Habs will open playoff series Wednesday night in Tampa

The Canadiens will open their first-round playoff series against the Lightning on the road Wednesday night in Tampa Bay.

The Lightning clinched home-ice advantage with a 1-0 shootout win over the Washington Capitals on Sunday afternoon. With the win, the Lightning (46-27-9) finished the season with 101 points, one more than the Canadiens (46-28-8) to take second place in the Atlantic Division.

Lightning goalie Anders Lindback made 18 saves for the shutout and Matt Carle scored in the shootout to give Tampa Bay the victory. The Capitals and Alex Ovechkin will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2007. Ovechkin, who was stopped on his shootout attempt Sunday, finishes the season with a league-leading 51 goals to go along with a minus-35.

Here’s a look at the schedule for the Lightning-Canadiens series:

Game 1: Wednesday, April 16 at Tampa, 7 p.m.
Game 2: Friday, April 18 at Tampa, 7 p.m.
Game 3: Sunday, April 20 at Montreal, 7 p.m.
Game 4: Tuesday, April 22 at Montreal, 7 p.m.
Game 5 (if necessary): Thursday April 24 at Tampa, 7 p.m.
Game 6 (if necessary): Sunday, April 27 at Montreal, TBD
Game 7 (if necessary): Tuesday, April 29 at Tampa, TBD.

All the games will be televised on CBC and RDS and be on TSN Radio 690.

Captain Brian Gionta’s shootout goal in overtime Saturday night at the Bell Centre gave the Canadiens a 1-0 win over the New York Rangers in their final regular-season game. It also allowed the Canadiens to finish the season with 100 points, their highest total since finishing first in the Eastern Conference in 2007-08 with 104 points.

The Canadiens were given the day off Sunday and will practise at 11 a.m. Monday in Brossard as they prepare for the playoffs.

 “The first goal is to make the playoffs and we achieved that,” Canadiens defenceman Josh Gorges said after Saturday’s game. “That’s the first step out of the way. Now we enjoy this tonight, tomorrow, and then the real season starts.”

Added goalie Carey Price, who made 41 saves for his sixth shutout of the season: “We’re definitely proud of our season. We put a lot of effort in all season long. We stayed fairly consistent all year. And now the fun begins.”

And it will start in Tampa.

(Photo by Dario Ayala/The Gazette)

Lightning clinches home ice with shootout win, NHL.com

First-round playoff matchups set, NHL.com

NHL releases first-round playoff schedule, NHL.com

The Matchup: Montreal vs. Tampa Bay, Canadiens.com

Habs coach Therrien should be toast of the town, by Jack Todd

Gionta puts nice finishing touch on 100-point season, by The Gazette’s Dave Stubbs

Gionta’s penalty shot beats Rangers in OT, by The Gazette’s Brenda Branswell

‘We’re definitely proud of our season,’ Price says, by Brenda Branswell 

Habs ready for battle, Canadiens.com

Canadiens vs. Rangers photo gallery, montrealgazette.com

There was a time when the Habs almost folded, by The Gazette’s Stu Cowan

April 13 marks 70th anniversary of Habs’ 1944 Cup win, Stu on Sports blog

Lightning gets home ice for first round, Tampa Bay Times

Lightning coach says Malone’s arrest won’t be a distraction, montrealgazette.com

947 Comments

  1. Maritime Ronn says:

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  2. habs44 says:

    Morning all,

    Seeing as things are fairly calm here this morning…..calm before the storm I suppose! I thought maybe we could get a few opinions on the upcoming draft in relation to the habs.

    Is anyone in love with any one particular player in the vicinity of where the habs are drafting?
    Does anyone see Marc Bergevin trading up like he attempted to last year?

    I would like to see Adrian Kempe drafted. Keep in mind I haven’t seen him play more then a couple games but seems to be a similar player to De La Rose….big, aggressive, feisty two type.

  3. plum says:

    Obviously, the Habs winning the Cup would be the greatest thing. But, if they don’t win this year, i would want to see the Ducks win it.

    To watch Saku hoist the Cup would result in uncontrollable tears of happiness.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Ok, how about Ducks over Bruins in 7? Or would 4 be better?

      YES. In 4 is WAY better.

      Meantime, let’s see what the Habs can do about Boston’s ambitions.

  4. HankHardball says:

    With improved scoring, Price playing well, and TB without Lecavalier & St.Louis, I expect the Habs to win this series.

  5. habsfaninboston says:

    New thread alert.

  6. punkster says:

    As far as I’m concerned reigning Norris winner PK Subban can dance naked in front of any camera, avoid fights with any goons, and flash his expected 8 year/$64M cash any (legal) way he wants as long as he continues to put up numbers like this season:

    PK versus all other D in the league:
    5th in assists
    5th in points
    5th in shots taken
    8th in power play points
    15th in CorsiFor% relative to own team (of 193 with 41+ games played)
    17th in TOI
    T-18th goals
    1 of 18 to play in all 82 games.

    Release the Subbang!!!

    • Hobie says:

      Subban will be just fine. People need to relax! He’s a bit shaky defesively on occasion and the coaching staff are trying different ways to correct this. BIG DEAL!!!

      He’s going to be one of the top 5 defencemen in the league who will be playing for the Canadiens for the next decade. He is 24-years-old, that’s it! He has to work on his defence! He will be better next week, next month and next year!

    • Paz says:

      Punkster, you’re pushing on an open door, preaching to converted!

      Nice to hear from a fan!

    • The Jackal says:

      Yeah PK is fine. He’s struggling a bit as of late but it’s no reason to panic about his game or his future with the Habs. Like all players, he messes up sometimes and also has slumps – nothing out of the ordinary here.
      Good stats though, very interesting to see that comparison, specially in a season which is being labelled as off for PK, just shows how good he is that he is still a top D even when struggling. That’s not the performance of a player who is “unhappy” or “badly coached.”

      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  7. Hobie says:

    LOL, just amazing. A quick scan of the comments here and you’d think the Habs missed the playoffs for the 5th straight season.

    OK, so if the Habs beat Tampa and advance to the 2nd round is Michel Therrien still a terrible coach? What if they beat Boston next? Is Therrien still going to be a bum because PK Subban played 24 minutes one night and Andrei Markov played 27?

    I was feeling pretty good about the team, the coach and our chances this year. After spending five minutes on this site it looks like we’ll be swept in four games and you guys will be happy about it because it would signify that Therrien sucks?

    How about getting behind the team and the coach that picked up 100 points this year and stop being so damn negative? Such a drag here when you guys get going.

  8. HabsPooch says:

    Habs sign forward Jacob de la Rose to three year entry level contract. Looking forward to him making the team probably in two years. Hes got the size,speed, grittiness and a 200 foot game to go with it.

  9. Luke says:

    De La Rose signed.

    Look! It’s actually some news!!

    (It’s gonna be a long wait until Wednesday).

    • shiram says:

      Jacob de la Rose, a 2013 second-round pick of the Montreal Canadiens, on Monday signed a three-year, entry-level contract that will begin next season. Financial terms of the contract were not released.

      De la Rose, the 34th pick of the draft, had seven goals and 13 points in 49 games with Leksand in the Swedish Elite League this season. He also had three goals and three assists to help Sweden win the silver medal at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.

      from nhl.com

  10. Black Horse says:

    Dunboyne Mike

    I did not mean anyting by dose comments.

    I be’s a Newfie & I ave to laff me self all da time!

    ” and the fun begins” – Carey Price

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      I totally hear you! And if you’re a Newfie we’re probably cousins!

      In that discussion I pointed out that I “do” accents, all kinds, and that I feel nothing but love for the sound of deuxieme-langue English. But I was persuaded that in print, on a website, there is the strong potential for unintended, unnecessary offense. Anyway, looks like no one noticed! Last week’s pot-boiler = this week’s No Biggie!

      Are you still in Nfld?

  11. Timo says:

    Too bad Barry Trotz doesn’t speak the right language.

  12. Habcouver says:

    TB sells out many of their games at the Times Forum. I hope Hab fans make a great showing down south.

    We Are (Not) All Canucks.
    Proudly Canadian but passionately Canadien!

  13. HankHardball says:

    Mr. NegaTony promises, whatever the outcome, he’ll look for the dark side.

  14. jmac21 says:

    Well Mikey’s great coaching has got him FLA home ice just like he planned. And in other shocking news the HABS have a day off, and will play baseball at practice Monday

  15. With TB’s top shutdown line focused on the DD line, and with Gionta, Plekanec and Eller likely tasked with shutting down the Stamkos line, there’s room for guys like Briere, Gallagher and Bourque to get some offence going. I’d look for them to have a great first round.

    Likewise, look out for TB’s secondary scorers — a guy like Ryan Malone can really shine in the playoffs, especially if he’s being covered by Briere…


    Devils coach Jacques Lemaire on the Daneyko-Kaminski feud – “Daneyko got mad when Kaminski said he was going to knock his teeth out. Dano has only two teeth left, so you can’t say that to Dano.”

  16. Maritime Ronn says:

    Carey Price has been absolutely wonderful this year!

    He has had the best stat year of his career with a .927 SP (tied for NHL 3rd best) and 2.32 GAA.
    His performance this year now has him as positioned as a Top 5 NHL ‘Regular Season’ goalie.
    An Olympic Gold Medal only adds to his great year.

    While he may, or may not win the GM voted Vezina Trophy – or may not even be part of the 3 ‘potential finalists’ (Rask-Varlamov-Bishop), he will be in the Hart Trophy conversation, which is even more noteworthy.

    At the end of the day, it ALL comes down to playoff performance…and it’s NOW time for Carey to step to the plate.

    In all honesty, and if one is honest – and all the past excuses of a poor team/poor D whatever are parked…, the bottom line ‘playoff performance’ past facts shows that Carey has performed somewhere between average to very poorly in the playoffs.

    Career: 9W-17L – .905 SP – 2.90 GAA in 30 game appearances, and he was not part of the fun 2010 Conference Final run.

    His best playoff was a 7 game OT loss in 2011, yet that year the Habs lost 3 of the last 4 games in OT.
    Price’s career playoff OT since 07-08 is 1-4.
    Carey has only won 1 NHL playoff series, and that was in his rookie year of 2008.

    Of course that’s the past – and with the GMMB hiring of Stephane Waite (2 Stanley Cups with 2 different goalies) it’s now in Carey’s hands.

    Here are the stats of the last 3 winning Stanley Cup goalies:

    12-13: Crawford. .932 SP 1.84 GAA. OT: 5-2
    11-12: Quick……. .946 SP 1.41 GAA. OT: 4-0
    10-11: Thomas…..940 SP 1.98 GAA. OT: 4-1

    Does Carey have that in him?

    • Black Horse says:

      What if Carey plays limits Tampa to two goals a game but Montreal can’t score?

      ” and the fun begins” – Carey Price

    • jimmy shaker says:

      The easy answer is yes. Forget about his play for a while, which has been solid, steady and playoff ready. The most telling aspect of Price this year for me has been his stoic performance in the Olympics with a nagging injury, the mental fortitude he built up in that tourney, which I really saw come to the forefront during the last road trip in florida. His interviews after both those games were all I needed to see that this guy is ready for his next step as a pro tender in the hockey magnet Montreal. His mental aspect is right in balance with his physical skill set and this ride that begins on Wednesday night is going to be epic for all of us to see.

      Shaker out!

    • Habcouver says:

      Carey’s game has definitely improved in all aspects this year, and I would expect no less than an outstanding playoff performance from an older, more mature player.

      In all fairness, the past years’ teams in front of him were not worthy of going far in the post season.

      Yes, it’s now in Carey’s hands; however MB, MT and SW must remain committed to optimizing Pricey’s success and value to the team.

      We Are (Not) All Canucks.
      Proudly Canadian but passionately Canadien!

  17. Tomi says:

    Is Barry Trotz still the coach of the Predators? Wait, what??


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