Double AWESOME

With a bullet.

Or maybe with a pebble, eh, Goliath?

Miraculous! Unbelievable! Shocking! Stunning! Yup, those are some of the words you’ll be hearing today around the water cooler. But not from this guy. All you’ll hear from me?

“I told you so”.

Actually, I predicted the Habs would take this series in 6 games… which was maybe a little optimistic (even for me). But I’ll take the win in seven.

I was laughed at by Caps fans. Even mocked by fellow Habs fans.

But I believed in these players.

In Bob We Trust built a playoff team.

The team that Bob Gainey made – and then drastically re-made last summer -just knocked off the best team in the NHL.

 

The forwards are too small.

The defensemen too slow, too old.

We don’t have a proven goaltender.

We don’t have a superstar.

 

Nope. We don’t.

The Caps do:
Mike Green? No goals.
Alex Semin? No goals.
And Alexander the Gr8 is going home.

Just a team full of superstar killers, I guess.

(Hear that Sid?)

 

Slow D? Hal (make fun of me all season but who’s laughing now) Gill is a #1 defenseman. Halak called him a second goalie out there. Well, Gill had blocked 31 shots this series. That’s more than double the rubber than Semyon Varlamov stopped in Game 7. Josh Gorges was awesome. So was Andrei Markov, as usual.

And that opening powerplay goal by MAB put more than a little crow in a lot of mouths.
Hate his -8 all you want but he’s good at what he does.
And that’s score goals from the point on the powerplay.

 

Our undersized forwards were huge! Mike Cammalleri with 10 points? He’s a big game player. Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta competing in the corners with guys bigger and stronger than them? And winning those battles? Hey – these two are Stanley Cup winners. They know how to get the job done.

Unsung diminutive forward award: Tom Pyatt. Not a ton of ice time, not a lot of flashy plays but w-o-w can that kid kill a penalty.

 

And there’s no question mark in nets anymore.
There’s no debate.

There’s no controversy.

 

This victory isn’t surprising. Our regular season was.

The Habs shoulda, coulda, woulda been better in 82 games. Yes, injuries definitely made a big difference but the team never really seemed completely comfortable. They got close at times but never really fired on all cylinders.

But the post-season fits a glove.

And right now, I’m pretty happy that our lousy regular season team is playing like an elite playoff team. I’d hate to be a Caps fan today. Painful. It’s going to be a loooooong summer in Washington – and Russia.

They were supposed to win the Cup, right?

Shoulda, woulda, coulda.

Not this year Washington Sharks.

 

Hey – anyone know if these Pittsburgh Penguins are supposed to be any good?

8 Comments

  1. likehoy says:

    maybe semin and ovechkin can help russia beat canada in the WHC

    or choke.

    - What if Jaro Halak’s hand was indeed shaking? What if you took the CHOKE out of Ovechkin? — History Will Be Made

  2. Chris Aung-Thwin says:

    Ovie’s gonna be exiled to Siberia for the summer.

  3. Chris Aung-Thwin says:

    Especially after fading the past couple day – but mainly because of his contract – I’m sure Hamrlik will be traded. Although he’s expensive, there’s always teams looking for a good experienced defenseman. Hamrlik showed – for most of the year – that he can still play top pair minutes and isn’t a big risk with only 1 year left on his contract.

  4. SPATS says:

    Does Halak own Ovy or what? World jrs, Olympics, now this. Amazing. We’ll need to clear some room to keep him. 

  5. baruch says:

    Hey Chris, great column as usual

    Agree with everything except that MAB, yes he’s good on the PP but he was used far too much at 5 on 5 early in the series thus his abysmal +/-  thankfully JM restricted his play to the PP more or less exclusively for the 3 wins. The Caps were all over him.  I hope JM doesn’t try any more experiments with MAB: on the PP and then back on the bench!

     

    Which brings me to our coaching trio Martin Muller and Pearn.  At the beginning of the series there was an article about how Boudreau was going to coach JM under the table…whelll, looky looky.  I think, just as our fantastic PK was a solid team effort, so was our overall coaching approach, the three of them (chosen by Bob Gainey, btw) were really on the ball, consummate professionals, I hope Pearn and MUller are not enticed away somewhere during the off-season.

     

    And yes, Bob Gainey…his vision is becoming apparent.  Well, Mara is thankfully out of the picture, maybe Spatch will give way to the age of Subban, but Gomez AND Pyatt!  good deal. Hall Gill, anybody?   Bob’s chemistry experiment is starting bubble.  He only had to step aside in order to let JM play Halak.  BG was head over heels for Carey Price, and couldn’t bear to see him benched.  The way BG just threw away last year’s playoffs just to (in his words) “give Carey experience” will always be a betrayal for me. Now Carey can sink or swim on his own merits, the way it should be. 

     

    Metro looks injured, Hamr too, luckily O’byrne seems to be rising to the standard he hit at the beginning of the season.  Let’s see how the Habs can compete against the bruisers like Rupp and Cooke…  If the Pens get desperate I fear for our “quick, small forwards” it may be time to bring up Eric Neilsen….  I hope JM, KM and PP had time to watch the tapes (apparently they couldn’t get practice ice time today) to adjust their strategy.  The Pens with Crosby, Malkin and Staal who has been flying  are a very different team!

     

     

     

  6. Chris Aung-Thwin says:

    Thanks Barry!

     

    MAB – you’re right, he played too much 5-on-5 at the beginning of this series. But I blame JM and the coaching staff for that, not MAB. He did what he could but was asked to do too much. Good on JM for seeing that and adjusting his ice-time. Players love their ice-time but I’m sure MAB won’t compain right now. A team in need of some help on the PP next year (Nashville?) will give him a nice contract for his one-dimensional play.

    Coaching staff – I must say I’m impressed. I was not a JM fan this season. Not at all. After game 5, 6, and 7 I’m willing to eat my words. The guy can coach.

    Pittsburgh is gonna be tough. I think the series will be decided by our 3rd and 4th line along the boards. Crosby, Malkin, and Staal are big, strong guys and I think they’ll play a more physical game than the Caps did. We have our work cut out for us.

     

    But as usual, I believe!

  7. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …excuse this off-subject to Chris’ uplifting post

    …but,

    it seems the re-naming of the Lester B. Pearson Trophy by the NHLPA is
    fait-accompli …Is anyOne besides Me still pissed for re-naming a
    trophy that has an almost 40-year history ?

    …was it a Total
    NHLPA Membership initiative …or a Chelios/Fehr (American) iniative ?

    …is

    a (Terrible) Ted Lindsay qualitatively-representative of the player of
    the year award (chosen by their peers) ? …WHEN was ‘Terrible’ Ted
    Lindsay EVER the BEST player during his NHL career ? …or close (…the
    Wings most often losin’ to Our Habs during his days in the NHL)

    …IF

    it was to be re-named ? …WHY was it not named the Lindsay-Harvey
    Memorial Award to recognize the first 2 EQUALLY most important
    initiators of organizing NHL players as a precursor to today’s NHLPA

    …I

    believe the ‘re-naming’ was a Chelios/Fehr ‘thang’ …and the typical
    NHL player are but ‘sheep’ letting these Americans f&5k-around with
    Our (the NHL’s) History

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

  8. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …even
    IF the NHLPA do not turn-around, by Yourselves expressing Your opinions
    directly, they WILL receive a clear MESSAGE that there are
    many pissed by Chelios & Fehr trying to get-away with not also
    acknowledging Harvey

    http://www.nhlpa.com/About-Us/Contact-Us/
    …this is link to NHLPA contact page

    address:

    National
    Hockey League Players’
    Association
    20 Bay Street Suite 1700
    Toronto, ON
    M5J 2N8

    …let Those Of Us whom believe Doug Harvey
    should be EQUALLY represented on the-former LBPearson Trophy send THAT
    MESSAGE to the current-American Czars of the NHLPA

    …as well
    remind the NHLPA Membership (current players) not be so easily led down
    the garden path by
    Fehr & Chelios, without thinking for themselves first

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049


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