PuckCast, Vol. 5., No. 6 [Podcast]

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The Canadiens and Bruins meet in the postseason for the 33rd time in their respective histories starting on Thursday in Boston.

The rivalry heated up this season with Zdeno Chara’s hit on Max Pacioretty, as well as a pair of wild games in Boston.

But none of that matters as the Eastern Conference quarterfinal kicks off on Thursday, a series that has plenty of promise.

The Gazette’s Pat Hickey, Dave Stubbs, Mike Boone and Kevin Mio break down the series and give their predictions of who they think will win the series in a playoff edition of the Puckcast.

187 Comments

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  2. Kimberly2u says:

    Does anyone know if Gill is hurt? I was watching TSN last night and they said that Gill wasn’t 100%. I know he didn’t play the last game but I thought he was resting.

  3. Clay says:

    Can’t post on the new thread – what about here?

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

  4. solomio says:

    Predictions.,

    A lot of hot air going around but few stepping up.

    Here’s who has stepped up to the plate so far:

    DEANDALLEY – Habs will take the Broons in 6 …

    Jonson – montreal over boston

    Andre the Giant- Montreal in 5

    JohnBellyful – Montreal in six.

    t1tan5 says: Habs in SIX

    HABZ24 says: bruins in six

  5. solomio says:

    Double post

  6. Clay says:

    Why are you yelling?

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

  7. Rainrocket16 says:

    I just hope like hell we bring it against the damn B’s. It is gonna be a wonderful thing if/when we dismantle the Campbell clan!!

  8. HABZ24 says:

    we need to call up some no name bum from the farm, get him to swing at charas ankles and chop that giant goon down. the bum gets suspended but who cares, mission accomplished, charas out.then we skate circles around the hasbean town bumms and take advantage of thier goonieness play and score on the powerplay disposing of the bruins in six.

  9. t1tan5 says:

    I cannot wait until puck drop. This five day waiting is really killing me! I think we have a fighting chance in this series IF we win Game 1 or 2. I really don’t see us coming back from an 0-2 deficit against the Bruins. I know we’ve done it before and the Bruins have caved before, but I feel that if the Bruins get a significant lead on us (in a game or in the series), we’re done. We absolutely HAVE to score first and get into Thomas’ head if we want to give ourselves a shot. If we get up on them, we would be able to force the Bruins into mistakes. We can then use our speed in the transition game to generate odd-man rushes thereby padding our lead. If we fall behind, the Bruins would play their bruising style and we’re just not built to score often from the forecheck against physical teams.

    Prediction: Habs score early in the first game and never look back. Habs in SIX.

    • agencare10 says:

      I have this funny feeling we are gonna win game 1. I don’t know why, I just do. I’m sayin 2-1 (or 3-1 with empty netter) for habs!
      Go Habs Go!

      • pmaraw says:

        same here, i dont think they bruins are gonna be prepared for this. i have a feeling they’re a little over confident and its gonna bite them in the behind.

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  11. Kristopher7 says:

    LMAO. Is that Boone coughing at the start, while Mio said the intro?

  12. solomio says:

    Predictions.,

    A lot of hot air going around but few stepping up.

    Here’s who has stepped up to the plate so far:

    DEANDALLEY – Habs will take the Broons in 6 …

    Jonson – montreal over boston

    Andre the Giant- Montreal in 5

    JohnBellyful – Montreal in six.

    t1tan5 says: Habs in SIX

    HABZ24 says: bruins in six

    • Clay says:

      I predict that the winner will move on to the second round.

      (And that will be the Habs)
      __________________________
      The only interesting answers are those which destroy the questions. ~Susan Sontag

  13. samTHEman says:

    There needs to be a HUGE time countdown on the front page of the site till puck drop Thursday at 7pm. Do it!!!!!!!

    ~Kiss my ass Lucic!!!!

  14. gp52 says:

    if we onlyy had max pac

  15. thebigguy says:

    Maybe we should convert Pouliot into a goon a la Turner Stevenson.

  16. habs001 says:

    i still think one of the top 2 in the east will get upset…if that happens and we beat boston we would play either pitts(a grind out type series where they would not have scoring edge over us) or tampa which is the type of team the habs are best suited for because you can identify who has to be checked plus their d is questionable and would be a less tiring series…

  17. CHsam says:

    Our small forwards will skim the surface of the rink to this area, and shoot the puck into a target no wider than two metres.

  18. habs001 says:

    i heard Roy may be back for the sabres…did not realize but the sabres were a top ten team in goal scoring…

  19. Can’t wait for Thursday, drop the puck!

  20. Chris79 says:

    I think Benoit Pouliot can seriously damage Milan Lucy.. after seeing this puke go toe to toe with Rosehill… Lucy can’t really take hits.. but he can give’em, but he can take’em.

  21. habs001 says:

    the bruins 4th line will try to get pk to take 5 minute fighting and 10 minute misconduct penalties..pk has to be able to control himself even if boston gives him a cheap push or something like that.

    the biggest concern is that the habs for the second year in a row had very poor goal scoring team…while there are streaks where we score 3-4 goals in several games we also go into slumps where 1-2 goals is the norm for a good stretch….hopefully this issue is solved in the next couple of years

  22. habs365 says:

    Sorry gang – Boston or Vancouver will win the cup – Habs is not a bad team just don’t have enough scoring to go deep in the playoffs……

    • samTHEman says:

      Someone was watching TSN….. If you’ve been on this planet for the past 5 years, you’ll know Boston and Vancouver are unproven teams. That’s not to say the Habs have proven themselves but they’ve had their share of surprising success last year and whether they can convert that into something this spring….we’ll see. NHL Playoffs – anything can happen

      ~Kiss my ass Lucic!!!!

  23. Say Ash says:

    HabsI/O had way less spam. Just sayin’.

  24. adam76 says:

    Spam? On my habsinsideout?

  25. SeriousFan09 says:

    Just me, or is Nathan Horton being incredibly overrated for Boston? Andrei Kostitsyn’s been all over the map with line assignments this season, Horton had a nice set-up with Lucic and Krejci consistently for more than half the year.

    Nathan Horton: 16:17 TOI/G, 2:24 PP TOI/G
    Andrei Kostitsyn: 15:53 TOI/G, 2:16 PP TOI/G

    Horton: 26G, 27A, 45ESP, 8PPP, .66PPG
    AK: 20G, 25A, 34 ESP, 11 PPP, .56PPG

    Horton: 74 Hits
    AK: 140 hits

    We’re supposed to worry about the guy? I know Lucic will be a pain but it seems Krejci and Lucic are carrying him.

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

    • 100HABS says:

      Good point. If AK had been with Pleks and Cammy all year (whenever they were healthy anyhow) his point totals would be better than Horton’s. I’d like to see how Horton would do with Gomez!

    • ManApart says:

      Games played vs Montreal this season. 5gp, 3g, 4a, 7p, +9
      Games played vs Montreal Career 25gp 7g, 12a, 19p, +12

      Not too shabby. He’s also 6’2″ 230 and will be a train with Lucic coming in on the wings against those poor slow, soft Defenseman and Price. Don’t know about you, butI would be much more comfortable last season, when the Bruins didn’t have him

      • Gormdog says:

        The Habs already won one series in 6 games against the Bruins this season.

        Will you at least compliment their slow, soft defense when it happens again in a week or so?

      • SeriousFan09 says:

        With all 72 of his hits? That’s not even a hit per game efficiency on his season. He is barely ahead of Andrei Kostitsyn career-wise and went 7 picks higher. If his name was Nikolai Berezin he’d be called a lazy, greedy Russian. He has size and some scoring hands but he’s never applied them full-out.

        About all of those points came from the 8-6 outing and the 7-0 shellacking, how effective was he when Montreal played their game against Boston and won.

        - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

    • samTHEman says:

      Yeah…I was thinking the same thing throughout the year. Thanks for pointing that out and compiling all those stats. If AK can really step up his game like he has been lately, we have a good chance. We win when he’s physically implicated in the match and plays with that intensity. Imo he was the the best and most consistent forward in the last 15 games or so, after his long slump.

      Gomez line has been clicking – Gionta’s scoring touch is back – Cammy’s is almost there (absolutely snake bit vs Leafs, could have had a hat trick). My biggest worry is Pleky and whether he will be able to finally perform to his maximum potential in the playoffs. He’s our best forward in the regular season and has to continue to be in the post-season….Cmon Plexxx

      ~Kiss my ass Lucic!!!!

  26. novahab says:

    A perfect week would be the Habs blowing out the Bruins in the first two game and Chara being arested when he steps of the plane in Montreal.

  27. CanadienFanTrappedinNiagaraFallsNY says:

    So the Bruins are the favorites because they beat us twice. We beat them 4 times, but the key is they beat us twice in the last 3 meetings. So if we make it to the finals against Vancouver they will all say “The Habs are the favorites” because we beat them twice, right? Twice in a ROW, at that!

    I am not saying the Habs should be the favorites because we won more games, because by that logic, the Oilers are better than the Habs. My feeling? Analysts, be they sports, political, financial, etc… they all disgust me. They are full of shit and contradictions, nothing more. As far as the series, who knows.

    • gK_HabsFan says:

      The thing is… If the “analyst” knew anything about the game… They’d be in it!

      To me, that’s why that hockey “analyst” are almost always made up of retired 4th line grinders, fired coaches, and ex GMs that drove their respective franchises to the ground. Their opinions mean squat IMO

      -GK-

      • Trisomy 21 says:

        Craig Mactavish was on the panel. Torts was on it at one point too. To say that all of them know nothing about the game is stupid. It’s the playoffs… how was your record last year? did you pick the Habs to win against Was and Pit?
        The only thing I agree with is that their opinions mean squat.

  28. novahab says:

    One would think that the refs have been told not to let the Briuins get away with the crap after the Chara mess. Now one would think but with Daddy Campbell over looking the crooks who knows. I like to thnk the Habs will forget about the goons and feel they can play because of the Chara mess. Now could Chara’s actions come back and hurt the goons because they will be afraid of steping out of line. The Habs could really use a coach like Bowman who would certainly used the press and put this theory out there to pressure the refs and league to toe the line.

  29. Hobie Hansen says:

    We might not be holding as strong of a poker hand as we would with a 100% healthy roster but our hand can still crack a stronger hand its fair share of times.

    We’re really only missing Gorges from last year’s run but Wisniewski was brought in to cover the loss.

    Pk Subban and Carey Price were out of this world this season and will both offer more to our run this year than last. Halak caught fire last year but Price is fundimentally much better. Price is bigger, faster and had a better season this year than Halak will ever have.

    All the sports books will pick Boston to win the series but I think many people will see some good odds and a chance to maybe get a little lucky with the Habs.

  30. punkster says:

    This may stack up as the day of the longest posts. These things need full orchestral scores and the kind of epic overtures written in the 50s and 60s.

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  31. LL says:

    To be the favourites , or not to be: that is the question:
    Whether ’tis nobler in the mind of Habdom to suffer
    The pucks and cheapshots of outrageous fortune,
    Or to take elbows to the head against a sea of goons,
    And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
    No more Chara and Lucic; and by a sleep to say we end
    The heart-ache and the thousand hits to the face by elbow pad……………………………..

  32. Bill says:

    About the predictions … they’re based on statistics (the most superficial ones) and season results (especially the most recent ones). So it would be wrong not to expect most people to predict Boston takes this series … that’s a no brainer, as they say.

    Boston has the best defensive record in the East, and they’re not short of firepower, having scored 30 more goals than the Canadiens. Montreal’s defensive numbers are middle-of-the-pack, and offensively they are – as we all know – the lowest scoring team in the playoffs.

    There’s some availability bias here too. Boston won two of the last three meetings convincingly, and the most recent was that 7-0 smackdown. Overshadows Montreal’s usual success against them.

    The Bruins also have a more impressive roster to the casual observer. Thomas with his NHL record save-percentage, Chara’s huge presence, Bergeron’s quiet excellence, Horton’s net-presence, Lucik’s aura of intimidation … and actually their depth is really impressive.

    You look at the Montreal roster and you see what? Price? Subban? You have to have watched the team a lot to appreciate what these guys do. Their offensive players ALL had subpar seasons. In the case of Gomez – 38 points! – there is a catastrophic decline. If you check the roster, you say “shut down Plekanec’s line and it’s all over”.

    We place our hopes in the following;
    * Carey Price will do everything you could reasonably ask of a goalie, and generally performs well against the Bruins.
    * Thomas is amazing EXCEPT against the Habs.
    * Things change in the playoffs, and you have to think the luck of some of these players is going to change. Gomez must be itching at the chance to redeem what has been his worst season ever.
    * This is a team that does know how to win despite its obvious shortcomings. If you could have seen JUST the team stats for this season back in October, you would not predict that the Habs finished in 6th with 96 points with them. Also it’s a tight group who work well together.

    Anyway, who cares about predictions? I’d be more nervous if the Habs were the favourite. They really have nothing to lose, and I know for a fact that they’re in Boston’s head just because thety always seem to beat them. Boston would rather have played just about anyone else, guaranteed.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

    • ManApart says:

      Very good summary on why the Bruins should be favorites.

      “This is a team that does know how to win despite its obvious shortcomings”

      With JM’s system, very true.

      • Um, I’m pretty sure Bill wasn’t saying the Bruins are the favourites, he’s saying that’s the logical conclusion if you’re an easily swayed media member and have done only superficial analysis.

        • ManApart says:

          How were the guys who picked Boston easily swayed? Also how do you know they’ve done superficial analysis? Maybe they just see things in a clear light as Bill has presented and think Boston has a better chance at winning because of it.

          • SeriousFan09 says:

            Because the analysts forget the Bruins pulled the biggest choke job in over 30 years last season and that sticks with a team. Horton has no playoff experience and none of their playoff pickups have really dominated in anything.

            Tim Thomas had the cushiest starting job of any Vezina candidate this season as well and he’s got no record of pulling it together and winning in the big moments. Price has been playing in big-time tournaments since he was 17 and just had his best career season to date. Goaltending goes to Montreal, playoff psychological edge goes to Montreal and that can carry a team a lot farther than regular-season statistics.

            - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

          • I’m saying they only did superficial analysis because they’re so easily swayed. The talking points are the same everywhere, and very few MSM guys have the balls to make any gutsy predictions made on in depth analysis. Every year TSN picks all the favourites as consensus winners of the series and then acts shocked when it doesn’t work out that way.

            If Boston was so ridiculously superior to Montreal like you pretend, they would have finished the season with a bigger difference than 2 more wins.

        • Bill says:

          To clarify completely, I meant something like the whole idea of being “the favourite” is a media concoction based on superficial stats that easily sway pundits who need to fill air-time with comments. Being the favourite is meaningless. The Capitals were “supposed” to win it all last year. The Flyers made the Finals and were essentially also-rans going in.

          Not to take anything away from the Bruns. They have a GREAT team, and you’d be crazy to bet against them, right? Except I am betting against them, so …

          My main point is, who cares about the predictions?

          Full Breezer 4 Life

          • ManApart says:

            Ya, predictions are useless in the grand scheme of things, but if you have to make them, you go with the team with better depth, better defense, better offense, and sorry better goaltending, who finished higher in the standings. I mean team defense and team offense aren’t superficial stats.

          • punkster says:

            MA…you mean like the Caps and Pens last year?

            ***Subbang Baby!!!***

          • ManApart says:

            Punkster, making someone a favourite isn’t a guarantee, it’s just playing the odds. Fact: Halak doesn’t become divine the habs lose in 5 vs Caps. Look at the Vegas line on who is the favourite. With millions on the line, the amount of analysis by the greatest bookmakers around is huge. Who they say is favourite, is favourite, period.

          • punkster says:

            MA… my long winded response was carelessly dumped into oblivion. The short version is this.
            Vegas odds makers use stats but have no capability of divining the possibilities of lights out goaltending, a forward who scores at an unreal pace, a defence that sacrifices everything to stop shots and a team mentality that never quit through two tough series. Those were the 4 pillars of victory for the Habs last year, not one single element, not regular season stats and certainly not Vega odds makers predictions. Go ahead and depend on Vegas but you’re far more likely to make a profit investing wisely than gambling.

            ***Subbang Baby!!!***

    • Jonson says:

      boston doesnt really scare me , the thing is you can look at stats blah blah blah……montreal is a very funny team, they will be a completely different team in the playoffs. the last few games have been refreshing for me cause i was worried that we werent gonna be pick up our game for the playoffs. especially the chicago game, i mean they really picked it up. Pleks, ak and cammy were flying!! thats good news. Gionta and Gomez have picked it up big time too. and i think a lot of credit should go to darche, that is just awesome. Eller had a strong game against toronto . i feel we have 4 solid lines that should give boston a hard time. we will come out of this series a live , there in no doubt in my mind. the thing i believed that this team was on the best teams in the east going into the season. injuries have set us back, but i can feel this team getting ready to explode. its gonna be awesome.

      here are my picks…..you can actually book this.

      montreal over boston
      buffalo over philly
      washington over new york
      tampa over pittsburg

      chicago over vancouver
      detroit over phoenix
      nashville over anahiem
      san jose over LA

      • ManApart says:

        Funny how a lot of people on this site are picking Buffalo over Philly. I heard Pronger will be back and even without him, I don’t give Buffalo much of a chance. There’s just too much of a difference in offense and I find Buffalo a little soft for playoff hockey. Also a lot of people are picking Chicago. Again they’ve lost a ton of depth on offense. I think Vancouver will overcome their playoff failures against the Hawks and go on to win the Cup. Maholtra is a big loss, but The ‘Nucks have no weaknesses and are very deep.

  33. Muckbringer says:

    i just read that as of yesterday markov will not be back for the playoffs. i understood when it happened he may be back for the playoffs. any thoughts/comments/clarity on this?

    how about this?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEMzM8JNW-U

    • Bill J says:

      Well considering how much time he has missed over the last 2 seasons. I think both parties would prefer he come back strong & healthy next season. Same for MaxPac.

      Just my opinion of course, nothing stated as such as far as I know.

      • Muckbringer says:

        macfactor i understand. markov was injured months ago. funny how no one has heard anything.

        i have to do it…next!!!!

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYdICN7o_FI

        • Bill J says:

          I think we are hearing things, people just expect him to be in shape…. Ready to go.

          The guy just started skating again, and let’s face it – he’s barely skated in the past 2 seasons… It’s best he take his time & come back 100%

          • Muckbringer says:

            i heard back for the playoffs. if he doesnt come back this year, i can see him signing elsewhere for 1 year and then on to the khl. of course i hope not, pitty

            “if you dont smoke Tarrlytons …F_YOU!!!!!”

  34. Keith says:

    TSN consensus pick…Boston. BOOOOOOOOOOO!!

    Habs prove em wrong!

  35. Toe Blake says:

    “Hockey is a slippery game. It’s played on ice!” – Emile Francis

  36. LL says:

    I predict the predictions by all the predicktors are a predicament for the
    predictive validity of said predictions.

  37. likehoy says:

    Geoff Molson. Please do something right for the fans and bring back the old goal song
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfTpGKJqROY

    the bell centre would explode if you somehow got the song for game 3 and there is no way we wouldn’t win the series if this returned as our goal song.

    - Gomez is holding down the “overpaid” button

  38. Old Bald Bird says:

    I can’t find fault in anyone picking the Bruins to win. Just as long as they have good reasons and don’t dis the Habs in the process. Personally, I’m not sure what to expect and wouldn’t be surprised at any outcome, including a short series for either team.

  39. Marc10 says:

    I think being the underdog is just fine. Just stick to JM’s system and launch the counter attack whenever you can and we’ll have Rask in goals before you know it.

    Julien will then resort to the intimidation card, Subban lights it up on the PP and it’s all over.

    Carey, Carey, Carey, Oi, Oi, Oi!!!

  40. Rugger says:

    I see Burke is again doing his tampering thing “We are going after a top center…” when the only UFA that fits his description is Richards who said he wants to sign in Dallas before July 1st. In other words, “Brad, wait to hear our offer before signing in Dallas”. If PG said it he would be fined and lose draft picks.
    My daughter just sent me this line, “You know it’s spring when the leafs are out”

    • ManApart says:

      Are you sure PG would be fined and lose picks, or is this another case of the league and the world is against the Habs syndrome?

    • observer says:

      Been long rumored both Leafs and Rangers are going to make a huge run at Richards. Don’t believe the bull about him wanting to resign in Dallas if he really wanted to it would have been done at the trade deadline as Dallas tried to sign him. BUT all he did was flat out refuse to waive his no-trade clause and the dimwit media took it it meant he wanted to stay in Dallas. Bull! All he wanted was not having to move him and his family for possibly 3 months and having to work another 2 months after his concussion. Richards will be elsewhere and Toronto has the most room and will sign others besides him. And the dimwits here then will see how good a GM Burke is. You don’t build a team in 2 full years. Guys like Gainey et al are in their 8th full year- 7th full season- here have won just one series after the first round since 2003.

  41. Steven says:

    Well, somehow, the Habs are the underdogs again.

    Along with their 30/1 chances(compared to the “I-make-the-playoffs-because-Dallas-can’t-win-the-big-one” Chicago Blackhawks’ 12/1), some sport simulation says the Habs have a 3% chance of coming out of the 1st round and should end up being swept?

    Why is there such a hate for acknowledging what our team can do? If anyone payed attention to the last 2 years, the Habs have routed the Bruins, except for that one matchup this year(Not both. The 8-6 game was close, regardless.).

    The Bruins’ Key Kog in this run(Thomas) is arguably the best in the league anywhere but Montreal, where he’s nothing short of average. Price, on the other hand, has been a Bruin Killer for some time now(Even last year, with his sub-par season, he still mastered the Bruins 4 times with a 1.00 GAA if I’m right.)

    Our special teams completely outclass the Bruins’, and when we’re on our game, it’s men vs boys.

    If people were to say: “Montreal in a VERY close Game 7 then they lose to Washington,” I’d at least say they gave us credit where it’s due, but it seems everyone in the hockey world is quick to pat the Bruins on the back for no reason, and put the Habs down when they’ve been exceptional without their top 2 D-men, injuries to Cammy, Plek, Halpern, Hammer(I think), Darche and Spacek, among others. The only player who’s made it through the entire season, all 82 games, is the Captain. I don’t think the “other teams have injuries, too” thing works here(Other than in Pittsburgh. They’ve been awesome)

    Why is it the Habs can NEVER get the credit they deserve, but the Bruins are the favourite EVERY year? They’re right on the heels of the greatest collapse in history, but that’s a non-factor. Price has an 8-game playoff losing streak, which I find irrelevant to anything at this point, since it’s a new season, but that’s constantly discussed…

    • ManApart says:

      I think You’re taking the predictions too personally. If you look how the teams are built, the Bruins are better overall, especially for playoff hockey and they finished higher in the standings. Why wouldn’t you pick them, because Montreal has a better record head to head this season? The Islanders are even head to head with Montreal this season, so Islanders would have an equal edge in a 7 game series? Also like you said in reference to Price’s shoddy playoff resume, it’s a new season.

      Doesn’t mean people are guaranteeing a Bruins victory, but they like their chances better and I don’t blame them. Also can people stop with Gorges being our second best Dman. He’s not. Subban and Hammer are easily better and a good arguement can be made for Wiz and Spacek being better.

      • Steven says:

        I guess maybe I’m overdoing it a little, but I always find it ridiculous that we’re the underdog year in and year out, whether we deserve to be or not.

        On the Islanders comment, it’s hard for me to say. It goes without saying that they haven’t been very good this season, but even they have some teams’ numbers. Whether they have ours, I’m not sure, but maybe they would beat us. Just because their record against the entire league isn’t too good, doesn’t mean that they couldn’t pull off a series against a certain team, if it fell right.

        On the Gorges comment, yeah, I guess you have a point there. Subban and Hammer are better too, thinking about it now, but I’m sure you can agree that if we had Gorges in the lineup all season, we would have a better season record(Mostly because we wouldn’t have had that dismal PK % that we had in December, I believe. Second best, like you said, might have been going a little over his actual position in Montreal, but he definitely was an asset)

        • thebigguy says:

          Um, you find it rediculous that when a team finishes 6-8 year in/year out, we’re the underdog? Why? We are the underdog. The year we won the conference, a lot of pundits picked us to win the conference. This year, quite logically, not so much. On paper, Boston has a much better team than ours. The best forward line and the best defenceman are not wearing bleu-blanc-rouge.

          Luckily for us, we get far better coaching and special teams. And unlike the Bruins, we don’t have a recent history of utter collapses in the playoffs. Considering the Bruins emotional makeup, it probably would have been better for them to end up 4 or 5th. Our best bet of winning is getting an emotionally fragile team to start doubting themselves.

          I still think we can win this in 6 or 7, but the Bruins don’t strike me as a team that can come back from adversity. The players they added this year, Peverly, Kaberle, are not winners. When Shawn Thornton is the player on your team with the most cups, that’s not good.

          • Steven says:

            Your point on the standings makes sense. I see what you mean.

            When I say that I expect them not to be the underdog, it’s because we’re playing a team that we’ve beaten 10 out of 12 times in the last 2 years and just because of the 2 most recent losses, we’re the underdog. It seems a little odd to favor the Bruins when you think of all that.

  42. savethepuck says:

    I think Stubbs is the only guy I am going to want to have a beer with after the Habs win this series. Our guys are the opposite of the Toronto media. Toronto media praises shit, and the Montreal reporters have no faith in a team that made it to the conference finals last year and battled through injuries all year to finish where they did.

  43. solomio says:

    Is here and now the time and place to get all the commentariat’s predictions on this series? All in one location where we can see who called it right and who didn’t.
    Sure would reveal who all the blow hards and superior than thous are if they call it wrong.Sure would reveal those who are blinded by love or who are truly enlightened as the case may be.
    So if this be the right time and place let ‘er rip HIOers.
    If you’re not so moved well lets do it somewhere. Should be a blast!

  44. WindsorHab-10 says:

    A Habs fan doing the golf swing behind the Dallas bench during the Stars/Wild final game.
    http://ca.sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy/post/Video-Fan-gives-Dallas-Stars-golf-salute-during?urn=nhl-wp2269

    “Hate the Bruins like a sickness”

  45. Laramy87 says:

    So Mac T on TSN, who has not said a positive thing all year about the habs, basically said it will be a short series unless the habs capitalize on the special teams. This guy is a joke of an analyst on TSN. Terrible coach, analyst and hockey player….

    • Keith says:

      I don’t know about that. He gives the Habs more respect than some of the other analyst’s I’ve heard specifically HNIC, and he did say that they have proven him wrong in the past. Personally I’m glad they are all writing us off again. It makes it that much more SWEETER when we shove it back in their faces! GO HABS GO!!!

    • solomio says:

      Laramy…Mac T is right. If the Habs special teams don’t do what they’re supposed to do i.e. prevent short handed goals and score goal’s on the PP then they will lose. You can’t see that or what?

    • ManApart says:

      Terrible everything because he tells the truth?

  46. JohnBellyful says:

    Two more sleeps …

    A Habs Fan Prayer

    Now I lay me down to sleep
    I pray the Lord a four-game sweep
    And if series goes to seven
    For the Habs, my soul’s in heaven

    A Bruins Fan’s Lament

    Now I lay me down to weep
    My Bruins have gone without a peep
    The series ended at the Bell
    My favourite team can go to hell.

  47. Timo says:

    GRRR!!!! Two more nights.

  48. For those interested, I’ve done an in depth breakdown between Carey Price and Tim Thomas on who’s more deserving of the Vezina, the results are intriguing:

    http://www.habseyesontheprize.com/2011/4/12/2106908/the-case-for-carey

    • ManApart says:

      Interesting analysis going deeper into the stats. The thing I notice is that Thomas has much better numbers against top 1/3 competition than Price, has similar numbers against middle 1/3 and much better numbers against bottom 1/3. Thomas hasn’t played the same number or proportion of games, but looking at his specific stats against each subgroup, he beats Price everytime. Price played more games against top 1/3 teams, Ok, but Thomas’ stats are lightyears better than Price’s against top teams.

      I think it’s interesting to look at proportion of games against certain Subgroups, but don’t put a ton of stock into them overall. Bottom line is, Thomas’ numbers are better against top teams, bottom teams, and all teams put together, facing more shots per game than Price, and it’s not even close. I can’t come close to justifying taking the Vezina away from Thomas for proportion of opponents, when Thomas has better numbers than him across the board.

      It would be interesting to look at other contenders for the Vezina and see how they fair. I think Rinne, in Nashville, is a very easy pick for #2 in the Vezina race. With him playing in the West and his quality of team (or lack there of), and where they finished, I don’t think it’s close there either. The #3 spot can be highly debateable. With Price, there is Lundquist, Luongo, Quick, Fleury, Ward, Bryzgalov, Niemi in no particular order to run out the top 10 this season. Personally I think Luongo deserves that spot. He plays on the best team in the league, but that shouldn’t punish him for putting up some amazing numbers. He obviously is a huge part of the Canucks success. Price, Lundquist and Ward can fight to round up the top 5. It’s very difficult to choose between them and I’d require a lot more thought to do so.

      • Actually Price faced more shots against per game against top teams, and playing more often against top teams matters big time.

        I think I covered that Thomas has better stats across the board, but the question is whether overall stats are that important, and really they probably aren’t.

        Rinne’s SVP is complete BS, Nashville has been known since the lockout of massively inflating shot totals, so he looks a lot more impressive than he actually is.

        You’re not convinced by my breakdown, that’s fine. But you ignored a lot.

  49. Chuck says:

    That posting looks awfully familiar. Which HI/O regular are you?

  50. Mats26 says:

    Anybody ever notice that our 4 centres outweigh their 4 centers? So much for big up the middle … Lucic, Horton, and Chara make the Bruins big and bad. I say the key to this series is neutralizing Krejci. Stop him and you stop the two cavemen wingers. I would hit and harass him all day long. I wouldn’t mind seeing the old Eller AK Moen line hounding the Bruins’ first line.
    For us, Gomez is the key. If he plays like he has the last few games, I call this matchup a tossup with the Habs taking it because CP31 outplays the flopmeister. Take one of two in Boston and its guaranteed!

    • shiram says:

      I don’t know about that Eller line, I gotta say I like having AK46 with Pleks and Cammy. Now if only AK46 could produce in the playoffs.

      • Mats26 says:

        I agree it could be risky, but if successful, it would free up pleks to be more creative with less draining defensive responsibilities.

        • shiram says:

          Well we are kinda short of top 6 players, and having AK46 on a bottom line would leave the 2 top lines with even fewer legitimate top 6 guys.
          Darche is awesome, but that’s MaxPac’s spot.
          Besides, there is no one really to replace AK46 right now, unless Halpern comes back, but even then, I’d prefer AK to him.

    • Ton says:

      good point about playing Krejci hard for it will draw those lunkers in. problem is who, how about playing Pouliot at center, he fought him hard.

    • Timo says:

      If Gomez actually outweighs anybody it only means he should watch his diet.

  51. mrhabby says:

    changing gears for a minute…crawford out as coach of the stars.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Somewhat unfair.

      He had Lethonen and Raycroft as goalies (respectively 39th and 48th in the league in save %), possibly the least distinguished defensive lineup in the league, and a pretty weak bottom 6. He did well to get t within one game of the playoffs.

  52. Laramy87 says:

    So everywhere I read its all bruins taking the series and it all refers back to the 7 0 game. So rangers beat caps 6 0 one game are they the favourites?
    To me that 7 0 game now means absolutely nothing. The playoffs are a new ball game and we ar coming to play. Habs were not focused in that game and it was evident, tlhabs will shock a lot of ppl

  53. HabsFansince49 says:

    Don Cherry, the foremost authority on hockey and world-wide political events, has picked the bruins to win the series. The most dignified stance for the Habs is to forfeit the first round. King Cherry and Prince Milbury cannot be doubted. Their knowledge and insights are infallible. We don’t have a chance, just like last year.

    Go Habs Go

  54. thebigguy says:

    Really liked Carey’s comments over on TSN. Didn’t say “what Ilearnt this year,” he said “what I learnt the last 4 years.”

    Good on Carey for recognizing that the bad part of his career allowed him to get to where he is.

  55. Mark C says:

    Apparently Chara has spoken with Max-Pac (man, will they miss him in this series, could have been a real x-factor). In other news its balances fault that Max hit the turnbuckle.

    “Chara’s hit along the center boards late in the second period of a game on March 8 caused the rookie Canadiens forward to loose balance and crash face-first into the turnbuckle, landing Pacioretty on the ice with a severe concussion and cracked verterbrae”.

    http://www.weei.com/sports/boston/this-just-in/2193071/chara-i-talked-max-pacioretty

  56. Former Jets Fan says:

    Attaboy Stubbs!
    While it would be great to disappoint Bruins fans on their ice in a seventh game, I think the Habs can take it in six. A split of the first two in Boston is doable, and I think they will defend the Bell Centre ice as they’ve done with much success (and vs. Boston especially) all season. Win it on home ice! I can already hear the taunts and jeers for Big Zed during the handshake procession of shame…..sweet, sweet music.

  57. patience is a virtue says:

    Good listening. Thank you for posting it.

    But I just don’t get the persistent pessimism from you HIO guys. The Habs have persevered and improved, in the face of many injuries and much naysaying, and yet you continue to doubt.

    The evidence speaks to the character and ability of this remade team to win beyond expectations and odds – last season, last playoffs, this season. Despite adversity they defy all the experts, and yet those who I would assume count amongst their closest followers call it for the Bruins.

    Shame on you ;)

    It takes no leap of faith to choose your Canadiens to beat the Bruins in the first round. All you have to do is look beyond the post-Patches-broken-neck blow out to the match up this year; look past the supposedly imposing size of Lucic et al to the superior speed and skill of the Habs top 5 forwards, not to mention DD and Poo. Look to PK, the Wiz, Hammer and (a well rested) Spac – more dynamic, reliable and dangerous than Chara, Kaberle, Seidenberg and Boychuk.

    Above all it’s a question of “team spirit”. The spirit of this team is pure grit. Grit with a proven track record of winning together against the odds. It’s contagious. Even AK has caught it. You don’t think Gomez has another gear to find while Cam, Pleks and Gio are turning it up a notch? You bet he does.

    Have a little faith fellas, and enjoy the show!

    • Sakus Evil Twin says:

      I’m thinking that’s why they are the truth seeking journalists and we are mere pundits who allow our sense of loyalty and unbridled optimism to sway us…

      No answers, just opinions. Bite me. Och.

      • patience is a virtue says:

        Well, actually, the point I was trying to make, in a smiley face kind of way, is that unbridled pessimism has been consistently getting the best of many an HIO truth seeker, despite the factual, actual, happenings, which show our team outperforming expectations and predictions repeatedly since Oct 2009.

  58. nek25plus says:

    Sportsnet poll is “which canadian team will go further in the playoffs” answer options…Vancouver, Montreal or neither and neither is beating Montreal in the percentages!

    Go Habs Go!

  59. observer says:

    TSN Site Poll right now

    43% of Canadian hockey fans cheering for Canucks in these playoffs

    27% for the Habs

    29% hope they both get knocked out.

  60. ManApart says:

    Boston should be the favorite. They have a better team overall, especially for playoffs, and finished ahead in the standings. When Montreal finished 1st in the East 3 years ago they were the favorites against the Bruins in round 1, so let’s not get overly dramatic with the world is against us talk.

    I always find it funny when people are shocked that the rest of the world doesn’t see the Canadiens or it’s players as highly as their fans do.

  61. Muckbringer says:

    the best is the fan who has to go home to his fat, toothless sister….

    viddy well

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAHei3PUHHQ&feature=related

  62. ManApart says:

    They were up by 7 points. That’s quite a bit in today’s NHL. Montreal was only 5 points up over Carolina for a playoff spot.

  63. Trisomy 21 says:

    30 more goals for, a little over 10 less goals against, home ice advantage, goalie with vezina stats, and some pretty physical guys.
    Throw in the last few meetings and you get a whole lotta reason why people believe the bruins are the favourite. This surprises you? Try and be objective. I like MTLs chances too, but i’m a goddamn fan. Objectively Boston does have an edge

  64. CanadienFanTrappedinNiagaraFallsNY says:

    Odd how you say 7 points is “quite a bit”, but 5, well, it’s “only” 5.

    I would expect most to favor Boston, but I do not think they are that much better than the Habs. In fact, no playoff team in the East is very much better than any other Eastern playoff team.

  65. samTHEman says:

    Sure could use a few goals from Pouliot…That 3rd line needs to get on the score sheet from time to time.

    ~Kiss my ass Lucic!!!!

  66. habs001 says:

    we can all hope for a miracles but looks like pouliot is out to break his 1 goal in about 35 games performance that he finished last year with…he is 0 for over 20 games now…


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