Game Day: Alexei Emelin expected back in Canadiens lineup for Game 5 vs. Rangers

STU COWAN

Alexei Emelin was in the middle of the centre-ice faceoff circle in Brossard near the end of Thursday’s morning skate, leading the team stretch.

And the defenceman is expected to be back in the lineup Thursday night when the Canadiens meet the New York Rangers in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference quarter-final series (7 p.m., CBC, TVA Sports, TSN Radio 690), which is tied 2-2.

Emelin was with Nathan Beaulieu on the third defence pair during the morning skate and afterwards coach Claude Julien said the Russian defenceman would take part in the pre-game skate at the Bell Centre and then a final decision would be made about whether he will play.

But it certainly looks like he will. Emelin missed the last two regular-season games and has yet to play in the playoffs after suffering a lower-body injury during a game on April 5 in Buffalo.

“He’s a rugged defenceman,” Julien said after the morning skate. “He plays hard. He’s a defenceman that you don’t like playing against and that’s a part that I think we miss with him not being in the lineup right now from his play. I think our team has done a good job, but definitely when he goes in there, I know from coaching against him our players (with the Boston Bruins) kept their heads up when he was on the ice.”

Emelin posted 2-8-10 totals and was plus-1 while playing in 76 regular-season games and he led the Canadiens in hits with 241, an average of 3.2 per game. Jeff Petry ranked second in hits on the Canadiens with 171.

Emelin ranked ninth in the NHL in hits during the regular season. The leader was Ottawa Senators defenceman Mark Borowiecki with 364.

You can watch Julien’s entire news conference following the morning skate on the HI/O Facebook page, where there are also action videos from the practice.

(Photo: John Mahoney/Montreal Gazette)

The lines and defence pairings

After switching up his lines during the 2-1 loss to the Rangers in Game 4, Julien went back to his original lines during the morning skate and you can expect the Canadiens lines and defence pairings to look like this for Game 5:

Pacioretty – Danault – Radulov
Byron – Plekanec – Gallagher
Lehkonen – Galchenyuk – Shaw
King – Ott – Mitchell

Markov – Weber
Benn – Petry
Beaulieu – Emelin

Price

Forwards Andreas Martinsen, Mike McCarron and Brian Flynn will be the healthy scratches, along with defencemen Brandon Davidson and Nikita Nesterov.

Pacioretty not worried

The pressure has been on captain Max Pacioretty from the media and fans after he failed to score a goal in the first four games of the series and had only one assist and nine hits.

When asked after the morning skate how much the fact he hadn’t scored is on his mind, Pacioretty said with a smile: “Not as much as your mind.”

Game 5 could be the key

Winning Game 5 could well decide who wins this series since the losing team will be facing elimination in Game 6 and, if necessary, Game 7. If it’s the Canadiens who lose, they would face elimination on the road Saturday night at Madison Square Garden (8 p.m., CBC, NBC, TVA Sports, TSN Radio 690).

“It’s a very tight series,” Pacioretty said. “Two very good defensive teams. Two teams with great goaltending. It’s been exciting so far. I think they’ve been pretty steady throughout the series and we’ve shown what we can do at times … in other times not as steady. When we’re playing at our best we’ve seen what we’re able to do and it’s up to us to try and get to that level for an entire game and hopefully we do that tonight in front of our crowd.”

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, when an NHL best-of-seven series is tied 2-2, the winner of Game 5 has gone on to win the series 78.1 per cent of the time.

The schedule

Here’s a look at the schedule for the rest of the Canadiens-Rangers series:

Thursday, April 20: at Montreal, 7 p.m., CBC, TVA Sports, TSN Radio 690.
Saturday, April 22: at New York, 8 p.m., CBC, NBC, TVA Sports, TSN Radio 690.
* Monday, April 24: at Montreal, TBD
*- if necessary

This Date in Habs History

April 20, 1958: Bernie Geoffrion scored two goals as the Canadiens beat the Boston Bruins 5-3 in Game 6 to win their third straight Stanley Cup, tying the record set by the Toronto Maple Leafs, who did it from 1947 through 1949. It was the 10th Stanley Cup overall for the Canadiens.

• Game Notes

• Sense of urgency for Canadiens and Pacioretty, by Pat Hickey

• Canadiens need Pacioretty to regain scoring touch, by Stu Cowan

• Torrey Mitchell forges 10-year career on drive, by Stu Cowan

• Theodore and Price remain brothers in Habs’ goaltending fraternity, by Stu Cowan

• Last-gap effort falls shorts for Canadiens as Rangers even series, by Pat Hickey

• Sloppy second period costly against desperate Rangers, by Pat Hickey

• Habs’ Plekanec could be valuable commodity in playoffs, by Stu Cowan

• Habs’ Ott relishes role as playoff agitator, by Stu Cowan

• Hockey historian says Montreal teams have won 41 Stanley Cups, by The Canadian Press

• Rangers a different team when Nash is at his best, N.Y. Daily News

• Zibanejad shows why Rangers traded for him, N.Y. Post

• Rangers finally win a playoff game at home, N.Y. Times

131 Comments

  1. VerdunHab24 says:

    I appreciate it Mike. I’ll see what tonight brings. Often I don’t know for sure until I start watching. Either way hoping for big win. I really believe if this team can start putting together consistant efforts they could do some damage moving forward.

  2. VerdunHab24 says:

    It’s worse around company. Unfortunately my struggle with anxiety is real and it depends day to day on the severity. Just sucks that it can actually prevent me from watching at times.

  3. savethepuck says:

    Where’s Boone?

    “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
    Carey Price

  4. VerdunHab24 says:

    I have a bad habit where my anxiety doesn’t allow me to watch some games live. I love this team and probably care too much whether they win or not. I tend to watch the game on 15-20 delay hoping the red light goes off on my phone. Horrible I know…

    • Ton says:

      lol. dude enjoy the game lol. im on the ground. don’t miss it. i tend to hug the carpet down load as i can get in there zone. its worked in crucial games since 1976……….don’t use it all the time.

  5. VerdunHab24 says:

    I have a bad habit where my anxiety doesn’t allow me to watch some games live. I love this team and probably care too much whether they win or not. I tend to watch the game on 15-20 delay

  6. Dunboyne Mike says:

    @Cherrypicker

    Persuasive observation about CJ holding an Emelin announcement until game-time specifically to confound Rangers planning.

    • savethepuck says:

      I assume it’s standard for a guy coming off an injury and only 1 practice to be evaluated by medical staff to ensure he didn’t reaggravate anything

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

  7. Sir Lance Compte says:

    I agree DLR should have been in line up by now for obvious reasons and attributes he has.
    MB wants to be proven right that his late season pickups will deliver I presume is the reason for not bringing him up? And perhaps trying to get the ice caps into the playoffs?

  8. arcosenate says:

    I hope Emelin plays as well as Julien thinks he will. I seem to recall him sucking pretty hard this year. Especially when he was paired with another defenceman. Any other defenceman.

    But I trust Julien. I do.

    Anyway another of many huge games this playoff year.

  9. rhino514 says:

    Further to the comments below, Emelin healthy and on his game is a valuable playoff commodity, Emelin not fully healthy can be a little scary since he needs to play a physical game to be effective, also Beaulieu has been erratic 5 on 5 and I´m not sure he´s the best partner for Emelin, I imagine Julien will mix and match the second and third pairings having the last change and how he does that will be crucial in this first game with Yemmy back.
    Regarding DeLaRose I had completely forgot about him. Yes, it is encouraging that he finished the year strong in St.johns and I´m curious to see how much he has developped next year but the fact is he has had oppoortunities and hasn´t shown much at the NHL level up to now, not that I´m crazy about King, but hasn´t he had a couple of close calls with goals in this series? Maybe his slow skating is not as much of an issue as the optics make him out to be.

  10. UKRAINIANhab says:

    Habs are going to dominate tonight. The thing that needs to happen is to not give up a sloppy goal that goes against the play. Price is going to need to hold the fort down and I’m sure he will.

    This is a game where you need to jump on the Rangers early.

  11. The Gumper says:

    Further to the play of King and the consternation as to whether or not he is the best choice to play, it looks to me like he is always somewhat behind the play and is generally a day late and a dollar short. I think many of us were looking for him to come in and soften up the Rags D with some pulverizing checks in their end. Maybe that’s our problem. While that would be undoubtedly fun to watch, the coaches seem to be looking for something different.
    King is always on the right side of the puck, almost to a fault. Any puck close to 50/50 and he is on the defensive side, without fail.
    Maybe that’s his appeal, sort of a set em and forget em kinda guy.
    That’s really the only thing I can think of…. thoughts?

    • krob1000 says:

      I am still curious to know why Jacob De La Rose is not ever mentioned as consideration….IMO he may just be able to step in and be the best player on a 4th line….and is exactly what you mention…but covers more ground, is more skilled, could sue the experience, can play center, etc….

      I really expected to see him down stretch under Julien and be in lineup come playoffs

      • UKRAINIANhab says:

        That’s what I was thinking. Jacob De La Rose will never be a top 6 NHL player in my opinion as he hasn’t proven any offensive upside in his entire playing career…

        However, I would definitely like to see him over King. He is good on the penalty kill and is very very reliable and can also skate.

    • CHerry Picker says:

      100% agree. He’s one of the slowest Habs skaters since Igor Ulanov. I think he’s always on the right side of the puck because of his poor foot speed and the coaches want the defence first King so he wont be chasing the puck so much…Always playing safe with King on the ice .He cycles well but not for long then falls into the defence mode . Im sure there are endurance issues too.

  12. Timo says:

    Game time decision? Doesn’t sounds like Emi is all that ready.
    I didn’t think Davidson played badly and doubt half healthy Emelin who hasn’t played in over 2 weeks will be much of an upgrade.

    are Habs feeling desperate?

    • MustardTiger1337 says:

      2 -2

      NO one is feeling desperate

    • krob1000 says:

      I will admit Timo in this case you may have a valid concern!! The uncertainty in combination with an already sometimes erratic player make one wonder what version we will see. At his best Emelin is a playoff beast who can singlehandedly alter opposition zone entries …at his worst or in much of that area in between he can be somewhat risky and especially so when not with a steady partner and being shifted right/left, etc. I am slightly concerned of prospect of a Nate/Emelin pairing….both are risk/reward in different ways and both IMO are guys that add more then they subtract in most cases…but pairing them together and coming off injury to me sounds like a legit reason fro concern….but with the nature of those two it could just as easily pan out fantastically…..but your concerns on this are 100 percent legit..

    • CHerry Picker says:

      Id bet anything hes not 100% . The game time decision strategy is not for Emi’s sake . Im sure its to keep the Rags guessing and an option for him to not play if something goes wrong from now until game time ?

    • UKRAINIANhab says:

      Davidson makes less errors than Beaulieu.

      • krob1000 says:

        Perhaps…but Nate makes way more positive plays that push puck up ice and cause distress and opening through neutral zone and into opposition zones, he also breaks forechecks easier. I like Davidson…but this site is out to lunch on its disdain for Nate…among others.

        • UKRAINIANhab says:

          Your right that Beaulieu is more creative. Id like my third pairing to be invisible in a good way however

          • krob1000 says:

            I am in the minority and would like to see a 1a and 1b pairing instead of current lineup….Nate/Weber and Markov/Petry ….oh well hard to argue with the success we are seeing but especially when down would have liked a steady dose of those two for last 10 mins….also would prefer those two as pp units at a minimum.

      • Timo says:

        Who doesn’t? Perhaps only Nesterov and even that is questionable.

  13. rhino514 says:

    I think the Rangers have outplayed the habs, not by much, but they have. Habs were lucky in to tie the game late in game 2, otherwise we´d be down 3-1 now.
    Habs played very well in game 3, and looked like clearly the better team after that game but the Rangers just as clearly looked like the better team after last game.
    With 2 out 3 games at home and last change, though, I think we can take the series. But that Rangers team is a very good team and I don´t have any idea why they were picked as clear underdogs. their D is very deep and we desperately needed Emelin back to take minutes from Weber, Markov, and Beaulieu, who isn´t playing very well.
    If it goes 7 games it´s bad for us as our small forwards as well as Weber and Markov will start to wear down next series.

    • CHerry Picker says:

      I respectfully disagree, for the most part the Habs are playing better hockey.The Habs are playing a better team game and for small periods of times the Rags are outplaying them. We are throwing everything at the King and he’s played well. We’ve had a few blunders in our end ….

    • adamkennelly says:

      I completely disagree Rhino…game 1 was even, game 2 and 3 Habs were the better team – I didn’t watch game 4 – word is the Rags were better but that still puts the Habs up in the series.

      Rags have relied more heavily on Henrick – he has had to be lights out or the series could be over.

    • savethepuck says:

      Saying that if the Habs were not lucky and tied game 2 late ( which I don’t think they were ), they’ be down 3-1 now is an impossible statement to make. Nobody can state that games 3 and 4 would have played out exactly the same if the series lead was different. Sense of desperation, momentum, etc..would have all factored in to the remaining games.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

    • kalevine says:

      I don’t agree. Yes Game 1 Rangers had the edge for most of it, but Game 2 Habs were the better team through most, but ultimately were lucky to tie. The OT was all Habs. Game 3 was all Habs. Game 4 was pretty even, with maybe slight edge to Rangers. The reason I think Habs have had the edge is that Lundqvist has made more game savers than Price, who I thought did not look ready on either goal last game, and on a few other plays that didn’t result in goals.

      There has only been one game that wasn’t tight, and that was a Habs victory 3-1 in Game 3, which was not as close as the final score suggests.

      So advantage Habs thus far, but all that matters is that it’s 2-2

    • Ton says:

      Disagree as well. The habs have had more A chances no doubt. I think there goalie saved them in game 1……almost did it game 2……..he was good in game 3…………..and we outchanced them in game 4 …..he was good again. But that’s hockey.

  14. kalevine says:

    did anyone experience this last game?
    I felt under very little pressure, knowing that even a loss would only result in the series being tied up, so I didn’t get stressed. I know I don’t influence the outcome of the game but I wonder if the Habs may have felt like me, and played accordingly, whether consciously or not. They seemed to lack the killer instinct. That late first period goal to tie it should have ignited a feeding frenzy but instead the Rangers bore down and got the job done

    • chilli says:

      I felt zero stress as well and basically after the first few minutes felt we were going to lose the game regardless. So I was never stressed.

      The fact that it was still close at the end (after two boneheaded plays ended up in our net) and that we almost tied it up… makes me feel we are the better team.

  15. Arnold 56-79 says:

    Why is there always need for a scapegoat? Not all players are equal. Is it a surprise that some will play better and others worse on a shift by shift, game by game basis?

    It’s a team sport, with sixty minutes or more of constant action. Every player makes physical and/or mental mistakes of commission or omission at some point during their total ice time. It’s a fast, fluid game with lots of anticipation. Most of the time the mistakes are cancelled out, but every single goal ever scored throughout history can be traced back if you go back far enough in sequence to someone on the opposite team who didn’t make a perfect play. It’s the DNA of competitive team sports.

    Granted, some players make more mistakes than others, and this is magnified during the playoffs. But why not just leave the criticism and judgment to the coaches? They are the experts and have their own careers on the line. They know perfectly well who they trust, the chemistry of their team and the relative strengths and weaknesses of their players.

    You have to accept the bad with the good unless you have a team of perfect robots. Or are able to ice a team of superstars. Projection of fan emotion is cathartic, but is all subjective. Win as a team, lose as a team.

    Even the Hab dynasty of the seventies was constantly critiqued and Bowman and Pollock second guessed. If anyone recalls the radio talk shows of that time you would be shocked in retrospect.

  16. Calgary Steven says:

    Dunboyne Mike:

    I have a musical buddy who is in Dublin now and has sampled the Guiness ale from their much vaunted “Brewer’s Project” team. Have you tried it? He says that it is… weird. Not bad weird but almost with a chocolate taste at the finish. Meself, I think I’ll stay with the black.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Haven’t tried it, probably won’t — I’m sceptical of big breweries trying to market pseudo-micro-brewery-faux-craft beers! I suspect that’s what Guinness is up to.

      [See my post below?]

      • Calgary Steven says:

        No I didn’t! I’ll go off looking. And I hope you don’t fall asleep and miss the fireworks. It’s easier for us here in the west, the game starts at 17:00.

      • Calgary Steven says:

        FOUND IT!

        Dunboyne Mike

        April 18, 2017 at 12:04 pm

        Steven, that’s awesome!
        As in coming here to Ireland?
        County Clare all the way!
        What do you play?
        We’ll have to hook up.
        Meanwhile, if you haven’t already, please buy and read this novel (older children/young adults, but pure magic for anyone interested in trad):

        https://www.amazon.ca/gp/offer-listing/0061174297/ref=sr_1_1_olp?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1492531371&sr=1-1&keywords=thompson+the+new+policeman

        I play banjo, guitar and bodhran. The missus plays Irish harp, mandolin, guitar… and on and on. We just said farewell to a young Irishman who had to return home to Kildare – he was something, one of the finest trad musicians I’ve ever had the chance to play with. Chap named David Morrissey. He may be getting together a band there. Look out for him, and thanks for the book tip.

  17. SmartDog says:

    Sabres clean house.
    Bylsma, Murray, out on their keisters.

    ————————————-
    The “H” stands for Hubris.

  18. habsr4ever says:

    Good points on Chucky being lost in his own zone. They are right – his defensive game has never improved and that is scary for a player being in the league for 5ish years. Won’t help him when he negotiates his next contract either especially when he isn’t scoring much either.
    I do feel that Chucky is playing better than he was in March though. Especially in the “O” zone. He could move the puck a bit quicker but he is showing his talent and skill level out there.
    Pacman will get going but I still say he has a shoulder injury.

  19. D Mex says:

    Hey DDO
    Reference your inputs about Pierre McGuire on previous thread :

    I recall reading somewhere (probably HI/O) that McGuire was interviewed for the CH job as a courtesy in view of a connection (?) with Geoff Molson.
    IS this what prompted your statement that ” … he almost got the job in … MTL “
    – – – – – –
    In the exchange, you also commented that any job below GM-level would reduce his income level.
    WITH coaches such as Julien, Babcock and Vigneault (others ?) now so well compensated, are you saying he is being paid more than their multi-millions
    to move air from a microphone ❓

    • chilli says:

      He never ‘almost got the job’.
      His name was on a long list. Wasn’t even close.
      They targeted Pat Brissson, he was very close to taking it, they offered. Once he said no, he put up his buddy MB for the job.

    • MustardTiger1337 says:

      McGuire was a lot closer then ANYONE on here has or ever will be

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        MT — what’s your evidence for that statement?!

        I mean, you are perhaps the only poster here unaware of the fact that Timo = Michel Therrien.

  20. Ozmodiar says:

    Good to see Emelin back in. He was missed.

    Someone has to hit Nash in the mouth tonight. He’ll disappear if he’s targeted.

  21. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Enough posting for me now…got stuff to do.

    Habs win tonight 1-0.

  22. cbhabsfan says:

    Off to work the 4-12 shift again. Grrrrrrrrr……

    Good thing there’s a TV in the workplace that I can look up at now and again to see how the boys are doing. With the sound turned down, that can sometimes provide quite the unexpected shock, pro or con.

    My number 1 Habs T-shirt bit the dust after the Game 1 loss, but I got two decent wins out of number 2 Habs T-shirt before all the luck was wrung out of that one as well.

    But since it’s a big game tonight, I’ve pulled out all the stops, with my grey Habs longsleeve pullover, my lucky Habs socks and anothe try with number 2 T-shirt (maybe the luck hasn’t completely left it yet – after all it still has a 2-1 record…).

    With all this careful preparation, I confidently predict a big win for the Habs tonight. It might even be a cakewalk!

    • Danno says:

      I forgot to wear my lucky woolen Habs sweater (with the zipper front) so you can blame me for our loss in game four. But it’s going on tonight!

      ________________________________________

      “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
      Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      cb — I love this post.

      I’ve stopped questioning why it is that fans’ brains are wired to calculate how we can contribute to the outcomes we desire, for instance by the clothes we wear (!).

      Yeah, stopped questioning and now just go with it.

      Alone in my study, 2am, the household and neighbourhood fast asleep, me wearing le chandail….

      Beautiful post. And sorry your work-shift is so uncongenial to proper viewing.

  23. lavie says:

    Big Mac should be in for King’s spot!!!

  24. adamkennelly says:

    game on ladies…Habs win and take the series in 6

    I didn’t get to watch the last game due to a work dinner so that’s prolly why they lost.

  25. HUDSONHAB says:

    I know this line up can beat the Rags. I was being facetious when I said to bench Max and call someone up. But at the same time, I would much rather Max score one goal a game than have a four goal game every six or seven games. It’s the playoffs one goal in a makes a huge difference.

  26. Danno says:

    Will the Russian tank be on a mission to crush Kreider and/or Nash tonight?

    Stay tuned…

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  27. cbhabsfan says:

    Where does everyone think Emelin slots in tonight? It would seem like the open spot is on the right side of the third pairing with Beaulieu, but a fairly common lineup late in the season saw Emelin on the left side of the second pairing with Petry, with Benn playing the left side on the third pairing.

    I’m not a big Emelin fan but he looked pretty comfortable on the right side for a couple of games before his late-season injury, so I’m thinking we’ll probably see him with Beaulieau tonight.

  28. govenah says:

    Where to watch the game in Toronto other than Kilgours?

    Habba Dabba Do!

    • bel33 says:

      Saw this on another site:
      Mackenzie’s down the street (toward Spadina on same side of Bloor) has assumed the role of Kilgour’s overflow bar, if you go in there during a Habs game it’ll be 90% good guys. Not a terrible place to watch a game but not quite as good as Kilgours.

      IMO: Kilgours is still the only “official” place… but any sports bar or Jack Astors type bar in TO should really have the game on. Mind you the Raptors are playing tonight at 8:00pm E… so some of the TVs will be set to that.

      Good luck.

  29. Sir Lance Compte says:

    Was really hoping King would be a scratch tonight. CJ must see something most of us do not?

    • Danno says:

      He keeps hearing how King is playing so great but not realizing that people are talking about Lundqvist

      ________________________________________

      “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
      Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

    • habsinnyc says:

      I have a hunch that CJ, together with the rest of the coaching and training staffs, have seen at least one or two things that most of the posters on HIO have not. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m just a lawyer. If anyone else on this site has coached at an elite level, or has access to all of the game tapes, practice notes, players’ medical records and/or comments from the dressing room, please share.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Nice! Nail and head.

        I enthused about CBhabsfan’s post above about wearing lucky clothes. In short being a fan and being rational are most of the time co-exclusive. It’s this that allows us to make assertions based on 1% of the information available to the club as you point out.

        HIO should stand for Hubris Inside Out!

        And it wouldn’t stop me from reading and posting.

  30. Calgary Steven says:

    MEMO TO ALEXEI:

    Two words, well, seven really: Play smart.

  31. Danno says:

    Trawna. You shouldn’t have got so cocky.

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  32. expat_habsfan says:

    Happy to see Emelin is healthy enough to be back in the line up. However, he’s just another slow non puck moving D-man, who the Rangers will get running around in his own end.

    I the Habs can generate the effort they showed in games 2 & 3, where they pressured the Ranger players on the fore check and the back check then they have a chance. The back check is especially important because with the limited mobility of the Habs’ D-men it allows then to keep a tighter gap at their blue line which gives the Ranger’s forwards less ice to generate momentum.

    If the Habs don’t play with greater level of urgency then their opposition and decide to let Price be the difference maker then I think they should book their tee times now because leaving your playoff success in the goalie’s hands is just a bad idea.

    • Don Birnam says:

      Emelin will destroy a Ranger tonight.

      • Maroons says:

        I don’t get the initial post

        Habs d can’t move the puck and are always running around in their own end

        Habs forwards play with no urgency

        It’s all been Price

        Maybe the poster can outline what all the regular and advanced stats show

        In 4 games, Habs
        outshooting the rangers by far,
        out chancing them by far,
        high danger chances by far,
        not a single goal given up on the PK

        • expat_habsfan says:

          In game 1 the Habs had lots of shots but too many from the periphery and they lost that game because they also lost too many puck battles. They got shots at Lundqvist but not enough 2nd chances.

          In game 2, they played better and won more battles. The tying and OT winner goals were proof.

          In game 3, they played their best game yet. It was a 200′ foot game for the entire team.

          In game 4, they did not play badly (mistakes included) but they did not match the Rangers’ intensity and desperation and the final score, not with standing the last minute goal post by Webber reflected that.

          The Habs D, for most of this season haven’t been able to reliable move the puck out of their zone. It is better now under CJ than it was under MT but banging it out off the glass gets it out but it also usually gives up procession.

          Also, I did not say “it’s all been Price”. What I said was that Price would have to become the difference maker if the Habs did not match or exceed the opposition’s efforts and that I do not believe that is a good decision.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Don, I am foregoing sleep tonight in order to witness this. And victory.
        Sláinte, and say hi to cuz!

  33. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    @Stu

    Why don’t you guys put up the Rangers line-up too?

  34. Ingy27 says:

    I wonder why King keeps making the lineup….Like am I watching different games out there or WTF is going on here? Can you guys please clarify what I am missing?
    I want BIG MAC!!!!!

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Doesn’t matter. He’s a 4th liner and the coach trusts him.

      —–

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      If McCarron is not going to play here then put him in a playoff pressure situation in St. John’s. Don’t understand this.

      • DipsyDoodler says:

        He’s better off practicing with the team and Coach Julien in case he needs to play.

        —–

        • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

          IMO he’s better off playing in a playoff pressure situation and developing. The chances of him playing here are close to nil. The Ice Caps have a very tough match-up so that series probably won’t go far. He could be back in a week easily. Sorry, makes no sense to me.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            So if Ott, King, Mitchell any of these come down with game day flu, you are okay not having McCarron available as he would be in St. John’s.

          • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

            So you are ok managing your team and developing your young players based upon scenarios which are unlikely to occur (look up flu rates). You really believe there is much of a difference between Flynn and McCarron who each would be lucky to see 10 min? McCarron is still a prospect, If he wasn’t, he would be in the line-up. You don’t think playing 15-18 min in a playoff atmosphere would be beneficial to him? BTW who were playing the last time they won the Calder Cup (hint: one of them is in goal tonight)? I think they would tell you the experience was beneficial to them.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Well as usual I am clueless with my trying to understand why Julien would keep McCarron available instead of just being happy with Flynn as his backup.

            Go Depleted IceCaps Go!

    • Loop_G says:

      At this point, I think King is a better option. Mac has more upside by King is steady and does not make many mistakes, in addition to 2 cup rings worth of experience.

    • cbhabsfan says:

      We have three big guys who could slot in on the wing on the fourth line and only one of them has the speed to keep the forecheck dangerous in the NY end.

      That would be Andreas Martinson, who I thought played pretty well in Game 1 and not quite so well in Game 2, but hasn’t made the lineup since.

      I think he’d be more effective against thes fast Rangers forwards than both McCarron and King.

      I keep hoping to see the LA playoffs version of King, but so far it’s been a no-show, unlike King Hendrik channelling his playoff performance from the last time these two teams met in the post-season.

    • Phil C says:

      He’s a good penalty killer. Didn’t matter much last game because the ref had his whistle in his pocket. But you get a different ref and the PK can be the difference.

  35. chilli says:

    Gotta get to Kundqvist tonight.
    He’s outplayed Price in this series.
    Not by much, but still….

  36. habs-hampton says:

    After watching both the Leafs and Caps squander long 5-on-3 PP’s, and many other teams do the same on other shorter ones, I can’t help but wonder how that can happen so often?? It makes no sense! You see more scoring chances in the 3-on-3 in regular season!

    My theory is, that if the Habs ever get a 5-on-3, is to turn the guys loose, like the 3-on-3. Rather than standing still, passing around he perimeter hoping for a back-door pass to open up, why not let the skill guys try to score??? Try a little razzle-dazzle to force a d-man to move out of the triangle and then something will open up! There is little risk of an odd-man rush going the other way.

    Whatta ya think?

    • Dust says:

      I think those teams powerplays need work. Why are people on this site whinning about the habs when those two teams can’t even score on a 5 on 3 powerplay for almost 2 minutes

  37. twocents says:

    Habs win tonight!
    Markov plays large.

    Pierre McGuire is a windbag.

  38. johnnylarue says:

    Heavy artillery. Woot!

  39. Danno says:

    Listed in the items up above, this was a good read:
    Hockey historian says Montreal teams have won 41 Stanley Cups, by The Canadian Press

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  40. DipsyDoodler says:

    I guess Stu gets paid by the word:

    “Winning Game 5 could well decide who wins this series since the losing team will be facing elimination in Game 6 and, if necessary, Game 7. If it’s the Canadiens who lose, they would face elimination on the road Saturday night”

    —–

  41. HabinBurlington says:

    A good hockey listen about varying topics on Fan 590 this morning with Renaud Lavoie.

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/590/jeff-blair-show/renaud-lavoie-thinks-jack-eichel-may-something-sabres-cleaning-house/

    (worth noting Renaud gets a ticket for talking on phone while driving)

  42. Luke says:

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/whats-behind-max-paciorettys-playoff-goal-scoring-woes/

    Though some may not like the author, here’s a look at Max’s (lack of) offense.

    Y’know, it’s almost like the Rangers are trying to win games, too.

  43. habsr4ever says:

    Wow. Great news.
    I would never have thought he was going to be back this soon. I figured 4 weeks (maybe 3 as it is playoff time).
    I’ll take it. Hopefully he can get out of the first period without hurting us too much. He is going to be tender and rusty for a bit. I thought Davidson did fine but Emelin is an upgrade without question.
    End of the day though our BEST players have to be at their BEST tonight if we want to win. Rangers are a great road team and hopefully the crowd stays alive and crazy and have many things to cheer about. First goal is HUGE.

  44. habsfan0 says:

    Buffalo Sabres owner fires his coach and GM.
    As with his football team, the Bills, Terry Pegula’s incompetence is bordering on staggering.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      It’s almost as though having an incompetent football guy like Russ Brandon be the president of an NHL hockey team wasn’t the greatest idea by Mr. and Mrs. Pegula.

      • habsfan0 says:

        And to think Donald Trump could have owned the Bills.
        NO WAY would such a hopeless situation been allowed to fester under his watch.
        His slogan would have been:

        “Make the Bills Great Again!”

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      To be fair, if Terry Pegula was not there, there would not be any teams in Buffalo. I suspect the people there like him.

  45. FormalWare says:

    Yummy news: Yemmy’s back!


    “Good Luck With That,” Habs!

  46. chilli says:

    i was hoping the King experiment was over.
    Seems like a lovely guy.
    Sweet and soft.
    “The big marshmellow”is his nickname….
    Perfect guy for a game of badminton.

  47. cbhabsfan says:

    Not a moment too soon. I’m not the biggest Emelin fan on HIO, but if the choice is between Emelin and Davidson/Nesterov, all playing their off sides, I have to go with the Russian veteran on the third pairing and with Beaulieu on the left side.

  48. Habby_Haberton says:

    Risky line-up change after good games from Davidson.
    Lets hope we see the Smash mouth Emelin and not the brain-cramp one!

  49. Danno says:

    First!

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs


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