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,

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,

Canadiens vs. Senators series preview,

 Sports psychologist put Eller on right track, by Dave Stubbs

Top 25 photos from 2012-13 season,

Most Memorable Moments Against the Senators,

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

Ten players to watch in NHL postseason,


  1. hockey p.i. says:

    Be careful what you wish for. Sens are much much different club with Karlsson back. Canadiens’ play over the past month or so goes to show how important a piece Emelin is, opposing players can freely cross our blue line without having to worry where he is. Makes a huge difference.

  2. Ian Cobb says:

    OHL Conference finals.

    7th game, at home for the Belleville Bulls and the two Subban brothers, against Dale Howerchuck’s Barrie Colts.

    This series has everything, speed, talent and toughness. What a fantastic finals.!
    7pm, enjoy!

  3. SteverenO says:

    @ Loonie:

    you wrote;

    Some adjustments I’d love to see for the playoffs…..

    1. Alex Galchenyuk playing on the half wall of the second powerplay unit. He poses a scoring and passing threat from a dangerous spot when the Senators WILL play two forwards high to take Markov and Subban out of the equation.

    2. No Markov on the penalty kill. Under any circumstances.

    3. Jared Tinordi matched against the Senators second line at home. He’s plus five on the road against matchups that are supposed to expose his lack of experience. So far it hasn’t happened.

    1. In our last game MT has adjusted the 2nd line PP to be PAcioretty /DD!/ Bourque- The first line being Ryder/Plek/Gionta- who would Gally27 replace in your scenario. I would prefer to see Eller, WIth GAlly27 and either /Pacioretty or Bourque, or even Prust on the wing. but we know that Therrien has DD locked in for PP time.

    2. I don;’t disagree, however its not because markov is so bad on the PK, it s that we need to reduce his overall minutes and we cannot afford to take him off the PP.

    3. Tinordi has looked good, Lets hope he can keep it up. I sure wish that he had been given more opportunity to play the “tough” minutes when he was first called up.


    Steve O.

  4. RetroMikey says:

    Wow, Ottawa-Montreal series….I DID NOT EXPECT THIS SERIES TO HAPPEN!
    Boston did Montreal a favour by losing last night.
    My prediction….MOntreal in 6.
    If we were to play Toronto, lights out for our team.
    Should be an exciting series for the Habs and all the teams.

    CH……Christ in Heaven! AMEN!

    ok, I’ll say it…..GO HABS Go!

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

    • patrice brisebois says:

      sens are better then the leafs,better defence,more disciplined,better coached,better system and better goaltending. Look at what the sens did missing so many major pieces all year. Habs would walk all over the leafs,they are beyond overrated.Getting outshot by a 2:1 ratio every game is a recipe for failure and finally catches up to you like we all saw on saturday night. This one vs the sens will go at least 6,possibly 7.

  5. Old Bald Bird says:

    Women in the locker room is fine with me, but I have a problem with Don Cherry and his penchant for kissing hockey players.

  6. Blondemon says:

    This site’s got Habs at close to 20-1. Chicago at 5-2 and Pit at 5-1

    ***Drive for 25***

  7. frontenac1 says:

    Meeting the Lads today at the Saloon for our Friday Board meeting due to the playoffs. There will be representations from the Habs,Hawks,Rangers,Leafs and Sens and possibly my buddy from San Jose via text.And lots of Pints.Playoff Hockey is here amigos! Saludos!

  8. jols101 says:

    New thread.

  9. BrianSkrudland says:

    If it hasn’t happened already for some of you; my fearless prediction for the Habs-Sens series is that everyone will despise Ottawa Sun sports reporter, Don Brennan, after Game 1.

    I believe he has a shrine to Chris Neil in his office. Brennan will call-out Gallagher and PK all series, I figure.

    On a side note, I sure hope we see some of Ryan White this series. The effective verion not the Nutjob 3.0 model.

    Daily recommendations for April 29
    Song of the Day: Pocahontas (Neil Young)
    Movie of the Day: Hoosiers

    • Phil C says:

      I know what you are saying about getting some of White’s energy into the series. He looked good in the Toronto game.

      But given that Ottawa has had trouble scoring goals, I think Montreal can improve their chances if they stay out of the penalty box and not give them any games through special teams. Make them beat you 5 on 5. I would go with the veteran Halpern for this series, save White for round 2.

      The last game against Ottawa, I noticed Neil was targeting White, looking for the retaliation penalty. If White plays, they will target him again. If Halpern can tolerate being licked by Ott without retaliating , he can handle anything the Ottawa team can throw at him.

  10. shiram says:

    Playoffs and wise words from one of my favorites Habs means it’s time for a new sig.

    “The game isn’t played on the weight scale and it’s not played in the gym, It’s played on the ice and it’s whoever wanted it more.” #81

  11. William T Love says:

    The scary thing isn’t that Price never played some great games.. Sure he did.. What’s scary is that they are so rare I remember where I was when he did. Price peaked in the 2010-2011 season. Does one great season make you a great goalie? I don’t think so. . So easy to mess up his head and obviously the Leafs have done that. The Leafs would have destroyed him in the playoffs.. He should be ok against Ottawa since they are 27th in the league in scoring. Even with Price, Habs in 6

  12. Blondemon says:


    ***Drive for 25***

    • habfan53 says:

      Agree said the same below and took it a round further.

      Like the DODGERS “Wait till next year”

      • Blondemon says:

        I agree with your final 2 in the east (Pens-Habs right iirc?) Did you do the west too? OK before I check yours, I will say Blues-Hawks in the semis.

        Edit: dammit Hawks-Blues can’t happen in semis if top 4 win first round. I goofed. OK Wings or Sharks to win round 1.

        ***Drive for 25***

  13. Bob_Sacamano says:

    A lof of predictions here but I think the Western Conference doesn´t get enough attention:

    Chicago in 5 against Minnesota
    Detroit in 7 against Anaheim
    San José in 7 against Vancouver
    LA in 6 against St. Louis

  14. Et le but says:

    I’m thrilled we won the division and finished 2nd in the conference! Even though the Bruins tanked down the stretch (maybe even worse than our own post-clinch swoon), we are full value for our position in the standings; home ice through to the conference finals at least, 4th overall in the league…from 28th ayear ago.
    Well done boys!
    As for playing the Senators in the first round, they are the preferred oponent for many reasons IMO:
    1. We gain 2 extra days off to rest the weary and fine tune through additional practice
    2. They wont bang us up as much as the Leafs could have
    3. We match up well with them; each club plays a team game, rolling all 4 lines…we’re a bit deeper offensively, them, defensively
    4. Toronto and Boston can beat the snot out of each other, hopoefully over the course of 7 games
    5. Ottawa will give us a tough, clean series which will give us the opportunity to raise the level of our play for later rounds
    My prediction: Habs in 6
    Bring on the Sens!

    • Timo says:

      I disagree on #2. I think this will be a very physical long series. There probably won’t be as much BS after the whistle as with the laffs but lots of tough play in all 3 zones.

      I also think that TO-Bos won’t be as physical as some people expect. It’s usually the case when everyone is all up in arms about how brutal a game or a series will be, it never turns out that way.

      Boston for an easy win.

    • Mustang says:

      I hope that you are right about #4 as I would really like to see the Laffs and the Brooins beat the crap out of each other. I don’t care who wins that series as long as they have lots of bruises when its over.

  15. veryhabby says:

    First off…thank you Sens for saving my marriage (I live in GTA and married to a leaf fanatic husband, it wasn’t going to be pretty)

    Second…congrats HAbs on finishing 2nd in the conference. So proud of these guys. When they put on their work boots they can beat just about anyone

    Third…my son is a Sens fan (yes messed family) how to I enjoy MTL beating the Sens without hurting the little guy’s feelings (lol)

    Habs in 6 if Price plays solid.

  16. jmsheehy19 says:

    Donmarcro, as to your predictions from last night (sorry for the late response), I agree with every one except I think San Jose will beat Vancouver.

    I was really hoping Detroit would end up in the 8 spot, as Chicago Detroit is always a blast. And I think Anaheim is very beatable, so I was hoping Minny would get that draw. That’s a town that deserves a good run, but I can’t see them putting up much of a fight against Chicago.

  17. Blondemon says:

    OK, just putting this out there. In ’93 Pens had 119 pts our 102, in 84 games. This year, expanded over an 84-game sked, Pens would have 126 pts to our 110, pretty similar deficit. Can history repeat?

    ***Drive for 25***

  18. habfan53 says:

    Not to get to far ahead of ourselves but I can see Montreal in the conference finals and even the cup FINALS.
    PIT over NYI, MTL over OTT, NYR over WASH and TO over BOS.
    Then PIT over NYR and Mtl over Toronto.

    It is going to take SOLID goaltending hard work and discipline.

  19. Loonie says:

    Some adjustments I’d love to see for the playoffs…..

    1. Alex Galchenyuk playing on the half wall of the second powerplay unit. He poses a scoring and passing threat from a dangerous spot when the Senators WILL play two forwards high to take Markov and Subban out of the equation.

    2. No Markov on the penalty kill. Under any circumstances.

    3. Jared Tinordi matched against the Senators second line at home. He’s plus five on the road against matchups that are supposed to expose his lack of experience. So far it hasn’t happened.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I am willing to endorse these adjustments, especially #1! Watching how our powerplay has become completely focused on Subban/Markov at blue line has made our powerplay much easier to defend. I would be tempted to actually see Galchenyuk on the half wall for our #1 unit, but realistically realize this won’t happen.

      #2 seems to already be happening, or at least close to it, with the emergence of Tinordi. As he continues to prove himself, this may lead to #3 occurring.

      Good post Tom!

    • Blondemon says:

      I like those adjustments. Question, when Markov is not on the PP, and hence not using his backdoor threat, wouldn’t it be best to have a righty forward working the LW half-wall, especially given Karlsson’s a righty.

      We never use the LW half-wall it seems on the PP, probably because both Pleks and DD are lefties (and the Markov back-door play), but against Karlsson, let’s shuffle the cards. We have the ‘luxury’ to experiment too, given our PP has gone south of late.

      Edit: I guess we don’t do it because we don’t have a very good play-making righty forward. Gally is good, but he’s better shooting or crashing the net.

      ***Drive for 25***

    • Gerry H says:

      Agree on all counts.

      Markov remains brilliant, but I’m really concerned about his knee. Watch him carefully. He CANNOT pivot on his right skate.

  20. jeffhabfan says:

    It must be Monday my buddy is a huge sens fan may not talk to him untill series is over.

  21. Laramy87 says:

    Living in Toronto and have lived in Ottawa why do those fan bases think they will run over Montreal?

    Friday night I had a conversation with a friend saying Leafs would roll over Habs in 4 maybe 5. Im like what, how? Changed his tune after Saturdays game though. Then when Ottawa beat Bruins last night I got a text from a friend in Ottawa saying Sens in 5, gonna be easy series for the Sens.

    I just had to laugh, Habs finished 2nd for a reason. Bring it on Sens

  22. commandant says:

    Curtis Lazar gets spot 20 on the draft board.

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

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