Friday, April 9, 2010

Is it hot in here?

One week ago, the Habs had just completed an undeserved 1-0 win in Philly, and were about to embark on a pretty encouraging 3-0 win over the Sabres. The playoffs, it appeared, were a lock.

They still are extremely likely, no matter what the Canadiens do against the Leafs on Saturday night. But the Rangers 4-3 win over Philly on Friday night makes for a tense situation at the phone booth Saturday night.

One thing I'm eager to see is how the crowd reacts to this team to start the game. I've found that generally, Bell Centre crowds communicate their nervousness through ear pounding screaming. That was the case in Game 7 against the Bruins in Round One of 2008, in Game 5 against the Flyers a round later and in Game 3 last year against the Bruins. in each case, the fans had little hope to see their team perform to their potential, yet they still supported the team extremely well.

Will the same thing happen Saturday night? Not sure, but the start to the game will speak volumes as to whether this bunch has finally learned to appreciate the urgency of the situation they find themselves in. A win, and they sleep well Saturday night. A regulation time loss, and it's scoreboard watching time Sunday.

Just to recap, the Habs make it in if the Rangers lose or if they win in regulation time against the Flyers Sunday, or if the Bruins lose both of their remaining two games against Carolina Saturday and Washington Sunday. Or, if the Habs make it to overtime Saturday night.

It's not a bad position to be in, but still...


kyleroussel said...

The Habs will no doubt be welcomed with cheers as loud and passionate as Montreal can muster tomorrow night.

But they will be fleeting.

A lazy, sluggish start, and the boobirds come out.

A wasted, ugly power play, and the boobirds come out.

Habs give up the first goal, a short burst of "go habs go" will be followed up a couple minutes later with boos.

I don't like this situation one bit. Given how the Habs are seemingly incapable of playing 60 minutes of good hockey, I don't see 20 or even 40 minutes as being enough tomorrow night. I know the Leafs have spent the last week on their back, thinking of the links, but they haven't had much to play for this year. Burke wants this, after the reception he got last summer at the draft, and I'm sure that message has filtered down to the team. They will not be an easy opponent tomorrow night.

It feels like the type of game where the Canadiens are battling multiple opponents: the Leafs, karma, and themselves.

This really has the potential to get ugly, and anyone in the phone booth tomorrow night should be prepared for an ugly scene if the Habs manage to blow in regulation.

Anonymous said...

It was best that Rangers won last night! How can any knowledgable sports fan not see this? Had NYR lost yesterday, Habs would have backed in to EIGHTH place - the game Saturday meaningless the team already on a bad run and head into the playoffs to face a team who has WON- who has won 66.7% of their games whereas Canadiens have won LESS than half of their games and are 32 points behind them. Plus Washington is on a 5 win streak that will be 6 heading into these playoffs. PLUS Washington has scored 102 MORE goals than the Habs. So Habs would have gone into this series on a horrendous run even if they won what would have been a nothing game against Toronto.

Now because Philly lost, Habs have their own destiny of playing Washington or not AND of making the playoffs in their own hands and if they win can go into the playoffs knowing they WON their way in NOT backed in the worst way possible AND can play a much easier team.

All they need is a regulation tie and they make the playoffs, a win and they avoid Washington. And would have their confidence back which had NYR lost last night Habs would have gone into Washington next week with no momentum or confidence at all.

Anonymous said...

The Bruins game Saturday is at home vs. Carolina in the afternoon finishing a few hours before Tor/Mtl game starts. Their final game is at Washington who have won 5 straight as the Caps close their best regular season ever at home.

Habs will come out flying and blowout the Leafs tomorrow!

And head into the playoffs on a high!