Habs, Leafs get ready for regular-season finale

On Friday, the Canadiens and Maple Leafs had different ways of preparing for Saturday’s regular-season finale in Toronto (7 p.m., CBC, RDS, TSN Radio 690) with the Canadiens holding an optional skate and the Leafs holding a full practice.

Only 10 Canadiens skated Friday: Gabriel Dumont, Colby Armstrong, Ryan White, Jarred Tinordi, Yannick Weber, Peter Budaj, Travis Moen, Michael Blunden, Tomas Kaberle and Davis Drewiske. Meanwhile, the only Leaf who didn’t take part in practice was Tyler Bozak.

“It’s an opportunity to get two points,” Leafs coach Randy Carlyle told reporters in Toronto about his team’s preparations for Saturday’s game.

 The Canadiens still have a shot at the Northeast Division title despite winning only twice in their last seven games. The possibility exists because the Boston Bruins have also struggled with a 2-4-1 record in their last seven games.

Montreal and Boston are tied with 61 points and the Bruins are ranked first because they have played one fewer game. If the Canadiens beat the Leafs, the pressure would be on the Bruins to take at least three points in their two remaining games, Saturday in Washington and Sunday against the Ottawa Senators. If the Canadiens and Bruins finish in a tie, the advantage goes to Montreal on the basis of more regulation and overtime wins.

 As things stood after the Canadiens’ 4-2 win over Winnipeg on Thursday, Toronto and Montreal were slated to begin the playoffs Tuesday night at the Bell Centre. But if Montreal wins Saturday, that leaves the door open for Ottawa to grab fifth place in the Eastern Conference with wins Saturday over Philadelphia and Sunday in Boston.

Toronto leads the season series with the Canadiens 3-1 and two of those Toronto wins were by lopsided margins.

Two players to keep an eye on Saturday could be Canadiens rookie Brendan Gallagher and the Leafs’ Nazem Kadri.

Wrote Tim Wharnsby Friday on the Hockey Night in Canada website: “(Gallagher’s) managed to play his super-pest type of role that he did in junior against much bigger opponents in the NHL. Don’t let that choirboy face fool you. He chirps opponents. He gets under their skin.”

Wharnsby added that Gallagher has developed an on-ice feud with Kadri, including this quote he says Gallagher told two reporters after the last Leafs-Habs game two weeks ago: “I don’t mind getting hit when I have the puck. I’m willing to take shots and do all the stuff in front of the net. But if it’s dirty, I don’t like it. He sits on the bench yapping his mouth, he gets on the ice and all of a sudden he’s scared. I don’t know what to say about that. There’s a lot of guys in this league I respect. I don’t know if he’s one of them.”

(Photo by John Woods/The Canadian Press)

Habs clinch home ice with comeback win, by Dave Stubbs

Habs set their sights on postseason, by Dave Stubbs

Eight teams set in Eastern Conference field, NHL.com

Habs vs. Jets photo gallery

Strong first season for Gallagher, by Dave Stubbs

Habs need a victory in Toronto, by Pat Hickey

Habs playoff fever heats up, by Stu Cowan

Leafs gear up for possible playoff preview, The Canadian Press

Ticket prices soar for playoffs, by Pat Hickey

463 Comments

  1. Bash says:

    That would be devastation for the Leafs nation.

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

  2. JohnBellyful says:

    Lemme see if I have this right:
    We want the Habs to paddle Orr, pop a vessel in Kessel, give Bozak some Prozac, kick Lupul’s poopul, Tazer Fraser, o’erturn O’Byrne, put Phaneuf through the roof and hit Gardiner even hardiner, and break a femur in Reimer?
    I dunno, it sounds a bit overboard to me.

  3. PrimeTime says:

    If the Leafs beat the Habs in the 1st round their fans will celebrate with enthusiasm. If Habs win, fans will be relieved. Makes you think which fans are most confident. I sure hope our players aren’t as scared as the posers here

    • Strummer says:

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

    • Bill says:

      I think both sets of fans would celebrate with enthusiasm while also being relieved.

      Leafs fans would just as upset at losing to Montreal as we would be. They are actually very similar to Habs fans. Look at a Leafs board or TSN comments after any Leafs loss: it’s full of nasty posts about how useless Grabovski is, how soft and peripheral Kessel is, how Kadri is overrated, how slow their D is, and how Reimer lets in too many soft goals at bad times.

      The only main difference right now between Habs and Leafs fans is that Leafs fans right now have lower expectations, and if they lose to the Habs in the first round they can say, “Hey, just making the playoffs after nine years is a good accomplishment.” So they can console themselves with that, whereas we want to see the Habs win a round or two at least.

      They can have their lower expectations even if it helps them sleep at night. I don’t envy them that.

      My Leafs fans friends are not the cocky internet guys. They are actually pretty trepidatious about the match-up and are refusing to predict anything. They don’t really believe in their team yet.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

  4. frontenac1 says:

    @Burly. Going into the Enemy”s Saloon like you do with your Hab jersey is pure Moxie.Keep your back to the wall amigo. Rock on,Saludos!!

  5. Hobie Hansen says:

    Why don’t the Habs just turn the table on the Leafs tonight? Dress White, Moen, Prust, Drewiske, Blunden and Tinordi. Tell each of them to face wash, punch, and level Kessel, JVR, Kadri and Lupol tonight, every chance they get?

  6. L Elle says:

    I think we all want a happy Hollywood ending.

    Habs dominate Leafs tonight. Outskate goons. Goons trip over own feet and break own ankles. Win tonight’s game by blowout, and we can all say nanny nanny booboo to Leaf Nation including CBC, Don Cherry, goon-coach-Carlyle, and all the over-cocky jerks who call themselves knowledgeable hockey fans. ;)

    But, what happens tonight, nobody knows, but it sure makes for exciting times. After all, it is supposed to be fun, or am I missing something?

    If our team is intimidated and scared to play TO (which I’m sure they are not), then they have no business even being in the playoffs, and aspiring to win a Stanley Cup.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Morning L! Enjoy your day, is it sunny and warm in MTL today?

    • savethepuck says:

      Totally agree that a the team can’t go into this game being “scared” to get hurt. They are professional athletes and the word should not be in their vocabulary. I also think it would be the wrong message for the coach to send to his team going into the playoffs.

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

    • Marc10 says:

      A road win to finish the year would be nice.

    • homerbowen says:

      Dumb move…then Orr, Frasier and McLaren saddle up and beat the s— out of every Hab, which they will probably do tonight anyways

    • wjc says:

      You sure are missing something ‘it supposed to fun’, this is not serious stuff.

      To explain something ‘Leaf Nation’ is what the media in Toronto, I believe the ‘the fan’, calls its followers. It is just a radio slogan and nothing more. It does not mean Toronto Maple Leafs think they are a natiion or that everyone in Canada cheers for them.

      Canadiens are not intimidated to Play the Leafs. It is just another game. The playoffs will be intense I hope and the ‘losers’ will get to enjoy the multi-millions of dollars that much sooner.

      The reality is that only 1 in 30 can win in one season, and at this point it is 1 in 16. So if you like 1 in 16 odds, I will put down $100.00 on that.

      wjc

    • Exactly L, resting players is all about preparing for next week. Every team not fighting for something is doing it.

      If Pittsburgh was in a fight to make the playoffs you know Crosby and Malkin wouldn’t have taken so long to recover.

      The Ducks are resting Saku, Teemu, and Getzlaf.

      The Blackhawks are so young they don’t have to rest any one :lol:

      The Caps took it easy the other night against the Sens.

      People crack me up. It’s like they never worked hard at anything in their life.

      Markov may not admit it, but that man looks tired. He’s been missing for two years, and now it shows it. It’s not going to kill the Habs resting him and others.

      No one is afraid of the Leafs. Fans just don’t want to lose to them.

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

    • JohnBellyful says:

      I’m surprised the mods let you get away with saying nanny nanny booboo.
      But then they do have their favourites.
      :)

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Morning L! Beautiful day here as well. CHeers.

  7. Seps says:

    Boston in 2011 was tougher, bigger, and more skilled than the leafs and we ended up losing in game 7 OT. The boys will be fine, there’s no way they’re intimidated by the Leafs physicality. That being said, first goal will be huge tonight for the Habs confidence, the floodgates could potentially open if the other way again.

  8. Mark C says:

    Things to root for tonight:

    Nashville to lose in regulation

    Colorado to win

    Carolina to get a point

    And finally Tampa to win – hate seeing this organization getting another high pick

    There is a chance Montreal will have the rights to the 32nd and 35th picks in this year’s draft. Every year a number of impact players are chosen early in the second round. Good odds for Timmins to add at least another two impact players to the Habs cupboard.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Kind of neat how we can get hyped for playoffs and the draft all in the same season. Pretty neat mix eh Mark?

      • Mark C says:

        It’s fantastic. Sure beats justifying more losses with the understanding that it will mean getting to pick a stud, like Galchenyuk. Making the playoffs and having extra high picks mitigates not having another top-5 pick. Good times.

  9. The Dude says:

    This game will prove ‘who is in it too win it!’ and will dictate who’s got the real deal playoff team,period.

  10. HabinBurlington says:

    I really hope MT dresses Ryan White, this will be a dogfight and he has a big bite. He doesn’t have to fight, just skate hard, hit hard, antagonize hard and get his mojo back. We will need him down the stretch if we win 1 or 2 rounds. This will be great game for him to get the rust off.

    Moen also needs to show he is ready for playoff hockey, the brand of hockey his entire reputation and contract is based on. The playoffs is a time when 3rd and 4th lines determine wins and losses. Top lines are closely checked and it is the unsung heroes who make names for themselves. Skrudland, Keane, Lemieux etc etc…..

    It begins tonight!

    Lets Pump up the Volume Folks!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysDphYqMG6M

    • savethepuck says:

      I agree I would not mind Whitey in the lineup. I would also add Moen (if he is not actually nursing an injury), this is a game he could help show that he will be willing to play with the grit he would need in the playoffs and the reason he was signed to the 4 yr contract. I would not want to sit anyone else, unless they are actually injured.

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

    • JUST ME says:

      Isn`t White on a 5 games suspension?

  11. Not only are we resting players tonight but the team that plays will win!

    They will play harder and

    The Leafs will be over confident!

    The Leafs will suck!

    The Leafs will blow!

    It’s time to take out the Trash!

    beep beep beep

    All Aboard the Leafs Suck Wagon!

    See guys, it’s not that hard, GO HABS GO

    T-BO T-BO T-BO

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

  12. savethepuck says:

    Why isn’t the poll ” do you think MT should rest players tonight or put in his playoff starting lineup?” it’s basically all that’s been discussed on here the last 2 days, and I would be very interested in seeing the percentages.

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

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Great post. I think the play to win would win though. Appears most fans place a higher importance on beating the leafs. I wonder if it’d be the same if we were playing some other team this evening?

      • Clay says:

        Personally I could give a sh!t about beating the Leafs Jim. But I do care about getting the second seed. This is important if we hope to make a decent playoff run, and we should go all out to get it. I do understand those (like you) who think we should rest players, but I think winning this game (and hopefully 2nd seed) is too important.
        *Edit* I do concede that we need to sit any player IF (and only if) he is injured!

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

        • Habfan10912 says:

          Gotcha Clay. That’s really the only carrot out there, huh, the 2seed. CHeers bud.

          • Clay says:

            Cheers to you too…and note I did make one edit that is of import ;)

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

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I will echo Clay’s comments, the game has importance for seeding, has importance in potentially beating our 1st round opponent thus gaining a mental advantage and lastly, for those of us living in Ontario it has bragging rights.

        If the game had no impact on seeding and wasn’t against a potential 1st or 2nd round opponent, then indeed the game would have no meaning.

        Having said all that, I don’t want Prust playing, he is too fierce a competitor to say no to a fight, and could damage his shoulder further.

        • habstrinifan says:

          Prust and Markov should rest. Prust cause of the injury.. it isnt fully healed yet. And Markov because the rest will do him wonders… and the coaches can also gain an analysis of having Tinordi and Drewitske in the line up together and how best to deploy them.

          I think those two players will be important to a long post season run and to the team’s sense of structure/confidence.

          If Budaj plays in lieu of Price, then I would be joining with those who say that this would be an ill-advised move to ‘protect Price’s psyche’.
          Price needs to play and play with focus and let what happens happen. All he needs do is play to the level where he has no need to say “I could be better” after the game, regardless of the score.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Agree my brother! I am so freaking pumped it is nuts. Decked out in Habs hat, Habs golf shirt, will break the Price Jersey out later for the game.

            CHeers Jameson!

          • neumann103 says:

            +2

            What Gerry and Trini said.

            Play hard for second seed but rest the obvious players (Prust’s shoulder clearly is not right and Markov is gassed).

            “Et le but!”

      • savethepuck says:

        I want to play to win because I think we still have a realistic shot of winning the division. Boston is far from guaranteed 3 points in 2 games, they are struggling down the stretch, and have not been good in back to backs all year. Guaranteeing home ice and avoiding the Pens until the ECF is incentive enough for me.

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

        • wjc says:

          Did you wear your Hab, Jam-jam’s to bed with your Habs teddy covered in your Habs blanket. When you wake up and see your ‘habs’ wall paper do you jump out of bed and get into your ‘hab’ slippers and grab your ‘habs toothbrush.

          Do famly members ever express concern, is there a known cure.

          wjc

  13. Fansincebirth says:

    My wife and I are heading over to our old neighbours place to watch the game. He’s a die hard Leafs fan so it should be a fun night.

    My original thought was that it’s going to be a goon-gong show but thinking about it, Toronto wants to win this game as much as we do so if they put all their knuckle draggers out there, what does it accomplish? Not saying that their usual host of knuckle draggers won’t be dressed but not the all out goon show I originally thought…at least I hope.

  14. habstrinifan says:

    Two not mentined things from the WPG game which CANNOT be repeated in tonight’s game:

    #1) Markov-Subban ‘exchanging wings’ with the same ungainliness and sloth-like tempo to get Subban on his ‘off side’. True they scored but that was so ugly. An aggressive kill and one of two things happen.. the puck is grabbed by the Leafs or the puck-handler (Markov in this case) is put under immense pressure and sh%$%T happens. Don’t believe it..watch it again.. get yourself a bag of chips and drink..you can munch while it happens it takes that long. They need to be more fluid period.

    #2: Gallagher cannot be the player chiefly responsible for net presence. He either has been thrown into this role (because of unwillingness of others or has adopted this role). His play has suffered as a result. He is at his best and the team gets the greatest benefit when Gallagher is ‘moving’ ‘moving’ ‘moving’ digging for pucks not screening the goalie.

  15. Habfan10912 says:

    Risk-reward. Risk a little to save a little. Risk a lot to save a lot. Tonight is a risk a little game. Tuesday night is a risk a lot game.

  16. RetroMikey says:

    Tonight’s game should be cancelled, a useless game if you want the team to rest some of the injured and fragile players heading into the playoffs, we know the Habs will face the Leafs.
    Playoff hockey is here in this strike shortened season, no excuses for any team whining their players are tired!
    Playoff hockey is where we will see if Price really shines as that goalie we hope him to be.
    Playoff hockey is where we shall see having a Montreal team of small stature of speed and skill will go very far in the playoffs.
    Playoff hockey is where we shall see if being big, physical and having a team of grit will go very far in the playoffs.
    Playoff hockey is where Bergevin will see who stays and he goes with this club if he plans for the “future” come fall in year 2 of 5 in his plan.
    Playoff hockey is where upsets are a possibility and which team shall go through with a hot goalie, mentally prepared as well.
    If I had to bet, look for Reimer to be the unsung hero in the playoffs to carry his darkhorse team through past Montreal and beyond. If he okays well, look for the team, as a whole, to really step it up.
    If we were not banged up as we have always been in the past, we may entertain the fans and a little extra money in Molson’s pocket by making it in the second round.
    Playoff hockey is where little girl Plekanec needs to be a man and face the physical pounding in the playoffs along with others on the team.
    Yup, playoff hockey, totally separates the little girls from the big boys.
    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

    • mksness says:

      well gionta knows how to take care of Reimer :-)

    • HabsFanInTampa says:

      I disagree. A second seed position in the playoffs is much, much, more appealing than a 4th seed. We need to win tonight’s game and hope for one loss for the Bruins in their final two games.

    • wjc says:

      Retroymikey, First off all cancelling the final game would cost a lot of money. This ‘one’ game will make more money then you will ever make ever. You would have to live several lifetimes.

      That is not a little money in Molsons pocket, the represents a fortune to most people.

      You call Plekanec a’ little girl ‘ you have some nerve, what is your pedagree, what is your highest level in anything. Are you an UFC fighter a ruger player.

      Yup talk is ‘cheap’ and opinions from people who have never walked the walk….even cheaper.

      wjc

  17. Hobie Hansen says:

    One thing that people aren’t taking into account is that Montreal has actually played in the playoffs in six of the last seven years. Plekanec, Gionta, Subban and company know handle the roller coaster of emotions that come with playoff hockey. They can keep their emotions in check like it’s an ordinary game and not panic.

    You’d have to imagine some of the Leafs players will have the old deer in the headlights look going on.

    Montreal has a knack for scoring timely goals in the playoffs and I think they’ll give the Leafs defense more than they can handle off the rush.

    • mksness says:

      scoring goals hasn’t really been their problem this year.

      during their slump keeping them out has been a bit of a problem.

      i’m curious to see how penalties are called in the playoffs. if the zebras don’t call anything i think montreal could be in for a short playoff run.

  18. HabFab says:

    Nice article on Gallagher, also shows the Rookie scoring race and where our two stand;
    http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/opinion/2013/04/habs-rookie-brendan-gallagher-wont-back-down.html

    For those challenged by math, Gallagher is tied with Huberdeau in goals (14) and Galchenyuk is tied with Conacher in assists (17) for those respective leads. In points Gallagher and Galchenyuk are third in a 4 way tie, two points behind the co-leaders Huberdeau and Conacher.

    EDIT; my bad, see it is linked above.

  19. JohnBellyful says:

    Cole Porter and the Dorsey Brothers have weighed in on tonight’s contest.

    http://johnbellyful.weebly.com/

  20. HankHardball says:

    It’s not smart. It’s cowardice.

    This is not a nothing game. 2nd seed is still up for grabs. Home ice advantage is huge in the 2nd round. Why would we just give it away instead of giving everything we’ve got to get it?

    If tonight’s game was against anyone but the Leafs, would we be talking about sitting players so they don’t get hurt? Do people not realize that if we beat TOR tonight, we almost certainly won’t play them again the rest of the year?

    We actually have a better shot at 2nd than the Bruins do. We need 2pts. The Bruins need 3. Do you think they’ll be sitting any players? Do you think even the Leafs will be sitting any players?

    Winners don’t do that. Winners have the fire in the belly. Winners want to be the best they can be.

    And I believe Therrien understands that.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I think you’ve described the Tom Coughlin approach very well and I suspect you are right that MT will see it the same way.
      That said, feel free to call me names but I still think the argument to give Markov’s knee’s and Prust’s shoulder a rest out weighs any macho benefits of winning this game. Tuesdays game is the one YOU need to win.
      Appreciate your passionate argument though.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        Ya it’s a tough call. I agree that I want Prust and Markov off for a few days. I don’t want Prust popping his shoulder out tonight fighting Orr.

        We simply can’t go toe to toe against the Leafs or Boston this year in a real physical contest. We have to make it out alive tonight then turn the other cheek in the playoffs and out skate them.

      • HankHardball says:

        If I’m Tom Coughlin, are you Jim Caldwell?

        You can cut down Markov and Prust minutes. Like Therrien did against the Jets. But you want to win the game.

        I hear all this talk about how a Leafs / Habs 1st round match up would be good for the NHL, CBC and all the rest of the media.

        But I’m sorry, 2nd seed would be better for the Canadiens than 4th seed. And if I’m them, that’s the ball I’ve got my eye on.

        The Habs sitting players tonight falls right into the Leafs strategy for beating us in the first round. It means we’re allowing them to intimidate us both on and off the ice.

        • Habfan10912 says:

          I don’t think this team that has played some of the roughest games against the big bad Bruins is in any way shape or form intimidated by the Leafs. If anything the Leafs are intimidated by the Hab’s.
          I’d much prefer to play the Leafs Tuesday night. A number 2 seed may also give you a match-up against the Rangers or the Senators, either of those teams provides a tougher match-up then the big bad Leafs. I don’t get why people are scared of the Leafs. My gosh people, they’re the Leafs for crying out loud.

          • HankHardball says:

            So when it comes right down to it, you’re saying you don’t care if they finish 4th or 2nd.

            I’m sorry. But winners don’t think that way. Their competitiveness won’t allow them to. They always want to win at whatever they do. They always want to be the best they can be.

            And if you don’t think that way as a team, teams that do think that way will beat you.

          • Habfan10912 says:

            Hank. I understand your point and believe that MT will think the same way. Your argument is valid. I enjoyed debating with you very much. That all said, I really want the Habs to win tonight. CHeers .

        • nihilz says:

          Exxxxxxxxxxxactly.

          Finally, some brains.. which seems to be uncommon sense on this site.. generally.

          You smash the Makebelieves tonight and try to take the #2 seed. Delaying a match-up against the Pens is priority. Home advantage over the Caps #2. Having the Laffs & Booins ECW each other would be the Habs greatest reward for a strong finish.. along with some good fortune.

          Rags or Sens would be the optimal first round match-up, imo. Karlsson or not, that Sens line-up is AHL calibre and I’d bet my daughter they don’t make it out of the 1st round.

          Rags, post Gabs, plus Brassard & Clowe might be a more complete team as of now. Yet, Hank seems to fail vs the Habs.

          Either way.. you don’t let up and you finish strong. Own your destiny, don’t leave it to fate. Period. Especially as a momentum builder into the playoffs.

          Werd.

          • Habfan10912 says:

            The million dollar question is is that worth losing Prust for the playoffs and having a dog tired Markov? If you answered yes then you are right. If you answered no then your position may need further thought.

          • nihilz says:

            A) Prust isn’t stupid. He isn’t going to throw down with Orr. Either way, if he does tonight or in game one of the playoff is the risk any different?

            B) If you’ve ever dislocated or separated a shoulder before, the second time is never a bad as the first. And, imo Prust is already playing a short handed game, while not being able to play with that edge and recklessness. So, at this point is there really a difference between him like this.. or him not in the line-up? Moral support? Locker room? Cause he clearly isn’t as affective on the ice with said injury.

            Ask Gainey about shoulder dislocations.. the solution isn;t playing a tough game, its playing a smarter game.

            C) Is Markov really going to be that much fresher minus 20 minutes of ice time on the year? Will that magically improve his dwindling foot speed into the playoffs? Probably not. Cause imo, he isn’t tired, he’s lost a step. And, him playing in excess of 23-25 mins a night has a negative affect on his game and the team. Depending on situation needs and allotted TOI.

    • Danno says:

      Winners win by winning. Not by taking days off.

      ________________________________________

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

    • HUDSONHAB says:

      I keep thinking that it is possible to get second as well.
      If you’re Ottawa, who would you rather play? Bruins or Habs?
      Washington has nothing to play for so that may be an issue vs the Bruins.
      But hey, if Habs and Bruins both lose both their games we’re in!

      Just don’t want the Goonies trying to hurt our players, If that happens there better be suspensions.

      ….Hab4life….

      • HankHardball says:

        This is what hockey players get paid the big bucks for. Let them sit in the summer. Everybody dresses. Price starts.

        And you know what? Any player who wants to sit tonight has no business being here.

    • wjc says:

      As long as there are no Monday morning regrets. I am game for anything, go for the win, lose a player or two or ware the players out even more. If it works which ever way it goes…..great.

      Leafs, Rangers……equally able to put you out of the first round and eqaually able to lose the first round…….lets see where it all goes.

      The leafs have not tipped there hand which way they are leaning, I suppose it depends on the scoreboard as the night progresses.

      wjc

  21. Sportfan says:

    Technically if you think about it if this was a regular 82 game season. The past couple of weeks of poor play is the equivalent to our bad road trips in December and January so losing around this time makes sense :P

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

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Nick, I thought the same thing but that December slump is always on a long road trip around the Christmas Holiday. We lost some stinkers at home this year. The team list its edge and focus for some reason.

  22. habstrinifan says:

    Good Morning everyone! I started reading the posts and the adrenalin started flowing. Then I read two posts from posters among whom I consider among the most likeable, passionate, realtistic and still supportive in HIO.

    HabinBurlington and Ian Cobb.

    HabinBurlington talked about the tempest of emotions he will be bravely facing as he ventures into enemy territory unflinchingly and ready to face the atmosphere.

    Ian Cobb did not pretend the game doesn’t matter, nor did he worry about which Hab to rest or which Leaf to go after. He spoke simply and, in my opinion, with the exact attitude/response that the HABS (especially those who RUN the team) should have.

    With Ian’s permission I’m repeating his words.

    “Cobb says: April 27, 2013 at 8:35 am Gerald!
    This is going to be a game to find out how we are going to put a game plan together, to knock this blue and white team out of the play offs .”

    Thank you HabinBurlington and Ian. You make me wish I was watching this game with you guys. You make me wish that HABS brass take yor approach… not the aternatives of ‘downplaying it’s importance’ or missing this opportunity to handle the night and their charges with a Toe Blake quality of coaching’.

    They do that and I dont care about the score from tonight.
    Pride! Pride! Pride!

  23. Danno says:

    The Leafs = “The losingest franchise since the invention of the puck.” Rex Murphy’s excellent rant about the Laffs

    ________________________________________

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

  24. EricInStL says:

    This Canadiens team is not equipped to goon it up so tonight it should be let sleeping dogs lie. Don’t stir things up. And try to get out of there with no injuries.

    This team still has a lot of crappy parts to it and MB will get rid of those parts during the off season.

    Anyway the playoffs will go a long way in determining who’s in and who’s out.

    This playoffs will be all about Carey Price and his future with the club.

    • Maritime Ron says:

      Respectfully disagree.
      Price’s future with the Habs still has ‘at least’ 3 more years to play out. We need to better protect him and get bigger and better in clearing the lanes.

      • EricInStL says:

        We’ll see with the playoffs. I am convinced the Canadiens are 2 years away from being a top 10 team in the NHL. Right now they are in the middle.

        I think MB has a plan, and the plan is to get bigger, not necessarily tougher. The D is in better shape going forward, so this year’s draft should be about size and maybe trading some parts that are not producing if they have trade value.

        But I would be soooo tempted to do one hell of a splash trade to get a top 3 pick….

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      The consensus is no matter what the Habs do tonight, Randy Caryle is going to have Orr and McLaren in the lineup. Their purpose, along with the Leafs other heavy hitters, is to physically and mentally injure the Canadiens as much as possible.

      They will be running at the Habs and roughing them up after every whistle. The Leafs don’t care if they win or lose tonight. All they care about is sending a message for next week’s playoff series, most likely against the Habs.

      Caryle is hoping for as many Canadiens injuries as possible tonight.

      • Maritime Ron says:

        In the 2 games at home against the leafs we have been out hit 70-40 and the 2 games in Toronto, out hit 87-53

      • EricInStL says:

        I am torn between sitting our core players and playing to win. The previous poster saying they will be dammed if they do and dammed if they don’t is spot on about tonight’s game.

    • Danno says:

      I believe that is fair comment Llama

      ________________________________________

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

  25. Danno says:

    Tonight’s game is turning out to be the most meaningful meaningless game ever

    ________________________________________

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

  26. Maritime Ron says:

    Looking at the standings for this summer’s draft, and it appears we will have #34 and #35 or worst case scenario #35 and #36 from the Calgary Cammalleri deal and the Nashville Kostitsyn deal.

    Add in the two 3rd rounders and our own 1st and 2nd round picks and it’s a great opportunity to bundle and move down, or trade and Bulk Up. Here’s hoping we bulk up.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      And keeping the picks is not too shabby either, Ron. I like Timmin’s odds of finding a player or two with that number of picks.

      • Maritime Ron says:

        You’re absolutely right and a great worst case scenario. I guess we’ll also have to be careful as our #4 and #5 have been traded this summer (Wisniewski and Drewiske deals)

  27. govenah says:

    The first thing that should happen tonight is Kadri gets nailed by either Subban or Frankie B. Then watch the goons freak out and get tossed.

    Defensive assignments, breakout speed, make the goalie move out of position, then shoot the puck accurately.

  28. Habfan10912 says:

    As Stubb’s just tweeted, we’ll find out if MT is going to rest some of the vets today around 11:30. Although I am firmly in the “rest em”camp, if I am a betting man MT is from the Tom Coughlin “Play to win” camp.
    One thing for certain, win or lose, MT will be criticized here for whatever he does. :)

  29. Ian Cobb says:

    We are going to play the Leafs 5 games in a row starting tonight me thinks. 3 games in Toronto and 3 games in Montreal, at the very least.

    Some tickets in Toronto are going for as much as $1700, for their fans to watch them pick up their golf clubs again! Even their own fans are being ripped by this crummy 2nd class franchise.!

  30. JF says:

    I hope people don’t post a lot of unrealistic predictions of a massive Habs win. Logically what people say here has no effect on the Habs’ performance, but it always feels like a jinx. I’m already so nervous I don’t know if I’ll be able to watch the game.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I keep telling myself it’s a meaningless game, its a meaningless game over and over. I don’t believe it yet. How will we survive Tuesday night? Maybe take a sedative or two? :)

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Morning Jim and JF, unfortunately I cannot even pretend to convince myself the game is meaningless. However, if they lose, watch me try.

        Going to try and keep busy all day so as to have time move faster. Looking forward to watching, will be amongst the enemy tonight at Leaf Jammed full sports bar.

      • JF says:

        It’s far from meaningless. If we win, we still have a shot at finishing second. And from a psychological point of view, I think the game is more important for the Habs than for the Leafs. They’ve hammered us twice this season. A solid victory for us would make the picture a bit less lopsided. The game is also about getting playoff-ready, which no one can claim we are, even after Thursday’s better effort against the Jets. If we lose, we can talk all we want abut how meaningless the game was, but I think a loss would deepen the sense of doubt that already surrounds the team. Unless Therrien decides right from the start that it’s more important to rest his vets than to win the game. But that decision would also have a meaning; it would tell the players that he’s not out to finish as high as possible, a message that could have a negative effect. So the game IMO has a lot of meaning.

  31. Ian Cobb says:

    Junior hockey play offs is a fantastic speed game. End to end hockey for 60 minuets. Much better hockey finals than what we are watching in the NHL, and the refereeing is even better!

    What a fun conference finals game last night. Belleville Bulls and Barrie Colts are 3 to 2 in games, in favor of Barrie. They play again tonight.
    Malcom Subban will be in the Boston net sooner than later, the way he is playing now!.

    I can hear it all now! “PK blasts a shot from the point at the Boston goal and scores”!!!

    Read this link below!!

    http://www.bellevillebulls.com/article/bulls-battle-back-behind-quine-s-pair-in-3-1-victory

  32. govenah says:

    Here is my line up tonight:

    Pacs DD Gally
    Ryder Plek Gio
    Chucky Eller Bork
    Moen Halps Army

    Frankie B Subban
    Beaulieu Tinordi
    Drewiske Diaz

    and Budaj

    This way we rest a few and can still win with a good disciplined game.

  33. Propwash says:

    True facts about playoff bound Canadian teams.

    http://youtu.be/USk2KNYWczQ

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  34. Lafrich says:

    Know what would be weird? Having the Habs lose tonight, but finish 2nd by virtue of Bruins losing their last 2 games.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      The Bruins have done a lot of losing of late. We could have easily sewed up the division if we didn’t poop the bed at the same time. Oh well. New season starts Tuesday, eh?

  35. HabinBurlington says:

    Game Day, looking forward to the contest tonight. For some reason I suspect the Habs will again be better tonight than they were last game. Their confidence I think is coming back. Will it be enough to win the game? I hope so, for some reason I think tonights 1st goal is more important than ever.

    And I wonder how UCe is this morning, Manti Teo is now a Charger, interesting. Could be a steal for the Chargers.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Good morniing Gerald! I keep going back to the need to rest some of our key players being more important then winning a game. Of course when the game starts I’ll be ALL in as usual.

      I think Teo may end up being a very good player as well but I think the Cardinals may win the draft by picking Mathieu from LSU. If not for his off field issues this guy probably would have been the #1 pick. If he can get his life together, watch out. Big IF though.

  36. Captain aHab says:

    Regardless of what happens, it’s all good info for MB to continue to improve the team. If we get run through the boards during the playoffs, I trust that he’ll bring in size. Pretty sure he’ll do that regardless anyway.

    —————-
    Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

  37. Dodger says:

    Oh, God,,,what a way to start the day…reading Jacques Demers praising the Maple Leafs as potentially Canada’s team. Pardon me whilst I throw up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  38. jols101 says:

    Habs win, Bruins lose, Sens win, Rangers lose.

    Pens/Rangers
    Habs/Isles
    Caps/Sens
    Bruins/Leafs

    You read it here first.

    Edit: Or the exact opposite could happen.

  39. HABitual Fan says:

    The playoffs definitely start tonight. A win is crucial because if they lose they have to face the Leafs on Tuesday having lost 4 of 5 and at a huge psychological disadvantage. A win also puts pressure on the Bruins to take 3 of 4 points in their last two games …. and they haven’t exactly been tearing’ up the league.

    • jphk says:

      Please. I do remember the Nordiques being trashed by the Habs in the regular season only to win in the playoffs and vice versa. Tomorrow’s game is meaningless.

  40. mcLovin says:

    nothing to do with the habs, but does anyone else find it crazy that the pens haven’t lost one game in OT? Definitely the only team in the league with that stat.

  41. Bun E. Laroque says:

    A win over the leafs tomorrow could do wonders for the Habs confidence going into round 1. Playoffs begin tomorrow, psychologically at least.

  42. Frank2468 says:

    Well folks I’m off to bed AceMagnum’s vote of confidence in the club has left a warm and fuzzy feeling NOT.

  43. Whatever says:

    I’m already proud of this team for the present and the future based on what I’ve seen over the last decade. This year is already a gigantic step in the right direction regardless of how it ends. It’s only going to get better.

    • Frank2468 says:

      Very true Whatever just wish the club was going in to playoffs on a high and not ass back wards. Hence why the nervous feeling about Saturday night. Could be a major tone setter. On the other side if they should lose the Leafs could go in to the first round over confident who knows. I’d give Markov a rest and wake him up 4 hours before the game on Tuesday.

  44. AceMagnum says:

    Only five more games left until Habs clean out the lockers. I hope Bergevin doesn’t defend Carey “the franchise” Price in a laughable post season press conference a la Gainey did with Saku “il mange comme un champion” Koivu. We don’t need any more embarrassment. It’s gonna be a rough few weeks my friends and a long summer.

    • HabFan in Edmonton says:

      Why would they clean out their lockers between the 1st and 2nd round ?

    • commandant says:

      Its pretty sad when someone would rather be proven right about a player they dislike, then watch their team win.

      Of course that assumes the Habs are your team to begin with.

      Go Habs Go!
      Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
      http://lastwordonsports.com/

      • HabFan in Edmonton says:

        True, all in all a good night, the Oilers and Colorado win and Calgary loses. Right now the Habs would pick 4th and 6th in the 2nd round. It could get better ! Need Tampa, Carolina and Colorado to win their last games and Nashville to lose.

    • Habilis says:

      You’re so sure, bet on it! I’m sure you could get pretty sweet odds on the Habs getting swept.

      Come back after the first series and let us know how it turns out.

    • Frank2468 says:

      I know everyone is entitled to their opinion but yours is prediction for a total meltdown. Lets see what happens and go from there. Unless your using the old reverse psychology thing. If that isn’t the case lets concede and give in to the leafs and prove just how small the team is mentally too!!! These guys are professionals and were boys at one time as well. And I’m sure they all played out the game 7 scenario in the back yard of winning it all as kids. So their at the dance lets see and if they fold up like a cheap tent then there is a serious problem. They may lose or they may win but as long as they don’t role over like a dog to the Leafs. Cause that would be so embarrassing for them the organization and the city and the fans. I don’t think they will role over like your predicting.

    • Whatever says:

      Pathetic. Simply pathetic.

    • The Jackal says:

      Don’t know why anyone listens to this troll/roided up frat dude with no clue about hockey.

      FYI Koivu is leading the Ducks to a great season, he never should have left Montreal.

      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • H.Upmann says:

      I’d take Koivu any second over DD… come to think of it, comparable salary, no?

    • wildwilly says:

      Why is everyone caring what someone who calls himself “Ace Magnum” thinks? He’s most likely a Maple Leaf troll who has too much time on his hands.

      “We don’t need more embarrassment”? I think the Habs did well this season and will make some waves in the playoffs, with a promising future.

  45. Frank2468 says:

    You’d think I was playing Saturday against the Leafs. Been walking around the house killing time doing things watching T.V shows and I find myself drifting and thinking about the game. Part of me wants M.T to rest key players and part me wants them to play a full roster. I guess it’s pride and I hate losing to Laffs so much it actually nauseates me. Also thinking about if they do play a full roster and lose it’s not good for the the team those nasty thoughts start to creep into the mind. Really hope the boys pull it off. Now lets be realistic for a minute. I know we all would be pleased as punch if they went all the way and won the cup but thats wishful thinking. If they could bounce the Leafs and then bounce the Bruins, I’d be happy with that and call the season a success. Oh hell at the point I’d probably be in full gear and say bring on the Pens. It’s the darn first round there are so many upsets and then things settle down for the second round. I just hope the Habs are not a victim of an upset in the first round especially to the Leafs.

  46. pmaraw says:

    anyone got any fingernails left?


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