One more sleep

BuckFoston

The Canadiens practice this morning, then board an early-afternoon flight to Boston.

The waiting is almost over.

And as a souvenir of the series, Paul Lacombe has designed a playoff jersey (available to HIO readers at the low, low playoff price of $39.95; cheques only, payable to P.V. Hickey) .

Gomez reflects on tough season

• Stubbs forecasts goaltending battle

Boone bashes Cherry

Arpon Basu’s take on the series

• Roy MacGregor on the battle behind the bench

• Andrew Berkshire on Price vs. Thomas

Bruins look for playoff redemption

Match-up made in hockey heaven

Oilers will draft first

Teams start spring cleaning

Today’s pump-up videos:

A nice one in HD from somersetVII:

From aceshighs4us:

And from Habs560:

79 Comments

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  3. t1tan5 says:

    You know you have playoff fever when you have already seen every one of the posted videos before they were posted…twice.

  4. Timo says:

    Hardly a “blasting” of Cherry, but gotta start somewhere. And what, no mention of the rest of the NHIC intelligencia?

  5. Bash says:

    Best spot for beer, habsfans and HIO posters in Montreal on Saturday night???

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

  6. joshua94k says:

    Here is Scott Gomez’s play-off career stats which shows he has been a career play-off performer. His performance last season in the play-offs was on par with his play during his both Stanley Cup wins.
    GP G A PTS +-
    133 29 66 95 9

    “It’s too much for one guy to shoulder. For us, we’re going to do it as a group. It’s about sharing that responsibility win or lose.” – Mike Cammalleri

  7. Chuck says:

    4:04am?!!!

    Boone, the question begs: were you up that early, or up that late?

    :)

  8. CanadienFanTrappedinNiagaraFallsNY says:

    Not sure exactly how Boone meant it, but as an American, I assure you that Céline Dion is far more popular than Don Cherry could ever imagine outside of Canada. And with the amount of immigrants in Canada, I would bet she is more popular there too. No one gives a shit about hockey or its pundits. I don’t even mention it to people outside of Western New York unless I already know someone is a fan because almost no one knows about it or cares to discuss it.

    This isn’t a nitpick at Boone, just a reminder that outside Canada and some border states, Don Cherry is just a pathetic, babbling, color-blind old man, and we should take comfort in that. He is no Bieber.

  9. SmartDog says:

    Have not signed in here since the site change. The link is at the bottom, the comments have lost the priority they had on the old site.
    But that Gomez article makes me want to puke and I had to get it out. Gomez’s “nothing was wrong this year” stance makes me sick. I’ll tell you what was wrong, you spent the whole damn year saying “nothing’s wrong, it’ll fix itself”. Really good hockey players don’t need to know “what’s wrong”, they just look at their numbers and try harder, practice harder, put in more effort and energy to be a better player. They don’t joke around about it, and spend a lot of time yukking it up. How many times have we heard his sincere “we’re veterans and we have to step it up”. Yeah, Scott, apparently in number of years you are a veteran. But on this team you play like a rookie who needs to go back to Hamilton until he learns what you need to do to stick in the NHL. The only thing veteran about you is your declining production. You’re a veteran joke.

    Gomez stinks more than even I coulda imagined. I for one expect little difference in the playoffs.

    • CanadienFanTrappedinNiagaraFallsNY says:

      Not a defender of his play, but I didn’t see anywhere in this article him saying nothing is or was wrong

      • SmartDog says:

        He keeps saying “I don’t have in injury, at least I’d have an excuse”. He’s not saying nothing is wrong with the results. He’s saying he can’t pinpoint anything hes DOING wrong. It’s not what he’s doing WRONG (though you need to not count bad passes and slack play), it’s what he’s not doing, which is REALLY working his tail off to up his game. The guy’s pathetic because he keeps talking about his crappy play but acts like it’s this giant mystery. Half of HIO could show him what he needs to do, he just doesn’t want to pay the price. That’s what the journalist should say “Scott – why not go at the net like you used to? Are you training harder to try to get out of this? What else have you done?” Action talks, bullshit walks. Or at least I hope.

        • punkster says:

          Correction: 100% of HI/O can tell him what he needs to do. Of course this is why 100% of HI/O posters are commenting on a blog and not playing in the show.

          ***Subbang Baby!!!***

          • SmartDog says:

            Still haven’t found more to do with your time eh?
            So tell me, do you believe that Scott’s really TRIED as much as another high level pro in the NHL would have?

          • punkster says:

            Rob, we’re blogging not playing. Our views here are simply personal opinions, very few of which are based on any sort of practical experience at the level he has attained over the course of his career. In that regard, in the fact that he is a pro and a good player throughout his career, I give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he works it out, maybe he doesn’t. At his age and experience I doubt he’s finished but in the same breath at his age and experience he should be better. Therefore the benefit of the doubt.

            ***Subbang Baby!!!***

          • SmartDog says:

            See my reply just below (posted in the wrong place). So far, not a fan of this interface. The price of progress I guess, but I think I’ll be one of those who pretty much just comes to read the articles.

        • CanadienFanTrappedinNiagaraFallsNY says:

          well i agree with your general sentiment, if we follow your conclusions, we are left to assume that gomez truly doesnt care and is okay with sucking and being denigrated due to poor play. i find this completely unbelievable. If he knew how to solve the issues or had the ability, surely he would. this is not an excuse for him, just an explanation. if he does nothing in the playoffs, hell, trade him. he has sucked. but your bordering on saying he sucks on purpose. i cant buy that.

    • RGM says:

      I’m not sure exactly what article you were reading…

      “Waking up in the morning and looking at the stats, I knew it was a tough year,” said Gomez. “But I’d go out and people would ask me about the season and they’d talk about something that was said or written. I knew it was pretty bad but I didn’t think it was that bad.”

      I think that the emphasis is on *that* – he knew he was struggling but just didn’t realize the full extent compared to his previous years. I don’t think that your analysis is even close to the mark.
      Carey Price is All Hart! http://on.fb.me/CP31Hart
      Go Habs Go!

      • SmartDog says:

        You make it sound like every opinion is worthless. Except your of course.
        Ridiculous. Please skip my posts Dave. I doubt I’ll be on here much anyway, but if you don’t like the way I think why bother replying so often?

        • punkster says:

          Um…well at first I thought maybe I had written something offensive or that I denigrated your opinion in some way. Then I re-read my comments and realized I did no such thing. I actually took a position of middle ground by referencing his age and experience as two factors that lead me to give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe it was my inference that since you, me and every other poster on this site do not and have never played at that level we’re quick, but not necessarily correct, with our opinions and views. Whatever the reason I seemed to have touched a nerve.

          Rob there is nobody on this site whose opinions I may believe are beneath mine…even the most atrocious troll or tool out there has a right to their opinions. What you observe, how you interpret things, your beliefs and opinions, they have no impact on me other than to encourage me to respond or debate if I disagree.

          As for your suggestion of not responding to your posts if I disagree, forget it. You don’t get off that easy. I’ve disagreed with some of your views., particularly about JM and Gomez, for well over a year and I’ll continue to attempt to engage you in discussion or present my views if and when I see things differently.

          ***Subbang Baby!!!***

      • SmartDog says:

        Sorry RGM, I was trying to reply to Punkster. Not used to this interface.

    • bwoar says:

      The place was better without you puking in it.

    • NoTinFoilCups says:

      I miss your old avatar. A lot of people are just not recognizable anymore.

  10. 24 Cups says:

    Why is it that these ads keep popping up on our site as individual posts in the comment sections?

    Is there no way to stop this?

    It’s been going on for a few weeks now.

    It’s kind of like seeing graffitti constantly reappearing on a wall.

  11. NoTinFoilCups says:

    If this was a UFC series sure we’d be out in four straight. But fighting all but disappears in the playoffs and if the B’s want to goon it up we’ll burn them on the PP. We have a team made for playoff hockey that uses speed and two-way play. We’re going to win this series in 5 or 6.

    Sweet revenge is coming. Enjoy the ride folks!

  12. 24 Cups says:

    It will be interesting to see what impact the outcome of this series will have on the two managment teams for Montreal and Boston.

    Jacques Martin and Pierre Gauthier are both firmly entrenched in their positions for the forseeable future. They are joined at the hip as they have each other’s backs covered. Gauthier supported the 2nd (UFA) rebuild that Gainey implemented and also approved of the appointment of Martin as the man to help bring it all back home. Even if the Habs go out in four straight, it will have no impact on the job security of Gauthier and Martin. They are both here for at least the next two years.

    In contrast, job security could be a huge issue if the Bruins lose this series. This is Claude Julien’s fourth year behind the bench and a first round loss to the Habs would almost certainly mean he walks the plank. He might get a mulligan on 2008 when he lost to a favoured Hab team is 7 games, but the stink from 2nd round exits at the hands of Carolina and Philadephia still linger. He may well have to get to the conference final in order to keep his job.

    This is Peter Chiarelli’s fifth year at the helm and he’s all in when it comes to the pursuit of the Holy Grail. You’re certainly not thinking about next year when you trade two 1st and 2nd round picks at the deadline. Not to mention two guys in their mid-20’s. His core veterans are close to being greybeards. He also needs to tap into his line of credit when it comes to the league cap. Maybe the greatest indicator that Chiarelli knows his job is on the line is the Kaberle trade. Is it a desperate move by a desperate man, or a brilliant (but expensive) final piece of the puzzle?

    The forgotten man in this playoff series has to be Marc Savard. I can’t remember the last time his name was mentioned on this website. Boston’s PP is a major weakspot (hence the Kaberle trade) and one of the main reasons for that is the absence of Savard. All teams have some major injuries (Hillier, Bolland, Roy, Kopitar, Callahan, Montreal & Pittsburgh), but this one could ultimately curtail Boston’s hopes of a Cup in 2011. Of greater concern, is what impact it might have on Savard’s long term quality of life. The rumours about Savard’s slow recovery are depressing, regardless of whether or not you are a Hab or Bruin fan.

    • Mark C says:

      A lot of pressure and Chiarelli and Julien, another early and/or embarrassing exit and Cam might have to roll heads in Boston.

    • ClaytonM says:

      Getting Julien bounced from his job would be the icing on the cake. I still hold him responsible for gooning it up over the years he’s been in Boston, and I’d like to know what really happened in the Devils’ room to prompt Lamoriello to fire him before the playoffs.

      Ken Dryden For NHL Commissioner

    • mrhabby says:

      steve..thats a sobering piece on the 2 g’s but agree 100%. The scarey point for me is the team will be basically the same going into next season. we will have the same old issues…lack of size down the middle with a little more speed on the back end with Jorges and Markov returning.

  13. naweed235 says:

    lol all you people complaining about the wait … I have a God Damn FINAL at 7 PM tomorrow… Cant believe this BS…

  14. caper_5 says:

    Why are we being punished…having to watch the game on CBC I mean! Well at least there will be another game to watch while Boston Corner is on. And please no Bob Cole!!!

  15. Old Bald Bird says:

    Lots of dups below from people not seeing their comments appear. Does this site sleep in late in the mornings? I have noticed before that early comments take awhile to show up.

  16. observer says:

    Mike Richards has a radio show right now on TSN.ca – 2 jobs at one time – wow!

    • subbbbbang says:

      You do realize that there is more than one Mike Richards in this world…. one who is preparing for a first round playoff matchup and makes 6 million a year, the other who hosts a morning show on TSN radio and still lives in his moms basement.

  17. HalifaxHabs says:

    The waiting is killing me… hurry up tomorrow night.

    ps: Don Cherry is a d-bag

  18. Blouin says:

    Are there many Habs fans in the Boston area? I live right outside the city and would like to set up a meetup while the team’s in town. Any takers? Shoot me an email at unpluckedgems@gmail.com if anyone is intersted.

    AND GO HABS GO!

    p.s. GREAT jersey Boone. Does that come in a Chuck Fara as well?

    ——————-

    sports.unpluckedgems.com – your other source; we always keep it current.

  19. Old Bald Bird says:

    Nothing in the Godin link.

  20. Clay says:

    Comments disabled?

    __________________________
    The only interesting answers are those which destroy the questions. ~Susan Sontag

  21. Old Bald Bird says:

    A fine article Booner. I don’t know what the CBC is thinking. Actually, I don’t think they are. Who is running the network anyway?

    Percy. He could sure chalk up a map, eh?

  22. Curtis O Habs says:

    One more sleep? I doubt I will get any sleep tonight.

  23. CanadienBoy says:

    Oiler first pick again ?

  24. bel33 says:

    One more day… breathe… breathe… it’ll be here soon. :)

  25. JF says:

    Arpon Basu’s piece is a refreshing and encouraging read after listening to the so-called experts almost to a man predict a Bruins victory, even a Bruins sweep based largely on Games 4 and 6 of the season series. The dominant opinion seems to be that the Canadians are thoroughly intimidated and will scurry off the ice with their tails between their legs. Slightly less recent history doesn’t count for much with the experts. But Basu gives a lot of importance to the teams’ respective performances last spring and argues, based on this, that the Canadiens have a very important, perhaps determining mental edge. They know how to win. They know how to beat a big, physical team (Basu points out that the Capitals’ forwards are, as a group, bigger than the Bruins’). They know how to come from behind. The Bruins? Not so much.

    I have to agree with Basu that the Habs have a mental edge and that their poise could be a determining factor if the Bruins get behind or even if the series is dead even most of the way through. I also think people make too much of the 7-0 beatdown in the last game. It’s clear the Habs weren’t ready to play, partly no doubt because they hadn’t recovered mentally from the Pacioretty hit, but partly also because they had players returning to the lineup (Plekanec, Darche, Halpern) who weren’t ready. It was one game, and I’m sure the team can shrug it off like any other bad game, of which all teams have a few. So I’m a little mystified that the Bruins are seen by just about everyone to be so superior.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Jane – I think the Bruins will key in on three specific Habs: Cammalleri, Subban and Price.

      If they can nullify Cammy, then a weak scoring team is really behind the eight ball.

      Subban is the most dangerous player we have. I’m sure they will be playing head games with him throughout the series. Is he mature enough to deal with what is about to come his way?

      Price isn’t going to give up many shots that he can square up for and see. The Bruins’ PP isn’t anything special but their 5 on 5 play is a major strength. I look for them to be taking liberties with Price every chance they get. This might be where the refs come into play but I seriously doubt they will do anything. The only Dmen we have who can clear the front of the net are Subban and Mara. This could be the one problem that tips the series toward Boston.

      • JF says:

        Steve – You could well be right. I’m not predicting we’re going to win the series. I just don’t think it’s as stacked in Boston’s favour as most of the so-called experts seem to think. The mental advantage talked about by Arpon Basu could be very important, even determining. If the Bruins get behind, they might panic, whereas I don’t think the Habs would.

      • G-Man says:

        Boston is going to have a hard time not believing their own hype. I look for a surprise scorer for the Habs to emerge, like a Pouliot or AK that will tip the balance.

    • hansolo says:

      While I agree with Arpon the Habs are not outclassed from the get-go, and do have a good chance in the series, they haven’t shown any ability to come from behind this year. What’s their record this season when trailing after 2 periods? Pretty brutal. Perhaps the playoffs will be different, and for all of our sakes, I hope so.

  26. RGM says:

    Ha! Love the jersey! Can’t wait to get this series started! It seems that many media types can’t pick Boston fast enough, but I’m looking forward to the Habs proving them wrong and doing to Boston what they do best!

    Carey Price is All Hart! http://on.fb.me/CP31Hart
    Go Habs Go!

  27. The Cat says:

    All the talk about Price and Thomas, Lundqvist deserves some props, more so I say. Rinne also toiling in anonymity in Nashville. Until Price duplicates what Halak did in the playoffs (big games), Halak is the better goalie. I dont buy that shorthanded graph, with Gill, we may say theres 1 and a half goalies on the ice. Look at Brodeur in New Jersey and how well he did when his team didnt show an anal commitment to defense? Likewise in games where the habs didnt show an anal commitment to defense, Price hasnt exactly stolen a game.

    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      Perhaps, but I don’t think I’d be willing to say that Halak is the better goalie based mostly on the one series from 12 months ago — Washington. I really credit the team as much or more than Jaro against the Pens. Not saying he wasn’t really good there, but IMO it was the Washington series where he really shone.

    • avatar_58 says:

      What? Price HASN’T stolen a game where they aren’t defensive? Are we watching the same team? Without Price this team isn’t in the playoff hunt. Maybe even in top 5 draft territory.

      I suppose by that arguement Niemi is a better goalie than both of them, given he went all the way? Or Boucher/Leighton? They stole games and went to the final round.

      Just because you win in the playoffs doesn’t make you one of the best.

    • HalifaxHabs says:

      “…Price hasnt exactly stolen a game.”

      that statement kills all your credibility, and makes you look real biased in your Price Halak compairison.

      Price stole several games for the Habs this year where the defense hung him out to dry.

    • Jordio-oh says:

      Is your memory so short that you already forget the Blackhawks game?

      A goalie goes 42 for 43, including 20 saves in the 3rd when his team is tied 1-1 and that’s not stealing a game?

      How about when he goes 37 for 39, and his team is out-shot 14-4 and 13-5 in the final two periods and the only goals he surrenders are pp goals? Oh and thats against the best team in the league.

      I could keep going as there are at least 3 more examples.

      Get your head out of the litter box Cat. Smell the fresh air and let things clear up a bit for you.

  28. rocketsglare says:

    Hey Andrew, your analysis of the two goaltenders was genius. It only
    reinforced my belief that Price is the better of the two and possibly of
    the rest of the playoff group. Thanks for your insight.

  29. rocketsglare says:

    Hey Andrew, your analysis of the two goaltenders was genius. It only
    reinforced my belief that Price is the better of the two and probably of
    the playoff group. Thanks for sharing your insight.

  30. rocketsglare says:

    Hey Andrew, your analysis of the two goaltenders was genius. Only reinforced my belief that Price is the better of the two and probably
    of the playoff group. Thanks for your insight.

  31. Clay says:

    I’m glad we got the B’s in the first round. If we are going to win anything, this is the team we need to prove ourselves against. Nothing pleases me more than taking out the Bruins in the playoffs.
    I’m also stoked to watch the game on my new LCD projector! Huge screen for a huge game!

    __________________________
    The only interesting answers are those which destroy the questions. ~Susan Sontag

  32. caper_5 says:

    Good answer, forgot about RDS!


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