Playoff Barometer

Ah, Montreal in the springtime. The Habs win 6 in a row, the sun comes out and everyone is suddenly smiling wider than the Cheshire cat in 3D. The weather turns frigid – as does the Habs powerplay – and we whine like there’s no day after tomorrow.

A solitary W in our past 5 games along with cold winds and (feels like) -20C weather and half of us would be lining up to jump off the Jacques Cartier, that is, if it wasn’t so cold out.


Well, Canadiens fans, and fans of happiness in general, as March is (fittingly) being ushered out with 4 days of cold, cleansing rain, April will be a-knockin’ come Thursday and bringing with it highs of 17C, 18C, and 23C.

Who needs Vitamin D supplements when we can get the real thing?

By the weekend, Montrealers will be close to rapture from simply soaking in the sunshine and most, if not all, will be pushed over-the-top if the Habs can string together a couple of wins.

One of the best/worst things about this seasonal exuberance is the number of, literally, boisterous fair-weather fans that come out to support the Habs. Back in those dark days of January, with our 4-9 record and dropping mercury levels, optimistic Habs’ fans were an endangered few.

Tank! Was a, if not the, common theme on the message boards.
You don’t hear that so much now.

What you do hear now, however, are questions from Habs’ fans who are just remembering that they’re Habs’ fans.


Who’s this Darche guy?

Oh yeah! How’s Latendresse doing after that trade? Is the guy we got in return any good?

Why is Cammalleri looking so rusty?

What’s the new GM’s name?

Have we had many injuries this year?

Dominic Moore?

Can Halak do it?


As obsessed fans, we’ve lived the up and down answer to all of these questions. We’ve cringed at every injury, analyzed every facet of Pouliot vs Latendresse, cheered on a hometown Mathieu Darche, questioned Pierre Gautier’s anointment, welcomed a surprisingly productive Dominic Moore, and watched Jaroslav Halak as he’s continued to develop his game and gain confidence as a bona fide starter.


As someone who was watching the standings closely way back in October, I tend to answer these questions with a bit of a you-should-know-this-if-you’re-a-real-fan attitude, but really, these are great questions to be answering right now.

This is the time of year when all of Montreal comes out of it’s winter slumber and is unified by cheering on this city’s great tradition of springtime hockey.


With 6 games left to play in the regular season, and the playoffs in sight, everyone is talking Habs.

The excitement around the Canadiens, Montreal’s team – our team – will build with every win and every sunny day. This is by far the best time in the year to be a Habs fan.


23C and sunny on April 3rd?

Hey – anything can happen.


Go Habs Go!


  1. Habitant in Surrey says:


    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

  2. JF says:

    Anything except beating the New Jersey Devils in a playoff series.

  3. Chris Aung-Thwin says:

    C’mon JF! Anything! The Devils have pretty much owned us for about 15 years, but a couple of our guys get hot and maybe Brodeur will start showing his age…

    i hate talking about who’d we best match up with in a first round series, but I’d probably rather face Buffalo than New Jersey. Miller? Brodeur? Pick your poisin there, but I think we match up better against the Sabres when it’s all said and done.

  4. JF says:

    I know people say Brodeur “shows his age” in the playoffs, but I doubt it will happen this year.  He had pretty nearly two weeks’s rest at the Olympic break.  I’d take any matchup over Jersey.  They play a stifling brand of hockey, keeping us to the outside while pouncing on our mistakes.  Brodeur is a big part of it, but they did the same thing to us last year with Clemmenson in goal.  From the point of view of talent, we probably match up best with Buffalo, but there is Ryan Miller to contend with, also Lindy Ruff, perhaps the best coach in the league.  Washington and Pittsburgh don’t have quite such stellar goaltending, but they’re loaded with offensive talent, so, as you say, pick your poison.  To beat any of those teams in a seven-game series, we’ll have to raise our game several levels.

  5. Chris Aung-Thwin says:

    Geez, when you analyze it, JF, I don’t like our chances 😛


    You’re right – Brodeur did get some rest and NJ plays a real tough system to beat. Adding Kovalchuck for the post-season was Lou Lam being, as usual, a great GM.


    Buffalo is one of the best coached teams in the NHL (along with Nashville) and Ryan Miller scares me. Seems like Pittsburgh has been kinda coasting along so far and it might take the playoffs for the defending champs to really wake up. Washington is dominant all around, but maybe – just maybe – we might see a Sharks-like playoff meltdown.


    Those are four strong teams. Can we beat ’em? Yes. In a 7-game series? I guess we’ll find out.


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