About last night …

Habs3HIO

My cautionary notes after Game 2 enraged many members of the Commentariat.
I had cited some recent postseasons in which the Canadiens had lost playoff series after winning the first two games on the road: quarter-finals against Boston in 2011, Carolina in 2006 and the Rangers in 1996.
Let’s not not count our chickens, I urged, until they’d hatched.
To which several HIO readers responded: Go cluck yourself.

I won’t make that mistake.

Tonight’s history lesson is much more positive.

The last time the Canadiens took a 3-0 lead in a playoff series was the Division final against Buffalo in 1993.

They went on to sweep the Sabres and then beat the Islanders in five games before facing the L.A. Kings in the Stanley Cup final.

And we all know what happened in that series.

So shall we pick out spots on the parade route?

Not just yet. Your Canadiens have to win 13 more playoff games to match the heroics of ’93.

But we couldn’t have wanted – and, let’s be honest, few expected – a better start: Three wins against a Tampa Bay team that somehow managed to pip the Canadiens for second place in the Eastern Conference’s Atlantic Division.

The 3-2 squeaker Sunday night certainly wasn’t as one-sided as the Canadiens’ emphatic 4-1 win in Game 2. But many of the elements that have been constants through the series were much in evidence Sunday night: solid goaltending, team defence, balanced scoring, discipline and composure.

Oh, and that guy wearing jersey number 17.

Who is he? And what has he done with Rene Bourque?

Desperately needing a win in the series, Tampa Bay skated out into Bell Centre pandemonium and fell behind 11 seconds into the game. Sprung in alone by a P.K. Subban pass, Bourque scored his third goal of the series, a Twitter wag suggested, “before Ginette Reno had made it off the ice.”

Bourque had eight shots on goal. He has 15 in the series, along with eight hits. His dashes down left wing electrified the Bell Centre crowd. Along with linemates Lars Eller and Brian Gionta, Bourque is making something positive happen on every shift.

The Canadiens played a superb first period and could have been up by three or four were it not for some big stops by Anders Lindback. They lost the lead in the second period when Ondrej Palat scored all of 25 seconds into a Tampa Bay power play. And the Canadiens caught a break when Ryan Callahan’s goal was disallowed.

P.K. Subban made a spectacular play deep in the Lightning zone – Palat, trying to cover him, got flummoxed so thoroughly his stick got caught in the back of the net – and fed Brendan Gallagher to make it 2-1. Then in the third period, Tomas Plekanec scored what proved to be the winner.

In his postgame remarks, Michel Therrien heaped praise on Subban, who played 28 minutes. The play setting up Gallagher’s goal was vintage P.K. and brought the fans to their feet, but Therrien pointed out it was also a smart lay in which Subban protected the puck, did not try to force it through three pairs of skates and found Gallagher for a high-quality chance that the winger buried.

Great hockey.

Smart, coach-pleasing hockey.

And has been the case through three games, we saw good plays from all four lines and every member of the defence corps.

The Canadiens didn’t run Tampa Bay out of the rink. The Lightning are a fast, energetic team; and their pressure for an equalizer during the game’s final minutes had the fans in a frenzy.

The guys on TSN 690′s postgame show talked about the degree to which the Bell Centre crowd is the Canadiens’ seventh man. The Lightning dressed a dozen players who are making their postseason debuts this spring. But if the noisy arena intimidated the kids in white jerseys, they didn’t show it.

Nor does the crowd influence the men in striped shirts. The disallowed goal was a tough call, and Steven Stamkos was whistled offside on a play when he probably wasn’t. But on balance, the zebras did a decent job.

Of course, the refs are not being unduly tested. The Canadiens and Lightning both stress skill and speed. There’s plenty of hitting – Ryan Callahan and Radko Gudas each had six of Tampa Bay’s 40; Max Pacioretty four of the Canadiens’ 22 – but neither lineup includes a take-no-prisoners type like Milan Lucic or some of the big thumpers in the Western Conference.

Is it premature to wonder how the Canadiens will fare against a more physical opponent in the next round?

• The pre-game videos blew everyone away:

http://mweb.cbssports.com/nhl/eye-on-hockey/24534363/video-watch-canadiens-stirring-pregame-ceremony-with-3d-display

This is funny. 

376 Comments

  1. D Mex says:

    Just back from a couple of days out of town – we stayed with the in-laws and hockey is nowhere near the top of their TV menu.

    Long story short, the boys and I only got to watch the 3rd period last night, but it was super satisfying. I want to express appreciation to whoever is responsible for posting a link to the pre-game show – it just blew me away and made me even prouder of this franchise, if that was possible …

    I just love the Habs ! ♡ :-D

    ALWAYS Habs -
    D Mex

  2. nova scotia vees says:

    Not gonna bother discussing the disallowed Tampa goal. I think the U.N. is now involved. But, I replayed the fourth goal for us. THE WHISTLE BLEW AFTER THE GOAL. Bad call and really could have changed the outcome. No mention of that by any “analyst“. They also blew the whistle when we had the puck on a delayed call in the first period. Cost us a scoring change. But don`t want to confuse anyone with the facts. TSN and CBC…both useless.

  3. Morenz7 says:

    Who here dubbed Brendan Gallagher the “Honey Badger”? Love that.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkZklaOvGS8

  4. nn1 says:

    Dear Boone,

    I know you get peeved about the “leaf-blowers” over at HNIC. I don’t post often, but I need somewhere to rant about the folks on TSN.

    I’m a Habs fan living in Texas. Hockey-mania hasn’t quite caught on here as it has back home, and I get my regular fix of NHL news, rumours, and gossip from Duthie, McKenzie, Dregger, et al. over at TSN.ca (and, of course, from Hockey Inside/Out!). During the regular season, I understand that they’re going to be catering more to Leafs fans than anyone else. After all, Montreal’s got RDS, it’s got TSN 690, and Toronto is by far Canada’s biggest sports market. And last year in the playoffs, when the Leafs were playing post-season hockey for the first time since dinosaurs roamed the earth, I understood it when there seemed to be twice as many stories about the Leafs and the Bruins than there were about the all-Canada match-up. And besides, the Leafs series was truly more fun… especially with the way it ended :)

    But what the hell is this?! There’s ONE Canadian team in the playoffs. Had it been the Leafs, we’d be inundated with TSN stories about Kessel’s favorite brand of toothpaste, Phaneuf’s philosophy of life, goaltending controversies, coaching strategies, flashy graphics, etc., etc.. And if the Leafs went up 3-0 in their first round series? They’d drape the studio in blue-and-white banners, and have half-hour segments comparing the 2014 Maple Leafs season to the greatest historical events of the last 500 years.

    In what, instead, does the coverage of Canada’s last hope of the season consist at TSN? The NHL on TSN panel talks about two other series before wrapping up with rapid-fire on the Habs and Lightning. In the highlight reel for Game 3, they show Stamkos getting hurt, and then the highlight announcer says, “And it gets worse after that” to introduce PK’s INCREDIBLE set-up on Gallagher’s sweet goal to take the lead. And of course, everybody’s talking about the “bad call” on Killorn for goalie interference, even though all the officiating experts say it was called correctly.

    I like watching L’Antichambre, and I love listening to Nilan talk Habs on the radio. But I also like Duthie, and McKenzie… Aaron Ward gets on my nerves, but I LOVE Dutchyshen. I want to see TSN, for once, bathe the Habs in praise, get caught up in some CH fever, start heaping on the Canadiens the ridiculously overblown attention that they usually reserve for Toronto teams.

    Especially because of how hard it’s gonna be to stomach when they finally get to lick their lips and dig into the “what went wrong” stories, once the Habs are, inevitably, eliminated.

  5. emann_222 says:

    Well for starters I can’t believe we’re up 3-0 in this series and on the verge of a sweep in our own barn. Especially considering how tight this series was expected to pan out.

    I also never thought I’d see the day that the Bell Centre crowd would go into a positive tizzy anytime Rene Bourque touched the puck.

    What has become apparent is this … This is a different team than we’ve witnessed in this town for years. Maybe even a couple of decades. There is a consistency to their play, a confidence on the ice and in the room, and a composure that is refreshing. Marc Bergevin promised change. He’s brought it. Michel Therrien has lifted this team out of the funk it was in and installed a system that works for the players we have.

    Yes – I’m one of the people that doesn’t agree with the disallowed Callahan goal, but I’m not sure it would’ve made any difference. This is a resilient team.

    Price has been spectacular in the past two games and Subban has been outstanding. 8 goal scorers on 12 series goals = depth.

    Great series so far. Can’t wait to see where this team goes!

    You can read my post game here:
    http://wp.me/p1n6pU-cq

    • JF says:

      Yes. Change, a more positive, open outlook, a coach the players seem to enjoy playing for and who has installed a system that works, confidence, composure, and resiliency. We’re seeing all of that for the first time since the Cup-winning team.

  6. rhino514 says:

    I was so pumped about the hab´s depth at the beginning of the year, and completely perplexed by theit inability to score goals for most of the year.
    The theory was that Therrien was forcing the team to play a system somehwat similar to JM which results in few goals for and against.
    But here we are in the playoffs, and the lads are not winning 2-1 games. I defy anyone to give me a good explanation of what went on for most of the season. I never forgot about the depth thet team had on paper, and was hoping for guys like Gion, Eller, Briere, and Bourque to come alive (though not all of them and not as strong as they´ve been).
    I will say one thing, though; haven´t seen replays of all the goals in detail, but if Bishop is in there, a few of those goals don´t go in and it is a completely different series.
    Still, one cannot minimize those goals, nor the performance of our guys, just because they haven´t been potted against a star goalie.
    The guy I am ecstatic for, even more than Bourque, is Eller. This series can only serve to be a confidence builder for both him and Borky.
    Contrary to most, I never saw Bourque as an incrediblt talented guy with motivation problems, I saw him as a guy who because of his size can get dirty goals; those dirty goals are likelier to go in in the playoffs than in the regular season. Is he a great player? No, but he can be good on the third line and handy in tha playoffs.

  7. Old Bald Bird says:

    Article by ex-ref, Paul Stewart. He would have allowed the goal but understands the whole issue. It’s not easy.

    http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Paul-Stewart/A-Closer-Look-at-the-Disallowed-Tampa-Goal/196/59550

  8. Adidess says:

    Hi, a few observations from last night’s game… I know most people watched it on TV and got to see many more replays than I did, so will focus on stuff that add something from a live spectator perspective.

    1. The intro show. The production quality of that game intro show was off the charts. It’s an even better experience to take in LIVE; it gets everyone in the crowd revved up and ready to go. The screaming got louder with Ginette Reno’s appearance last night, and by the time Bourque’s scored his early goal, sprung by PK’s long pass, the young Lightning squad had barely found their bearings to begin the game. The domination continued throughout the 1st period with big push from the crowd.

    2. The disallowed goal. Most people in the stands thought we got away with one on the Callahan goal that was called off. There was contact with Price in the crease but the play was allowed to develop, and this being the playoffs (Zibanejad, anyone?), there was relief in the building it didn’t count, but also a sense that it would not have been the most unjust decision ever made against us to let it stand. On the flip side, the Lightning were thoroughly dominated in the 1st, and it’s almost as if the refs decided they would not add to their misery by calling more penalties.

    3. There was a buzz every time Bourque touched the puck in the offensive zone. Our ‘neighbours’ from all sides were talking about him, nobody can believe this is the same guy we have had for two years. Big, fast, skill-full and determined.

    4. The first line was a bit off in terms of connecting with each other. Patches missed a good couple of chances, but what a skater this guy is, big strides and major speed. Vanek didn’t stand out (like him a lot, have him in my playoff hockey pool). DD- I have so much respect for the little man. His calling card is his incredible vision and puck-skills, but seeing him battle on the forecheck and win so many of his duels against bigger guys, was a treat. DD is really good, people.

    5. The Gallagher goal. I don’t think I have ever been to a place with louder crowd noise than at the moment that goal was scored. Keep in mind this was after the disallowed goal and everyone was getting worried, for the first team really to that point in the game, and wanted to see something happen on our side. When Subban started stickhandling with that puck, the whole Bell Center stood up in anticipation, murmuring loudly. By the time he came from behind the net, stopped on a dime to pass to Gallagher, hands were already in the air celebrating something. And then Gallagher placed a perfect shot, top-shelf, to lit the lamp. I believe my buddy and I hugged each other as if we had not seen each other in ten years.

    6. Team jerseys. I expected the number of Price and Subban jerseys I saw in the crowd both on the streets and inside the Bell Centre. I couldn’t believe the number of Gallagher and Galchenyuk jerseys. For Gallagher, you know it’s about the grit, the drive, the big goals with a bleeding nose, and the nice grin that makes it all such a wonderful package. For Galchenyuk, it’s about the skills, the promise and the hope. I couldn’t help thinking this might be adding quite a bit of pressure for Galchenyuk, as his game has not really taken off yet with the Habs, to go along with that huge following among the faithful.

  9. lizard ranger says:

    Re: Stamkos
    I know it’s come up already but there is no way he should have been put back in the game . I was really happy that it was accidental and not a dirty hit when I saw the replay . The league needs superstar players and I would consider a fine to the team for playing a guy who, IMO, is obviously concussed . Having said that, I hope Stamkos is back next game so we can beat them with their best player in the lineup.

  10. BriPro says:

    Does anyone know how much they fined Coach Quenneville for his “kiss my boys” gesture?
    It couldn’t have been more than Loonie Lucy’s boys’ assault on the Wings’ Dekeyser …. right?

    The NHL was just and fair …. right?

    Daddy Campbell would have had to be excluded from the decision-making process.

    • Cal says:

      $25k for Quenneville. $5K for Lucky Lucy.
      I was hoping yesterday for any Red Wing to return the favor, especially when the game was out of reach.

      • BriPro says:

        So one grabs them, and gets fined FIVE TIMES as much as the idiot or tried to eliminate someone else’s?

        Yep … just as I thought … Daddy Campbell was surely excluded from the decision process.

        I won’t complain too much. The league is liable to come down hard on MT for being guilty by association.

        • shiram says:

          There’s a syndicate of players that discusses and votes on rules with the NHL.
          They voted for fines up to 5k on a first incident, with 5k increments afterwards.

          There’s no coach syndicate, so they get the big fines.

          Someone did the math, Lucic makes about 4.3k$ per minute of a game.

          • D Mex says:

            Been away from TV and internet all weekend, so late to the party and wasn’t aware Lucic’s cowardice had been addressed by the league in any fashion.

            Realizing I’m probably preaching to the converted, the ‘ similar fact evidence ‘ was available to whoever decided it was a first-time gesture. Fact is, it wasn’t, and all they had to do was look at or talk about the ‘ poke ‘ he took at Emelin.

            $5K is a friggin’ joke.

            ALWAYS Habs -
            D Mex

    • Thoughts at large says:

      Is it possible that the league mitigated the penalty realizing that he doesn’t have a pair of his own and therefore was unaware of the seriousness of his actions? Is he now considered a stickboy or a ballboy or ???.

  11. Haberoooo13 says:

    Everyone loves Prust but it seems obvious that the “upper body injury” is still bothering him whenever he has the puck.
    His mobility and toughness are there though. That’s why it would be great for him for Habs to finish it tomorrow and give him a few extra days off.

    Lafleur coming out rather gingerly…

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

    Meh.. they had a goal disallowed, and so did we. It’s a wash. Time to move and and decide what kind of broom to buy. :)

    Wining the series is all that matters right now, but how sweet would the retributuion be if they could take out Tampa in 4? In our only other playoff meeting thed did it to us… then went on to wint the Cup.

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

  13. Timo says:

    Anyone else thinks Weaver and Bouillon need a break?

    • WindsorHab-10 says:

      Don’t mind them both as long as their minutes are managed & limited. They’ve done a decent job so far.

    • Cal says:

      Nope. Only you. Okay, okay. Maybe 1 or 2 others, but that’s it.

    • Haberoooo13 says:

      I do but not for Murray against TB’s speed .

      Lafleur coming out rather gingerly…

    • Hobie says:

      They are fine against Tampa Bay and probably Detroit. I do agree that Weaver has come back down to earth. I’d be fine with Tinordi or Murray or both replacing Bouillon or Weaver.

      Can’t argue with Therrien though. 100 point season, up 3-0 in the series, the man is good!

    • Stanley Cup or Bust ! says:

      I agree. 1 of them should sit next game for Tinner.

    • Phil C says:

      The Habs shouldn’t change a single thing against Tampa. Dance with the one that brung you.

      • Timo says:

        Surprisingly I agree… Habs should stick with the roster that won last 3. But if Habs play the Bruins Bouillon and Weaver should be out (but we know that they won’t)

    • jimmy shaker says:

      NOt really…..they weren’t able to get into the flow of the game, because of the minutes they got……just like the 4th line, these 5 guys needed a bit more ice time to get a rhythm and a feel for the game. MT says he’s a four line and 6 deep D team…..but the ice time numbers really didn’t reflect that last night. Sure he got the W and that’s what is most important, but I think these guys need more ice time and PK and marky don’t need 26 – 28 minutes. 25 is perfect for them.

      Shaker out!

    • frontenac1 says:

      Crankshaft will be in against the Bruins amigo.

  14. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    If you crash the net, wipe out the goalie and score a couple of sec afterwards in the midst of the ensuing chaos, do you really expect the goal to count? Everyone knows the principal strategy against good goalies now is to disrupt them and interfere with them as much as possible so don’t expect me to have any sympathy when it doesn’t work. If a player is in the blue paint when the goalie is trying to position himself and a goal is scored, too ##@!% bad. Next time move your @$$ out of the net and maybe the calls won’t go against you.

    Anyway, I’m glad this happened because it sets the stage when the Bruins will try to pull the same crap next series. This is why Bruins fans are so upset. The precedent has been set.

  15. BriPro says:

    Good morning all.
    Sorry for coming in so late, but I was in earlier, was suggested by a high-school kid that I was sniffing glue.
    I guess I was. He seems to be the sharp one.
    I’m sure he realizes that Rocket Richard had nothing to do with astrophysics.

    As for the game, it’s amazing how a team on a roll can truly find its groove come playoff-time.
    And some sure no-shows (Bourque, Eller) and some perceived no-shows (Gio, Gorges) can ramp it up for the playoffs.

    And yet, here we are, up 3-0 and there’s still talk of changing the D. Complaints of the DD line under-preforming. I don’t see it that way. And as Maritime Ron pointed out earlier, they’re +5, so they’re certainly not hurting the team.

    As for the officiating, many are saying that we get our fair share of bad calls, so basically Coach Cooper, get over it. But I offer this…. if the tables were turned, whether the call was good or not (and I don’t think it was), would the commentariat deal with it so easily. I doubt it.

    It’s a little early to count the chickens, but I’m sitting in the coop. Now if I could only get over the smell….

    • jimmy shaker says:

      TO get rid of that grey area on how far that rule is allowed to play out, the ref has to just blow the play dead and the face off comes outside the blue line. The goal did come a couple seconds after the initial contact, but carey never really was able to get himself set again. So it really is a judgement call. But again, to take away that human side of it…..blow it dead, and we’re not here talking about it! I think that letter to the ghosts from a previous thread were received last night at the bell centre! Thank you Forum ghosts for finally making the move over!

      Shaker out!

      • BriPro says:

        You’re right Shaker.
        If international rules applied, that’s what would have happened.
        And although former ref Stephane Auger explained the reasoning behind the call on RDS last night, I would agree, except it was a good 3-4 seconds before Callahan shot the puck.

        It’s all moot now. The team is playing dynamite, and let’s hope the Bs and Wings pound each other into submission during the rest of their series.

        • Cal says:

          Play should have been called when Price was bowled over the first time, imo. Not after Killorn hung around to eff up Price’s save efforts.

        • jimmy shaker says:

          Tough one, but glad we were on the right side of it for once…..Last year’s kick in goal vs ottawa, and the numerous times goals were disallowed for the habs this year. The boys had to be tops in that stat for goals called back! If Detroit can stay away from the cubs big hits and get tatar and nyquist going at the JOE, the wings can beat those bums! But with Zetterberg and Cleary (I think) able to play in the second round, detroit only looks to get stronger. SO the second round will be difficult to say the least no matter who the boys play.

          Shaker out!

    • Timo says:

      Well, were you? Did you enjoy it?

    • Cal says:

      It seems many log in only to crap on the team or other posters. Sad state of affairs, but the internet is known to be a very negative place because of user’s opinions.

      • BriPro says:

        It’s OK Cal. You just keep serenading us with your parodies, and positive comments. If we call do, it’ll drown out the negative.

        Like Coach Cooper, I’ll bare the burden of negativity. As long as no one rams me up the coullions.

  16. Commandant says:

    Canadiens keep finding ways to get it done.
    http://lastwordonsports.com/2014/04/21/continuous-ot-canadiens-finding-way-get-done/

    #20 on the list is Nikolay Goldobin, a former linemate of Alex Galchenyuk for a time in Sarnia (before Galchenyuk was put with Boucher/Sarault)
    http://lastwordonsports.com/2014/04/21/2014-nhl-draft-profile-20-nikolay-goldobin/

    Go Habs Go!

    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  17. Timo says:

    One thing is clear about last night’s disallowed goal – if it were the Bruins and not TB the goal would have counted. There would have been a call to the officials from the “war room” and they would have set things right.

    • jimmy shaker says:

      U R certainly correct……and Emelin probably would’ve got fined 5 grand for getting his berries in the way of Lucheezy’s stick while on their way to the bench!

      Shaker out!

  18. Hobie says:

    I was happy when we traded Cammalleri for Bourque. Cammalleri was a better goal scorer but didn’t back check and the Habs were tiny at the time.

    So getting rid of a one dimensional, small, goal scorer in return for a big, tough, two way player who had also scored 27 goals in back to back seasons prior to arriving in Montreal, seemed like a decent deal to me.

    I held out hope for as long as possible with Bourque. I was getting annoyed with him last year but he was one of the few that showed up last spring against Ottawa.

    This year, by February, I was done pulling for and believing in him. I thought Bourque’s lackadaisical attitude and appearance had finally caught up to him. He’s 32-years-old, maybe a lost a little more testosterone and/or adrenaline and was pretty much done.

    To see what he’s doing now is just amazing. I’m so happy! He’s got the exact mold every team is looking for on the wing. He’s 6’2″, 220lbs and is now playing with an edge. Man I love this guy!

    • Haberoooo13 says:

      Agreed and the word is Cammy wasn’t overly loved by his teammates.

      Lafleur coming out rather gingerly…

    • Timo says:

      did you just say “moar bigger” is better?

    • JUST ME says:

      I really did like Cammy but had to come to the reality that he was a high maintenance type of player and that in the poor state of the team back then it would not help to keep him there.

      I fell into the same trap as Pierre Gatuhier did and saw just a few games from Bourque and saw him as a power forward i wanted him to be not necesarely the one he really was… I too enjoy and acknowledge his efforts and play and hope that it does continue and worst case scenario the other teams will probably also see him as the power forward they would want him to be….

  19. DipsyDoodler says:

    Killorn ran into Price. No goal. End of.

    —–
    Moving. Forward.

  20. Psycho29 says:

    As I mentioned on Twitter last night, why isn’t the rule on “accidental contact” to blow the whistle immediately once it happens? This would certainly cut down on arguments like last night.

    If the offensive player caused it, put the faceoff outside the zone. If the goalie initiates contact, then the faceoff is in the zone.

  21. frontenac1 says:

    Hey Burly! Hear you’re going on a Stateside Walkabout with a little golf thrown in? Have a great time and remember “The Code”. Saludos Amigo!

  22. WindsorHab-10 says:

    I’m putting the disallowed goal to rest. Though I had my doubts last night, listening to Kerry Frazier this morning on TSN2 explain rule 69.3, I’m convinced that the right call was made despite moaning from Nick Kypreos, Scott Morrisson, Stock & Healy. Not to mention others. Those jokers need to realize that the only reason Tampa was in the game last night was our inability to finish our chances & some good goaltending by Lindback.

    • Haberoooo13 says:

      And never any mention in the ROC media about the whistle that shouldn’t have been when Bourque scored his 2nd

      Lafleur coming out rather gingerly…

  23. jeffhabfan says:

    Awesome game from the Habs Last night. The Habs have played a great series so far. It should be over tomorrow night by the Habs.The Habs have got a few breaks but you only have to go back a year ago when we got no breaks.GO HABS GO.

  24. Haberoooo13 says:

    We might not like the Bruins and their fans but this is a very nice tribute to the events of last year’s Boston Marathon…especially if you like Aerosmith
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zthQPe41w24

    Lafleur coming out rather gingerly…

  25. rhino514 says:

    Find it unlucky that we could have been the third best team in the conference and still would have to play Bruins in the second round.
    Though I believe we actually have a chance against the Bruins, it´s maybe a 30/35 percent chance whereas against any other team, I would give us over 50 percent (except possible Detroit when healthy, but they are not fully healthy yet).
    It appears we have a core group of players who elevate their game at playoff time; the main core came of age during the last long playoff run, and then you have guys like Bourque, Briere, Vanek, and Prust if healthy, who have been added and produce when it counts. You have to absolutely give credit to the three management groups we have had in this period for putting these pieces together.
    Not saying they will go to the Finals, or even best the Bruins, but they are a tough team to beat come playoff time, and that is all I want from my team in the postseason; to have a chance. Last playoff injuries cost us, pure and simple.

  26. jimmy shaker says:

    Ice time was a little off for the habs last night. Don’t want Marky and PK playing north of 25 minutes not in an OT game. Weaver and Frankie should be around 14 minutes, and even though danny b had a chincy call go against him, he only played 8 minutes or so, same with weezy and bernie. That line needs a about 10 minutes and a regular shift, so they can get involved in the flow of the game too. My only complaint in an otherwise great game last night!

    Shaker out!

  27. boing007 says:

    Found this comment on the TSN page:

    boooo!
    10 hours ago
    I’m not taking my broom out just yet, but I am staring at it.

    Richard R

  28. HabFab says:

    Some belly aching about the 1st line but they are putting the pressure on Tampa with 29 shots in 3 games. They, along with Markov, will break out big yet. And depth will carry a team farther in the play-offs, then a one trick pony ever will.

  29. Stanley Cup or Bust ! says:

    If you love meat and beer.

  30. Phil C says:

    Tampa’s playoffs feels a lot like Montreal’s last year. Despite a promising season, things are falling apart for them. The Bishop and Palat injuries, now maybe Stamkos, losing close games, bad calls at key points in the game. Sometimes things just don’t go your way.

    On the other hand, I watched Boston and Detroit trying to destroy each other yesterday, ditto for Chicago-St Louis and San Jose-LA. so the Habs have already made it this far relatively unscathed. If the Habs can make it to the second round healthy and with recover time, things seem to be going their way.

    It also feels good to know that if a team like Boston tries to run the Habs out of the rink physically, they have guys like Murray, Tinordi, Moen, and White sitting in reserve, so they could transform the look of their roster fairly easily depending on the opponent. Whereas if they get Detroit, they can stick with the quick and dangerous lineup they have against Tampa. This kind of depth is such a luxury and is such a clever use of extra cap space. I can’t remember another team loading up with 5 lines of NHLers before, but I like it.

    • mdp2011 says:

      Yup. For the first time in so many years, the Habs depth is remarkable. Let’s hope they finish it off tomorrow night so they can get at least a week off to heel some boo boos.

    • Cardiac says:

      The problem with Boston is they are the best team in the league at getting other teams to stoop down to their level. Did you see the presser with Babcock frustrated at his team taking dump penalties?

      Yes, we have some players now that will stand up to the Bad Bruins if need be, but the last thing we need is to fall into the trap of playing THEIR game.

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

      • Phil C says:

        I agree with not playing Boston’s game. Did you see Babcock’s press conference yesterday? He holds up the score sheet and points at 4 roughing penalties, then says we haven’t had 4 roughing penalties all season, so they are getting sucked into Boston’s game.

        I wouldn’t want the Habs to start playing like the Bruins, but it I think it’s beneficial to have the bodies to counter or neutralize the effectiveness of goon tactics. Make Boston think it wouldn’t work. Boston would take a lot more liberties against a line of Weise-Briere-Bournival-Weaver-Bouillon than they would against Prust-White-Moen-Tinordi-Murray. It could force them to play hockey instead of gooning it up.

  31. shiram says:

    Just saw this :

    BrianWilde ‏@BWildeCTV

    Stamkos said he told the medical trainers that he wanted to get back out there. He says he has a headache but wanted to play.

    Now I know the refs don’t take the rules the same way in the playoffs, but it seems the concussion protocol was thrown out the window as well.

    • Cardiac says:

      I posted about this earlier this morning. Everyone is hung up on “the goal” that almost no one is talking about this. The problem is how to police it. Will you have a league official at every game, in every locker room to ensure training staffs and team doctors adhere to the league’s code on concussions?

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

    • Cal says:

      Huge mistake by the Lightning medical staff if they let him play after he was concussed. We’ll see how he is the next day or so.

    • habs-hampton says:

      I’m glad he’s OK and came back to play, but I really wonder if we’ve learned anything about concussions. One of the color guys implied that he was too tough to stay out of the game. Toughness has NOTHING to do with it. It’s about saving his brain from a more serious injury!

    • Phil C says:

      It’s such a joke that the trainers even listen to the person with a brain injury. You can’t self diagnose an injury that is known to impair judgement. I remember in 2011 when Ference nearly took Halpern’s head off with the blindside elbow in game 7. He was clearly concussed,but the Habs let him come back. The Habs got what they deserved on that though because on the overtime winning goal, Halpern blew his coverage on Horton. He never should have been out there and neither should have Stamkos last night. He is lucky Emelin didn’t crunch him because it could have been ugly.

    • mdp2011 says:

      The thing is we don’t know what Stamkos told the medical trainers. Yes he mentioned after the game to reporters that he had a headache, but did he tell the trainers that?

  32. habs-hampton says:

    The only concern with the team for me in the Powerplay. It has to be better next series. It’s horrible. Even though they had some great control last night, they still had no scoring chances.I think they need to get the puck into the slot more (somehow), or have the guy down low drive the net when he gets the puck. Gally, Bourque or Vanek could do that. Create some havoc, cause this perimeter passing isn’t working!

  33. shiram says:

    My brother had to refuse corporate loge tickets last night, as we had 2 family meals for Easter.
    As we were driving back to Montreal, and listening to the game there was an hint of regret in his eyes.

    Must have been one helluva atmosphere in there last night.

  34. rhino514 says:

    Did I hear Gallagher broke his nose?
    Is he in danger of not playing for a while??

  35. HabinBurlington says:

    Kerry Fraser pointed out the details of rule 69.3 where Price initiates contact in crease thus leading to disallowed goal and correct call. Also pointed out no goalie knows this rule better than Price and how this is legal..

    Good on Carey!

    • habs-hampton says:

      Agree. The problem is the goalie interference rule(s) are vaguely written, and this puts the officials in a bad spot. He called it exactly correct according to the book, but in the future I would expect a change in the wording. I really don’t think anyone would want that goal waved off in the future.

      • boing007 says:

        I think that if the opposing player ends up in the back of the net that the play should be whistled down and a faceoff held at either center ice or just outside the blue line.

        Richard R

    • HabFab says:

      Have a great trip amigo!

    • frontenac1 says:

      Hey Burly! Hear you’re going on a Stateside Walkabout with a little golf thrown in? Have a great time amigo and remember “The Code”. Saludos Amigo!


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