s only because we are used to something different with RDS . Every time i try to listen to them cause the pisture quality on the cbc stream is far superior i always come back to RDS cause the comments on HNIC are too frustratingly one sided…

  29. Old Bald Bird says:

    How did “come on” become “common”?

  30. Chris says:

    If I was the coach (and there are countless reasons why you should not want that!), I would definitely change up the power play units.

    The current first unit (Markov, Subban, Vanek, Desharnais, Pacioretty) isn’t getting it done. Rob had a great analysis of why Desharnais, as good as he has been playing, isn’t the optimal guy for that unit.

    Markov also is looking like a fish out of water of late. Watching the game last night, he seemed lost at times.

    If I was running things, I think I would keep Vanek (one of the best shot-tippers in the NHL) and Subban (one of the best shooters in the league) together on one wave. I would try Briere on that unit to get another down-low shooting threat, thereby keeping the defenders honest and preventing the current strategy of playing the forwards out nearly on top of Markov and Subban. I think Gorges could perhaps play Markov’s current role of teeing up Subban…Subban rarely passes it back and Markov rarely shoots anyways, so its not like Gorges would change things much. Round the unit out with Plekanec, who is a good player down low that has a decent shot.

    On the second wave, I would have Markov and Emelin on the point. Put Desharnais with them, and set up Pacioretty as the primary shooter, a role he excelled in until Vanek’s addition. Round that unit out with one of Gionta or Gallagher, a right-handed shooter that can bang in rebounds.

    The nice thing with that second wave is that it allows Markov to go back to the left side where he is far more dangerous, and it opens up his back-door sneak plays that haven’t really been connecting this year. Emelin has a heavy enough shot that he could be more dangerous with Markov teeing him up, but he’s not such a big risk that the opposition would charge him the way they now do with Subban. Pacioretty, as a left-handed shot, could then play on the right side for one-timers, giving Markov a pair of lanes to pass to, and it frees up the left side of the ice for him to work his magic.

    The power play is obviously sputtering right now, so drastic measures would not be out of place.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      A few people have been asking for Briere to get a chance on the 1st wave for some time now. Seems like it would make a great deal of sense, but for now MT seems reluctant to break up DD from that group. Perhaps in moving Max to the 2nd wave it makes it easier to put DD on that wave. BUt I still think Max should be on the first wave. And i also think with Markov removed and Gorges as the 1st wave partner, PK is blanketed at the point.

      • Chris says:

        I think PK is blanketed at the point regardless of what they do until he starts to pass up shots. Right now, he’s still forcing shots or trying to walk the line to open a lane, so they have nothing to lose by charging him. With Plekanec, Briere and Vanek down low, the Habs would have three guys that all like to snipe, which would perhaps keep the penalty killing box more honest.

        Pacioretty hasn’t scored a power play goal in 21 games since March 1st, 2 games prior to Vanek’s arrival. He had scored 10 in 53 games before that. Something isn’t quite clicking for him with the current arrangement, which was the only reason I considered moving him to a “second” unit.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Understood your reasoning, I would almost be tempted to have Markov/Emelin run the first wave may free up more “snipe” opportunities for Max or whomever is playing the wings.

          Either way, the present PowerPlay is clearly not right.

        • frontenac1 says:

          The guys on AC last night said the opposition has keyed into the lack of shots from PK at the point. He is passing to much resulting in him and Markov getting blanketed. They said he should fire low at the net much more. He has a howitzer and what doesn’t get through will hurt his cover. That was Gaston and Carbo.

          • Chris says:

            He was firing with reckless abandon, but the Bruins showed the rest of the league how to guard it: just charge him. When the puck hits a shin pad, you have a good chance of being off to the races on a short-handed breakaway.

      • Cal says:

        Habs should use Vanek on the left wing half wall on the PP. He’s a great passer AND shooter.

    • The Jackal says:

      You’re hired!

      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • HUDSONHAB says:

      You lost me a Georges.

      ….Hab4life….

  31. habsfan0 says:

    If there are two words that come to mind in describing the 2013-14 edition of the Montreal Canadiens, they are resiliency and character.
    It seems that there aren’t many obstacles which this team can’t overcome,their faith and belief in themselves being so strong.

    Those two qualities can carry a team a great distance in the postseason.

  32. twilighthours says:

    Last night, of all the shot attempts that weren’t blocked, Montreal’s avg shooting distance was 32.7ft while TB’s was 34.3ft.

    Montreal attempted 27 unblocked shots from 25 feet or closer, while TB attempted 16.

    If you trust extraskater.com

    • Hobie says:

      Earth shattering! I see the game in a totally different way now. ;-).

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Ha! We no longer need to watch Hobie, we can just read the extended version boxscores!

        • Hobie says:

          Seriously, just watch that gamecast software they have over on ESPN where all the little dots appear on the screen displaying stats. Why watch the game at all because the stats tell the real story!
          To cover hockey now you don’t need to know anything about the game but only how to read advanced stats. Awesome stuff.

          • twilighthours says:

            Were I an NHL coach, one thing I’d definitely want to know is shot distance and shot quality. That would help me a lot. Our high school team even tracks it sometimes.

          • Chris says:

            Twi: The NHL statisticians do actually track that, and the teams almost certainly have it compiled. It is one of the stats that they don’t compile for the public, only releasing them game by game.

            You can see that the scorers keep track of that in the play-by-play summaries in the game sheets.

            It is a very useful number for coaches.

          • twilighthours says:

            Thanks, Christopher. I couldn’t be bothered going thru a bunch and compiling them. I spend a sad portion of my day in front of a computer as it is. But it would be interesting to see shot quality and shot distance data over a period of time. We often have read about how the Leafs gave up a lot of shots but none of them were good ones. It might be neat to investigate it.

            And it might even enhance our knowledge of the game. Eh Hobie? :)

          • Hobie says:

            Absolutely, it’s useful info for a coach to know how far out his team his shooting from. I’m simply saying that being informed TB’s shots came from slightly less than two feet further than Montreal’s wasn’t all that useful to anyone here, or did it really have an impact on the game.

            I don’t think the Habs won because their average shot came from 32ft as apposed to TB’s coming from 34ft?

          • twilighthours says:

            Agreed. It wasn’t. (maybe slightly more useful reading about how much Subban sucks).

            It definitely agreed with what we all saw: Montreal was around TB’s net more than vice-versa.

            But I’ve read a bunch on here today about how TB’s chances were all glorious ones, MTL’s weren’t as good. So, while it was interesting to see the available data on the issue, I spent two minutes in excel to get that to you. It’s not going to be a quick job to get you something good like shot quality and distance.

            Plus, you don’t deserve anything good.

          • Hobie says:

            Really? I don’t think I’ve ever said Subban sucks? He’s actually one of my favourite players in the league. I just don’t share your opinion that he’s playing poorly on certain nights as a result of Therrien and I don’t throw little temper tantrums when somebody criticizes Subban. That’s all.

          • twilighthours says:

            Eh, that wasn’t a shot at you. It was a comment on today’s most popular topic.

          • Chris says:

            Twi: I share your aversion to compiling that data. It would be mind-numbing. It is a good example of a number that the NHL is tracking, and teams are probably compiling, that is not being released in a more palatable form to the public.

            Another good example is the shot attempts blocked. They give you missed shots, they give you blocked shots (by the defenders), but you can’t easily find the statistic for the players who have their shots blocked the most. Anybody want to bet on Emelin having the largest percentage of his shot attempts blocked?

          • Hobie says:

            No hard feelings twi. I just seem notice you making little snide remarks after a lot of my posts when you don’t agree. To be honest, I’m just a bit fed up with the advanced stats.

            You get guys on the radio or TV that have played or coached in the league for decades being ignored in favor of some guy who’s never played before who’s run a formula through an Excel spreadsheet.

            Sorry if I was being a douche, a bit of a hangover from going wild during the Habs victory last night. Take care man!

          • twilighthours says:

            I love you man. (Both of you)

          • Hobie says:

            Who? Me and my alter ego?

    • punkster says:

      Pearls before swine, bro…pearls before swine.

      (no offense guys, just trying to keep it light hearted)

      Release the Subbang!!!

    • punkster says:

      And let me clarify…I know HH and Burly are just joshin’ but information like this is extremely valuable for after the fact analysis and preparation for future games…but I know you know that.

      Release the Subbang!!!

    • JUST ME says:

      What about the importance of shot distance ? Has nothing really relevant to the analysis of the game unless of course you are facing a guy like Al Iafrate who can shot a 100 miles an hour or a Steve Stamkos.

      The spot from where a team tends to shoot is much more indicative. In the slot, from the point, close to the face off circles…That can help you prepare but then again it depends on the speed of the shot…

      Anyway stats are so misleading.

      What if i told you that Tampa only lead 214 seconds yesterday (true fact), gave you the shots on goal and asked you to guess the final score ?

      • twilighthours says:

        I don’t follow. Are you saying shot distance is not important, or is?

        The single biggest predictor of if a shot is going to go in is the distance from which it’s taken. That’s not causality, but correlation, but still very very strongly correlated. This passes the eye-test: most guys in the league need to be in close to snip a goal.

        What I’m saying is that if I had a shot of placement and quality (how wide open a player was/how much time he had), I’d use it to help adjust defensively.

        Man, I’m not even a hockey numbers guy. Yet I’m getting abused here.

        • Chris says:

          I’m actually finding it amusing how much you are getting trashed on this front. See what happens when you try to post a useful link!? :)

          For the record, I’ve always liked that website. It is kind of fun seeing where the shots came from.

          What would be really fun is throwing a chip in the pucks so that you could get live time velocity data. Then you could attach the speed of the shot to the shot origin and you’re really onto something.

          The accelerometers needed to do this are dirt cheap these days: every laptop computer has one to protect the hard drive from damage when the computer is bumped or dropped.

      • punkster says:

        Ah, but if team A had an average shot distance of 25 feet and team B and average of 55 feet…wouldn’t that suggest something?

        Of course no single stat like that can actually give you a thing unless other stats are taken into account…such as location of shots (as you mentions), type of shot (wrist, snap, slap, forehand, backhand, etc), what events lead up to the shots and on and on and on.

        Put them all together and a clearer picture of what went right or wrong, how to improve, etc comes through.

        It’s not all just “we lost, bag skate” or “our PP sucks, practice the PP”…use the statistics to hone the skills, try different approaches on the ice, improve the results.

        Release the Subbang!!!

  33. Lafleurguy says:

    Over 150 posts on this page, and not one mention of Subbie. Oh how soon we forget.

  34. Alex says:

    Wow! What a nerve-wracking, nail biting, exciting game last night! It is nice to see our Habs outshooting the opponents after many games on the other end this season. No worries about Carey, he was huge in OT and made the saves when they mattered. Also, most goals by Tampa were high percentage scoring chances – something the boxscore or save percentage will not account for.

    Tomorrow night cannot come soon enough!
    Go Habs Go!

  35. Chris says:

    The Bruins-Red Wings series couldn’t open last night because the Boston Celtics had their last home game of the season. Why aren’t they starting tonight? I suspect the league doesn’t want to water down its product: Chicago-St. Louis and New York-Philadelphia are two marquee series from a television ratings point of view that both open tonight. The league understandably would want Boston-Detroit, another series involving two of the highest profile teams in the league, to not land on the same night as those other two major market series, hence the Friday opening.

    What is the advantage for the Bruins to starting on Friday night? If anything, it is a disadvantage, because it means that the Bruins might have a shorter layover between the 1st and 2nd rounds than the other teams. I know that some of you are always looking for league conspiracies involving the Bruins or Maple Leafs, but there isn’t one here. It’s just the way the scheduling worked out.

    • The Jackal says:

      This.

      Also, the Wings get more of an advantage from this longer wait than the B’s do. More time to rest up, recover from injury, and practice with the youngsters. Babcock will make very good use of the extra time.
      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      K, got it. ;-)

      • The Jackal says:

        Well, maybe Jacobs and Campbell planned it all.
        They knew the Celtics last game was yesterday, and they also knew the B’s had a heavy schedule to finish the year, so they lobbied for an early start knowing that they would likely get it due to the scheduling conflicts at the Garden and on TV.

        ______________________
        Hockey sine stercore tauri.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I have no idea what the truth is, perhaps indeed all “scheduling” but the Bruins had indeed a heavy finish to schedule. I am allowed to believe in my conspiracies, Jacobs has had enough influence in this league for me to believe it isn’t hard for him to catch a break if he wants it. I know I sound far fetched (to some) but I just don’t put it past this league.

          • The Jackal says:

            I understand that sentiment and I agree that Jacobs pulls some strings, I wasn’t trying to sound facetious, just joking around the issue.

            ______________________
            Hockey sine stercore tauri.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I know Jackal, I took zero offence from your post. CHeers bud!

    • habs12 says:

      This theory holds, unless they are given another late start to begin round 2…

    • shiram says:

      So, how much did they pay you?

    • Cal says:

      Sure, sure….

    • Luke says:

      The NHL will ref the Bruins into a 4 game sweep (3 would be too obvious) to ensure they have all the extra rest time they need between rounds.

      I also heard that the Bruins got some sweet new massage chairs, featuring the patented Human Touch robotic massage chair technology, from an “anonymous” donor. As well as some light therapy lamps and a zen waterfall fountain.

      And a box of fresh puppy meat.

  36. jimmy shaker says:

    Price will shake off the rust and be better in game 2. Liked the game as a whole last night…..happy to see Danny get a regular shift and get rewarded. Limited the bolts shots but still had some quality chances. Price can be better on two of the goals and it’s all good. Looking for a big game from him on Friday. Great day for hab nation!

    Shaker out!

  37. The Jackal says:

    Theory of the day:

    CAPSLOCK DAN = RetroMonkey = scrotchland = Storm Man

    ______________________
    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  38. The Jackal says:

    Theory of the day:

    CAPSLOCK DAN = RetroMonkey = Storm Man = scrotchland

    ______________________
    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • on2ndthought says:

      interesting matchups from Cooper:

      Sami Salo and Victor Hedman were used to shutdown Desharnais’ line – they played 12.3 minutes against them
      Callahan was matched against Subban the majority of the night

      We benefit from Malone’s stupidity here. If Cooper could sic Malone on Subban, he could use Callahan to more offensive ends.

      “a cannonading drive”

  39. Big Buffy Boat Club says:

    Impossible to say anything un-redundant, so I’ll say something that feels pretty weird for a lifelong Habs fan:

    Our centres were clearly better then the competition’s, they bailed out the goaltending. Strange days.

    ———————————————————————————-
    “Crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentations of the women.”

  40. @frontenac1

    It’a always the same way, someone does something great and others pretend they come up with it. I don’t mind, makes feel all warm inside when others are happy because of my work.

    You can dance if you want to, you can leave your friends behind, because …….

    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    http://www.Sholi2000.com
    Custom Sports Figures
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v388/sholi2000/TBLOGO_zps4b01e03e.jpg

  41. on2ndthought says:

    This game was probably a relief for Eller. Last year was a nightmare. After trauma, you can be brave, but you don’t know how you will react to a repeat until you’re there. I hope he can start playing with the same confidence he had before Gryba, not sure many of us could.

    Same old playoff bullspit. The announcers eat it up: “game on!” “the playoffs begin!”. Honestly, one brave ref just had to pull his whistle out of his ass and give two minutes to Stamkos for unsportmanlike or roughing, and they could just play hockey. Now, they have to play ‘playoff hockey’ which benefits the bigger, not the more skilled team. It also cranks up the goon energy and you get the Gryba bs in the first place. … still fuming!

    “a cannonading drive”

  42. naweed235 says:

    Random thoughts:

    – I think one of the most underrated decisions that the coaching staff has made is to play Bourque on the same line as the Captain. No way in hell will he allow himself to slack off when he sees Gio who is half his size giving 110% out there.

    – I’ll admit it; I’ve always been one of the people who think that Price is not a money goalie and by that I mean he has a tendency to play weak when the games count most. However, on many occasions this season, I was pleasantly surprised with him. Much of it has to do with Stephane Waite’s work. Now that the pressure of having to win a game in Tampa is off his shoulders, I fully expect him to come back with a strong performance for game 2

    – With all of the prospects in whom we have high hopes, being at least 3 years away from making an impact in the NHL (De la Rose, McCaren, etc.), is this the year that we have the best chance to push for a cup? I mean the chances of having all of Markov, Subban, Vanek, Pleky, Pacioretty, Gionta and Price in the same line up in the near future is slim… These guys are key if are to make any serious noise in the playoffs.

  43. Psycho29 says:

    Whoo Hooo…
    Went to Canadian Tire at lunch, going through check-out and they gave all customers “Go Habs Go- Series 2014″ posters.
    Only Parros and Bournival are visible, but you do see Markov’s back and Emelin from the side.

    Still a nice gesture…..

  44. habkin says:

    Regarding the Bruins and Red Wings’ series, Detroit has nothing to lose and everything to gain. I predict an upset!

  45. Butterface says:

    ***********************
    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…..
    ***********************

    Unlikely Therrien will fix a team that didn’t allow many shots, scored 5 goals, and won the game…. so I suspect no changes.

    Our worst player is normally our best. And we definitely won’t change him out. I (as we all do) expect Price will rebound with solid games for the rest of the series.

    I do wonder how Cooper will react. Will he replace his goalie or will that only happen if he drops the next game ? Will they counter our aggressive pinching by keeping the wingers higher up the boards ?

    It was interesting to see a normally conservative Weaver pinch. Although he almost kept it in he was the goat for that goal, but still managed to be a plus 2 in the game.

    DD was extremely good as well as Eller and Briere.

    The only player I could see Therrien switch out is Prust for White or Moen. But I still think this won’t happen.

    He could also opt for Murray for Boullion, but as Price didn’t see much rubber I am inclined to think he returns to the guys who won.

    Because, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

    • CAPSLOCK DAN says:

      BOULLION IMO IS A DRAG ON THE DEFENSE. MURRAY IS A DEFENSIVE LIABILITY AS WELL, BUT AT LEAST HE HAS A STRONG CREASE PRESENCE. BOULLION HAS NOTHING, HE’S JUST THERE AND THAT’S IT.

      TINORDI SHOULD BE SEEING SOME ICE TIME OVER BOULLION. HE HAS A FUTURE AND BRINGS MORE TOOLS TO THE TABLE.

      • Butterface says:

        Tinordi will get his ice time, but not in this series.

        I think they would be more inclined to play him in a series against a Philly or Boston or Western team…. and I would still expect him to play behind Murray.

        Tinordi will see ice time next regular season….he will only get bigger better stronger….maybe not faster.

        ***********************
        If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…..
        ***********************

    • Prust showed some rust from being out 12 games, but he’ll get back into the swing of things soon enough.

      Defense wins championships

      “To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.” St. Thomas Aquinas

  46. CAPSLOCK DAN says:

    WOW, WHAT A GREAT GAME!

    I UTTERLY LOST IT WHEN WISE SCORED THE OT WINNER. I THINK THAT IF THIS TEAM MAINTAINS IT’S COMPOSURE AND IS ABLE TO RESPOND PHYSICALLY IF POSSIBLE, WE COULD WIN THE SERIES. A KEY FACTO IS THE ABSENSE OF TAMAPS MOST INTIMIDATING PLAYER IN RYAN MALONE: THAT REALLY PREVENTS THEM FROM BEING ABLE TO PUSH THIS TEAM AROUND AND IMO GIVES US THE PHYSICAL EDGE IN THIS SERIES. IF MURRAY PUTS STAMKOS IN A HEADLOCK AND THROWS SOME PUNCHES IN FRONT OF THE NET, WHO IS ABLE TO RESPOND? CROMBEEN? HE WOULD GET WRECKED. THIS MEANS THAT SUBBAN AND EMELIN CAN PLAY A HEVY HITTING DEFENSIVE GAME WITHOUT HAVING TO WORRY ABOUT CHILDISH BOSTON-ESQUE BITCH-TANTRUMS FROM THE OPPOSING SIDE.

    HAVE A HAPPY EASTER-LONG WEEKEND AND HAVE A GREAT DAY!

    GO HABS GO!

  47. Mr_MacDougall says:

    Yeah Price had an off night.. Sucks to be Tampa blowing the opportunity.. Carey woke up in OT and will be one of the three stars tomorrow night! Prust is not a top 9 player.. Miss Chucky.. Even a healthy Moen is far better..

    ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

  48. 24AW says:

    a 4th line that can score that is a huge factor we had a good one last night.

  49. kalevine says:

    A few things I am very happy to see that were almost absent last year’s playoff, already on display this year

    timely goal scoring. The single most important goal might have been the one by Pleks. Without it, they may have lapsed into a repeat performance of chasing from behind only to fall further behind, and there may have been no OT

    some degree of opportunism. as I’ve mentioned, successful playoff teams take advantage of opportunities. Sure they had over 40 shots, but many were simply directed at the net to take advantage of perceived weaknesses by the Tampa goalie, and, considering that, 5 goals was pretty good

    for the most part, the best players were the best, especially among the forwards

    a number of players with difficult to decent seasons stepped up – Briere (what a grinder!), Eller, and Bourque among them

    great play down low. as others have mentioned. I realize it is the Lightning, not the most physical team, but the Habs have a lot of forwards who worked very hard in the trenches and won puck battles that the team would not have won last year. Even DD, Gallagher and Briere won more than their share

    Pacs awakened. Missing that OT chance will harden his resolve. And they won anyway

    many more. I am very optimistic right now

  50. Anybody know why the Boston-Detroit series only starts on Friday, when every other series starts yesterday or today? Weird.


    Devils coach Jacques Lemaire on the Daneyko-Kaminski feud – “Daneyko got mad when Kaminski said he was going to knock his teeth out. Dano has only two teeth left, so you can’t say that to Dano.”

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Jacobs told Bettman his players needed a rest after being given a reg. season schedule that finished a bit heavy. So Bettman said sure Jeremy, tell me how much time would you like off? How about you start Friday after every other series has begun.

      Edit: And we’ll tell everyone about that busy concert schedule you booked even though you knew when the playoffs were going to start last summer.

    • BriPro says:

      Because daddy Campbell wants to make sure his boys are well rested.

    • The Jackal says:

      The favourite here is that the NHL is helping Jacobs and the B’s by giving them extra rest, but the more plausible one is that the Garden had booked events at home, with the B’s having home ice we have to wait for the Garden to free up.
      Good for Detroit though, I think this will be one of the upsets. Detroit in 7.

      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

      • kalevine says:

        I think the Wings are one of the worst draws the B’s could have gotten, and would love to see their season end prematurely

      • HabinBurlington says:

        More plausible how? You mean they had no idea when the reg. season was ending and when playoffs start when they booked concerts?

        BS to that, the league does whatever Jacobs wants.

        • The Jackal says:

          The concerts and events are booked way in advance and the Garden is also home to the Celtics, who played last night. Also have to factor in TV broadcast schedules for games – three 7pm starts in one night is a bit much for fans who want to watch as many games as possible. IMO it does look fishy and I don’t deny Jacobs is a scheming dingus but the rest does a lot more for the Wings than the Bruins. IMO the rest is negative for the B’s – they had a lot of momentum going in and now they have to wait to start their series against a pumped Wings team who was on a roll as well.

          ______________________
          Hockey sine stercore tauri.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Bruins had a very backend heavy schedule. In talking with my Bruins buddies, they were ecstatic to get the rest. Their defence had been pretty nicked up as well.

            I don’t buy the concert/Celtic story. That series should have started today or yesterday. I may wear a foil hat, but I believe Jacobs gets what Jacobs wants.

            The Colin Campbell email scandal proved this league has sets of rules for the Bruins and the rest of the league.

      • Thanks guys. I wonder, though — with the Wings’ long list of walking wounded, maybe the extra days off benefit them more than the healthier Bruins?


        Devils coach Jacques Lemaire on the Daneyko-Kaminski feud – “Daneyko got mad when Kaminski said he was going to knock his teeth out. Dano has only two teeth left, so you can’t say that to Dano.”

  51. Walmyr says:

    Hello everybody!

    Great game last night!…We as a team (IMO that’s the more important) played a great game!…

    For a first playoff game I think we did great against a good team (who has probably the best forward in the game today)…

    Our 4 forward lines played a really solid game. Our D had some trouble sometimes in the game but again it was the 1st playoff game. And Price?…he was there when we needed most (OT is so hard to watch…imagine to play!…and as a goalie!!!).

    So let’s enjoy this moment and get ready for the second game!…Man, this time of the year is really exciting!!!

    PS.:
    Première Étoile: Dale “Max-Pac” Weise
    Deuxième Étoile: Daniel “Mr. Clutch” Briere
    Troisième Étoile: Michael “Havoc” Bournival
    (I know…I know…The Captain, Larry or Super Vanek could also be stars of the game…but it was just my way to give kudos to our 4th line…)

    CHeers!!!

  52. BriPro says:

    Tony Marinaro.
    Man, I can’t stand that guy.
    What a buffoon!
    I was listening to him and Brian Wilde this morning recounting the game last night and here he goes… Saying how PK is clueless. His exact words.
    Wilde fittingly called him out on it, and you could tell that Brian wasn’t impressed with his choice of adjectives.
    Between that idiot’s mouth and tweets, I wish he was within slapping distance.
    Time for TSN Montreal to find another announcer for the 10 am timeslot, before he alienates the entire morning listening audience.

  53. Mick says:

    Hat’s off to our captain who led the way last night and the Eller line for the “A” effort.
    Price will be fine but the D is the only thing that needs to sort itself out.
    WE will win in 5 games and F the Bruins.

  54. derfab says:

    Prust has been out too long to play top 6. Eller should have been on the wing with Pleks. Prust can ride shotgun for Briere, like Hartnell did. The defence was nervous and mediocre, Price not much better but not to blame. Lots of bad decisions, turnovers by vets who know better. Pacioretty was at times invisible, not good enough. Not a well played game on either side, so/but we’ll take it.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Disagree. Prust is on that line because they shadow Stamkos. They aren’t the 2nd line so much as the shutdown line.

      Having Eller with Gionta and Bourque gives us a second line that can score.

      —–
      Moving. Forward.

      • A line like that is nice to have — a shutdown line with speed that can score. I just wonder if Prust is still healthy/agile enough to play that role against TB’s top line. And Gallagher may not be the best fit there, for the defensive duties. I guess you can’t argue with a win, though.


        Devils coach Jacques Lemaire on the Daneyko-Kaminski feud – “Daneyko got mad when Kaminski said he was going to knock his teeth out. Dano has only two teeth left, so you can’t say that to Dano.”

      • habs12 says:

        Prust sucked last night and cannot be on a shutdown line.

  55. DipsyDoodler says:

    Re: Trotz. He’s been good at supposedly over-achieving with a mediocre team (although that is even debatable – 19 playoff games won in 15 years).

    But the mistake is assuming this will translate to success when he has a competitive squad to coach. It may and it may not.

    —–
    Moving. Forward.

    • mdp2011 says:

      Although he had Weber and Suter for a while, he really never had an offensive catalyst up front.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I agree with your premise, and have always cringed a little when people would talk about how great Poile and Trotz are, similar to Regier and Ruff in Buffalo.

      Having said that, I do think Trotz is a good coach with potential to be very good. He just never got the horses to prove it in Nashville. Odd that they would fire him the year he doesn’t have his top goalie for much of the season.

      As others have said though, I really hope he doesn’t land in Toronto, he would improve that team.

  56. habs-fan-84 says:

    Dave Andreychuk on HockeyCentral at noon just said he doesn’t believe Bishop will be back for this series.

  57. HabinBurlington says:

    A brief but well written story on why the Predators perhaps made a mistake in firing Trotz.

    http://kuklaskorner.com/psh/comments/nashvilles-coaching-mistake

    The premise is, don’t fire your coach if he immediately becomes the most sought after coach among NHL teams looking for a coach.

  58. mdp2011 says:

    ‏Could be a big loss for Tampa.

    @reporterchris 15m
    Ondrej Palat is not on the ice with the #TBLightning for practice. He played just one shift in the third period last night.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      The knee on knee hit looked innocuous enough, but could easily be ligament damage. He provides a great deal of energy to that team, and was a scoring threat.

    • The Jackal says:

      Sorry for the guy but not sorry for our fortunes. Seriously, it’s about time another team has the injury bug rather than us. Granted, we are still missing Chucky and Moen, but that being said I don’t feel guilty or bad that TB is missing a couple of players. I don’t remember the last time we had a healthy team and the opposing team was missing a key guy or two.

      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  59. Chuck Kept Calm and Carey'd On says:

    Has anyone seen the new Tampa Bay Lightning song? Maybe I’ll learn how to do the “Marc-arena” to it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=flI_8BRjWcU

    X 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

  60. C-Sword says:

    The problem I have with the Habs Ds is that they don’t allow a lot of shots, but when they do, it’s always in the slot area, they usually come from someone uncovered. As for Lindback, he was just as bad as Price last night, he made a lot of saves, but several of them were weak backhand shots.

    I’m hoping that Tinordi plays instead of Weaver next game.

    • Timo says:

      You must not have watched last 10 games of the season or so to say that. I think Price hasn’t faced less than 40 shots since at least a month. Last night just completely threw him off though.

  61. SaugaHab says:

    I was at a bar here in the GTA….didn’t know their were so many lighting fans (laff blowers). every time Tampa scored you thought the leafs made the playoffs. Game 2 will be the real test. I’m going to game 4 and 0-3 at the bell centre in the playoffs….hopefully they can win and I can reverse the jinx

  62. bwoar says:

    How about that Eller kid? Looked lost for most of the season and suddenly seems to have found where he put his game!

  63. Dunboyne Mike says:

    The photo, right side. Philly fan.

  64. Peter Young says:

    When talk during last night’s game turned to what a scoring threat Stamkos was, those Canadian commentators on the Hockey Night in Canada telecast told us that the Canadiens had better not let any of the top six Tampa Bay forwards get away from them or they would pay a heavy price because every single one of them is a deadly scoring threat. Of course those commentators are still trying to figure out how Tampa Bay lost last night’s game and how the Canadiens put five past that magnificent unbeatable goaltender in the Tampa Bay nets.

    • bwoar says:

      That comment from HNIC was grating. Ugh.

      • Mavid says:

        I think Stamkos is amazing, however the man crush they had on him was a tad annoying..you can see how fans get a hate on for a player..CBC guys informed us every time he touched the ice..and then yammered on for about 2 minues every single time..I mean common we all know how good he is..enough already..

        Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

    • kalevine says:

      CNBC commentators, on the other hand, were more balanced – ie-they saw the Habs had some pluses. In fact they gave the Habs the OT edge

  65. Peter Young says:

    Double post; so sorry.

  66. CHicoHab says:

    Most of the guys played well. Prust and PK were not that good. But we won. Many a night Prust and PK play well and someone else sucks. Who cares. We won.

  67. HankHardball says:

    Waaaahh! Waaaahh! PK! Pk! PK!

    Tony. Tony. Tony. PK played more than 30mins and was a plus 1 in a game in which the opposition scored 4 goals.

    You expect a Dman to be your top scorer every game? You live in Dreamland.


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