Round 2, Game 7: Eastern final, here we come

Canadiens’ Michael Cammalleri, Brian Gionta, P.K. Subban
and Scott Gomez celebrate a goal against the Penguins during Game 7 Wednesday night.
Allen McInnis, The Gazette

Preview | Matchups | Wednesday’s NHL schedule | Boone’s Game Blog and About last night … | Stubbs on Twitter | Hickey’s game story | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

AUDIO: Mike Cammalleri | Hal Gill I and II | Scott Gomez | Jaro Halak I and II | Jacques Martin | Tomas Plekanec

• At a Glance: For the first time since 1993, the Canadiens are headed to third round of the NHL playoffs after ousting the Pittsburgh Penguins with a 5-2 win Wednesday night in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. Montreal struck early when Brian Gionta scored only 32 seconds into the game with Sidney Crosby in the penalty box for the Penguins. Gionta tipped a P.K. Subban pass that slipped passed Penguins goalie Marc-André Fleury. Dominic Moore made it 2-0 14:23 into the period when he took advantage of a Pittsburgh turnover and fired a wrist shot that eluded the outstretched leg of Fleury. The Canadiens built a 4-0 lead early in the second period on goals by Michael Cammalleri, his 12th of the playoffs, and Travis Moen with a shorthanded marker. Moen’s goal was the last shot Fleury would see on this night, replaced by Brent Johnson. The Penguins got a pair of goals before the end of the second period when Chris Kunitz and Jordan Staal beat Jaroslav Halak. And while the Canadiens didn’t test Johnson much, Gionta scored his second of the game on the power play exactly 10 minutes into the third period for a 5-2 Montreal lead. The loss marks the last game at Mellon Arena, otherwise known as the Igloo, which opened with a loss to the Canadiens in 1967.

• Key Moments: Halak made some monster saves at the start of the third period during two Pittsburgh power plays, preserving what was a two-goal lead at the time. Halak was, once again, a major reason why the Canadiens were able to pull off the upset.

• What It Means: For the second series in a row, the Canadiens have ousted one of the NHL’s best teams, eliminating the Penguins 4-3 after sending the Washington Capitals to the golf courses a few weeks ago.

• What’s Next: Against all odds, the Canadiens are off to the Eastern Conference final against either the Boston Bruins or Philadelphia Flyers.


  1. Le Jadester says:

    I like your theory Ed.  Makes me think a little about the dreesin’ room atmosphere.  Kinda also reminds me of the Koivu/Kovalev scenario we had here for a couple a years.

    And yes, a habs victory tonight will expose the truth behind this mystery.

    Habs, OLE !

  2. SLONCOLD says:

    keep hammer. he’ll be easy to trade at the dealine for a pick or a prospect. all teams will want a big defence man at the deadline; by the dealine his cap hit will be small and they don’t have to commit to him the year after.

    plus he’s had his ups and downs but i liek to think he’s playing alrighti n the plyoffs and i hope he’s being a good leader in the room too. as well as a mentor to our younger defensemen (wow… most positive i’m been about hammer …liek ever)

  3. SLONCOLD says:

    Well i’m sure the habs don’t want to go to arbitration with halak… you’re basically tossing a coin up and praying the salary will be on the low side…. Could halak have out priced himself with the habs due to his performace? maybe.

    i still think plekz was a gonner last year once they got gomez but we’ll see as time passes. some very interesting and complicated choices are coming up. It’s one thing to let older player go to FA but always dangerous when making calls on younger players

  4. SeriousFan09 says:

    Get the Cup, Hamrlik could retire on that, a 1200 game veteran whose never lifted the Cup before, does it and for a guy who finds the NHL incredibly taxing on him these days, it gives him a great time to retire.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  5. TomNickle says:

    Yes I saw that, my post above reflects it, thanks!

  6. Le Jadester says:

    Good Tune !

    Habs, OLE !

  7. Chuck says:

    0-for-2 last game, wasn’t he?


    Cheer for the crest on the front of the jersey, not the name on the back.

  8. Bob Barker says:

    The cap hit for buying out a player over 26 is  2/3 of the remaining salary divided by twice the remaining term according to

  9. TomNickle says:

    Actually, it would cost them $3.667 million and would leave them with the difference against the cap.

    I suppose it’s possible but I would hope that they would seek the trade route first.

  10. Omit says:

    No he didn’t.  But it would have been the greatest achievement in any sport ever, since he was only a one year old in 1919.

  11. forskis says:

    I thought you disliked the team because it was composed of nothing but smurfs and that they would never succeed?

    “I am guilty of using elipses…”

  12. Bob Barker says:

    Hammer needs to be bought out or packaged in a trade. If he’s bought out his salary on the books becomes 1.83 million for two years. 

    This would give the Habs 14.87 million in cap space. 9 million to Halak and Pleks leaves 5.87 to sign other players. 

  13. TomNickle says:

    Buying him out I believe would cost half of the remaining salary and save the other half on the cap.  I’m checking to make sure.

    Even still this team would have to put Pouliot on the top line and need three third line forwards or allow Lapierre, Pyatt and Moen to do that work.

    I think you’ll see Maxwell in the lineup next season as a fourth line centreman with Lapierre promoted to third line centre but other than that, what they do is anyone’s guess.

  14. Mr. Biter says:

    got the same f-ing problem. Going to try and find the walkman & batterys and get (ugh) cbc on F.M. radio, then race home to watch Versus. Go Habs Go

  15. jimmy shaker says:

    Ed you said yourself that if Gill is healthy he plays and plays regularly.  I’m guessing you are thinking the same thing as me that Gill will be with Gorges.  Your other post to Tom below says that Spacek and Hammer love playing with eachother, so the last D spots are PK  with O’byrne.  Maybe the minutes get spread out more evenly so PK will stay around the 18 – 20 min range and not get the 30 min he did last game.  If Gill cannont go the whole night or be effective every shift than JM will increase PK’s minutes but with Gill back and playing, PK’s only partner is O’byrne on the 3rd pairing.  Things can change throughout the game…..I’m not to worried about the D!


  16. tricolortrue says:

    but could someone please show Gomer how to put a puck into an empty net?????

  17. ths says:

    Pleks not playing like a small town girl

    We’re not living in a lonely world

    He took the midnight train going anywhere

    Just a Cindy boy

    Born and raised in Cole Harbour

    He took the midnight train not going anywhere


    A Sydney in a smoky room

    A smell of whine and cheap perfume

    For a smile Pens can lose tonight 

    Habs go on and on and on and on



    Penguins, waiting, up and down the boulevard

    Their shadows searching in the night

    Streetlight people, playing just to find emotion

    Hiding somewhere in the night


    Working hard to get my fill

    Everybody wants a thrill

    Paying anything to roll the dice

    Just one more time

    Habs will win, Pens will lose

    Pens were born to sing the blues

    Oh the movie never ends

    Habs go on and on and on and on




    Don’t stop believing

    Hold on to that feeling

    Streetlight people

  18. pmaraw says:

    you need a blackberry!!!  go get one quick, we need shane watching this from the get go!!!!

  19. pmaraw says:

    I’m not sure, but I dont think anybody needs reminding to cheer em on at this point LOL

  20. ed lopaz says:

    Habs hockey = Smart hockey we work as a team, and we win as a team. we play 5 man defence – not just 2. we play with energy, we play with Subban (Pk could have been with us since the Olympics, but nevermind that)

    not worried about the D- either !!!

  21. LizardKing1967 says:

    I wouldn’t sign Pleks


    Jim-out. I BELIEVE!

  22. ed lopaz says:

    Habs hockey = Smart hockey we work as a team, and we win as a team. we play 5 man defence – not just 2. we play with energy, we play with Subban (Pk could have been with us since the Olympics, but nevermind that)

    Mara will not be back.

    and a question for you.

    Why not buy out the last year of Hamrlik’s contract?

    How much would that cost – save us against the cap?

  23. nunacanadien says:

    Don’t forget to cheer on the smurfs, these small types like Gomez and Gionta thrive on noise, even if its a million miles away, it’s magic!  Cheer them on!  Let’s win the cup!

  24. nunacanadien says:

    Don’t forget to cheer on the smurfs, these small types like Gomez and Gionta thrive on noise, even if its a million miles away, it’s magic!  Cheer them on!  Let’s win the cup!

  25. LizardKing1967 says:

    Elmer Lach had 19 goals in 1919 playoffs


    Jim-out. I BELIEVE!

  26. ed lopaz says:

    Habs hockey = Smart hockey we work as a team, and we win as a team. we play 5 man defence – not just 2. we play with energy, we play with Subban (Pk could have been with us since the Olympics, but nevermind that)

    here’s an irony for you. Luongo’s absolutely dreadful playoffs SAVED Vigneault’s job!!!

    Nucks will pay Luongo 10 million next year – for what I’m not sure.

    If Halak would ever play like that, he would have been chased from this city a long time ago.

    talk about fighting the puck!!

    but Vigneault would have been paying a visit to the “toast motel” had he not been “saved” (pardon the intensional pun there) by crap goaltending.

    How could Vigneault be expected to win if his goalie can not make the first save or leave a rebound in his crease each and every time?

    I like Vigneault. I always have. He strikes me as being a very capable coach and a very bright young man.

  27. yves_on_habs says:

    I thought you could hear uncertainty in many Penguins players I heard interviewed… Crosby included.

    – Yves –

    Blog –

    Twitter –

  28. MontrealAtheist says:

    Let’s make some history tonight and send Cindy to the golf course where she can fight with Ovi and Semin for the MVP of the regular season.

  29. TomNickle says:

    An offer sheet with Kevin Lowe out of the picture won’t happen.  I’ve reminded you of this before Ed.  Our Habs will have in the neighbourhood of $30 million in cap space in two years, nobody will want to deal with that payback.

    The Habs certainly aren’t obligated to give Price that contract, but they are going to have to make a choice between Halak and Pleks at this point.  Halak and Pleks will command at least $9 million between them.

    We’re scheduled to have $10 million in money available.  Using that money on those two players still leave us with at least five roster spots unfilled.


  30. says:

    I can’t believe I’m going to miss the first period, but family comes first (soccer).
    They can win, just hit the net instead of MAF 🙂

    Halak please freeze everything.

    They Call Me Shane

  31. yves_on_habs says:

    Hope it stays clean…. and another tight game.

    Habs victorious of course.


    – Yves –

    Blog –

    Twitter –

  32. ed lopaz says:

    Habs hockey = Smart hockey we work as a team, and we win as a team. we play 5 man defence – not just 2. we play with energy, we play with Subban (Pk could have been with us since the Olympics, but nevermind that)

    Clearly depends on Gill’s health. If Gill is healthy he can play as much as possible.

    PK will not be on the 3rd pair with OB – not after playing 29 GREAT MINUTES.


  33. yves_on_habs says:


    Although, I’m kinda thinking a cheap shot here and there would likely materialize… I wouldn’t put it past Cooke or Orpik.

    – Yves –

    Blog –

    Twitter –

  34. ed lopaz says:

    Habs hockey = Smart hockey we work as a team, and we win as a team. we play 5 man defence – not just 2. we play with energy, we play with Subban (Pk could have been with us since the Olympics, but nevermind that)

    Price hit against the cap this year was 2.2 million which included a 1.3 million bonus (not sure if he reached the bonus numbers??)

    Price will not get anywhere near a 3.5 million hit against the cap next year!!!

    Not even eligilble for arbitration yet.

    price will gladly take his 2009 number + 10 or 15 percent.

    and no team will write up an offer sheet on price, so price will have zero leverage.

    Halak will get somewhere between 4.5 and 5.5  – per.

    Halak is eligible for arbitration, and an offer sheet is freakin possible as well.


  35. SeriousFan09 says:

    Record stands with Yvan Cournoyer, 15 goals in 1973.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  36. TomNickle says:

    Halak and Lehtonen are in the same boat.  Both are arbitration eligible(although Lehtonen wasn’t due a big raise) meaning that the upcoming season would be there last where covered under the restricted free agency blanket.

    Exact same situation.

  37. dh says:

    I think that he will keep their top player from scoring just as he did in the first 5 games <g>

  38. habbyone says:

    I’m so excited about tonights game. The Canadiens are Canada’s team. Always has been and always will be!!!


    Habs 4-2

  39. jimmy shaker says:

    I think Giller is going to be just fine.  JM will start him off with Gorges, and if he can’t go then yes switch him up with PK.  But to start off JM will go with Spacek with Hammer because they played all year together, and Gill with Gorges because they have been lights out together.  I know that it sucks that we have PK with O’byrne on the last pairing but that’s all that’s left.  I would like to have PK with Spacek myself, and Hammer with O’byrne but I don’t think JM will see it my way.  At least we have MAB as a back up plan if Gill can’t go or has to leave the game.  Vigneault, made a bad decision last night not dressing another d-man, in case Salo couldn’t last.  And he clearly wasn’t comfortable out there all night. Vigneault and Bobby LU lost that game last night in my opinion.  So having MAB on the fourth line tonight, allows Gill to play even if he’s only at 75%!


  40. ed lopaz says:

    Habs hockey = Smart hockey we work as a team, and we win as a team. we play 5 man defence – not just 2. we play with energy, we play with Subban (Pk could have been with us since the Olympics, but nevermind that)

    maybe so – but I would bet that Spacek and hamrlik are chomping at the bit to be paired together again.

    those guys played a lot of hockey next to each other this year – their confidence in each other is very high.

  41. PeterStone says:

    there is a difference tho, altho I am not sure if he was scheduled to be a UFA this season, but if not this one, it was next, so, he is giving up a year or 2 of UFA status.  Halak has at least 2 more years of RFA status

  42. Omit says:

    “Michael Cammalleri leads all NHL scorers this postseason with 11 goals and could set a Canadiens record with another goal for the most by a player in one playoff year”.

    For the record, this is not true.  Without even checking, I know that Frank Mahovlich scored 14 goals in 1970-71.

  43. dh says:

    My guess would be goonery like Cooke attacking Halak or something. 

    I used to think that the Pens were a team with class but it looks like as soon as they get outplayed, instead of trying to fight back, Crosby starts whining and the rest turn into the Flyers. 

    But on the bright side, this is probably why we’re going to beat them.

  44. pmaraw says:

    there’s no place for goonery in game 7, its a must win, you cant hurt the team like that.

  45. SeriousFan09 says:

    Thank you Dallas for further overvaluing Goalies who haven’t done ****. First ir was the Rinne deal in Nashville now Dallas signing a guy who’s played slightly more games than Rick Dipietro in the last 3 years. NHL is so incompetent and self-destructive sometimes…

    Luongo makes 10 million next year for never advancing to a Conference Final in his career next year as well, welcome to the NHL, money is no object and intelligence is not required in the FO.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  46. Slovak says:

    The difference is – Penguins don’t know what to do while HABS KNOW

    You could see this on Bylsma’s face and feel it in his voice after game – pure fear and desperation.

    Halak was pissed off for the softie last game, watch him tonight…

  47. lenny says:

    Baruch ata elokanu melach haolam plz let the HABS win.AMEN!

  48. TomNickle says:




  49. GoalieT says:

    The way I’ve been reading articles and listening to interviews, I’m seeing something here that seems to be a telling sign about the game tonight. One team seems to be excited to be in this Game 7, while the other team seems to be depressed, nervous and frustrated about being in a Game 7. And I don’t think that I need to tell anyone who’s who on this. When you’re excited about a game like our boys are, good things can happen because you’re jacked up!!!


    Ultimate Die-Hard Since 1986. T.

  50. lenny says:

    there’s something happening here, what it is aint exactly clear, there’s HALAK standing over there telling Crosby he’s got to beware…..

  51. ed lopaz says:

    Habs hockey = Smart hockey we work as a team, and we win as a team. we play 5 man defence – not just 2. we play with energy, we play with Subban (Pk could have been with us since the Olympics, but nevermind that)

    1 problem with those defensive pairs.

    OB pair plays the least ice.

    If I was martin I would want PK on the ice with one of the top 2 pairs.

    Gorges and Pk will be the number 1 pair – Gill will not be 100 per cent, and can not be expected to do everything he did prior to the injury- if he plays at all.

    You can’t take a guy who can barely put on the uniform and ask him to play top pair minutes.


  52. yves_on_habs says:

    Think it would turn into a goonery??

    And more Whinery??

    – Yves –

    Blog –

    Twitter –

  53. TomNickle says:

    Thanks Joe!

    If there was a shred of a possibility that we could keep both of our goalies before, there isn’t now.

    That contract will be equal to or just shy of what Price gets and Halak’s number will be at least $5 million/season.

    It’s going to have to be a choice between Pleks and Halak now.

  54. ed lopaz says:

    Habs hockey = Smart hockey we work as a team, and we win as a team. we play 5 man defence – not just 2. we play with energy, we play with Subban (Pk could have been with us since the Olympics, but nevermind that)

    The passion has been missing from Crosby’s game.

    Something is not right there.

    I know Gill / Gorges and PK are phenomenal defenders against Crosby, but check out Crosby when he loses the puck,

    he watches the Hab player skate away with it.

    2 possibilities:

    1) Crosby is injured

    2) problem in the room- likely between Crosby and Malkin

    There will come a day when Crosby and Malkin will be broken up.

    Malkin has always played way better with Crosby out of the lineup.

    Malkin will want to lead his own team one day – and not “follow” Crosby.

    When the Habs win tonight, we we learn more about what’s really going on.

  55. CalgaryHabsFan says:

    My sense is that if we can come out flying and get a couple of quick ones past Fleury this Penguin team could come completely unglued.

    Fleury has been shakey most of the playoffs and Crosby is looking frustrated.

    Only 9.5 hours until game time.


    “Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.”

  56. Habfan29 says:

    I for one am very proud of this team, some teams are built for the regular season and this one has been built for the playoffs. Win or lose the future is bright with players like Subban, Webber, Trotter, Pyatt, White, Halak and Price. I would love for us to pick up Versteeg and bygfulien (SP) in the off season and I think that would make us more of a complete team. I think that Gainey deserves some credit for this team. I am most happy for Kirk Muller a former captain that bled red, white and blue, I was so pissed when he was traded and I am glad that he is back in the Canadians fold. Muller is learning and I think that he will be a future coach of Les Glorieux. Muller won an improbable cup in 1993 and his defensive handiwork is all over this playoff run, good job. Go Habs Go 2-1 Montreal…..

  57. SLONCOLD says:

    did any one see the LEHTONEN contract? $10.65M for 3 years? wow, based on his numbers what do you give guys liek halak and price? unreal….

  58. jimmy shaker says:

    Here’s the lineup for tonight…..stamp it!


    Pouliot draws out and Moen and Pyatt will switch lines every now and again.  MAB gets pushed to the fourth line and PP purposes because Gill will make his return tonight. 

    ON the D we have:


    with Jaro in the crease!

    Shaker out!  See you tonight!

  59. avatar_58 says:

    I thought about it at work, but I figured it might just be bad luck.

  60. SeriousFan09 says:

    Time to kick the Flightless birds out of Mellon Arena the way it all began, a loss to the Canadiens. Cup is Montreal’s property, we’ve just been lending it out for a while.

    Rocking the colours in school today, but I will sadly miss the first period as i attend orientation for volunteering in the local SPCA, but I will definitely be back for the last 40 minutes. Hope Gill is back in so he can send the little boy crying back to Mario about why the Canadiens didn’t just roll over for the Penguins.



    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  61. Laramy87 says:

    Time for a change here… Pens have been to cup finals last 2 years, lets stop that now

  62. coachdoug says:

    Having a real blast here on the Outer Banks of North Carolina and the Habs beating the Penguins would make it perfect…Beach House has a little 24 inch TV so I am missing my Plasma but I do have Verses…

    Got a feeling the Habs are going to do something special tonight and show the hockey world they are the real thing…I think the Penguins have angered the hockey gods and the universe will be made right tonight!


    “Save us Turtleneck Man…We need you now more than ever!”

  63. habsfan_61 says:

    let it all hang out tonite. leave nothing in the dressing room. go habs go


  64. HabsConvert says:

    The first song I heard when I turned on the radio this morning was “Fix You” by Coldplay. It’s a sign!!

  65. Ian Cobb says:

    I just want to hear that Gill is playing tonight. Can you emagin how he will play against the team that would not give him a contract after he won the Cup for them last year. And who knows how to take Crosby out of the game better than Gill knows him.

    Instead of GUY GUY GUY, It is now  GILL, GILL, GILL.

    My blog check it out

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