Habs happy to be home with 2-0 series lead (with video)

The Canadiens returned to Montreal after Friday night’s 4-1 win over the Lightning  in Tampa to take a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.

Coach Michel Therrien scrapped plans for a noon-hour practice in Brossard, instead opting for a team meeting at 1:30 p.m., followed by an off-ice workout and media availability.

Game 3 is Sunday night at the Bell Centre (7 p.m., CBC, RDS, TSN Radio 690).

“We’re really focused on the things we have to do today to prepare ourselves for tomorrow’s game,” Therrien told reporters in Brossard Saturday afternoon, adding he likes the Habs’ concentration and determination.

“The players also know that when we stay in our team concept, that’s when we’re at our best,” the coach added. “That’s what we see now.”

Despite being up 2-0 in the series, Therrien said he knows there’s a rough road ahead in the playoffs.

“We all understand that the more we go through the playoffs, the more difficult the games are to play,” he said. “We’re glad we’re back at home. But I like our focus. We’ve got a business mentality. So today it’s about preparing ourselves for tomorrow. And tomorrow it’s going to be our main focus. And that’s the way we like to do things here.”

Said Canadiens captain Brian Gionta about being up 2-0 in the series: “It’s huge. But, at the end of the day, we fell into that trap against Boston a few years back.

“We won two games in (the Bruins’) building and we came back and let off the gas a bit. So we need to make sure that (Sunday) night is our focus. And we’ve got to do the things that have made us successful in the first two games and make sure we stick with that.”

In 2011, the Canadiens won the first two games of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series in Boston but then lost Games 3 and 4 on home ice and eventually lost the series in seven games.

The Lightning practised in Tampa Saturday morning before flying to Montreal. Rookie winger Ondrej Palat, who suffered an upper-body injury in Game 1 and missed Game 2, took part in practice and hopes to play in Game 3. 

Lightning associate coach Rick Bowness met with the media in Tampa after practice and said Palat will be a game-time decision Sunday. Bowness added that a decision has yet to be made on who will start in goal for the Lightning Sunday, but it won’t be Ben Bishop, who is sidelined with an elbow injury. Anders Lindback was pulled in Game 2 and replaced by Kristers Gudlevskis.

“I think the first game was overhyped, but tonight I felt better than I did in Game 1,” Canadiens goaltender Carey Price told reporters in Tampa after making 27 saves in Game 2. “We didn’t play our best hockey in Game 1 but we found a way to win.”

Added Brendan Gallagher: “You don’t want to take your foot off the pedal. Going up 1-0 on the power play gave us momentum and we have to keep pushing.”

The Canadiens will have a morning skate Sunday at 10:30 a.m. in Brossard. The Lightning will skate at the same time at the Bell Centre.

(Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)

Habs happy to be back home, by The Gazette’s Brenda Branswell

Habs know perils of coming home with 2-0 series lead, NHL.com

Habs an old boys club, Canadiens.com

Bourque, Price give Habs 2-0 series lead, by The Gazette’s Pat Hickey

‘We have to keep pushing,’ Gallagher says, by Pat Hickey

Habs are rolling, Canadiens.com

Bourque goes double dipping, NHL.com

Game 2 photo gallery, montrealgazette.com

Habs’ Weaver didn’t expect to play pro, by Pat Hickey

Tampa reporter has watched sun shine on Lightning, by Gazette Sports Editor Stu Cowan

Bell Centre gets dressed up for postseason, by The Gazette’s Brenda Branswell

Habs fans have watched Carey Price grow up, Stu on Sports blog

Habs fans need to wake up the ghosts, Letters to the Sports Editor

Lightning could use Palat to challenge Canadiens, NHL.com

Lightning found diamond in deep rough with Palat, Stu on Sports blog

Lightning may not be ready for this stage, Tampa Bay Times

Loss leaves Lightning full of questions, Tampa Bay Times

Team meeting, speculation of goalie change for Lightning, Tampa Bay Times

Television lapse leaves Lightning fans livid, Tampa Bay Times

And the NHL award winners should be …, by Pat Hickey

Leafs’ Kadri joins Hockey Night in Canada for playoffs, Stu on Sports blog


  1. chesterfiled says:

    If the CH win the home games, seems probable to me, I hope they finally do away with the sticks in the air fan salute. What is that anyways, you watch a whole game where every high sticking is called, so team wins and are instructed to wave ’em around at us as a show of appreciation?! Who makes these gimmicks up anyways. I say nobody loses an eye with a triple low five…

  2. sweetmad says:

    The Bolts are doing quite a job shutting down Patches,and he is getting up tight,and trying too hard just watch his face when his shot is blocked or stopped,relax Patches it will come,don’t start holding your stick too tight,just enjoy yourself,you are supposed to be having fun out there,you are one of the reasons we are in the position we have,so don’t blow your cool,only Timo will blame you and he blames everyone.

    It’s hours untill the game,wander if I can make it.

    Happy Easter to all those who celebrate it,we will be at home all day alone,Mike is going to make me mushroom crepes in tomotoe sauce with loads of veg,I don’t eat meat,so if Mike wants meat he cooks,he is a classically trained chef,so no problem,and it means he does all the cooking,picked a good one.


    • RockinRey says:

      I dont think they are shutting him down at all. He has had a few chances and he needs to find space for DD. He blew by a guy the other night with his long stride and something came of it.

      He needs to contribute and get going though and bury a couple.

      ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
      —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

  3. UKRAINIANhab says:

    How about the play of DD, Pleks, Lars, Briere.

    Every centre has contributed a lot! When all 4 centres are on, the habs are a very very hard team to stop

  4. Chrisadiens says:

    I cannot wait to crank the surround sound and listen to deafening screams of 21,273 fans.

    Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

  5. Timo says:

    Western conference playoffs hockey is just downright nasty. Habs/TB series is timbits nice in comparison.

    • PrimeTime says:

      Happy Easter Timo. Please don’t disappoint today spewing the same crap all day. Thank you!

      º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º

  6. docketrocket says:

    Hi Timo. Are you expecting wardrobe changes from Andi tonight after Friday’s game?

  7. habfaninottawa says:

    Happy 420 all!
    Oh and some vague reference to that Peaster thing or whatever?
    Go Habs go!

  8. UKRAINIANhab says:

    Xpnctoc Bockpec!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Happy Easter to all.

  9. Maritime Ronn says:

    A positive step in #Habs Moen progress returning from concussion.
    Taking part in puck battle drills after a.m. skate.

    …but where does he fit?

    @JohnLuTSNMtl: #Habs Game 3 lines:
    Pacioretty – Desharnais – Vanek
    Prust – Plekanec – Gallagher
    Bourque – Eller – Gionta
    Bournival – Brière – Weise

    • Strummer says:

      Sit him.
      Moen would be surplus at this point.
      We’ re rolling 4 lines all of which can contribute offensively.
      Moen has no offensive upside and with his recent concussion would be no threat physically.

      “It’s just an opinion- I could be wrong”

    • Phil C says:

      Moen is good depth for injuries at this point. He may be a factor deeper in the playoffs when the inevitable injury bug bites.

  10. RockinRey says:

    There is no reason for the Habs to come out flat. Crowd is behind them , they will be able to sense there is a buzz as soon as they walk into the building.

    It is high time the Bell Center became a difficult place to play come playoff time.

    First 10 min are key, high % plays, take it to them and score an early goal, big save by Pricey, to get the crowd behind them.

    ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
    —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

    • Timo says:

      I was watching a bit of the Avs game last night and man… that crowd was awesome. On their feet a lot and as loud as it can get. I hope Habs give the home crowd a reason to be even louder.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Sometimes the danger happens when some on the home team feel they have to put on a show and entertain instead of just playing sound basic hockey.

      It’s not a conscious thing – just the way it goes sometimes.

      • Strummer says:

        I agree on that one. Especially with the 21,000 white towels. Could be a distraction and if they have some pointless opening ceremony we could be in trouble LOL

        “It’s just an opinion- I could be wrong”

  11. Timo says:

    So I assume no lineup changes for tonight? Looking for Pacioretty to get a goal tonight and Francis Bouillon to play 60 minutes. Hopefully Bourque and Eller will continue their great play. They have really been a great revelation so far.

  12. frontenac1 says:

    Hola Amigos! Happy Easter and a Happy Eostra to all the Pagans out there. Big day of Hockey, so let’s start it off with some Rum Daquiries. Saludos!

  13. Commandant says:

    #19 is Sonny Milano of the US National Team Development Program

    Go Habs Go!


  14. L Elle says:

    Happy Easter to all the good folks of HIO!

    I tried to come up with excuses to stay home glued to the TV. But, just in case, have the PVR set, and will be looking at my watch for a quick exit home.

    My daughter has tickets for game 6. I don’t have the heart to tell her, there won’t be a game 6. lol

  15. HabFab says:

    Hurricane Carter is dead… hadn’t realized he was living in Canada.

  16. Slackman says:

    So Larsie-poo leads the habs in play-off points with his goal and two assists.

    Really liking how the regular season passengers are stepping it up. A true metamorphosis. They are emerging from their cocoons as big beautiful hockey butterflies.

    Gonna be a rager tonight. Bell Centre is going to be hostile and LOUD.

    “When the going get’s weird, the weird turn pro”

  17. sweetmad says:

    For all the complaining about MT this season,our boys are really playing hard for him,they seem to feel like a collective,and most of the time they look like they are enjoying them selves,even PK who every one seems to think is at odds with MT,never looks really unhappy.When new players come in they,seem to settle in well and gel quite quickly,one of the reasons why,is something that Timo doesn’t like,MT seems to treat them like human beings,instead of commodities by giving them time off to be with their families,especially after a road trip.Every little hiccup,people say MT has lost the room,I don’t think that is the case at all,I think it’s more that they feel down for letting him and each other down.

    I was never a big fan of MT didn’t like it when he was hired,MB I knew nothing about,after being in sales all my life,I am pretty good at body language,and it seems to me we have a very happy team,of course they have their ups and downs,they live in a close enviroment,especially on road trips,thats when Mt gives them a break from each other.

    MT always looks very awkward in front of the camera,not at ease at all,and this counts against him with a lot of fans,and his English,is very accented,he does not seem as relaxed as he does when speaking French,when I look at our guys they seem to be a very happy team,so I will give MT a pass for that,cos if your not happy you will never give of your best.

    There have been many complaints about line shuffeling,but every one of our players can play with anyone else on the team because of it,so it can’t be a bad thing.

    PK is a big boy he does not take things personally,he knows himself and realises,how he can come across and how he can rub some people up the wrong way,he knows when he has done something he shouldn’t have,and he wants to be the best and is willing to learn anyway he can,we don’t have to worry about him at all,I am exactly the same kind of personality as PK,brash confident even loud,love the spotlight would never hurt a soul,thats all that matters.

    I am so excited I went to sleep at 2 was awake before 6 can’t wait for tonight,please keep the focus boys.

  18. habsfan0 says:

    I have a hunch Boone won’t have a good feeling about tonight’s game.

  19. Say Ash says:

    Lousy Easter so far. Lucic found all the eggs!

  20. Stanley Cup or Bust ! says:

    Look at the stars. Look how they shine for you. And everything you do.
    Go Habs ☆ ★ ☆Go Go Habs Go ☆ ★ ☆Go Habs Go
    Remember when you were young, you shone like the sun.
    Shine on you crazy diamond.

  21. Psycho29 says:

    Chantal Machabee‏ @ChantalMachabee ·5s

    Entraînement du Lightning, Ondrej Palat est sur la patinoire. Lindback et Gudlevskis sont les gardiens

  22. Maritime Ronn says:

    ” Chicago Blackhawks defenceman Brent Seabrook will have a PHONE hearing on Sunday with the National Hockey League for his hit on St. Louis Blues forward David Backes on Saturday.”
    PHONE means 1-4.
    Take your pick.
    Rocky Wurtz doesn’t have the power of the billionaire Bruins owner….2 or 3 will probably be the number – depends on Backes injury

    • Hobie says:

      Yup. Backes didn’t lift his head in time so Seabrook is going to get in trouble. 9.5 times out of 10 Backes braces himself for the hit and nothing happens to Seabrook.

      Not really Seabrook’s fault, he was just playing the same way everyone else was in that game.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Seabrook also “projected his body upward and outward” which is a no no.

        • Hobie says:

          Sure, so did 10 other guys in the game except the opposing players reacted in time or the point of impact was lucky enough to be slightly different and there was no injury.

          I’m just saying, the entire system of judging who has done something wrong is a complete joke.

      • habs12 says:

        Backes didn’t even have the puck. Why would he need to look up like that. I like Seabrook as a player, but he propelled himself into his head. He cost them the game, and now he may cost them the series.

        I think phone means up to 5 games.

        If the NHL was serious about headshots, the playoffs is where you send the message. 5 games would take him out of the series. I’m guessing 2 cause they don’t have the ‘Joe Quennevilles” to do it.

        • Maritime Ronn says:

          The big part of the blames goes to the NHLPA.
          They have the power to change things, yet in the past they have refused preferring to protect their association brothers against big game $$$ fines.

          If the players want to change things, they can.

        • Hobie says:

          The puck hoped over his stick and he was looking down. Both Backes and Seabrook were anticipating him having the puck on his stick at that moment. In the corner, in that type of game especially, your head should be up, no question.

          It was a viscous hit for sure. Again, I’m just pointing out that trying to say what is good and what’s bad is like splitting hairs. If Backes didn’t end up getting hurt Seabrook wouldn’t get anything. It would just be chalked up as a hard hit in playoff hockey.

          • habs12 says:

            It was a free shot in Seabrook’s mind. He clearly saw that Backes didnt maintain possession as anticipated going around the boards, yet he was locked in on him like a missile.

            I view it like a crazy headshot in football from the safety diving at the receiver, even though the ball was thrown 10 ft above his head and uncatchable.

            Anyways, even if Backes had his head up, who knows how he would have been able to react. The real point is that it should not constantly be up to the players to defend themselves in vulnerable positions — there has to come a point where it is truly on the individuals committing the action.

            Also, how would people’s opinions change if that was Raffi Torres and not Seabrook?

      • frontenac1 says:

        Bit of a screwup by both Hobie. My guess is 2-3 games because Backes definetly had some toys in the attic skating off. Saludos!

  23. Mavid says:

    Yikes..Hockey on all afternoon…I better not..hehe..my first Easter with the princess..she is a bit young for chocolate but it will be fun just the same..Habby Easter Everyone…here is hoping for a big win tonight

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

    • Chrisadiens says:

      The family is already mad at me. I told them I had lots to do today so I wouldn’t be making it to my sisters. Truth is, too many good games on. Hehe

      Pops, don’t rat me out….

      Happy Easter to Mavid and family.

      Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        Understand Chris. I suspect there are some hangovers over there this morning.

      • Mavid says:

        my family is here for a brunch..so after they are gone I will be able to put some on..and then of course the big one tonight..

        Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

      • scarboro_habitant says:

        yah yah yah dont rub it in..got sucked into going to dinner. habs game better be on. my bros wife is a bruins fan, hes a canucks fan, aunt and uncle laff fans and im going to be wearing my habs jersey. should be a lot of chirping.

        • Chrisadiens says:

          Oh man that’s rough. My uncle is a Rangers fan and we rib each other good, but you must have your hands full there.

          Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

  24. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Anyone else feels that this game is a must win for us?

  25. Mondou6 says:

    Happy Easter to those who celebrate, Festive Game 3 otherwise. 🙂

    I agree with the commenters who said that bailing out Price in Game 1 was huge. Game 2 was complete domination.

    I can’t see any path whereby Tampa pulls out this series. Normally we’re at the point where the other team would start gooning us, but that isn’t Tampa’s game, and they’ve already shown they can’t run and gun with us. Plus their goaltending is godawful.

    Hoping we close it out in 4 games.

  26. toinz says:

    TSN reporters show leaving the Habs for Rapid Fire, or segment 3.

    First up, the St. Louis Chicago series. Second, the Raptors.

    It’s truly pathetic. Do producers really believe viewers across Canada would rather discuss Chicago and St. Louis before Montreal?

    They actually talked about Detroit and Boston as well! BEFORE the only Canadian team left?

    Two solitudes indeed…

    • Haberoooo13 says:

      If it had been 2-0 TB…..

      Lafleur coming out rather gingerly…

    • Hstands4Hockey says:

      I’m not upset about that in particular, I mean as a hockey fan Chicago St Louis is a great series and probably a better one than Mtl/TB. Raptors haven’t made the playoffs in a long time and are half-decent.

      What gets me going is when it’s the day the NHL playoffs start and Sportcentre spends 13 minutes talking about the Leafs signing a new president instead of talking about teams that are PLAYING FOR THE STANLEY CUP. Nazim Kadri on the frigging HNIC panel!? Give me a break. Man MLSE is pulling the strings at these media outlets.

      Hopefully Sportsnet is better next year. Rogers will likely not give AS MUCH biased coverage to one of their entertainment competitors. (i.e. Blue Jays)
      Rule #76: No Excuses, Play Like a Champion!

    • sam says:

      Chicago and St-Louis are better teams than the Habs. also, would you care if Calgary had been Canada’s only team? i’d love it if the Habs got more coverage, but that’s not what’s happening and i don’t hear much complaining from non-Habs fans about it. i think people just like hockey more than nationality.

  27. Habfan10912 says:

    Those posters quick to close out the Hawks in their series against the Blues could be in for a shock. This is a Stanley Cup team who has experience being on the brink, If memory serves me correctly they were down 3 games to 1 last season against the Wings and came back and won 3 in a row on their way to the Cup.

    They have the heart of a champion.

  28. Haberoooo13 says:

    Well everyone is taking a turn contributing to the wins so far, so my picks tonight are:
    Markov, Patch and Prust

    Lafleur coming out rather gingerly…

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