Habs regroup on eve of Round 2

The Canadiens are not practising today in Pittsburgh, probably both physically and emotionally spent after their Game 7 victory Wednesday over the Capitals in Washington.

Head coach Jacques Martin and a selected group of players will be available to the media late this afternoon. Courtesy of CJAD’s Rick Moffat, who charters with the team as its English play-by-play radio voice, we expect to have audio posted here probably early this evening.

Hickey and I are en route to Pittsburgh and will be feeding the site and its hungry Habs fans from both teams’ pregame morning skates tomorrow.

AUDIO, courtesy of Rick Moffat of CJAD: Josh Gorges | Hal Gill | Maxim Lapierre

•  •  •

How cool is this?

History will be made with Jaro.

•  •  •

TSN reports record ratings:

Last night’s dramatic Game 7 victory by the Montreal Canadiens over the Washington Capitals was watched by an average audience of 4.7 million viewers on TSN and RDS combined according to overnight data from BBM Canada.  Audience levels peaked at 8.2 million viewers (TSN and RDS combined) in the final minutes of the third period as Montreal held on to upset Washington and win the series.

TSN’s audience of 2.8 million for the game was the highest audience ever recorded for an NHL game on TSN and was the most-watched program on Canadian television last night in all key advertising demographics.  The Montreal-Washington series ranks as the most-watched playoff series ever on TSN (any rounds) with an average audience of 1.8 million viewers over seven games.

RDS’ audience of 1.9 million represents an impressive 51% share of the Quebec-Franco market and was the top-ranked French network in all key advertising demographics.  RDS’ average for the Montreal-Washington series was 1.34 million over seven games – 12% higher compared to Canadiens playoff games on RDS last season. 

TSN’s average audience for each of its first round playoff series is as follows:
Montreal-Washington (7 games on TSN) – 1.8 million
Detroit-Phoenix (7 games on TSN) – 811,000
Chicago-Nashville (5 games on TSN) – 777,000
New Jersey-Philadelphia (4 games on TSN) – 545,000

438 Comments

  1. HardHabits says:

    It’s said because it is.

  2. JD_ says:

    Man, that is truly awesome.

  3. CHsam says:

    LMAO!! NAG! NAG! N. A. G.!!!!! NAAAAAAG!!!!!!!!!!! BRING UP DAGS, PACIORETTY, WHITE !!!!!!!!!!

    ah just kidding, all in good fun. 😉

  4. kempie says:

    It wouldn’t surprise me if OV had just driven by them moments before. Laich = good good guy.

  5. HardHabits says:

    Everyone knows that you and I single handedly drive up the hits to this site. Where would we all be without Timo’s anti-Gainey bashing and his praising of MAB’s awesomeness not to mention HH’s tanking diatribes. Does Boone declare fatwas on anybody else?

    I geuss when the Habs win the Cup *nudge nudge wink wink* OneTimer will be back here I-told-you-soing us to death. I think in that case I’ll be in the streets partying with the rest of my fellow Montrealers and too hung-over the next day to even be able to read let alone post a comment.

  6. crabvader says:

    Letang is smoking the bad stuff.

  7. crabvader says:

    Lots of respect to Brooks Laich.

    It takes a really good person to do what he did.

  8. kempie says:

    I’d say let Spatch rest until we’re sure he’s 100% and that we need him right now. If that’s the case then I’d have to sit Hammer. At least for now.

  9. CHsam says:

    LAROCK! hahaha

  10. HardHabits says:

    Veteran Youth N.A.G.

  11. Big Ted says:

    Letang can say all he wants about the Pens being underdogs. Everyone knows it’s not true, and it just shows that the Pens are already a little spooked that the Habs are going to pull the same thing on them that they pulled on Washington. For the Habs to win though, there are a number of guys who will need to up their game:

    – AK46: had one good game in the first series and a few moments of decency otherwise, but didn’t show any consistency and like usual, not a great amount of effort or willingness to sacrifice. JM needs to get on him more, not to bench him or put him down cause I doubt it’d work, but to get him to use his size more and drive harder into the corners and towards the net. Let Cammy shoot and Pleks pass the puck. AK needs to be more creative entering the offesnive zone and he needs to get to rebounds.

    – Pouliot: he needs to play with more discipline. He is all over the ice and he is not playing a simple enough game. Too much dipsy-doodling, not enough finish. The guy has some speed and he can score if he gets going. The skills are there. I think we’re seeing the same thing with him we saw with MaxPac earlier this year, he just looks lost on a lot of shifts. If I’m JM, I tell him to keep it simple, get the puck in and get on it and shoot when he gets the chance.

    – SK74: if he gets another chance, SK74 is one of those guys who can bring skill to the bottom half of the line-up and give the team a boost with some peripheral scoring. He needs to play good solid defensive hockey and use his skill with the puck. I also find he plays better when he plays with aggression. the guy can also hit when he puts his mind to it.

    – PK Subban: can’t really ask a kid to carry the team, but PK is a wildcard for us because he brings elements other players don’t or can’t. He needs to play with energy and use his shot and passing skills on the PP. Hoping that JM continues to use him and not just on the PP. He can be very valuable to us and the Pens may not count on having to defend against him.

    – Markov: we can talk all we want about hamr and MAB, but the guy who needs to be the Habs best D is Markov. His play has been pretty decent on D, but his offensive instinct hasn’t been as great this year as in past years. I want to see him do a better job of judging his pinches in the offensive zone and of holding the blue line. Special teams are going to play a big role for both teams. Markov’s play SH has been good, but he needs to get back to being the powerplay QB he was 2-3 years ago.

  12. crabvader says:

    I hope that same Pens fan realizes that Halak is coming for him next.

  13. kempie says:

    That’s just adorable.

  14. HardHabits says:

    Wow you’re fast. MAB’s gotten to you.

  15. HardHabits says:

    You lost me at Normal
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    false
    false

    EN-US
    X-NONE
    X-NONE

    MicrosoftInternetExplorer4

  16. silent_witness says:

    You’ll Like This…Good Story in Troubled Times

    Win with the Habs, Die with Habs… GO HABS GO for Life

  17. HardHabits says:

    I miss the CAPS LOCK BOLD ITALICS NUFF SAID guy

  18. JD_ says:

     

     

    Malkin
    Eaton
    Letang
    Talbot
    Dupuis
    Orpik
    Wallace
    No Habs mercy…

  19. coachdoug says:

    Caps Eulogy…RIP Crapitals…maybe next year…hee hee hee

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy/post/Eulogy-Remembering-the-2009-10-Washington-Capit?urn=nhl,237710#remaining-content

    “Save us Turtleneck Man…We need you now more than ever!”

  20. Stefman says:

    The habs regroup for round 2, and so do the hardcore fans.

    Time to fly back to Canada from my studies in Sweden. I can’t miss this.

  21. CalgaryHabsFan says:

    We played them reasonably well in 3 out of the four games head to head.

    Lee stole a point from us in one of those games.

    Fleury has not been great in the playoffs so far and lets hope that trend continues.

    We need AK and especially Pouliot to start finding the back of the net in this series.

    Hopefully the intensity from game 7 will carry over and we can catch Pittsburgh flat footed and steal the first game Friday night.

     

    _______

    “Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.”

  22. Danno says:

    It’s been said that it’s the hardest trophy in the world to win.

     

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  23. ds says:

    Montreal will end the NHL Golden Boys’ free rides.  First oveChokin, now Crosby. 

     

    Pittsburgh is definately a great team, 3 excellent lines and a solid fourth line.  I don’t think Montreal can contain them and play hardcore defense like vs Washington where it was just Ovechkin, Greene and Semin, but Montreal has better defensemen and a better goalie.

     

    Halak > Fleury

    Markov > Gonchar

    Gill > McKee

    Orpik = Georges

    O’Byrne, Hamrlik, Bergeron, Subban. >> Goligoski, Letang, Eaton

     

    Much more depth defensively on Montreal than in Pittsburgh.  The only way Montreal wins this series is by taking it to Pittsburgh early and keeping Fleury off his game all night.  The top 2 lines have to score.  Gionta and Cammelleri leading the way.  Markov has to pinch and hope in odd man situations Halak will make the saves.  MTL will have to take chances to win.  Pittsburgh is built like Detroit or Colorado in the late 90s.  Forsberg/Sakic with their respective linemates is similar to how Crosby/Malkin have decent but not great linemates. 

     

    One factor that hasn’t been discussed is fatigue.  Malkin has been injured this year, MTL should go after him every chance they get.  Gonchar is injury prone, take him down early and often by the end of the series he won’t be able to shoot. 

    It is a very do-able series but MTL has to up their shot totals, Fleury is the weak point, don’t let him get any confidence.  Get 30 shots on goal per game and that is going to give 3-4 goals, enough for MTL to have a chance in every game.

     

    Montreal in 6.  Pittsburgh is finished.

  24. Ayan_SB says:

    If Halak manages to beat both Ovi and Crosby in the same playoffs, one day I will name one of my future sons Jaroslav.

  25. matmacat says:

    And we thought WSH was going to be a challenge… you think PHI or BOS will be any easier if we beat PIT. Don’t think so… Then who would we face in the final? I don’t even want to think about it!! The playoffs are so friggin’ hard!

  26. HabsoluteFan says:

    Sorry to push this down your collective throats but I’d like some feedback on this video I made prior Game 7

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ON23Xzm0y5s

    I’d also like to get some input on what I could include in my next one for the Pens series !

    Thanks for your help guys

    ————————————————————————-

    On december 18th, in the middle of a 5 game losing streak, this guy said the habs would turn it around and make the playoffs.

  27. Say Ash says:

    where the heck is that Caps guy ???? i woulda hoped he’d be posting here

  28. Storm Man says:

    I dont think we will lose Pleks, I like Backstrom but feel he would be asking for 6-7 mil per year.

  29. matmacat says:

    Applaud him?

    Do you not realize that we are going to war with this team. National idol (hero is a strong word here, all he did was play great hockey) or not, let’s not encourage him to do his ‘thing’ (undoubtedly, a good ‘thing’).

  30. HabFanSince72 says:

    All-star dweebs.

  31. CHsam says:

    where the heck is Habs-Professor ???? i woulda thought he’d be posting on here

  32. joe-hab-nuno says:

    Let us pray

     

     

    “our father,

    who are in bell center,

    hockey be thy name,

     thy will be done,

    the cup be won,

     on ice as well as in the stands…

     give us this day our hockey sticks and forgive us our penalties….

    as we forgive those who cross-check against us.

     Lead us not into elimination and deliver us to victory..

    In the name of the fans.. lord stanley. and the holy halak!!!

    AMEN!”

    Got it in  an email, thought I’d share our prayer with all of us

  33. forskis says:

    Another random thought…if we lose Pleks to free-agency…would you throw the offer sheet to Backstrom?

    “I am guilty of using elipses…”

  34. HardHabits says:

    When adressing me, refer to me as sir.

  35. ooder says:

    give me a break.. some of these guys are very critical of the team but they are habs fans to the core.

     

    ——————

    “I like what I’m seeing right now,” assessed Markov. “We’re not perfect, but we’re trying to be.”

  36. SeriousFan09 says:

    He can yap all he likes, the Capitals can tell him how useful that was.

     

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  37. HardHabits says:

    Nice try Letang. Maybe he’ll make a comment about Halak’s shaky hand.

  38. OneTimer says:

    I’m sorry if I hurt your ego, did you feel you should’ve been included in the list?

  39. megagoten says:

    letang said that the pressure’s on the habs now that we’ve beaten the number 1 seed.

    that was cute. as if that would work.

  40. HalGillsNumberOneFan says:

    He does a good job of taking control of the puck and bringing it into the offensive zone but when it comes to converting on his chances…. If he converted on half his chances he would already be the best scorer in the post season

  41. HardHabits says:

    Hopefully this is your last post, because your 1st one is idiotic. All those posters you mentioned contribute loads to the debate here.

    You don’t decide anything and good thing at that. Timo is an all-star. RetroMikey is an all-star. Manapart is an all-star. You are a minor leaguer.

    We!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA. WEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!! You’re a joke.

     

  42. adam76 says:

    Where is Priceberg and Bill?

  43. TripleX says:

    Of course you are right about the reference to the other Bergeron.  My bad Timo…..lol

  44. topher5468 says:

    That would be nice, we need him, desperately

    “It’s not an obsession, It’s a way of life..”

  45. Natrous says:

    I get it, but he said that Smytty was delusional if he thought he could make the Olympic squad, but he saw that Bergeron made the Olympic squad so… so he decided to play for the WC squad? Still doesn’t make sense.

  46. SeriousFan09 says:

    He’s back to skating, so I’m sure at the worst he’s in for Game 2. Subban becomes 7th man and MAB sits. I like MAB’s Game 7 goal but Subban has tons more utility in a game and leaves JM more freedom in using his 7 Ds if that’s how he continues to utilize his roster.

    He’ll use more of his bench in the first couple games, giving some of the guys more chances to make an impact in the game, but if things go tight, the later games will likely feature a shorter bench in the later stages.

     

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  47. Habsone says:

    Gread job boys!!!   Now round two!!  Go Habs Go!

  48. forskis says:

    He is referring to Patrice Bergeron from the Bruins making the Olympic Team (and was barely used).

    “I am guilty of using elipses…”

  49. spos080808 says:

    TIMO come on down

  50. HalGillsNumberOneFan says:

    Pouliot will be key in this series…. Believe it or not.

    He has to convert on his opertunities. For once

     

  51. Psycho29 says:

    I think I saw Stubbs and Hickey in a 1974 Firenza!

    Gazette finances only allow rentals from ‘Rent-a-Wreck’

  52. nick says:

    I believe the term your referring to is ‘tickled pink’.

  53. Ian Cobb says:

    Think Jacques might use more of his bench.?? Never make it in a long series using 2 and half lines and Markov 35 minutes in a game. But that was my concern last series also.!

    Spacek ready to go Friday??

  54. Danno says:

    I think he’d look good in this car Ian…

     

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  55. OneTimer says:

    Alright listen up, you Ali-G, RetroMenApart types…

     

    We

    had to put up with so much of your negative **** during the whole
    season. Knocking management, the players, the coach…and then THIS
    happens. Proving you wrong. Even if they only go this far…proving you
    very wrong.

     

    So I present you with two options: either
    you crawl back between the floorboards and never post on here again
    (some have already done this, fine by me), or you post a public act of
    contrition – I’m thinking “I don’t know **** about hockey and I
    shouldn’t have mouthed off on this forum” – and MAYBE, if the contrition
    is deemed genuine enough, we’ll let you stick around. MAYBE. If I was
    in charge, anyhow…

     

    Peace 🙂

  56. Ian Cobb says:

    Stubbs–we have to chip in here and buy Hickey a new car.!

    Can’t have our leaders on the side of the road.

    Next Summit we will hold a raffle for him.

  57. TripleX says:

    LOL…I think Timo is still feeling the lingering intoxicating effects of MAB’s awesomeness last night.  It really makes no sense at all.

  58. SeriousFan09 says:

    They also didn’t have to deal with Markov for 3 of those games and we were generally a pretty unhealthy team when we squared off with them, we’ve also got Subban on the roster now. That’s a huge improvement to our transition game plus we’ve got all of our forwards healthy.

    Penguins enjoyed beating us when were often down multiple roster players, this time they have no such advantage.

     

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  59. BJ says:

    Good analysis HFX.

  60. HFX-HabFan says:

    One other thought: I really hope the Montreal fans don’t boo Crosby.  Aside from the fact that I like him as a player, he really hasn’t done anything worthy of being booed. 

    Unlike Ovechkin, who comes off as an arrogant, dirty at times, disrespectful jerk, Crosby is humble, respectful, and hard-working.  He won’t make stupid comments about our goalie or snow our flag-waving kids.  Really, he’s a national hero after his Olympic performance.  If anything, the Montreal fans should respectfully applaud him when his name is announced. 

    To be honest, booing him would probably give him even more motivation, and he already plays lights-out against us (the kid grew up cheering for the Habs).  So let’s show some respect for a good Canadian kid, and for Montreal as a hockey city.

  61. Danno says:

    Chris Lee stole one from us.

     

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  62. Natrous says:

    That doesn’t even make sense (Bergeron reference)

  63. Danno says:

    Jusqu’HALAKoupe #25!

     

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  64. BJ says:

    Octobre 28, 2009 – Canadien 1, Penguins 6

    Novembre 25, 2009 – Canadien 1, Penguins 3

    Decembre 10, 2009 – Penguins 3, Canadien 2

    February 6, 2010 – Penguins 3, Canadien 5

     

    We progressed in our performances throughout the year vs Pittsburgh and are now (knock wood) a much better and healthier team. Montreal in six.

  65. topher5468 says:

    I just watched the game again , wow, still cant believe it. 131 out of 134, that is just sick. The save Halak made on Ape Man’s backhander in the last 2 min. Just a great performance. Ha I just watched a History will be made commercial with Halak. “what if Halak hadnt been Magnifique”

    “It’s not an obsession, It’s a way of life..”

  66. TripleX says:

    Ryan Smith has agreed to play for Canada in the WC!  What a guy!

    He is left off the Olympic team which must have devastated him yet he still agrees to put on the Maple Leaf.  CAPTAIN CANADA LIVES!

  67. HFX-HabFan says:

    FIVE WAYS WE CAN BEAT THE PENGUINS:

    1- Our secondary scoring outscores theirs.  Chances our their top guns will outdo ours, so we need our muckers to come up big.  It’s a good sign that Laps, Moore, Moen (was he hurt at the end of last night?) and even Pyatt have been playing well.

    2- Halak continues his hot stretch.  I fear he might need a rest mid-series as he did in round one, but he is clearly capable of stealing games, regardless of how powerful the opposition’s offense is.

    3- In-game adjustments and matchups.  Identifying what forward lines and D pairings we want to set up against the Crosby line, Malkin line etc. early on will be key.  This comes down to coaching, and hopefully Martin will be able to make the necessary adjusments.

    4- Stealing the series opener on the road.  Often the team that finished their series last wins game one despite being tired, namely because their intensity level is still high.  Obviously Pittsburgh has the experience of two straight playoff runs so they will be prepared, but if we come out flying early on and score early as we did often in Washington, it will take their crowd out of it and give us some momentum.  Sure, we took Game One against the Caps and then proceeded to drop three straight, but that opening win gave us the confidence that we could play with the Caps and set the tone for the rest of the series.  A win in Steeltown right off the bat would do the same.

    5- Shut down the Penguins’ power play.  It would be nearly impossible to replicate the superhuman performance that our PK gave against the Caps’ high-octane PP unit.  The Penguins have almost as much firepower, though their second wave will not be as dangerous as Washington’s.  If we can hold them off when down a man, our chances improve significantly.

    FIVE WAYS THE PENGUINS CAN BEAT US:

    1- Malkin “wakes up”.  Pittsburgh is a different beast because they are built down the middle- their best players aren’t coming down one specific wing.  Crosby was obviously lights-out against Ottawa so we will key on him first, but the Staal line was effective as well.  If Malkin gets going, we will have a tough time because there will be three different lines with great distributors on each.  Our D will have to up their awareness levels.

    2- Fleury gets better.  He was average at best in round one, yet the Penguins still won.  Fleury hails from Sorel, QC and will undoubtedly bring his best game against the Habs.  He’s not always flashy but the kid knows what it takes to win.  If he finds his groove, we might have a tough time.

    3- Their D can actually shut down top forwards.  Washington was in rough shape on the back end, lacking a true shutdown guy: their closest to that classification would be Schultz and Morrisonn (that dude should have traded in his extra “N” for some offensive game).  The Penguins have Orpik, and Jay McKee is an excellent shot-blocker.  Gonchar’s defensive game is often overshadowed by his offense (similar to Markov).  Our smaller forwards will likely have a tougher time this round finding open ice; hopefully it won’t deter their willingness to play hard along the boards and in the corners.

    4-  Forwards who back-check.  The Penguins have a lot of character guys, but their top guns are capable at both ends of the rink as well.  Crosby and Malkin aren’t ready to be mentioned in the same breath as Datsyuk as some of the best “all-around players”, but they are more defensively inclined than a couple of Russians named Alexander.  Don’t forget Crosby’s timely dive to save a puck from going over the goal line in the Ottawa series.  He has come a long way as a defender at the NHL level.  As a result, don’t expect as many odd-man rushes as we had in the Washington series.

    5- The experience factor.  Yes, the Pens lost some of their key pieces of their Cup run(s) of the last two springs (one of them is now a huge asset in our dressing room), but the core of this team is intact and they know what it takes to win.  Two Game Seven wins on the road last year.  They won’t panic or fall apart the way the Caps did.  There are certain “intangibles” that you can’t overlook with this team.  They are focused, dedicated, and well-coached.  We will have a series on our hands.

  68. likehoy says:

    ca sent halakoupe!

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

  69. TripleX says:

    Will be interesting to see how JM and his coaching staff deal with a much different Pens team.  Unlike the Caps who generate offense off the rush the Pens can kill you with the cycle game.  How will the Habs who have had trouble all season with tough teams that cycle the puck deal with it?

    The Pens are also better disciplined and far more patient than the Caps in my opinion.  And then the CROSBY factor, we all know what he can do.

  70. Danno says:

    Lol! Halak it! Halak it alot!

     

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  71. ZepFan2 says:

    Whatcha gonna do when Halakamania runs wild on you?!

    ———————————————————–

    Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.”
    – Sam Pollock

  72. HABSsince92 says:

    I feel the same right now as I did going into the Washington series, no one expects us to win so just enjoy the ride as long as it lasts. I’m happy that we beat the Caps anything else is just gravy on top. I love watching this current version of the team play and I don’t want the season to end.

     

     

    Been a Habs fan since I was in 2nd grade and sat behind Patrick Roy at the Aud.

  73. Black Jacques Halak says:

    Welcome to Halak-istan!!!!

  74. Off-side says:

    You bet we’re hungry, Mr. Stubbs!

     

    Let’s sober up quickly for the next game though boys, the clock is ticking…

  75. Bill J says:

    Told ya – I’m here for the Habs bro.

    Looking forward to seeing Jaro & his band of merry men smoke some Penguins!

    😀


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