It ain’t over yet, fat lady.
Yes, it’s true – we’ve lost the first two games.
And yes, we’ve yet to score a goal in the Eastern Conference Finals.
We’re in a hole and many are saying it’s a mighty big hole.
In so deep that there’s no way out.
We lost 2 games.
Whoopty frickin’ doo.
The hole is just as deep if we’d lost both games 3-2 in triple overtime.
Right now, I don’t give a crap about momentum or magic or mojo.
The Flyers, to their credit, won the first two games.
But that’s what they’re supposed to do.
The series is heading to the Bell Centre and now, it’s our turn.
Game 2 was definitely an improvement over Game 1.
But, again, we had trouble moving the puck, we had trouble making trouble in front of their net and we had trouble displacing the physical Flyers from in front of Halak, who had an up and down night.
But that doesn’t mean we’re in trouble.
Mike Leighton played lights out, again.
Did the Habs have a ton of great scoring chances?
Plain and simple – no.
Some say the journeyman didn’t have much work but anytime a netminder shuts you out in back-to-back games, he deserves some solid praise.
Enjoy those two blank score sheets Mike.
‘Cause Game 3 is gonna be a whole different story.
The Habs have been in this situation before.
We were down to the Caps, we were down to the Pens.
We needed a point in the last game of the regular season.
In all three cases we did what we needed to do.
It wasn’t always pretty, but the team buckled down and got the job done.
We lost in a shootout to the Leafs in Game 82, but got the point.
We went down 3-1 to the Caps and got out-shot but stole the series.
We went down 3-2 to the Pens and got out-chanced but again rallied as a team.
And we can still do that.
This series is far from over.
But some adjustments need to be made.
So Jacques, hear me out, will ya?
The notorious MAB needs to take a breather. His offense has disappeared and his defensive game never really existed. He isn’t getting any good looks on the powerplay, mainly because he can’t hold the zone. Bergeron is supposed to help make the first pass out of our zone, which he’s doing, but usually to the wrong team.
MAB tends to bounce back well after being benched and might just need a game off to get his head straight.
Speaking of defensemen, Ryan O’Byrne should be playing. He won’t help with our offensive woes but he’s big and right now that will help in front of our net. He can push people aside that guys like MAB and Josh Gorges can’t.
PK – Spacek
Hamrlik – O’Byrne
Gorges – Gill
The Hamrlik/O’Byrne pairing has played together and played together well before. Along with the Gorges/Gill pairing they will provide good shutdown D. I want to see Spacek away from his countryman because he’s been forced to play on the wrong side all year.
Paired with PK we actually get two guys that are responsible defensemen but also have offensive upside. PK, even though he’s struggled at times against the Flyers has also looked magical at times. He had a few rushes in Game 2 that were pretty special and he looked to be playing with more fire than almost any other Hab.
Since it’ll be easier for us to make changes at home, you roll these two with one of the top two lines so that we can have 5 guys on the ice at a time that are all thinking offense – which is a mindset that we desperately need right now.
Don’t play Tom Pyatt on the top line with Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta. I know you’ve got a man-crush on the kid and that you’re trying to create some time and space for the other two, but it just won’t work. Pyatt is a defensive phenom right now but doesn’t even register as a viable offensive threat. By playing him for 10 minutes with Gio and Gomer you just waste 10 minutes. Instead of creating something you’re just weighing down two of your top six forwards. Maybe Moen wasn’t working out anymore, but Pyatt isn’t the answer.
If you need a guy brings physical play to that line, then play Dominic Moore up there. He’s fast, strong on the puck, and has been elevating the play of his linemates. He’s dabbled on top lines before and I’m surprised he hasn’t had more of an opportunity to do so with the Habs.
Look, we really can still win this series.
Michael Leighton has played well. But he’s not Martin Brodeur or Ryan Millar. There’s a reason he’s been put on waivers 23 million times.
This series can turn around with one goal.
No question, Halak gets the start. He’s brought us this far and deserves better than a benching after the boys have laid two goose eggs. He hasn’t looked great so far this series, but without any offense it doesn’t matter if it’s him, Carey Price, or me in net. Halak has always been more comfortable at the Bell Centre than on the road and I’m looking forward to him bouncing back for Game 3.
I’m looking forward to the whole team bouncing back for Game 3.
We stick it to the Flyers in Game 3 and everything changes.
By Saturday night, I’m fully expecting this series to be tied.
This team didn’t quit during the first 2 rounds and there’s no reason to think they will now.