Bring on the Senators!

There will be an all-Canadian matchup in the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, but it’s not the showdown many hockey fans had been anticipating.

The prospect of a Montreal-Toronto clash disappeared Sunday night when the Ottawa Senators beat the Bruins 4-2 in Boston. That result, coupled with the Canadiens’ 4-1 win over the Leafs Saturday night, gave the Canadiens first place in the Northeast Division and the No. 2 overall seed in the Eastern Conference.

That means Montreal will play Ottawa in a best-of-seven series that opens Thursday night at the Bell Centre. Game 2 will be Friday night at the Bell Centre, before the series shifts to Ottawa for Game 4 on Sunday and Game 5 on Tuesday, May 7. Those games will all start at 7 p.m. If necessary, Game 5 will be on Thursday, May 9 at the Bell Centre, Game 6 is slated for Saturday, May 11 in Ottawa and Game 7 on Sunday, May 12 at the Bell Centre.

Complete first-round playoff schedule.

The Canadiens had a 2-1-1 record against the Senators in the regular season. This will be the first playoff meeting between the two teams since the Senators returned to the NHL in 1992. The Canadiens head into the playoffs on a two-game winning streak after beating Winnipeg 4-2 on Thursday before defeating the Leafs.

The other first-round matchups in the Eastern Conference are Pittsburgh vs. the New York Islanders, Toronto vs. Boston and Washington vs. the New York Rangers.

The Bruins enter the playoffs having lost seven of their last nine games (including one overtime loss and another in a shootout) and Sunday’s game was their sixth in eight nights. The Leafs have lost four of their last six games. The Bruins and Leafs haven’t met in the playoffs since 1974, when Boston won in a first-round sweep.

 The first round matchups in the Western Conference are Chicago vs. Minnesota, Anaheim vs. Detroit, Vancouver vs. San Jose and St. Louis vs. Los Angeles.

The Canadiens will practice at 11 a.m. Monday in Brossard.

(Photo by Allen McInnis/The Gazette)

Senators beat Boston for Habs matchup, montrealgazette.com

It’s Montreal vs. Ottawa, by Pat Hickey

Get ready for a 417 playoff matchup, by Jack Todd

The field is set for first round, NHL.com

Canadiens vs. Senators series preview, NHL.com

 Sports psychologist put Eller on right track, by Dave Stubbs

Top 25 photos from 2012-13 season, canadiens.com

Most Memorable Moments Against the Senators, canadiens.com

Habs playoff fever heats up with “Bring the Cup Home”, by Stu Cowan

Ten players to watch in NHL postseason, montrealgazette.com

728 Comments

  1. frontenac1 says:

    Alfie is a good captain.Smart too. In the interview after last nights game he said , “Its going to be a great series. There is nothing like the energy in the Bell Centre, the Habs have 4 lines that can score and they keep coming at you,plus Markov and Subban are playing great” Compare that to all the Leaf Smack talk last week.

    • Harditya says:

      He’s a class act.

    • Bun E. Laroque says:

      Class act

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I disliked Alfie early in his career, but have indeed to come to respect and almost like him. I can’t “like” him as he is a Senator, but when he finally retires, that team will have a huge hole in its lineup. Very much like Lidstrom was to Detroit.

    • jmsheehy19 says:

      Yeah he is. He’s one of the reason’s it’s hard to hate the sens. Throw in the feel good story of Anderson, and the team’s ability to come together and overcome injuries, and Ottawa is an easy team to root for.

      But then I see Chris Neil’s ugly mug. And all that good will comes crashing down.

    • Phil C says:

      Alfredsson is one of my all-time favorite players. He always gives a good performance, and he is one of the most reliable players with the puck I have ever seen. He usually does something good with it, but more amazingly is that he rarely gives it away or makes a poor play. The Habs will have to watch him for sure. Alfie, meet Pleks.

  2. AceMagnum says:

    A lot of women I talked to agree. Women should not be in men’s locker area.

    • Blondemon says:

      Ditto army, but let’s not get too political on a hockey site ; )

      ***Drive for 25***

    • jo_maka says:

      Actually, nobody but the staff should ever be in the locker room. This is not a gender issue. There should be a completely neutral place after the game where players can meet with the press, but not when they’re still attempting to process the whole game in their mind. I never understood why that was ever allowed in the first place.
      _________________________________
      Open-mindedness is not a skull fracture

  3. Phil C says:

    Pens in 4
    Habs in 5
    Caps in 6
    Bruins in 6

    Chicago in 4
    Anaheim in 5
    Vancouver in 6
    St. Louis in 7

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I think you are right on the Blues vs. Kings matchup. Seems the past few seasons, Cup winners didn’t fare well in following season opening rounds. Granted I am going by my memory not having researched.

      I also feel that last years terrible playoffs for St. Louis should give them a good lesson in being much better prepared etc… And maybe I also am just really hoping L.A. loses. :)

      • Loonie says:

        Usually the previous season’s Cup winner goes into the playoffs having played around two hundred games in the previous fourteen months. That isn’t the case for these Kings and I don’t think usual Cup hangovers apply.

      • Phil C says:

        Yes, LA might not be as hungry as last year. The Blues have a solid defense now after their deadline moves. If they get any goaltending at all, they will be tough in a Hitchcock system.

  4. kalevine says:

    did you se that pass from Karlsson to his pointmate that led to the winning goal last night? That pass was as hard as a lot of shots, and he received it no problem

  5. jeffhabfan says:

    The HABS in 6 Games. It will be a tougher series than the Leafs would have been. I think Pens in 5. Bruins in 6. Caps in 7. I think out West Hawks in 5. Ducks in 7. Van. in 7. L.A. IN 7.P.S. BEST FRIEND IS A HUGE SENS MY NOT TALK TO HIM UNTILL SERIES IS OVER.

  6. Timo says:

    Where are the tweets? HIO’s been taking it easy last few days. Budget cuts?

  7. Timo says:

    If Plekanec line doesn’t step up Habs won’t make it out of the first round. Team will need contribution in scoring department from ALL lines, but especially Plekanec. Time for the little girl to grow up.

    • Blondemon says:

      Agreed, but you mean time for the little girl to disappear, and Pleks to show up haha

      ***Drive for 25***

    • HabinBurlington says:

      What size box exactly are we asking him to step up on to? I am thinking about 6 inches high, haven’t yet decided on the depth or width of said box. Should we make it narrow so as to require great balance?

  8. Bun E. Laroque says:

    Bryzgalov is definitely the #1 comedian working in the NHL today.

  9. frontenac1 says:

    The only team that scared me in first round is the Islanders. There is just something that smells Upset around them.

  10. Skeptical says:

    Ticket prices are going up because of the 34-Game lock out. This money will help make up some of the loss. They’re not stupid.

    So if you want to be in the audience. Pay the Ticket price.

  11. kalevine says:

    Forgetting about which would have been a better matchup, I’m happy today because teh Habs finished first in their division this year. That’s a serious accomplishment, whatever happens from now

  12. Blondemon says:

    Habs in a tough 7 games. Sens goaltending is for real, and their youngsters are dangerous. Also, Karlsson is the x factor, can change a game like nothing. They get lots of shots, so Price better be ready. I think Leafs will beat Bruins and easily even. I don’t rate Rask. Lucic is hopeless for a top 6 guy, 7 measly goals, and a non-factor when they won it all.

    ***Drive for 25***

    • Loonie says:

      Well the Senators goaltending is a little far from proven. Anderson is a journeyman with all of 24 games played this season and their backup is the model of unproven given his age and experience.

      • Bun E. Laroque says:

        Anderson hasn’t proven it in the playoffs.

        • Loonie says:

          Or anywhere else. He’s been at or higher than a .920 save percentage once when playing over thirty games in a season.

          • habs-fan-84 says:

            The year Halak was a hero in Montreal, Anderson was playing some phenomenal hockey for Colorado in the playoffs.

            At least that’s the way I remember it…

          • Blondemon says:

            I hope you’re right guys. I don’t think we can count on a blowout in any game by the Habs, which might be a good thing, cause I fear the calm, cool Lehner more than Anderson. Kinda like Gerber-Ward for the Canes in ’06.

            ***Drive for 25***

  13. jo_maka says:

    Subban vs Karlsson
    Price vs Anderson
    Cowen vs Tinordi
    Gionta vs Alfredsson
    Zibanejad vs Galchenyuk

    This might be the beginning of a beautiful friendship :)
    ___________________________________________
    Open-mindedness is not a skull fracture

    • Blondemon says:

      Out of all those matchups we have the edge in Galchy only, and possibly Gionta. We win Gally vs Conacher and Markov vs Gonchar. Pleks beat Turris. The rest I think we have the edge, but they beat us big time in goaltending and top d-man, if not player period in Karlsson.

      ***Drive for 25***

    • jols101 says:

      Gallagher vs Conacher
      Prust vs Neil
      Markov vs Gonchar

      Many interesting comparisons in this series.

      • Blondemon says:

        good one I forgot Pruster Neil, that would be a good bout.

        ***Drive for 25***

      • jo_maka says:

        Hockey wise, we win Prust vs Neil. We lose on the goon aspect though.

        This really seems like a very interesting matchup. I should hope for a quick exit for the Sens, but I think it’s almost unfair if it doesn’t get to the seventh game, if only for the entertainment value.

        And I even forgot Therrien vs McLean. 2 overachievers this season if we consider the hands they were dealt.

        Playa to playa. Pimp to pimp. Mano a mano.
        The Battle of Alexandra Bridge will be a bloody one.
        ___________________________________________
        Open-mindedness is not a skull fracture

  14. habsfan0 says:

    So, Habs and Senators begin the playoffs with 3 games in 4 nights?
    WTF?
    Any other teams have a schedule like this?

    • 4 other series’ have back TO back gm 6 and 7. But that’s 6 and 7 so could be a non factor.

      I don’t care about schedules because the Sens have the same schedule and the arena’s are the ones who booked concerts during the playoffs, so it’s our own fault.

      Blame Rihanna for not being a Habs fan :lol:

      Shane Oliver
      Twitter @Sholi2000
      http://www.Sholi2000.com
      Custom Sports Figures

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      Every series starts on either Tuesday or Wednesday. Rihanna concert on Wednesday at the Bell Centre (obviously can’t be moved).

      Had to start on Thursday and they’ll play a “catch-up” game on Friday…I don’t see what the big deal is.

  15. adamkennelly says:

    Habs at 12-1 to win cup. Sens at 28-1 – good sign for round 1.

  16. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Deep down I wanted the Laffs in the 1st round for no other reason but shut up their arrogant/ignorant fans. They seem to think they have a great team & a great defence. I’ve been telling them all year long that their goalies have saved their bacon as they are getting outshot terribly each & every game. That is a recipe for disaster in the playoffs.

    My 2 most hated teams, Laffs/Gooins go at it tomorrow. Don’t care who wins as lond as I see lots blood & broken bones by the end.

  17. Timo says:

    Bob Cole is good for drinking games.

  18. frontenac1 says:

    My two dark horses for upsets are Islanders in the East and Blues in the West. Saludos!

  19. D Man says:

    Yesterday a poster mentioned that on a 5 speaker system you could disable the center speaker and avoid play by play thus listening to crowd and game noise only. Can anyone provide me with more specific information? Does this work on all or only on certain types of hockey broadcasts? I’d buy the system today if I was sure of this working for me. I find the announcers very irritating as they continue blabbing on about SFO while the play is on.

    You can’t be both a Habs and a Leafs fan

  20. jols101 says:

    Off Topic – Just heard that the Avalanche sacked their coach. Anyone think Patrick Roy will be in the running for his replacement ?

  21. How excited are Sens fans?

    Two team’s fan’s sites post polls after the Sens win last night. One site has almost 1900 entries, the other….10

    The Number One Senator’s Fan Site on the Planet

    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    http://www.Sholi2000.com
    Custom Sports Figures

  22. Timo says:

    Man, 3 more sleeps before the first game. This blows. NHL blows.

  23. jols101 says:

    Only thing I do not like about the Habs playoff schedule is that we have to wait till Thursday to watch our beloved team kick some a$$.

    Both teams have to play the same schedule and we were awesome in the 2nd game of back-to-back nights in the regular season.

  24. Seps says:

    As per TSN “L.A. won 15 of their last 31 games last season, Boston won eight of their last 18 in 2011 and Chicago won nine of their last 18 in 2010, so the last three Cup winners haven’t been dominant late in the regular season. ”

    And you guys thought MT didn’t know what he was doing anymore ;-)

    • Loonie says:

      There’s a bit of disparity in them evaluating each team based on 31 games, 18 games and 18 games.

      You can make any team look good or bad when you’re stopping at x amount of games for the purpose of your opinion.

      Edit: The Kings won the two games preceding where TSN started their evaluation. The Bruins won the six games preceding the same, and the Blackhawks won five of the six preceding where TSN started on them.

  25. AllHailTheFlower says:

    Okay, I know the anti-CBC sentiment runs pretty strong on HI/O. However, I just entered their playoff pool (it’s free after all) and wondered if any other members here had done the same?

  26. Ian Cobb says:

    I think that Ottawa, now healthier except for Spezza, will give our Hab’s a long series.
    The good thing about that is, we will have 6 or possibly 7 games to learn how to win again, especially with 4, 1st year NHL play off rookies on the roster. Gallagher, Galchenyuk, Tinordi, Dumont.

    After this 1st round, no problem until we face the Pens! If we take the Pens, there will be no stopping us!

    East Match-ups and the Goal Differential of each series.

    …………………….Points…Goal Diff.
    1–Pittsburgh,… 72…….+46
    —NY Islanders, 56…….Even

    2–Montreal,…….63……..+23
    —Ottawa,……….56……..+12

    3–Washington…57……..+19
    —NY Rangers…..56……..+18

    4–Boston………..62……..+22
    —Toronto………..57……..+19

    Pick your winners!!!

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Everyone talks about Ottawa’s lack of scoring. It will be up now that Karlsson is back. He is an amazing offensive D man

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • SteverenO says:

        @kooch—

        you wrote:

        Actually Karlsson is an amazing defensive D Man; Opponents only score one goal against per every 39 minutes of ice time at even strength. To compare our top three Defensive Dmen, allow one goal every 38 minutes (Diaz) 29 minutes (Subban) and 27 minutes (Gorges)

        Offensively the Sentators score an even strength goal every 21 minutes with Karlsson on the ice the same rate as the HAbs score with Bouillon. (SUbba’,s rate is one goal every 19 minutes at veen strength)

        The Senators overall will be tough to score against. Besides Karlsson they have Patrick Wiercloch whose defensive numbers are off the chart ( one GA for every 47 minutes of ice time)’ Gonchar, and Jared Cowen ( who just came back from hip surgery and has played very well) allowing only 2 GA in 120 minutes.

        The Senators PK is formidable as well. I think that we will have to hold them to 2 goals or less to have a real good chance of winning .

        The good news is that their PP has been non-productive all season long WITH and without Karlsson.

        regards,

        Steve O.

    • Maksimir says:

      Pitts in 6 (Fleury sucks)

      Montreal in 7 (Sens are tough)

      Rangers in 7 (better D & goalie)

      Bruins in 6 ( Bruins D > Leafs O – but it will be bloody – I hope :) )

    • AllHailTheFlower says:

      What might be an interesting possibility for this series is that the Habs will somewhat have “home” ice advantage the whole way through. I guess it will likely be different for the playoffs, but in the regular season it seems like there’s always a heck of a lot more Habs fans in Ottawa then there are Sens fans!

  27. HabsFanInTampa says:

    Too funny. This was in the Tampa Bay Times this morning:

    Biggest jerks

    I often hear from Maple Leafs fans wondering why those outside of Toronto dislike that organization so much. Here’s why:

    The Leafs raised playoff tickets prices 75 percent over the price of regular-season tickets. (New York Daily News media critic Bob Raissman gets credit for pointing this out.) This is a team that hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2004 and hasn’t won a Stanley Cup since 1967. How arrogant to be so bad for so long and then stick it to your fans when you have the slightest measure of success. Jerks.

    By the way, Tim Leiweke, brother of Lightning president Tod, takes over as president and CEO of Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment in June. We hope he’ll straighten out junk like this.

    • mrhabby says:

      Habs , Canucks raised tickect prices also.

      Its supply and demand. You may not like it but thats the way it is.

      • Seps says:

        If you’re looking at it economically, maybe they want the fans to expect the best product, so they are naturally charging the highest price ;-)

      • HabsFanInTampa says:

        You’re missing the point. The columnist is stating that the Leafs haven’t done anything significant, like winning Lord Stanley, for almost 50 years. As soon as they got an inkling of success this season, after missing the playoffs for close to a decade, they gouge their fans 75% increase in ticket price. Your comparisons don’t hold weight. Canucks were in the Stanley Cup Final a couple of seasons ago and are always a contender and the Habs consistently, more or less, make the playoffs every year.

        • mrhabby says:

          Iam not missing the point. I live in TO and the fan base is huge. People have the money and will spend it. They don’t care if the ticket prices increase..

          • HabsFanInTampa says:

            Forget it. If I have to explain it to you AGAIN, you still wouldn’t understand.

        • Phil C says:

          Demand is demand, it is irrelevant whether or not the team is good, especially in Toronto.

          Prices were already too high for the average fan, so I say stick it to those corporate posers, make them pay for their vanity.

      • Mr. Biter says:

        All playoff teams raise their prices in all Major sports.

        Mr. Biter
        No Guts No Glory

  28. mrhabby says:

    Sens/Habs..in a pickem series.

    Habs can score but give up goals if there system is off.
    Sens can’t score but give up fewer goals.

    Anderson is awesome.
    Price has to bounce back.
    Excellent coaching on both sides.

    Habs in 7 games in a pickem series.

  29. mount royal says:

    Gallagher? At least one half Theoren Fleury

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I wouldn’t compare him to Fleury just yet but def on the same path but he isn’t as troubled. I was always blown away by how good Fleury was and we forget until you see old footage

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • Strummer says:

      As long as it’s not the stripper-seeking, absentee-father and crack-head half

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

      • HabinBurlington says:

        As opposed to the half who was abused as a child which was devastating to him thus creating many of his problems. I don’t think it is fair to characterize Fleury as you have done so.

  30. secretdragonfly says:

    So 35% of TSN.ca readers believe the Habs will be the Canadian team to go furthest in the playoffs? Can it be that Leafs fans have already stopped drinking the Kool-aid?

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      The Leaf fans I know are absolutely terrified of the Bruins….listening to the FAN590 on my way in to work this morning, it sounds like the fan base has already given up hope of making it to the second round lol

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Or a lot of them aren’t “readers?” On a less serious note, Leafs Nation was devastated when the Don expressed his opinion that the Habs would beat the Leafs in a playoff series!

      “May you live in interesting times.”

  31. Luke says:

    Bob Cole and Gary Galley.

    Ugh.

    • Mattyleg says:

      Huh?

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • Luke says:

        That’s the CBC broadcast team.

        Bob is old and has difficulty with the game now. But he’s an all-time great, so I cut him some slack. He’s needs a stronger colour guy than Galley.

        Galley’s a half-wit. CBC’s talent pool is drying up as the commentators go to companies that cover the sport more regularly & in depth than the CBC.

        Cassie Campbell is on the team too. She’s solid. Weekes is decent enough.
        Freidman is awesome. He’s the only guy really carrying HNIC. I hope he’s getting Strombo money.

        • Mattyleg says:

          Why aren’t you watching RDS?

          I never go near CBC. It’s a useless joke.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • mrhabby says:

            Rds is only in french.

          • Luke says:

            Je ne parle pas francais.

            I watch it most of the time, since its the Habs coverage I get, but brutal English coverage trumps decent French.
            (HD exception).

          • Mattyleg says:

            Get some dictionaries boys!!
            ;)

            When I came back from Europe (Ireland, Poland, Portugal, etc etc) where I’d been living for 10 years, my French was brutal. Watching RDS got me back on track, and I was able to speak it so well in the end that I managed to pick up a beautiful French-Canadian girl in a bar. We’ve been together 4 years and have a daughter together now!

            All because of RDS, boys.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • Timo says:

            That’s one way to learn a language. No joke, but watching Habs on RDS or whatever other french channel that used to carry them in the 90’s really helped me with the language.

            I don’t go near english channels when it comes to watching Habs.

          • Blondemon says:

            I don’t abide Bob Cole and Gary Galley either, especially the latter. I used to love Cole for his exciting play-by-play. My earlies memory of him was calling Habs-Bruins first round 1985, deciding game 5 ‘Naslund right innnnnnn…..scoooooooores!’ with 51 ticks of the clock left. Who can forget his ‘Des-jard-DINS’ calls in game 2 of ’93 finals and ultimately his ‘Canadiens win the Stanley Cup!!!’ I like that he says ‘Canadiens’ and not ‘the Canadiens’, his signature.

            What I can’t stand is Pierre Houde going through contortions to pronounce foreign names ‘Yurdzi Tloosty’ and ‘Kovalchook’ and the rest, then butchering Brendan Gallagher and Brandon Prust. Otherwise I like his hockey savvy and commentary, and I like Marc Denis ice level, as well as the other panelists except for Brunet.

            That said, who cares, Habs are Division Champs!!! Go get em boys!!!

            ***Drive for 25***

          • showey47 says:

            Watching blue nuit improved my french.

          • Gerry H says:

            As a Quebec City native (Franco mom from the North Shore, Anglo Dad from Halifax) who has lived in Ontario for 35 years, RDS is one of my main lifelines to French and the Franco culture that meant so much to me as a kid.

            I also think Pierre Houde is the best play-by-play man in the biz.

          • Mattyleg says:

            Haha Showey!
            It would have improved mine, but I could hardly hear it beacause I’d turned it down so low so my parents wouldn’t hear it.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • ont fan says:

          Get ready for the pin wheel in the wheelhouse!

    • Mavid says:

      ugh is right, only thing worse would be Galley and Brown..

    • Cal says:

      Pierre Houde and Marc Denis.
      Compared to Cole and Galley, they are Gallivan and Irvin.
      When it comes to Habs hockey, RDS rules.

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      Gary Galley is brutal, but I still love Bob Cole.

      Yes, Bob often gets the players names wrong or is slow on his play-by-play, but, frankly I don’t need someone to tell me who has the puck or who just made a pass I can see it with my own eyes.

      IMO what Bob does best is capture the “emotion” of the game, the timbre of his voice is second to none.

      • Clay says:

        I agree.

        __________________________
        ☞ “And yet not choice but habit rules the unreflecting herd.” ~ William Wordsworth ☜

      • Cal says:

        Cole should have stopped 5 years ago, when he could no longer see well enough to call the game properly.
        Excellent timbre or not, the CBC’s play by play and NHL coverage has got to go. Their Boston-Toronto bastardization of the sport must end.
        Frankly, I can’t wait for CTV to buy up the rights and get all the clowns like Cherry, McLean, Stock and company off the air.

        http://calshabsongparodies.weebly.com

        • habs-fan-84 says:

          You won’t find me defending CBC coverage , frankly it is terrible (with the exception of Elliot Friedman and their intro video editors lol).

          I too hope for the day TSN gets exclusive coverage.

          Nevertheless, I still like Bob Cole – he calls a game like no other (mistakes and all lol).

          • Blondemon says:

            I can’t stand PJ Stock and the girl Andy something-or-other. Don’t care for Healey, but I like Kevin Weekes and Elliotte too.

            McLean is a bit of wimp. Did you all catch him cringing when Cherry said women don’t belong in men’s locker rooms?

            ***Drive for 25***

    • mal2478 says:

      Wouldn’t mind Hughson coming over.

  32. Mattyleg says:

    Leafs will beat the Bruins.

    Boston are in free-fall. They look terrible.

    Chara is one of the bigger/older players for whom the constricted schedule has really hurt. He looks slow and hesitant. This leads to his 6’2″ stick getting him into the penalty box as he tries to hook and trip his way back into the play.

    Lucic is slumping and in Claude’s bad books, can’t find the net.
    Marchand is as useless as ever, McQuaid is exposed by Chara’s descent, and Rask is flopping like Thomas, but doesn’t have nearly the skills as Tool-Time.

    Only player that Boston has going for it is Seguin.

    Leafs are hungry, and their 4th line will destroy the Bears.

    I call Leafs in 5.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • I was thinking the Bruins were taking it easy like we did Matty. I say the Bruins sweep the Leafs…..just so we can all laugh at the Laffs!

      Shane Oliver
      Twitter @Sholi2000
      http://www.Sholi2000.com
      Custom Sports Figures

      • Mattyleg says:

        Heh heh.
        That would be great, it’s true…

        Difference between our situation and Boston’s is that we pulled ourselves out of our slump. Booins have yet to do so.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • Mustang says:

        I was thinking this morning that as a Habs fan, it is difficult to pick one of those two hated clubs over the other. I just hope that they beat the crap our of each other so whoever wins, is really hurting in the next round.

  33. Seps says:

    Also, whoever wins the LA St Louis series is coming out of the West… Just have a feeling, two very good, dangerous teams overshadowed by Chicago.

    • Loonie says:

      Funny thing about those teams is that they both have a losing record against playoff teams.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I was thinking St louis is a sleeper but I don’t think they can beat LA. That is their worst possible match up for them

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • Seps says:

        Very comparable line-ups. Both big teams, LA a little more skilled, St Louis a little faster. The difference to me is Quick, St Louis doesn’t have anyone to respond in net. That is assuming Quick bounces back from his bad year.

        • Kooch7800 says:

          Quick is playing better as of late and I agree they are very similar. I just give the edge to LA for goal tending and goal scoring ability.

          It is good for any team in the west that these two got to face each other. They are both built for playoff hockey

          “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  34. Habitforming says:

    Anyone know how bad the injury to Phillips is?

    He’s is just as important as Karlsson to that team. He produces zero offense but he is a tough Dman to beat and logs the majority of the PK time on his team. Could be a huge boost to the Habs PP if he is out for any length of time.

  35. habs-fan-84 says:

    Congrats on a great season!!

    Now we look forward to the real season!
    This series should provide very entertaining hockey, can’t wait!

    GO HABS GO

  36. WindsorHab-10 says:

    In a way I’m glad we drew the Sens because that gives us a couple of extra days to prepare. I know it sucks playing 3 games in 4 nights but that’s hockey for you this season. No guarantees we would’ve beaten the Laffs just like there are none beating the Sens. Very happy we won the division, all I’m looking for in this round is for the team to compete & do their best.

    Good luck Habs. Great season despite some hiccups at the end. This team met my expectations & then some. Would like some icing on my cake.

  37. Seps says:

    Why is everybody counting the Islanders out, Pens D is questionable and there’s no guarantee Fleury won’t return to his typical playoff form (It’s where he wants to golf and tan but his team doesn’t, so he just makes due with tanning from the bright red light going on behind him). Islanders are dangerous offensively as we saw from our few matchups with them this season.

    Pens are clear favourites, but I’d expect to see atleast one person call an upset on this site.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      The Isles don’t have the best D and are facing the best top 6 in the NHL.

      Even if fluery sucks the Pens would win as the pens they will score a ton. I would be shocked if that series goes more than 5 but stranger things have happened

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • Loonie says:

        Tavares will give the Penguins as much trouble as the Penguins offense can give the Islanders’ D.

        And I’m happy for John Tavares because with a prominent stage his defensive game will be on full display.

        I would vote him for the Hart trophy.

        • Kooch7800 says:

          Tavares is a beast no doubt but….I would take Crosby & Malkin, Iginla and Neal as they have more playoff experience and shown they can get the job done in the playoffs.

          “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • Seps says:

        Philly did it last year with I’d argue a similar top 6 skill-wise to the Isles… Giroux-Jagr-Hartnell-Voracek-Briere-Simmonds compared to Tavares-Moulson-Boyes-Nielson-Okposo-Grabner. Isles top 6 I’d argue has more offensive flair while Philly consists of more complete players.

        • Kooch7800 says:

          To me I think the Pens are better than Philly was last year. Giroux played amazing last year i will give you that and briere always rises in the playoffs but like I noted above I would take, Crosby, Malkin, Neal and Iginla first. Neal had a hat trick after being off. We haven’t yet seen the full potential of the Pens healthy yet but we will really really soon

          “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • Loonie says:

      I did.

      I think the Islanders have a great chance to win that series and have a gut feeling they will.

      • Thomas Le Fan says:

        ’93 all over again. We’ll get by with a little help from our Island friends!

        There is no crying in baseball, “i” in team or “chuck” in Galchenyuk.

    • Ozmodiar says:

      That’s my ‘upset special’.

      Hey, why not? Might as well swing for the fences if you’re picking an upset.

    • GrosBill says:

      Islanders do have talent as we saw when they played us this year. But they do not have the much needed depth vs the Pens. Would love to see the Islanders win though :)

  38. Maritime Ron says:

    Good Morning everyone
    Here’s hoping you can help me out.
    I am putting together a letter that I plan to send to that very elusive gang of about 180 called the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association that vote on some Major Trophies such as the Calder.

    Anything you could add would be great!

    The case for Brendan Gallagher for the Calder Trophy:

    ” Given to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition in the National Hockey League.”

    Nail Yakupov:…………….17G 14A 31 Pts. -4
    Jonathan Huberdeau: 14G 17A 31 Pts. -15
    Brendan Gallagher…….15G 13A 28 Pts. +10

    Honorable mentions to Alex Galchenyuk-Cory Conacher-Brandon Saad.

    Time On Ice:
    Huberdeau: 812:31 including 113:20 of PP
    Yakopov:……698:58 including 119:07 of PP
    Gallagher……609:58 including 103.54 of PP

    * Huberdeau achieved comparable stats playing 203 minutes more than Gallagher and Yakopov played 89 minutes more.
    If we consider that Gallagher plays an average of 14 minutes per game, that would equate to Huberdeau playing roughly 15 more games than Gallagher and Yakupov roughly 6 more games to achieve comparable statistics.

    Team play and Contributions:
    Florida finishes last in Conference-30th overall
    Edmonton 12th in Conference- 24th overall
    Montreal wins Division-4th NHL overall

    Keys:
    Gallagher has most road goals scored by a rookie(8)
    Gallagher is tied for most winning goals by a rookie(3)

    How many important goals has Gallagher scored?
    How many key, gutsy plays has he made?
    How many players has he made better around him?
    How much has his enthusiasm been contagious?
    Was he an important element to push the Habs from 28th to 4th overll?

    If Gallagher does not win, or is not 1st on your ballot, please provide an explanation as to why not.

  39. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Well, another troglodyte here I guess but I’m going to disagree with Jack Todd and agree with Don Cherry. No one is saying that women shouldn’t be doing sports reportage just that they have no business in a dressing room full of naked male athletes. Can someone tell me if male reporters are allowed to go into female locker rooms? I bet if they are, the women are waaaay more discreet. Maybe all reporters should wait until the players have showered and changed. It’s not like there’s a lot of intelligent comments that just can’t wait, anyway.

    There is no crying in baseball, “i” in team or “chuck” in Galchenyuk.

    • Max says:

      I agree with Cherry also.Give the athletes a chance to get ready after games and interview them in a common area.Pretty simple I think.That would work better for all involved.

    • Le Jadester says:

      Agreed.
      I’d like to see Lisa Laflamme interviewing Stephan Harper in his washroom as he’s getting outta the shower to see how he’s gonna tackle the debt exposure Canadian Banks are facing ?

      ROn Maclean was such a tool during that interview too, playing the PC card. What a carnie !

      Habs, OLE !

    • Clay says:

      No one is naked for the 20 minute period reporters are allowed in the room. If they are, then they are the ones being troglodytes.

      __________________________
      ☞ “And yet not choice but habit rules the unreflecting herd.” ~ William Wordsworth ☜

      • Thomas Le Fan says:

        Well isn’t that exactly Cherry’s point? As far as pro sports go, some men in dressing rooms aren’t on their best behaviour nor can all of them be expected to. PC nonsense prevails.

        There is no crying in baseball, “i” in team or “chuck” in Galchenyuk.

        • Clay says:

          Although in pointing this out, I may be guilty of ‘committing sociology’, ;) I’m going to go ahead and say it anyway;
          It’s not PC nonsense IMO. The whole problem here is the cultural mindset inspired by Judeo-Christian sexual repression, which makes people afraid of nudity while at the same time glorifying violence. It’s immature, and I hope soon it will be a relic of the past.

          __________________________
          ☞ “And yet not choice but habit rules the unreflecting herd.” ~ William Wordsworth ☜

          • Thomas Le Fan says:

            Oh give me a break. It’s called being human. You really think that way? We could use some friggin’ “repression”. Some people won’t be content until consenting adults are having carnal relations with animals in the middle of the mall. Glorifying violence? It’s friggin’ hockey! Are you for real?

            There is no crying in baseball, “i” in team or “chuck” in Galchenyuk.

          • Clay says:

            We could use some repression? Religion has given us enough of that, thanks. And there is violence outside of hockey, believe it or not. But why am I telling you? You have obviously made up your mind. I suggest studying some sociology.

            __________________________
            ☞ “And yet not choice but habit rules the unreflecting herd.” ~ William Wordsworth ☜

          • Thomas Le Fan says:

            I have a suggestion for you but I’ll repress it. You’re obviously waaaaay too intelligent for the likes of me. I’ll be a proud troglodyte and you go ahead and study all the sociology you can fill your head with.

            There is no crying in baseball, “i” in team or “chuck” in Galchenyuk.

      • Lafleurguy says:

        Troglodytes sure have a bad rap!

      • ont fan says:

        Karen Larson, who covers the Canucks and Tessa bonhomme who covers the Leafs said in todays Star, they have never seen a player naked in a dressing room. Nor are they looking for one. Cherry is embarrassing, they said.

    • govenah says:

      Wow , I though the group here would be a little for forward looking and emancipated. Let the girls do interviews in the dressing room! What year is it again? Your children will be astounded at this if it keeps up.

      Another thing. Most CBC employees risk being fired if they make segregation for women comments like Cherry has been. They all have to abide by a code of conduct. And they are journalists who state opinions and they are allowed, but no one should be allowed to run off at the most stating chauvinist Victorian moralities.

      Defensive assignments, breakout speed, know where your teamates are, make the goalie move out of position, then shoot the puck accurately.

      • Thomas Le Fan says:

        You are welcome to your brave new world if you think a little modesty is “Victorian repression”. I fear for your kids.

        There is no crying in baseball, “i” in team or “chuck” in Galchenyuk.

  40. Max says:

    It’s going to be a tough series.The Sens are as boring as hell and never give an inch when they’re on their game which is almost every night.They’re well coached and have a wall in net.Expect games of 2-1,3-2,1-0 etc.I think Price will be the deciding factor in this series.If he shats the bed like he’s been doing recently,we’re done.If he plays average/good,it’ll be a close series.2 guys to keep an eye on are old man Alfreddson and his Swedish sidekick Karlsson.

    Will we get Scary Price or Carey Price?

  41. HammerHab says:

    If you were to describe Gallagher to someone who has never seen him play would it be fair to say he’s 3/4 Martin St. Louis & 1/4 Brad Marchand?

    ———————————–

    It’ll always be Habs Inside/Out to me

  42. Steeltown Hab says:

    Let’s focus on winning this series and not look ahead this and that. Ottawa plays every game close, just beat boston, I don’t think they’re getting enough credit. Anderson was one of the best goalies in the league this year.

    Add to that 2 back-to-backs and this thing is wide open. Still believe in this group though.

    ———————————

    Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Pac, Emelin – @J_Perez22

    • Sportfan says:

      I’m on the same page as you Steeltown the Sens have been great this year, if the injuries hadn’t happened maybe they would be first in the division. I’m not counting them out at all, but I still believe in this team and the chance they have of winning!

      Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
      http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

    • Ozmodiar says:

      Nah, I’m going to look ahead. I looked ahead in ’93 and that worked out okay. ;)

      Speaking of…. I wonder who will be this year’s David Volek.

  43. Sportfan says:

    I didn’t realize the first two games are back to back wth was the NHL thinking?

    Does that mean Budaj gets a a game lol?

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  44. Mattyleg says:

    I’m not worried about the Sens.
    Not one bit.

    What do you need to win games?
    a) Goal scoring. — We’ve got a ton more scoring power than the Sens. We have 3 lines that can put the puck in the net. They have half of one.

    2) Goaltending. — We’ve got Carey Price, a top goalie who has had a fantastic season, and a backup that can step into the breach and shut the door. They have Anderson, just back from injury; he’s big but his mobility is questionable.

    iii) They have Chris Neil; we have 22 players who can ignore him.

    PREDICTION: Habs in 6.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  45. adamkennelly says:

    the NHL is a joke with this freakin schedule…some of us booked flights and paid big bucks for tickets…now we got the boring ass Sens for back to backers…

    • I feel your pain Adam. I had my trip for Thursday, and then changed it all to Tuesday. Wasn’t cheap

      I am slowly getting over the fact we drew the Sens instead of the Leafs.

      But yeah it’s hard to get up for the Senators. For twenty years I can’t ever remember saying, YES, PLAYING THE SENS TONIGHT, it’s always been, gawd do we have to have these guys in our division.

      Shane Oliver
      Twitter @Sholi2000
      http://www.Sholi2000.com
      Custom Sports Figures

      • Habfan10912 says:

        Sorry guys but if you change your mind I can take the tickets off your hands. Shane knows where to find me. :)

        • I had banners and t shirts ready for print for a Habs Leafs match up. :lol:

          I don’t have the same passion for a Sens Habs Match up, maybe had we met them a few times in the last 20 years, but otherwise I’ll just have some fun in Montreal and enjoy the series. But it won’t anything like I imagined the Leafs vs Habs series.

          Shane Oliver
          Twitter @Sholi2000
          http://www.Sholi2000.com
          Custom Sports Figures

        • adamkennelly says:

          good one…real problem – we don’t hate the Sens..they don’t have any real fans – most of them would rather cheer for Habs or Leafs…Sens advertise playoff hockey tickets on TV in Ottawa, may as well be Columbus. we’ll all get over it – still going to be a blast but would have been freakin epic to play the Leafs..nothing a half dozen Molson’s can’t fix..

        • Ozmodiar says:

          > I had banners and t shirts ready for print for a Habs Leafs match up.

          Just put a red backslash over the leaf logo and put a sens logo next to it. It would commemorate the highly anticipated match-up that never happened.

      • Ian Cobb says:

        Shane, I think your in for a surprise my friend.
        Ottawa have been decimated all year with injuries. But they are much healthier at the present time, except for Spezza. We are in for a hell of a 1st round. And only an hour and a bit to go back and forth to both rinks.
        This will be our toughest play off round, until we meet the Pens.

        • I won’t be surprised Ian, I know how good the Sens are. They are hard working, well coached and have a very strong defensive team. I just can’t get excited over the Senators, been like this since they entered the league.

          Hopefully game one and two will be entertaining, but they play exactly like the NJ Devils, and that’s not fun!

          Shane Oliver
          Twitter @Sholi2000
          http://www.Sholi2000.com
          Custom Sports Figures

  46. Alex_425 says:

    So Karlsson is back, right? Considering the injury he came back from, anyone here suspect he won’t quite be 100% for the whole series?

    But I’m no expert….

    • Habfan10912 says:

      If I’m a Sen’s fans I’d really complain about playing back to back and three games in four nights. :)

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Sens’ win last night was good (we’re divisional champs, and improved on last year’s 15th by thirteen spots) and bad: the Sens are serious contenders and would have been a tough opponent for the Pens as well.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

      • TommyB says:

        Yup! The Sens are serious contenders, held back by major injuries to key players all season long, yet they managed 7th place. And, if anybody thinks there would have been an “easy” opponent for the Habs, they should give their head a shake. The East is wide open. Look at Washington’s late season charge to take their Division. Any team can get hot and get on a roll. We have to hope Montreal is the next team to do that.

        • Grabbed The Cup says:

          You got that right Tommy, even the lowly Islanders must be taken seriously.

          You leave me little notes on my pillow. Told you 158 times I can’t stand little notes on my pillow. “We’re all out of cornflakes. F.U.” Took me three hours to figure out F.U. was Felix Unger!

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      He looked near 100% last night.

      • Alex_425 says:

        Great, so Pacioretty isn’t the only regenerating superhuman in the NHL, then.

        This is gonna be a deceptively fun series.

        But I’m no expert….

  47. jols101 says:

    Pens in 5
    Habs in 6
    Bruins in 5
    Rangers in 7

    Second round Pens/Rangers – Pens in 6. Habs/Bruins- Habs in 6.

    Eastern Final – Pens/Habs – hate to say it but Pens in 6.

    ***unless Pens suffer some injuries and we stay fairly healthy.

  48. HardHabits says:

    3 games in 4 nights. Even if Price doesn’t falter, do we see Budaj in one of those games?

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Morning HH. I don’t think so. It’s the play-offs.
      BTW – Thanks for the lesson in video/computer/networking yesterday. I’ll have to defer to my 12 year old grandson in such matters. CHeers.

    • Cal says:

      The extra time (not playing since Thursday night) should give Price time to recharge and focus. Price will start all Habs playoffs games.

  49. Ian Cobb says:

    Pittsburgh, in 5. If Crosby is back, in 4.

    Montreal, in 7. Next to Pittsburgh, Ottawa be their toughest round. But the kids will mature and season in this series for down the road.

    NY Rangers in 6. If they can shut down the big O.

    Toronto in 6. Boston does not have the wheels. Hope they beat the snot out of each other.!

    • Grabbed The Cup says:

      I know I’ll get jumped on for this, and its nothing more than a gut instinct, but I see a close series (One goal diff games) going to the Habs in five… if I’m right you heard it here first, if not… hey man it’s early and it was just a gut feeling anyway dude. :)

      You leave me little notes on my pillow. Told you 158 times I can’t stand little notes on my pillow. “We’re all out of cornflakes. F.U.” Took me three hours to figure out F.U. was Felix Unger!

  50. TommyB says:

    Regarding the scheduling for the Montreal/Ottawa series….there are two teams here, so I don’t see an advantage or disadvantage to either. If the series goes long, both teams will be equally exhausted.

    I would also point out, had it been the other way around and the Habs had played last night, Habs fans would certainly be crying foul if they were to start on Tuesday. It is what it is, and it is an equal challenge to both teams. The extra two days to prepare, in my mind, is a benefit. Two extra days to work on your game and mend any bruises. I just don’t want to read, “Therrien gave the team the day off today….”. Strap on the work boots, boys.

  51. habstrinifan says:

    I started trying to figure it out but my coffee was getting cold and I was getting a headache. I am not stooopid just have never been able to keep a level head around number curves, ever since I was 12 and my neighbour demonstrated what 38-24-35 is. So somebody help me.
    Can the Leafs meet the Habs.. if Isles lose and Habs win and … well get back to me please.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Assuming Pitt beats NYI, then we would need the 6th seeded Rangers to upset Washington, in order to setup a Toronto Montreal 2nd round matchup. If the Islanders upset Pitt then we face NYI no matter what in round 2.

      (All of the above is predicated on Habs wining first round)

      • habstrinifan says:

        Thanks. So it is a very distinct possibility. Stu Cowan wrote “The prospect of a Montreal-Toronto clash disappeared Sunday night when the Ottawa Senators beat the Bruins 4-2 in Boston”, which, at first glance, seems to eliminate such a series altogether.

  52. habs12 says:

    who cares about the back to backs, if the habs win the first four games, they’ll have plenty of time to rest up ;)

  53. Habfan10912 says:

    Good morning fellow fans of the North East Division Champion Montreal Canadiens.
    Lots of angst on here this morning concerning the back to back games and the 3 games in 4 night schedule. During the regulat season I didn’t like these situations much as the opponent often did not face a similar schedule. Here? The Sen’s will be the opponent facing the same set of circumstances so it’s not a big deal to me, other then having to wait a couple more days for the start of the series.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Good Morning Jim, in a season where the schedule was weighted towards divisional games, the Montreal Canadiens finished first in arguably the best division in all the League. Quite the accomplishment if you ask me. Now onto the bigger challenge, we’re talking playoffs!

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7fjDS0jKiE

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Quit making so much sense. Back-to-backs have been a regular staple this year. How about that “hands-of-Eller” goal the other night? Only other guy on the team who could have pulled it off would have been Desharnais, although he doesn’t have Eller’s speed to get in position for the zone pass Gallagher threw.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

      • Habfan10912 says:

        Morning Andrew! Missed ya bud! Assume all is well?

        • Lafleurguy says:

          Hi! Was frustrating not being able to shoot the breeze with the good folks of HIO.* Thanks for all the write-ups on NASCAR! Glad to learn worms know how to seek higher ground (or warmer soil).

          “May you live in interesting times.”
          *evenmissedsomeofthesarcasticputdowns

      • Clay says:

        I’m happy to say that I think Galchenyuk has better hands than anyone on the team, Andrew.

        __________________________
        ☞ “And yet not choice but habit rules the unreflecting herd.” ~ William Wordsworth ☜

        • Lafleurguy says:

          Can’t disagree, but it’s fantastic to see Eller improving by leaps and bounds, and the young Alex will hopefully do the same. No more shootouts for this hockey season, but our best are 27, 81, and 51.
          Cheers Clay!

          “May you live in interesting times.”

          • Clay says:

            Cheers Andrew…and to be clear, I meant no disrespect to Eller, whom I think is playing great. I’m just really excited about Galchenyuk’s talent and potential.

            __________________________
            ☞ “And yet not choice but habit rules the unreflecting herd.” ~ William Wordsworth ☜

  54. Grabbed The Cup says:

    Our is the only series in which teams will play on consecutive nights.

    You leave me little notes on my pillow. Told you 158 times I can’t stand little notes on my pillow. “We’re all out of cornflakes. F.U.” Took me three hours to figure out F.U. was Felix Unger!

    • No

      Shane Oliver
      Twitter @Sholi2000
      http://www.Sholi2000.com
      Custom Sports Figures

      • Grabbed The Cup says:

        Well you could at least illuminate my error… you’re right though, (Should have finished my coffee before posting) two or three of the 1st round series will have (possible) game 7s as the second half of a back to backer.

        You leave me little notes on my pillow. Told you 158 times I can’t stand little notes on my pillow. “We’re all out of cornflakes. F.U.” Took me three hours to figure out F.U. was Felix Unger!

  55. HabinBurlington says:

    I think the best goaltending performance the Habs played against all season was Ottawa with Bishop in net. Good news Bishop is no longer a Senator.

    Anderson has been excellent this season, but we did maintain a winning record against the Sens this season. I love the fact we won our division, and while the rest also helps the Sens, it should be good for Markov and Prust as well.

    Now just have to find a way to make the next 4 days fly by so Thursday night arrives quicker!! This wait will seem like an eternity.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Mornin’ Good Pal. “Rainy days and Mondays always get me down,” except when the Habs are in the playoffs.
      Gonna jog your memory when a certain goaltender on a no. 8 seed team almost single-handedly took down the no. 1 and no. 2 seeds in the playoffs.
      All names were left off this post to avoid stirring up controversy.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Good morning Gerald! The Senators play a very defensive oriented game similar to that played by New Jersey under Jacques Lemaire. In that game you referenced the Habs totally dominated on the ice. I suspect what we saw most of the season, teams having difficulty with our speed, will continue in this series. We play our game we win the series.

    • Clay says:

      Just one point Gerald; we did not exactly have a winning record against the Sens – or rather we have the same winning record. I think both teams were 2-1-1 against each other…only in the NHL…

      __________________________
      ☞ “And yet not choice but habit rules the unreflecting herd.” ~ William Wordsworth ☜

  56. rhino514 says:

    Cherry got one thing right; the habs would have beat the leafs easily in my mind; I think the leafs are quite possibly the weakest of all the eight conference playoff teams, and also they have pretty much no playoff experience.
    I think the Sens are, when healthy, a powerhouse team. The pens are better, the caps maybe, possibly, a tad better, but then you would have the sens and habs who in my mind are neck and neck.
    I am worried about the Anderson-Price matchup. Price detractors often forget that he was spectacular against Thomas and the Bruins two years ago in the game 7 overtime loss, so it´s not like he can´t play well in the playoffs. But he is definitely a worry going into this year´s playoffs.
    Price is going to be around a very long time; he is going to hold quite a few habs records when all is said and done, and win a few playoff series regardless. Because of this alone, he is going to accomplish things which will make him be regarded as a good goalie. But will he be a truly consistent goalie before the age of 30? Will you be able to look back at his first decade and say and that he was a clutch netminder, if you dig deep?
    I am not usually given to hyperbolae, but I really do think this series could be one of those defining moments for Price.
    Against the Bruins, boston was favored, and the habs played an extremely tight defensive system, so the pressure was not as great and Price was better much better insulated with better Dmen. This is not the case this time around. The opposing goaltender is real good; if Price plays average, or below average, they lose. it´s that simple. Price will have to be just about as good as he was against Boston for the habs to win, but in tougher circumstances. However, if he can do it, I think it will give him the self-confidence he needs to be good for the next four years, before age and experience help him in his sunset years. It could be the diference between him being considered good, and being considered great. If he lets in bad goals, and Anderson, who is good but not legendary, easily outplays him, he will have lost a unique opportunity, in my mind, to cement himself as one of the best of his generation. Why? Because to me you have to prove you can carry a team on your back at least once or twice in your twenties to be considered elite. This year is a good opportunity, because the team, despite, its record, is good but not great, so it´s a good gauge on Price´s abilities. Conversely, the habs throughout the next 3 years or so figure to be even stronger; Price simply won´t have to carry them, he´ll just have to play ok.
    My heart says Canadiens in seven, my head says Sens in six. I hope my head is wrong. The key is the defence and Price.

  57. Ian Cobb says:

    Here are the East Match-ups and the Goal Differential of each series.

    …………………….Points…Goal Diff.
    1–Pittsburgh,… 72…….+46
    —NY Islanders, 56…….Even

    2–Montreal,…….63……..+23
    —Ottawa,……….56……..+12

    3–Washington…57……..+19
    —NY Rangers…..56……..+18

    4–Boston………..62……..+22
    —Toronto………..57……..+19

    Pick your winners!!!

    • Cal says:

      Pitts in 5- If Fleury sucks: 6.
      Montreal in 6 (sue me, I’m a hopeful Habs fan)
      Rangers in 7. Double OT in game 7 to decide the winner.
      Boston in 7 after multiple injuries are inflicted in game 1, causing Bettman to introduce the War Measures Act. (Oops, wrong sport)

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Thanks Ian and good morning sir. The Caps Ranger series intrigues me. That one as Cal predicts could come down to the last goal scored.
      The Isles could really push the Pens a bit. All the pressure is on the Pens and the Isles have very good special teams. I wouldn’t go out on a limb and predict and Islander win here but it would not surprise me to see a long series there.

      • Ian Cobb says:

        The Islanders have a few rabbits including Moulson, who is a great scorer and Traveres. They will make a little noise, but not enough to take the Pens, especially if Crosby is back.

  58. The HonestFan says:

    I think they’ll both play the first game ! Bruins tried last
    Night but Neil answered the bell.

  59. voyageur9 says:

    Look past the first round. Assume the Penguins beat the Islanders (likely the highest probability.) In that case, the Habs can only face Leafs, Bruins or Capitals in the 2nd round.

  60. Lafleurguy says:

    Mornin’ All. A hacker blocked my access again. C’mon, ‘fess up whoever you are!
    We are a better team than the Leafs, and I’m glad it’s the Sens, ’cause against the Leafs, it would have been a “lots to lose, nothing to gain scenario.”
    Jack Todd’s column, enjoyable as it always is, got me thinking: How did Don Cherry know lady reporter Karen Thomson asked Duncan Keith questions inside the dressing room? If she did, then would all have been hunky-dory if she asked the exact same questions in the hallway?
    Yesterday, some referred to Cherry as a racist, and there was a debate. Those who chimed in forgot (Freudian?Alzheimerian?) how the Don called Borje Salming a “chicken S_ede” for not fighting back when Mel Bridgeman jumped the hall-of-famer, and pounded on him ferociously.

    “May you live in interesting times.”

  61. Old Bald Bird says:

    I can’t get to exercised about the playoff schedule. It’s the same for both teams.

  62. The HonestFan says:

    He will , Boston will try to bully their way the first few games !

  63. Islanders are going to so knock off the Pens. Everyone and their dogs are banking on the stacked Pens to go all the way.

    And am I reading the schedule right, Blues @ Kings, 5 PM local start? Did LA move to another time zone and not tell anyone?

    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    http://www.Sholi2000.com
    Custom Sports Figures

    • Harditya says:

      Must be a typo bud, it says 8 PM on Nhl.com. And you’re right! Those Islanders won’t be as easy to knock off, they do know how to score goals. They have a formidable star player in John Tavares and his supporting cast ain’t that bad either. They’ll give Pens a run for their money.

  64. Bash says:

    Orr will be a total non factor. He may orchestrate a tilt with Thornton and that will be it.

    “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” (anon)

  65. The HonestFan says:

    Leafs vs bruins goon hockey at its best ! Bruins will see that leafs will not play the turn the other cheek stuff. Like him or not Orr can do the business !! He’ll mitigate any BS that the bruins will dish out

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      If Orr even plays he’ll play 6 min/nt

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Agree, and I also doubt that Leafs dress both McLaren and Orr in the playoffs.

        Phil Kessel has put together back to back top ten scoring seasons for the Leafs, this hasn’t been done by a Leaf since I think the 60’s. But he has done nothing against the Bruins. That trade will get dissected to death over the course of this series. Will be fun to watch.

  66. Maritime Ron says:

    OK. So we have to play 3 games in 4 nights Thurs-Fri-Sun-Tues or the first 4 games in 6 nights while every other series has breaks. Look at the Bos-To series. The first 4 games are played in 8 nights with a 2 day break between Game 1 and 2.

    I checked the Scotiabank Center and it only shows concerts on May 2 then May13. We could have played our Ottawa games on Monday and Wednesday
    If I’m missing something let me know, but WHY are the 2 Canadian teams match up getting the short end of the stick?

    Is there a Bell Centre issue for potential Game 5 and 7?
    It appears there are several dates open….

    http://www.scotiabankplace.com/en/default.asp?scotiabankplace=126

    http://www.centrebell.ca/en/page/calendar/2013/05

    • HabinBurlington says:

      The league promised Ottawa a couple days off after the Sunday game, the Wednesday concert at the Bell Center disrupted a Wed. start. After that, I suspect the league didn’t give a crap about how the schedule worked for these two teams, and rather is trying to get that series to end at the same time as other series. BS, but what else do we expect from this league.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      A belated “Welcome to HIO,” Maritime. You’re bringing pithy data to the site, which heightens the interest meter here.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

      • Maritime Ron says:

        Hi Lafleurguy

        You guys have a wonderful site with little trash talk compared to so many others I have read.
        BRAVO to you guys! hope I can chip in here or there

  67. HabinBurlington says:

    Nobody provides better quotes than Bryzgalov, his meeting with the media yesterday was classic Ilya!

  68. So what’s our reward for winning the division?

    Two possible back to backs in the same series!

    What a joke! Good thing the Sens have to go through it too, but seriously, who makes this stuff up?

    Habs better take these guys down in 4 or 5 games, it will only help in the long run.

    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    http://www.Sholi2000.com
    Custom Sports Figures

    • jrs10069 says:

      The NHL has all the excuses in the world for this…Bombings, tightened schedule etc. They have quite a few b2b game 6/7 on the schedule which for others includes an actual plane ride. Mickey mouse operation. What about people (i might be one of them) who coughed up big money for games 1 and 2…i want to go to back to back games less than the players want to play in them. Way to put the fans first. F’n IDIOTS!!!

      jrs10069

      • Oh I hear you, I made a thousand dollar mistake in calculating when I should come to Montreal.

        But the more I sit here planning my dubious revenge, I think I’ll just party it up for two nights and then torment the city of Montreal :)

        When you all walk by the Novotel, be sure to look up and watch for my message to HIO in the window!

        Shane Oliver
        Twitter @Sholi2000
        http://www.Sholi2000.com
        Custom Sports Figures

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Not unusual for this league to come off looking Mickey Mouse.

  69. Chilly Willy says:

    Don’t count out Carey Price just yet.

    Who cares about the Vezina, a Conn Smythe will look better!

  70. Maritime Ron says:

    I love that pic with 5’9″ 178 lbs Gallagher looking up to 6’5″ 230 lbs Cyclops McLaren and smiling or laughing.

    They should have put a caption under it like
    ” I’ll be playing NHL hockey in 2 years. What bar in Winnipeg will you be a bouncer at?”

    • The Cat says:

      I like Gallagher and the attitude, but somebodys gonna make him eat his shit-eating grin someday.

      [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Have to admit every time I saw Gallagher grinning, I had no idea he had just eaten Sh*t.

      • Bash says:

        We can all name twenty agitator/dirtbags who are perpetual targets. We can only name a few agitator /real players who have talent. Some like Marchand are dirty. (Did you see the late hit the game last night?)

        Gallager agitates by refusing to be intimidated and smiling all the while. A different animal!

        “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” (anon)

        • Blondemon says:

          I agree, Gally doesn’t initiate it seems. They talk trash or jostle him, and he smiles back. Marchand went after Karlsson many seconds after time elapsed on the 1st, if that’s the one you mean. He also kinda crosschecked him in the kidneys on an offside, very late, and he went after somebody else late on another play.

          All 3 times: Chara on the ice.

          ***Drive for 25***

  71. Curtis O Habs says:

    Boston vs. Toronto must be Bettman`s worst nightmare.
    Who will he push through to the second round?

  72. jrs10069 says:

    I can’t believe that the NHL is pushing the start of this series to Thursday then forcing back to back games. What a mickey mouse operation they run. Instead of slightly screwing the senators and making them play on 1 day rest, they are screwing 22000 fans (not to mention the 3 people who had tickets to the concert on Friday night) some potentially paid big money and made travel plans to come in. Schedule if they played MTL should have been locked, you don’t like it, too f’n bad.

    Bunch of idiots

    jrs10069


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