Rangers, Habs meet in playoffs for first time since 1996

The Canadiens and New York Rangers will square off in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final Saturday afternoon at the Bell Centre (1 p.m., CBC, NBC, RDS, TSN Radio 690).

The Canadiens practised Friday morning in Brossard and Alex Galchenyuk, who has been sidelined since suffering a lower-body injury on April 9 in Chicago, skated on a fifth line rotating with Ryan White, Travis Moen and George Parros. Galchenyuk has been given the OK for full contact.

The first four lines remained the same as they were for Game 7 against the Boston Bruins.

The Rangers practised in New York Friday morning before flying to Montreal.

“We both played in do-or-die Game 7 situations last round, and both of our teams were desperate,” the Canadiens’ Dale Weise told reporters in Brossard after practice. “For them, it was about winning three games in a row. For us, it was about winning two. I think that level of compete is going to be there because it’s the conference finals. I don’t think anything is going to drop off. Our building is going to be rocking on Saturday afternoon. It’s going to be nuts. We’re looking forward to it.”

This marks the first time the the Canadiens and Rangers have met in the playoffs since 1996, when New York eliminated Montreal in six games in the first round. Overall, the teams have met 14 times in the postseason with each team winning seven times.

The Rangers’ Brad Richards is looking forward to playing at the Bell Centre.

“I’m not going to lie, it’s the best place to play,” Richards told reporters in New York on Thursday. “I’ve been fortunate enough to see Super Bowls, I was at Yankees-Red Sox at old Yankee Stadium Game 7, World Series, I’ve played in the Stanley Cup finals.

“I can’t imagine any other sporting event that is this amazing of an atmosphere. It’s very special.”

The Canadiens will be facing a former Montreal coach for the second straight series after knocking off Claude Julien’s Boston Bruins. Alain Vigneault, who started his NHL coaching career with the Canadiens in 1997, is now behind the Rangers bench.

On Sunday, the Rangers players will attend the funeral for Martin St. Louis’s mother in Montreal. France St. Louis died last week of a heart attack at age 63.

Here’s how the Canadiens lines and defence pairings looked at Friday’s practice:

Vanek–Plekanec–Bournival
Gionta–Eller–Bourque
Weise–Briere–Prust
Gallagher–Desharnais–Pacioretty
Moen–White–Parros–Galchenyuk

Markov–Emelin
Gorges–Subban
Murray–Bouillon
Beaulieu–Weaver
Tinordi

(Photo by Dario Ayala/The Gazette)

Eastern final will feature good goaltending, familiar faces, by The Gazette’s Pat Hickey

Habs put Bruins, Lucic in rear-view mirror, by The Gazette’s Dave Stubbs

Lucic’s antics an insult to ‘Boston Strong,’ by Jack Todd for The Gazette

No respect for Lucic’s antics, Boston Herald

Subban feels the love after Bruins series, montrealgazette.com

Eller reassured his Dad after Game 5 loss, montrealgazette.com

Lots to talk about after Habs upset Bruins, montrealgazette.com

Rangers pumped up for matchup with Habs, montrealgazette.com

Rangers, Canadiens battle in Original Six series, NHL.com

Insider trading, canadiens.com

The matchup: Montreal vs. New York, canadiens.com

Rangers will attend funeral for St. Louis’s mother, NHL.com

Winning isn’t everything as death of mother shows, New York Daily News

Bleu-Blanc-Rouge vs. Red-White-Blue, Canadiens.com

Lundqvist will revisit weak spot in Montreal, New York Times

Subban is a ‘sniper’ that will bother Rangers, New York Post

Five reasons why Canadiens beat Bruins, NHL.com

Five reasons why Bruins lost to Canadiens, NHL.com

Bruins need to adjust to Candiens’ style, Boston Globe

742 Comments

  1. johnnylarue says:

    I’m currently making a bed of muesli and yogurt in my belly in preparation for the two pounds of victory bacon I have planned for after the game.

    Wishing you all a fine, fine Game 1!

  2. frontenac1 says:

    Hola Amigos! The flies and vermin are feasting on the Bruin carcass. It is now time for The Wolverine to turn his steely gaze to the Wolves of Wall Street. His legendary decendance from both Wolf and Bear and link to the Spirit World will prevail.He will be feasting on these Wolves within 6 games. Saludos!

  3. on2ndthought says:

    Pumped up and raring!
    A little worried about how many are assuming the NYR will be pushed aside. This is a very good team, obviously resilient, much like us. I hope our advantage is depth in and out of the line-up. MT has not been afraid to change personnel if the series seems to dictate it.

    I think we owe our professional scouting thanks for that series win. Speed and toughness required? Check! Dale Weiss.
    Steady D? Dream Weaver. (Vanek kinda obvious and kudos to MB) Imagine the Bruins decide to replace Seidenburg by offering a little more for Weaver; that series would have played out differently.

    Now we get to face the piece for Weisse: Diaz. He had so many detractors here. I hope you look at him with new eyes this series. I hope our forecheck can get in on him, but he is slick and smart. (for the record: I’d take Weaver over Diaz every time. Weaver is probably the ceiling for Diaz’s talent)

    “a cannonading drive”

  4. Mattyleg says:

    Morning Haberoos!

    The good news is that Mattyleg will be in attendance for the match today!
    The great news is that he resisted the urge to wear his signed Gomez jersey!
    The amazing news is that we’re playing the stupid Rangers!!

    GO HABS GO!!!!

    PUUUUUUMPED!!!

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  5. Stanley Cup or Bust ! says:

    So who’s the villian now ?
    lunkqvist, knoshing nash, or perhaps mcdonut.
    kreider out loud, hope we don’t staal.

    Go HABS GO!!!

  6. Habshire says:

    Milos currently in 1st set tiebreaker against Djokovic on sportsnet

  7. Puck Bard says:

    Having surfed Twitter this AM, could we establish a few ground rules?

    1. Please stop talking about a parade.

    2. Please refrain from referring to PK as “Prime Time”

  8. chanchilla says:

    does anyone happen to know how tim bozon is faring?

    • HabFab says:

      Tweeting a lot, says he is recovering well. Still looks like he is 30 pounds thinner. Believe he mentioned he was starting light workouts.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Thanks for the update Frank, who knows what his hockey future is, but it is good to hear he is recovering well.

        Thanks for asking chancilla!

        GO HABS GO!

  9. boing007 says:

    Lucic is overrated. He overrates himself.

    Richard R

  10. Lafleurguy says:

    @William B:
    There’s some johnnylarue character whose an imposter of you.

  11. HabFab says:

    HIO Technie needed on aisle 2:59 AM as we have two posts merged together… don’t need any system problems this afternoon.

    PS: not that I blame Jim for trying to get a better look ;)

  12. ont fan says:

    Habs let down after Boston series? Rangers had the same hill to climb with Pitt. Get 3 goals and we’re winners!

  13. HabinBurlington says:

    So a name being bandied about for Pittsburgh is Super Agent Pat Brisson. He sure seems too closely connected to both Malkin and Crosby to me. May not be the best example, but agent turned GM Gillis didn’t seem to work so well in Vancouver. I am not convinced what makes an agent successful is really in line with what would make a successful GM.

    I continue to be very happy that Molson and Savard decided on a former journeyman player, who also spent some years learning the ropes in the Hawks organization. Of course at the moment everything is rosy, but MB does seem to have been an excellent choice.

  14. piper says:

    Thanks to thebonscott for the Paul Stewart blog. That should be sent around the internet for everyone to read. He nailed it right on the head about Lucic.

  15. GGtheHab says:

    Schedule worked in my favour…flying to Vegas on the 28th…..sandwiched between games 5* & 6 *if necessary…if they are still playing, I plan on laying $50 and watching it with some family I am meeting there..Nice to see the optimism in here…Habs in 5…Go Habs Go..

  16. Chris says:

    For all the love he gets, I can’t say I’m enthused about having Dale Hunter developing Michael McCarron. I can’t remember hearing McCarron’s name once during the third period last night. I’d love to see his ice time totals, because I’m betting it was well under 10 minutes in that game.

    It looks like Mitch Marner has now passed him on the depth chart. That was inevitable, as Marner is a heck of a player and oozes talent, but I was hoping it wouldn’t happen until next season.

    He’s still got one decent winger in Brett Welychka, but having Chandler Yakimowicz as his other winger hurts. I’m not expecting much to be enthused about with McCarron in this tournament based on the lines that Hunter wheeled out last night.

    • piper says:

      I was at the game last night and McCarron did not get much ice time. He took very short shifts but it may have been on his own accord. When he was on the ice he looked decent.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Hiya C., the Bickell comparison has been worked to a non-living state. With this 18/19 year old prospect, as long he steadily develops and then arrives on the scene like a Johan Franzen, that would be a successful outcome. I was going to use comparatives Tyler John_son, and Tomas Tatar, but they are smurf-sized, and our team doesn’t value such diminutives (wink).

      • Chris says:

        I agree, to an extent.

        Bickell was a top-6 forward with the Ottawa 67s the year after he was drafted. Johan Franzen is perhaps the other extreme, not playing much high-level hockey when he was 18-20 years old. He was an extraordinarily late bloomer.

        For what I’ve seen from McCarron, he’s improved his skating a great deal and has a bit more confidence. I would have liked to see him in a top-6 role by this point of this season. Tinordi is used as an example due to his slow start in the OHL, but by this point of the season he was being leaned on heavily by Hunter. McCarron has been sliding down the depth chart, through no fault of his own.

    • Paz says:

      Chris, I’ve seen the young man on TV only, so correct me if I’m wrong.

      A big man like that, who is expected to “bang”, must move his feet constantly, must stop and start quickly, must change direction on a dime… so he arrives at the puck on time, and his “bang” can influence the puck carrier, cause a turnover, etc.

      I rarely see this from McCarron. And although your disdain for Hunter is justified, I think that could possibly, not definitely, get McCarron more ice time.

      That’s the player the Habs want as well, I imagine.

      He’s not there yet.

      • Chris says:

        No question. I’m increasingly wondering why he was expected to bang, though…it doesn’t seem to be something that he seeks out. Some guys, you can see that they love the physical side of the game. With McCarron, he rarely initiates. He’ll take an obvious hit, but he does not hit with any particular malice.

        His agility is still not there…his top end speed is a lot better, and he’s getting better on his edges. But he still does accelerate well, and probably never will. He’s usually looking to maintain speed with big arcs, and that more often than not takes you way out of position.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Should also be noted, Hunter’s first and foremost priority is to win the Memorial Cup. If in his judgement McCarron isn’t ready for big minutes during his first year in OHL at the Memorial Cup, that decision also should be respected.

        I couldn’t stand Dale Hunter as a player, but really liked brother Mark. I have faith in MB and his staff, and find it hard to believe they weren’t involved in McCarron’s decision to go to London, and are supportive of this move. Given how most everything is coming up roses for the moment, I will be happy to defer to their choices in the development of Habs prospects.

        • Chris says:

          I said the same thing last year when he was making the decision. :)

          I can pretty much guarantee that this was not what Bergevin and Timmins had in mind for McCarron this season…Hunter was talking about using McCarron on one of the top two lines before the season started.

          I am fully on board with the Hunters not giving any assurances on McCarron’s ice time or role, as they are their own franchise and they had a big year coming up. I was actually hoping that they would deal McCarron mid-season for defensive help (which they sorely need) and he would get a chance to play more on one of the second tier OHL teams. Winning junior titles is nice, but it is largely irrelevant when it comes to NHL development.

          • Gumper Knows Best says:

            its a good article
            On the night I first began to question advanced statistics in hockey, the stats man who sits a few seats down from me in the press box began regurgitating the game in numbers.

            Mikhail Grabovski, he said, was the best Leaf that night. According to the numbers, Jay McClement was the worst.

            About an hour earlier, when a colleague asked for advice on who to pick as his three stars for the next day’s newspaper, we both bypassed Grabovski, neither of us liking his rather singular game that night, and talked about the value of McClement, who had been particularly strong both defensively and killing penalties.

            When I asked the stats man about the discrepancy between what we’d seen and what the numbers showed, he answered: “Sample size.”

            That always seems to be the answer when the numbers don’t match what a discerning eye can see.

            In Game 1 of last year’s playoff series between the Leafs and the Boston Bruins, Toronto was badly outplayed. Only one Leafs player seemed capable of competing at that level — James van Riemsdyk. So, curious after the game, I asked my stats friend who had the best numbers for Toronto.

            It so happened van Riemsdyk had them, but his numbers were just a percentage point better than Phil Kessel, who I thought had a dreadful game. Again, I asked: “How can the numbers be reliable, when two players can have such varying games and end with similar statistics?”

            “Sample size,” I was told.

            So I began to wonder: If what I’m seeing tells me one thing and the statistics tell me another, and the answer for the discrepancy is seemingly sample size, then at what point do you start to question how much individual analytics matter in hockey? And how many samples belie what the game really is?

            Statistics matter and, in many ways, define baseball, a sport that is somewhat stationary in nature: Pitcher versus batter. A set offence versus a set defence. A team game of individual accomplishment.

            The apparently new stats, which aren’t that new, are also historically relevant in baseball. The all-time leaders in WAR — wins above replacement — are Babe Ruth and Cy Young. The all-time leaders in OPS, the batting stat du jour, are Ruth, Ted Williams and Lou Gehrig.

            You see those names, you can’t argue back. The sport is built for and by statistics.

            Hockey is not so easily determined. And, in a way, the stance to match it with other sports has polarized the game, divided old and new, divided zealot and traditionalist. It’s not like there isn’t something to be learned from the new statistics, especially in a team way: It’s just they are in no way game-defining in the manner the analytics community believes them to be.

            “Is hockey hard?” Brendan Shanahan, the president of the Leafs once said, not talking stats. “I don’t know, you tell me. We need to have the strength and power of a football player, the stamina of a marathon runner, and the concentration of a brain surgeon. But we need to put all this together while moving at high speeds on a cold and slippery surface while five other guys use clubs to try and kill us. Oh yeah, did I mention that this whole time we’re standing on blades 1/8th of an inch thick?

            “Is ice hockey hard? I don’t know, you tell me.”

            Hockey is hard to statistically quantify. It doesn’t stop every seven seconds the way football does. It isn’t a pitch at a time, or a possession at a time, with offence and defence defined, the way basketball is.

            The average player may play 17 minutes a game — in 23 spurts of 45 seconds each — and have the puck on his stick no more than 40 seconds in total. That means for 16 minutes and 20 seconds, they are playing without possession of the puck.

            If you can’t play without the puck in the NHL, for the most part, you can’t play or won’t play. So how, numerically, do you measure a player when 95% or more of his 45-second spurts is spent without the puck?

            So much of hockey is random battles, loose pucks, ebb and flow, offence turning to defence and defence turning to offence often within seconds of each other.

            Go back to Game 6 of last June’s Stanley Cup final and see how a championship was won. The Bruins and Blackhawks are tied with just more than a minute to play. Boston wins the faceoff. Possession. The puck goes back to another Bruin. More possession. Then Andrew Ference tosses the puck up the boards to no one. Turnover.

            The puck went from Niklas Hjalmarsson to Dave Bolland to another Hawk, was rimmed around behind the net, and ended up at the Chicago point. A slap shot through traffic was deflected, causing Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask to go one way, the puck another. The puck hit the goal post and bounced down in the crease.

            And from behind the net came Bolland, away from the play, knocking the puck into an empty net for the Cup winner.

            Offence determines scoring in almost every sport: In hockey, a defensive error — some quantifiable, some not — a breakdown, leads to more scoring than offensive creation does.

            There are more random or scrambly goals than just Bolland’s title winner. In a different way, though, it was not unlike the key goal Ryan McDonagh scored in Montreal on Monday night. McDonagh took a slap shot in the direction of Canadiens netminder Dustin Tokarski. It didn’t seem like a scoring chance. But the puck hit Josh Gorges in the pants, deflected off him, hit the goal post and then deflected into the net.

            These are game- and series-changing plays: They can’t be defined by any statistic. There is a mistake and a bounce and a battle and a deflection and another bounce and a goal. And in the words of Jim Hughson: “That’s hockey.”

            The Maple Leafs were among the worst Corsi and Fenwick teams (the best known of the advanced statistics) in the NHL this season. When they collapsed, the stats mavens were almost gleeful. They knew it was coming. They called it. The Leafs were their convenient poster-boy for the changing way to interpret hockey. And an easy target.

            The mavens weren’t quite so accurate in their analysis of the Colorado Avalanche who, like the Leafs, gave up too many shots against and didn’t have the puck enough. But all Colorado did was win and finish ahead of Chicago and St. Louis. Not all shots on goal matter. Not all possession is meaningful puck possession. Not all faceoffs won will result in possession. Not all faceoffs lost end up with bad results.

            The Los Angeles Kings, even before Marian Gaborik, were among the best possession teams in the NHL and yet among the most challenged to score goals. At one point in the season, they scored 16 goals in a 10-game period and followed that up by scoring three goals over six games: That’s 19 goals in almost 20% of the season.

            At that time, the team that had the puck the most scored the least.

            Even now, after his difficult playoff run, there are statistical breakdowns that will tell you Sidney Crosby had a strong playoffs with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He did not. He scored once. He had the puck, but created little offence for himself or those he played with. His Corsi numbers led the NHL: But the best offensive player in the game has scored one goal in his past 17 playoff games.

            The statistics indicate Crosby had a fine playoffs. Crosby, himself, would disagree with the numbers. The stats people will tell you the game must adjust to the statistics but, really, the stats need to adjust to the game.

            The game hasn’t changed all that much, other than speed and length of shift. The voices of analytics haven’t invented a new game, only a new way to look at it.

            There is a place for what they do — just not a defining one. The game, through these eyes, is too free-flow, too incidental and accidental, too promiscuous to be naturally or easily analyzed with math.

            Steve Simmons has covered the NHL for more than 30 years and has coached various levels of hockey for more than 20 of those years.

            WHAT THE STATS DON’T TELL YOU

            Why hockey doesn’t lend itself to statistical analysis the way other sports do:

            There is no statistic to accurately quantify neutral-zone play.

            There is no statistic that tell you which wingers gets the puck off the boards and out of their zone and which wingers do not.

            There is no statistic that defines vision and creativity: That is pure subjectivity.

            There is no statistic that measures play without the puck, a most important factor in most games.

            There is no statistic, outside of individual team stats, that measures scoring chances which, again, is a subjective stat.

            There is no statistic that separates a good dump-in from a bad dump-in. There is a difference, just as there is for a good line change and a bad one.

            There is no statistic that indicates individual ability to win loose puck battles, especially in close games or the last minutes of periods or late in shifts.

  17. RetroMonkey II says:

    Ok, so I found a brand new Media Guide, and it says Rangers in 5. I choose to believe it because I am one stubborn monkey.

    Rangers will win with Lundqvist in nets.

  18. Danno says:

    God damn you NBC!

    God damn you all to hell!

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  19. HabinBurlington says:

    Morning everyone, did they drop the puck yet? Slept in a bit and was worried I missed the start of the game. Very bizarre these afternoon games.

    Hope the boys are ready.

    Go Habs Go!

  20. The Teacher says:

    Freaking STUPID afternoon games.

  21. Psycho29 says:

    Good Morning all!!!
    Going to miss today’s game, have my nephew’s confirmation at 1PM!!! Grrrrrrr….
    Strange schedule for the first 4 games: Saturday, Monday, Thursday, Sunday.
    Games 2 through 7 will all be 8PM starts.

  22. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Good morning all.

    Lots of great posts today on Lucic (UCE, Larue) and the Rangers. Cheers, great reads.

    Regarding the emotion and mind-set going into the ECF, I too am without the sense of defiant intensity I felt before Game 1 vs Boston. However, I am only a fan, and I will humbly go against the apparent general strain here the last few days and expand a little on a short post by 44har48 earlier.

    44har48 expresses relief that it’s not us posters but the players who will lace up against NY. Seems obvious, but apparently not, given the amount of projection going on here since Thursday!

    If we treat the emotion of fans and players separately, I reckon we get the following:

    Fans: dormant emotion meters will be humming after a few minutes of the 1st period today, or failing that, by game’s end. Boston will by then be a distant memory, and a shot at the Finals will have become the focus with the only thing in the windscreen being the NYR. In the way. DON’T under-stock your Valium supply.

    Players: are professionals and are being professionally prepared for a series as different from Boston as Boston was from Tampa. This afternoon they are going to work, and they’ll be focused on things like execution, the rapid processing of new information about a new opponent, adapting, making stuff that emerged in R2 work again, finding new stuff. There’s a daunting efficiency in all that before they get anywhere near any need for emotion. Emotion may come, but I don’t believe they need it to begin with. Incentive, yes: vs Boston, the Cup was a close second to putting away a dirty, swaggering team and ancient rival. Now the incentive is pure Stanley, with NYR standing in the way.

    I don’t expect any let-down whatsoever.

  23. scrotchland says:

    well I hope I’m wrong but lucking out and beating the presidents trophy team will probably mean a letdown in this series vs rangers.
    rangers are a hard working team with an elite goalie. going to be tough to win this one.
    I think for all intensive purposes this series is over before it starts.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      scrotch, your last sentence is ambiguous. Get off the freakin fence!

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Hey scratch!……but only where it’s itchy………
      ……..oh yeah, I remember what I was going to say…..
      This team has shown its brilliancy in its resiliency (is there such a word as “resilience,” ’cause not alot (paging Clay) of people use it?).

  24. Ian Cobb says:

    We absolutely have to win the first two games here. If we split them with Rangers going home for two, we will be in deep trouble.

    We need the 1st two here and split the two in N.Y. Rangers will get stronger as the series goes deeper. Hab’s in 5 or we might be in trouble!

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Hey Ian! Usually you’re a guy exuding confidence and calming the masses. Down 3-2 against the BB’s, Habs outscored them 7-1 in the final two games. I have heightened faith in our team, even when they come up against L.A. in the finals.

    • B says:

      If they split in Montreal and then split in NY, it comes down to a best of 3 with 2 games in Montreal. That’s not the end of the world. It’s not supposed to be easy.

      –Go Habs Go!–

  25. CJ says:

    Kinda bummed…..

    Just realized game three is on Thursday in New York. I’ll be in Toronto on Tuesday through Thursday afternoon. I’ll be driving back to Ottawa, but will likely miss puck drop. I guess the late start might help me a bit. Thank goodness for PVR.

  26. HabFab says:

    Habs have 2 weeks left to sign the following Prospects before June 1st;
    – Erik Nystrom
    – Dalton Thrower
    – Brady Vail

    • thebonscott says:

      sign thrower, and maybe vail

      C’mon guys this is not rocket surgery!!!!

    • Ron says:

      Not too sure any will be signed. Vail maybe.

    • Marc10 says:

      I thought Vail showed a lot of promise and that Dalton had turned things around. Oh well, we’ll soon find out.

    • CJ says:

      Two things; we need to keep an eye on the number of roster spots. We can only hold 50 professional contracts. With Robert Mayer heading for the Swiss league we have some wiggle room. We signed Sorkin and Carr. I’d pass on Nystrom, but would like to see Vail and Thrower signed. Vail got a PTO with the Bulldogs, but may not have done enough in the five games to acquit himself well enough for a deal. Maybe it’s in negotiations for all I know.

      The timing is terrible, as the focus and energy needs to be on the Canadiens right now. All that I will say is that I trust whatever decision Bergevin and company make. They have earned that trust.

  27. thebonscott says:

    article from paul stewart, maybe he should have quentelle’s job
    http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Paul-Stewart/Lucic-Is-A-Fraudulent-Tough-Guy/196/60086

    C’mon guys this is not rocket surgery!!!!

    • Marc10 says:

      Now that’s an epic takedown. The personal anecdotes add colour. Nice piece.

    • HabFab says:

      Always loved games he refereed, was a no nonsense guy! And when some guys started to get out of hand, you could see that look in his eyes… “Do you really want to go with me because I’ll whip your a$$??”

  28. JF says:

    I don’t think I’ve yet seen any comments about the so-called advantage of starting on home ice in this series. So-called because so far these playoffs, more series have been won by the road team than the home team. In the first round, Boston, Pittsburgh, and the Rangers won with home ice advantage in the East, only Anaheim in the West. In the second round, both Eastern semi-finals were won by the road team, while in the West, Chicago won at home, L.A. on the road.

    It seems that home ice is at best a dubious advantage that immediately becomes a disadvantage if you lose the first game.

    When we started the second round after more than a week’s layoff, I was afraid we’d come out flat.That this didn’t happen was due to excellent preparation by the coaches, but perhaps also to the emotional character of the series. It might be difficult to summon the same emotion this time, since there is no bitter, long-standing enmity between the Habs and Rangers. And this could be the difference in Game one.

  29. Maritime Ronn says:

    Here’s hoping that if the Habs come out a little flat – even with an emotional crowd behind them, that everyone cut them some slack.
    The win against the bruins could be considered a mini Cup and a bit of an early letdown is almost expected.
    The good news is that the Rangers are in a very similar boat.

    The Goaltender duel. Hmmmm…..
    Lurking below the surface – and something goaltenders will almost never acknowledge, or admit, is that they want to beat the other goalie.

    Regarding the Rangers, Lundqvist knew he was better than the Philly duo in their 1st series, and the Philly duo knew HL was better than them.
    It was the same story vs. Fleury.

    As for Carey, he knew he was better than the Tampa duo and Rask….and deep down, Rask knew that also…hence, his subpar performance perhaps caused by Carey pressure.

    This series?
    For some reason, there is a belief from here that somewhere deep down, Lunqvist also knows Carey is better than him.

    Advanage Habs…and the reason why they will win the series.

  30. Mavid ® says:

    I won’t be watching the game today..as most of you are aware my second granddaughter was due to arrive June 10th…well she has decided today is the day..we are on our way to the hospital shortly..will let you know when she makes her appearance some time today..This has to be a good omen..GO HABS GO!!!

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  31. CJ says:

    Good morning folks.

    The Good

    The Rangers, having just played two strenuous series, in which the outcome was decided in the seventh game, might be spent. I’m wondering if there will be an emotional let down following a high against the Penguins. You can ride an emotional high, but I don’t believe you can sustain that energy for an extended period of time.

    I don’t know that the Rangers are nearly as deep as Montreal. Further, Montreal benefits from having a potential Ace in their sleeve in the form of Chucky.

    Based on their play, Montreal can dictate the style and manner in which these games are played. Both teams are very similar, as evidenced in the number of one goal games we have played against each other, and home ice could be a deciding factor.

    The Bad

    The Rangers are an experienced group, with Stanley Cup winners and battle tested warriors in key positions. Additionally, if Nash gets going, it could spark the Rangers offense. Richards and St. Louis are Canadiens killers who love playing in Montreal.

    Can the Rangers wring more out of the passing of Marty’s mother. I don’t say this disrespectfully, but I wonder for how long they can carry this battle cry.

    Lastly, it doesn’t matter what he might have done in the regular season, King Henrik will be on top of his game. He’s top three in the world today and will be trying to prove that the Montreal jinx is in the past. Last win in 2009 on Bell Centre ice….

    The Indifferent

    Coaching. Discipline. Bulletin board material. The Rangers aren’t going to give Montreal anything. The Habs were able to channel their emotions and made it a point to shut down an opponent (Boston) who seemingly disrespected them at every turn. Although Dorsett and Carcillo are edgy players, they are each several degrees removed from the gang of garbage pail kids we just faced.

    A bounce here, a blocked shot there, a timely goal….this is going to be a very close series. The image that keeps coming to mind is a scene from the movie the Program. A college football movie from the 90’s. Alvin Mack, the star linebacker gets hit by an Iowa guard, a player who was quite and unassuming. Are the Rangers this silent, but violent type, capable of quieting 21,273, or will they be caught in the moment and rolled over?

    Honestly, I don’t have a feeling and that does make me mildly concerned. I was nervous, anxious and irritable during the Bruins series. I rode the emotional roller coaster – up, down and up again. I feel none of that today. Nothing. Maybe that’s confidence. I hope it’s not a sense that we accomplished our goal of beating Boston and are satisfied leaving it there. Healey said in 93 the Islanders had no chance because they were spent following the win over the Penguins and they knew Montreal was much better. He said the team wasn’t even upset losing. They were satisfied with their second round win and felt their season was a success. I have a strange feeling that one of these teams might suffer from a similar let down.

    My head says Montreal in seven, my heart says Montreal in five. I’ve got tickets to game two and an option on game 5. I can’t wait to get back to the Bell Centre! Not a fan of the 8:00 pm start times, but it’s better than the alternative…

    Go Habs Go! Cheers, CJ

    • WindsorHab-10 says:

      I feel the same way exactly, totally relaxed unlike the last series. I still think it will be a tough close series but with the prize being so close, I believe the team will go out, compete hard and do us proud again.

      • Corporate says:

        That is the problem. We are too relaxed. This is where NY has an advantage. Nothing beats the excitement of a Boston series. Now we have to make sure that our play does not fall asleep.

        • CJ says:

          That’s my only concern. Do we crash following an emotional high? Or, do the Rangers crash, or can they carry forward the momentum and emotion from last week. The series hangs in the balance.

    • Rugger says:

      I think the difference will be the forechecking that the Habs suddenly developed between the end of the season and the TB series. All season long, no pressure. All of a sudden the Habs have great success keeping a great TB offense bottled up in their own zone.

    • 44har48 says:

      Well lucky for us guys, we are not playing in this game today :). It doesn’t really matter how WE feel…

  32. Maritime Ronn says:

    Good morning

    A last word on the bruins.

    They were NOT the best team in the NHL this year despite what the numbers said.
    What they were was a team that intimidated.
    More often than not, several opponents mailed it in and didn’t bother showing up.
    That just added to lofty stats.

    As the old saying goes, “Defence wins championship” with the needed qualities of great courage and heart

    As mentioned several times, the Bruins were vulnerable on the back end, and that is where they fell apart.

    As for Lucic, don’t for 1 single moment believe what came out of the mouths of Julien and Chiarelli.
    They KNOW they have a problem on their hands
    They KNOW they have a selfish player on their hands that lacks character and common sense both on and off the ice.

    The Bruins organization KNOWS that it was this Lucic selfishness that had a huge part in the defeat.
    Lucic and Krejci combined for 130 points and +69 this year.
    Against the Habs – 1 empty net goal and Minus 2.

    Lucic was unable to accept being hit.
    He put self in front of team and Revenge Ruled.
    That shows NO character and clearly points to a flawed ego.

    in all honesty, I couldn’t care less what he said in the handshake linup.
    He has bigger issues to deal with – that being his team mates and the organization for being selfish and self centered.

    • WindsorHab-10 says:

      I’ve always told Bruins fans that I know their team was overrated & the league had a hand in Boston winning the cup in 2011. I think the Habs exposed Boston for what they really are, a team of thugs that strives on bullying, taunting & intimidation. As for Lucy, I understand that in the heat of the moment(a tough 7 game series) people say things that they normally don’t. But 2 days after the fact, the thug from Boston refused to apologize & kept talking about the code. What the hell kind of gang do players belong to? Total BS. As one poster mentioned yesterday, Lucic will eventually self-destruct & I believe that.
      No more Boston & definitely no more Lucic as they’re both insignificant & past history. We’ve the Rangers on deck & the only thing left to say is GO HABS GO!!!!

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        You can bet the rest of the teams and players were happy the Habs won.
        On top of that they provided a blueprint on how to beat thuggery.
        Draft and trade for heart and character and guys willing to accept a role and pay a price… the game plan being speed and pressure while walking away and ignoring a Mob mentality.
        Nothing frustrates bullies more than when they can’t engage…it says so in Lucic’s book called It’s Not Cool To Bully.

    • CJ says:

      Good morning Ronn. I have a very similar opinion.

      As I said earlier this week, the game seven victory was much bigger than a series clincher. It has provided a template for every team in the league on how to beat the Bully on the street corner. Further, I think this was a crossroads series for the NHL. If the Bruins would have beaten us up and won the series, teams would be inclined to follow this model. Now, teams can focus on speed and skill. Talking heads around the league should be rejoicing. Alas, they are stuck in the mud, more concerned with finding fault in the Canadiens than applauding their victory. Chiarelli himself has said that the Bruins fourth line will undergo a major change. He also indicated that the game has changed and teams are moving away from carrying an enforcer.

      I couldn’t be happier.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Hi CJ

        The NHL is notorious for being a copycat league.
        Historically, whatever team wins the Cup becomes the template for the 29 other wannabes.

        Sometimes it was great such as followup teams to the Habs.
        Somtimes it set the league backwards – an example being the 2 Cup wins by the Flyers in the mid 1970s….and amost the idiotic 2011 win by the Bruins.

        Luckily, the Final 4 this year consists of high skill, speed, mobility, character.
        The 26 others will adapt…including the Bruins

        • CJ says:

          I agree. This is such a great week for hockey. Again, too bad this is lost on McKenzie, Cherry, Potvin and others. Their hatred of the Canadiens muddies their responsibilities as on air personalities.

          Or, perhaps, that is their role – sh$t disturber…..

    • thebonscott says:

      very well said ronn, and agree 100%

      C’mon guys this is not rocket surgery!!!!

    • 44har48 says:

      Agreed but Boston is done, let’s move on. And then there were 4. Big game today!!!!!

  33. Stanley Cup or Bust ! says:

    “In The Morning, In The Evening, Ain’t We Got Fun”

    Go Habs Go!
    Go Habs GO!!
    GO Habs GO!!!

  34. I’m a little excited, woke up at 4am CDT. I was thinking about what it will take to beat the Rangers and will state the Obvious in ten seconds or less.

    WE WIN IF PACIORETTY AND VANEK OUTPLAY PRICE…..BECAUSE WE KNOW CAREY IS AWESOME

    NY Times Says Rangers in 4

    Shane Oliver
    @sholi2000
    http://www.sholi2000.com
    A Little fun during the Intermission

  35. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Kings – EEEEEEEEEEYikes!

    • johnnylarue says:

      Chicago’s gonna have their hands full, methinks.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Still up? See reply below.

        • johnnylarue says:

          Aye! Just barely. And yes, I’ve lived enough to know that some 25-year-olds are still very much teenagers on the inside…

          There’s more than a little cognitive dissonance involved in thinking of the hulking Milan Lucic as “a kid”, but at the end of the day that’s exactly what he is. (Which isn’t to say he won’t always act like a badly damaged jerk-off, but hey… benefit of the doubt, for now.)

  36. johnnylarue says:

    The Habs mojo, in gif form:

    http://i.imgur.com/c0fisND.gif

  37. Un Canadien errant says:

    So Milan Lucic had an opportunity today, with the team and media available on locker cleanout day, to make amends for his bushleague behaviour on Wednesday night when he stopped the post-game handshake line to threaten Dale Weise and Alexei Emelin. According to Aaron Ward and some lip-reading experts, he told Dale Weise “I’m going to fucking kill you next year.”

    After that lovely exchange, Mr. Lucic was agitated and defensive in the dressing room, saying that whatever was said should “stay on the ice”, and calling Dale Weise a baby.

    There followed lots of awkwardness and rationalization from the apologists within the Bruins Universe: “He plays with a lot of emotion. It was immediately after a tough loss, a Game 7. Milan is like that, he doesn’t like to lose. Others have often done much worse…”

    Outside this cozy world of no accountability though, the denunciations were much sharper. Former NHL enforcer and on-ice official Paul Stewart wrote a scathing piece for Hockey Buzz.

    So with a couple days to cool off, and getting a read of the lay of the land, you could guess that Milan Lucic would come to his senses. At least, he might have been pragmatic and given an empty apology, one he wouldn’t necessarily have to mean, just to defuse the situation and get the critics off his back.

    You would guess wrong. Facing the media for the last time this season, he stuck to his guns, repeating that what’s said on the ice should remain there, continued to blame Dale Weise for the mess, and dissembled about a code being broken, a game “of emotion”, of refusing to accept losing and failure. He clearly stated he is not sorry. He said all this with a snideness and a smirk that indicated he felt he was in the right, that he was being put upon.

    http://video.bruins.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=618539&catid=-6

    And he does seem to have a bit of a superiority-persecution complex. His comments after he ran into Ryan Miller and concussed him, after he speared Alexei Emelin, and Wednesday night, taken as a whole, show a pattern of self-justification and evasion, and reveal a troubled man, who unfortunately is in an environment which doesn’t hold him accountable or rein him in, but rather fans the flames of his excesses.

    In Bruinland, facts are twisted and hyped and distorted through the Don Cherry-Jack Edwardsificator, until they hold no relationship to reality. The Bruins have a long history of outright lying and refusing to accept logic or facts, even in the face of video evidence.

    (http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.ca/2013/06/zdeno-chara-is-leader-of-bruins-he.html)

    But the story is really much different than painted by Milan Lucic.

    First of all, the contention that it happened on the ice and therefore should remain confidential is convenient for Mr. Lucic. It may hold for run-of-the-mill trash talk during play or between whistles, but it’s not an absolute right. We have seen the NHL or other leagues enact fines or supplementary discipline for racial slurs or similar behaviour.

    Further, this was not routine trash talk in-game, while waiting for a faceoff, but rather a spectacle that Milan Lucic created, in front of numerous cameras, during an extraordinary moment in a playoff. A different standard of behaviour is expected during the handshake line. If anything, it’s Milan Lucic who ‘broke the code’ by confronting an opponent at such a time.

    And it brings us to a second angle in which Mr. Lucic displays faulty logic. He himself drew the attention of observers, namely reporters, who asked Dale Weise about it. Dale Weise didn’t bring this up, the reporters did, in reaction to the odd behaviour by Milan Lucic. If Milan Lucic had made this threat during the game, like in our prior example, before a faceoff, no one would have thought anything of it.

    Thirdly, the actual words were not relayed by Dale Weise, as Milan Lucic seeks to perpetuate, but rather by TSN’s panel, who quickly got on the case and worked with the roughly 75 different camera shots they had of the incident to figure out just what he said. So to continue blaming Dale Weise for outing him, while he actually outed himself, is for Mr. Lucic like the Emperor with no clothes blaming his courtiers for his state of undress. He actually chose to expose himself this way.

    The idea that he’s a fierce competitor who hates losing, and that he’s not the first player to do something untoward in a handshake line, both miss the mark. Every hockey player is emotional and hates losing, and has to swallow hard to shake hands with his opponents. That’s the exact reason why the handshake line is held as near-sacred, as proof for hockey fans that their sport is special. It’s very difficult for the players to look each other in the eye and say “Good game”, yet they achieve it. And simply, he failed.

    And when there are failures, they’re reported as the singular events that they are. We still see video of Martin Brodeur refusing to shake hands with Sean Avery. And we still get told of players who would refuse to participate, like Islanders goalie Billy Smith. So for Mr. Lucic to claim it’s not that big a deal is offbase. It is a big deal, since we fans see it as a big deal.

    Finally, to refuse to apologize, with the Todd Bertuzzi civil trial about to begin, is the height of folly for the Bruins forward. He’s in fact boxed himself in. He’ll have to watch every step he makes against Dale Weise and Alexei Emelin and the Canadiens in general in the future. He’s stated his intent to ‘kill’ them. If he delivers anything more than a crunching body check and someone gets injured, he’ll have lots to answer to. Not necessarily from the toothless NHL, but still…

    How easy would it be for him to just say: “I got carried away, and I messed up big time. I’ve had some time to think about it, now that the heat of the series has died down, and I regret saying that. I called Dale and Alexei and apologized to them personally, and I want to apologize to my teammates, the Canadiens and their fans, and hockey fans in general.”

    There. It’d be done. He’d be a hero again, and he’d get to enjoy his summer. Instead, he has to continue being a Big Bad Bruin. Shame.

    If you keep painting yourself into that corner Milan, eventually, that bitterness will eat a hole in your stomach.

    I don’t think this will end well.

    ———————————————————————–
    My sources are unreliable, but their info is fascinating.–Woody Paige

    • Marc10 says:

      If you do happen to see the cave troll this summer, don’t forget to flex your bicep in his general direction or thump your chest by saying Weise or Emelin or Subban strong. I’m sure that will make his day. Mwahahaha!

      Seriously, enough about the Missing Link. 8 to go. Woooooh!

    • johnnylarue says:

      Imagining Lucic actually speaking the words you wrote for him feels almost frighteningly uncanny… like a mistreated, angry pit bull opening its mouth only to fill the air with gentle birdsong rather than feral barks.

      Lucic is young, angry and clearly pretty stupid. Time and experience may eventually set him straight, but in the meantime it’s clear that some people just handle growing up in public a lot less gracefully than others.

    • DadidolizedDougHarvey says:

      Well said UCE.

    • WindsorHab-10 says:

      Excellent post & well stated. Since a threat was issued to two different players, I expect the league to step in and do something. Totally unacceptable.

    • JohnBellyful says:

      Once again, UCE, you’ve nailed it — an inelegant choice of words to convey praise, I grant you, for so eloquent a piece.
      Almost as infuriating as Lucic’s barbaric behaviour are the excuses and shrugs that have been offered in response, the sort of attitude that has allowed such brutality to occur repeatedly in the past and will do nothing to dissuade its practice in future.

  38. lizard ranger says:

    Just wanna brag about the playoff pools I entered this year . I don’t like the bracket system, but it made my choices easier . I never won anything before but this year I picked Habs-Rangers and Hawks-Kings . I’ve already, I think, won both . All the suckers that loaded up on Broons, Pens, Blues are paying for all my playoff beer this year . Winning is fun . Keep it up boys .

  39. sweetmad says:

    I love the world cup and watch as many games as I can,I look for youngsters on other teams that could play with our Habs,I love to see players like Ward play for our country,he would never have the chance in the Olympics,and you get to see someof the up and coming countries play.

    Timo, France has been playing hockey for a long time,the IIHF was formed in Paris in 1921 by France, England, Switzerland, Belgium and Bohemia which is now the Czech Republic,they even have a hockey league in India,there are over 60 countries in the IIHF.When I started watching hockey,I researched hockey around the world,there is a lot of world outside NA.

    This series is going to be just as hard as the last one,but in a different way,we won’t be able to slow down at all,the Rangers are a fast team,almost a mirror image of us,so we have to have a whole new game plan,this will be even more about the coaching.But I think Price can do it, it won’t be easy,we will have to take more shots and keep up our speed at all times,I think our transition game is a bit better than theirs.I was 100% sure we would beat the Gooins,just a little bit more worried this series,just hope Chicago beats the kings.
    GO HABS GO ALL THE WAY

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      I agree, Carey Price will be crucial against the Rangers, if that’s not already obvious, since I fear a bit of an emotional letdown the first couple of games, during which the team can’t quite put the pedal to the metal. He’ll need to keep us in it while the guys re-focus.

  40. Un Canadien errant says:

    The Memorial Cup preliminary games start with an interesting matchup, with the host team London Knights having had a month off after being bumped out of the OHL playoffs by the Guelph Storm. The Knights take on the Val D’Or Foreurs, who conversely come out of two hard-fought seven game series against the Halifax Mooseheads and the Drakkar de Baie-Comeau, the latter finishing just on Tuesday, giving them a couple of days to get their bearings and travel to London. So it should be a game between a hot but tired team against a rested but rusty team.

    We see Mario Durocher interviewed on the telecast, and I can’t help but notice that the Foreurs’ coach got a haircut, such as it is, and it is toned down to merely unbecoming, compared to the previous horrid wild mess of a look he sported during the playoffs. Good job coach, look the part.

    Touching story on Brady Austin, who contracted mononucleosis in April and had to go home to Bobcaygeon, Ontario, and convalesce, coincidentally as his father was in the last stages of cancer. According to Damien Cox, they spent the father’s last few days together, and after he passed away, the entire London Knights team attended the funeral.

    Mildly surprised to see Steve Bégin behind the Foreurs bench, I guess he’s an assistant coach. I’ve decided to cheer on the small-town LHJMQ, and knowing I’m cheering on Steve’s team makes it an even easier decision.

    ***
    Well, the narrative holds up somewhat, in that the rested team stormed the Foreurs’ zone all game with their fresh legs, but their reflexes, their coordination was a little off. They fired 51 shots at the Val D’Or net, with plenty more getting blocked or going wide. Lots of passes that didn’t connect, lots of open nets missed. So, they were rusty.

    Meanwhile, the Foreurs seemed overwhelmed by the pressure at times, but rarely flustered. Antoine Bibeau, their star goaltender, continued in the way he apparently has during the LHJMQ playoffs, cooling things off repeatedly and pitching a shutout in a 1-0 Foreurs win.

    http://www.rds.ca/vid%C3%A9os/foreurs-1-knights-0-3.978022

    Their other star, Anthony Mantha, came as advertised. He’s not a furious forechecker, he’s more of a position player, with a quick stick that he demonstrated often breaking up passes or blocking shot attempts, but you can see how he may have had some question marks concerning his effort and concentration in the leadup to the draft. He answered those questions this year, scoring 81 goals in 81 games played, including All-Star and World Junior appearances, as well as the playoffs.

    And you can make it 82 for 82 now, he manufactured his own goal by stripping the puck off a Knight while backchecking, veering and passing to his linemate and captain Samuel Henley. The latter, being no fool, quickly made this a give-and-go, returning the pass promptly, and Mr. Mantha did the rest, weaving into the Knight’s zone and dekeing around goalie Anthony Stolarz, and tucking the puck in beyond his right pad.

    He had two other clear scoring chances, ringing one off the post, and was dangerous all night. He killed penalties on top of his powerplay responsibility. The Detroit Red Wings have themselves a heck of a prospect.

    Two other Foreurs I had my eye on, Randy Gazzola and Guillaume Gélinas, were the confident puck movers as described by reports. Mr. Gazzola is a bigger, more physical type, and is a right-handed shot. He’s a free agent ‘overager’, so he can help himself during this tournament and attract some scouts’ attention. Mr. Gélinas is a smaller, shiftier type, and led the LHJMQ in scoring this season for a defenceman.

    He is in the same position as his teammate, being an undrafted free agent. If I had to guess though, Mr. Gazzola will have an easier time finding a job, with his greater size and valuable righthanded shot playing in his favour.

    One player I did keep an eye out for was 2103 Montréal first-rounder Michael McCarron. And I had to, he didn’t necessarily draw attention. It’s not that he’s loafing, but he’s not very quick or agile, so he’s often chasing the play. Having said that, he did make a good pass to the slot after winning a puck battle behind the net, and did come close to scoring early in the first, but couldn’t quite get a good shot off as he was pushed down while reaching for a puck in the crease.

    Another worrisome sign is that he’s been bumped down to the fourth-line centre role, as opposed to third-line duty with Gemel Smith as he was tasked with late this season. I know that the Knights have had some players return from injury, so they had a full roster, but you’d kind of hope that it would be these other guys who filled the bottom of the roster.

    So a good game for the Foreurs, they get to steal a win right off the bat, and now get two days to catch their breath and rest and replenish. The Knights are in a hole, but you can hope that their hometown rink and fans will be an advantage, and that they’re going to be better after this first-game tuneup out of the way.

    ———————————————————————–
    My sources are unreliable, but their info is fascinating.–Woody Paige

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • lizard ranger says:

      UCE , you put a lot of effort into a thoughtful post at 2-3am eastern time . It almost seems like a waste . I thought the late night was for guys like me to spew nonsense that can be easily ignored.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        I’m on PDT, so it was before midnight for me. But now I’ve pushed it way past my bedtime, and I want to do a couple of things before the 1000 hr PDT puckdrop tomorrow, so I’m going to hit the hay.

  41. lizard ranger says:

    TSN is loving the Habs .

  42. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …am I the only One here that feels the World Hockey Championships in an Olympic year is utterly irrelevent, inconsequential, immaterial, a waste of good beer and WTF FOR ???

    • JUST ME says:

      No interest whatsoever and it is sad cause it should draw some attention cause after all those are suposed to be the best of every country.
      I am not saying that either because i am stuck on what happens to the Habs, i can take as much hockey as a real fan of the sport itself it`s just , flatline….

    • lizard ranger says:

      Agree . No interest , I can only follow so much hockey, don’t even know who’s playing .

    • HabFan in Edmonton says:

      You are definitely not alone although I will still find myself following how the Canadian team does and of course cheering for them.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Especially now with the Memorial Cup, I can only follow so much hockey with the Canadiens still in it.

      Besides, it’s hard to love a team with Nazem Kadri in it, with the Toronto duo of Reimer-Scrivens in goal, and spoiled Cody Hodgson the offensive star.

  43. ths says:

    The Kings and Ducks restore my faith in hockey players. They showed how you end a series in class shaking everyones hand and cheering a legend off the ice.
    Maybe we’ll see great hockey, great athletes and perfect gentlemen in the final four.

    Ooh Aah Habs on the war path

    • HabFan in Edmonton says:

      It was a very nice end to the series, nice tribute to Teemu. What a classy guy, he said it was all about respect. Some players can take note.

  44. Say Ash says:

    Has Bob Cole written off one of tomorrow’s teams yet?

  45. Steven says:

    Mantha’s goal-per-game pace is pretty incredible, but I don’t think that guarantees he’ll be a superstar or anything.

    Ray Ferraro, at 20 years old(a year older than Mantha is right now) had 108(!!!) goals in 72(!!!) games with the Wheat Kings of the WHL. Ferraro had a pretty good career(408-490-898 in 1258 games) but he never scored that way in the NHL, with two 40-goal seasons and then a slew of high-20, low-30 seasons for the rest of his career(Ominously similar to Thomas Vanek).

    I think Mantha’s going to be a good one, but we may be jumping the gun if we think his numbers this year mean he’s going to be the best thing since sliced bread.

    …I do think that being picked 20th or so in his draft year was a laugher, though. He’s definitely better than that.

  46. habs001 says:

    Habs should win this series….In my mind if everyone is healthy than Chicago is more talented than LA…The Kings are Physical team but the Hawks forwards are way more loaded in talent and would be a much more difficult task for the Habs D…

  47. Habitant in Surrey says:

    ‘An Economist Claims to Have Found Point When NHL Players Peak’

    https://sports.yahoo.com/news/economist-claims-found-point-nhl-190045434.html

    …an ECONOMIST ??? :(

  48. JohnBellyful says:

    Cherry’s choice of a conservative outfit for today’s game shows he learned his lesson from the last series: don’t offend Hab fans by wearing flashy Bruin colours.

  49. Timo says:

    Jeezus… France also beat Slovakia at Worlds. I didn’t know France had a hockey team. Malkin should be making joining Russia for the game tomorrow. Russia will be tough to beat should Canada meet them.

  50. Habitant in Surrey says:

    Video: ‘Game 7’s More Prevalent And A More Expensive Ticket In NHL Than NBA Playoffs’

    https://screen.yahoo.com/game-7s-more-prevalent-more-180315272.html

  51. Habilis says:

    I swear it’s just hitting me now that there’s a game in 13 hours or so. Call me negative or whatever but I was just so mentally prepared for a loss last round.

    We’re in the Eastern Conference Finals. We’re the home team! Holy crap.

    Go Habs Go!

  52. Timo says:

    PLayer to watch tomorrow will be Benny Pou-pou… I think he finally learned how to skate over the blue line without tripping.

  53. Habitant in Surrey says:

    Yahoo Sports: ‘As Seattle waits to see if a new arena plan will go through, the rumors of the NHL expanding to the Emerald City continue to gather. So when commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly were spotted in the city last week, radars went off with another round of speculation.

    The NHL’s top two dogs were in town to meet with Seattle mayor Ed Murray and King County Executive Dow Constantine. They were joined by a group led by real estate magnate Victor Coleman, who is interested in bringing a team to Seattle.’

    https://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/new-group-trying-to-bring-nhl-to-seattle-revealed–meets-with-bettman–daly-194652156.html

  54. habsfan0 says:

    Since miracle comeback vs Ottawa on March 15,2014 Habs are 18-6-1.

  55. habsfan0 says:

    Noted Kings superfan Al Michaels is picking LA over Chicago.
    I think he may be right.

  56. Timo says:

    They are singing “hey hey goodbye” song at the anaheim game… in anaheim. Funny.

  57. Congrats to Team Canada says:

    This isnt 2010, and the Rangers aren’t Pronger and the Flyers either. Montreal wasn’t suppose to get by the Bruins, New York, I suppose neither through the Penguins.

    I would prefer starting this series on the road also.

    Its going to be a let down for someone, both have surpassed expectations.

  58. Timo says:

    Tomorrow will be a big “welcome back to earth” for everybody and will stop that non-sense talk about SCFs. Talk about too much pink lemonade.


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