Saturday, April 17, 2010

Manufactured desperation

When the Canadiens departed for Washington on Wednesday, they likely all had one, singular goal on their minds: just win one game.

That one victory would shift home ice advantage back the Canadiens way, and it's what any road team hopes to accomplish in the first two games. So now that the primary goal has already been achieved, how do you come up with the urgency to win this next one?

Desperation, like most states of mind, is hard to manufacture out of nothing. It can trigger performances out of athletes, but only when it is genuine. The Canadiens were all saying this morning that winning this game was just as important as the first one, but really, in the back of their minds, you could tell it wasn't. They've already done their jobs, this game would be gravy.

"The key for us is not to worry about getting up 2-0," Mike Cammalleri was saying. "It’s important for us to try to play to our potential, and we like our team if we do."

Marc-Andre Bergeron all but admitted that this game would be like a bonus, whereas it's anything but that for the Capitals.

"We’re conscious that this is a crucial game for them, and we’re conscious that we’re going back to Montreal afterwards," he said. "It doesn’t mean we’ll win both games there, but it’s still an advantage for us. We know they’re all going to give a little bit more and it’s up to us to be ready. But we know what to expect."

Over at the Capitals practice earlier this morning it was a different mood entirely. The team and coach Bruce Boudreau are not in panic mode by any stretch, but Mike Knuble called Game 1 a "wake-up call" that this is a different brand of hockey and that the playoffs have officially begun. For a team that clinched home ice throughout the playoffs weeks ago and had little to play for, that comment says a lot.

Here's my story for today with line combinations for both teams and my belief that Bergeron has become the key player for Game 2 because of his increased ice time playing alongside Andrei Markov. It will be different when Jacques Martin gets the final change in Game 3, but Bergeron will need to be at least adequate defensively tonight as Boudreau keeps trying to put Alex Ovechkin out there against him.


NYG24 said...

As of after Bruins/Sabres game earler this afternoon, all 5 series that have already gone 2 games are now tied. Montreal and Vancouver are both 1-0 going into tonight's games. Chicago and Nashville don't play game 2 until tomorrow.

But in the first 5 series now, the loser bounced back and won the second game. Hope that streak ends after the 7pm game tonight.

NYG24 said...

Never should have let Csps get out of the 2nd period anything but down 4-1. Then again at the final minute and a half of the 3rd period where it wouldn't have been 5-4, to allow Washington to tie the score at 5-5.

Sad way to lose, hope it doesn't destroy the Habs now.

NYG24 said...

Somehow feels like the year Habs won first 2 games in Carolina:

2005-2006 Montreal Canadiens Playoffs

(2) Carolina (52-22-8, 112 pts) vs.
(7) Montreal (42-31-9, 93 pts)

Montreal 6 at Carolina 1
Montreal 6 at Carolina 5 2OT

Except lost late yesterday to go back home 1-1 not 2-0 then get swept?

Anonymous said...

For all those SELF-PROCLAIMED HOCKEY GENIUSES on this and other blogs who stated their brilliant hockey knowledge that Washington would be the easiest matchup for the Habs so didn't care that Habs couldn't beat just one of the bottom dwellers in the worst conference Carolina, Islanders and Leafs to avoid Washington- well LOOKEE LOOKEE ....


Philly and Boston are up 2-1 in games against teams Habs could handle as well.

Anonymous said...

where were you after Game 1 buddy? There are no self-proclaimed geniuses here, except the odd troll who posts asinine commentary in caps lock.

Anonymous said...

Say what?

Maybe an airhead needs BIG LETTERS to inform him that some words are stronger in the message. WOW! So the Habs that these 2 goofs Gainey and Gauthier built for over 7 years won a single playoff game the lasyt 2 years COMBINED during their ongoing streak of never winning a second round series in 17 years.

Now pleases tell me again how playing the Caps who now have outscored the Habs 13-9 , ELEVEN of them in the last 2 games after Ovechkin arose from a game 1 nap, how the Caps who won over 2/3rds of their games as opposed to the Habs winning less than half of theirs - YOU GENIUS tell me how Washington was a BETTER matchup for bthe Habs than either of those 2 teams NJ or Bufffalo who currently are done 2-1 to teams both no better than the Canadiens are.

Tell me again GENIUS!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
where were you after Game 1 buddy? There are no self-proclaimed geniuses here, except the odd troll who posts asinine commentary in caps lock.

when the GROUPTHINK airhead sees CORRECT AND TRUE comments that he cannot he refute by argument due to his closed mind he immediately brands the person with a brain in his head as a TROLL!

Now please tell me again how these Caps that scored a hundred more goals than the Habs and had more points than any of 30 teams were the BEST matchup for the Habs. Caps sure look scared of them?

DS said...

Pierre McGuire is that you?
Stop screaming at me, lol

Andy J Smith illustration said...

How's this for your finished blog logo?

pmk said...

weird this guy ANONYMOUS keeps arguing with himself.

If you want to have A HOCKEY DISCUSSION then you really should ATTACH YOUR NAME to YOUR POSTS.

Isn't it just a bit ironic being called out to identify yourself by a guy who posts ANONYMOUSLY. Is it just me???

Heard from a person at the game in the 2nd row by the habs net in the 2nd period that Halak was actually visibly shaking after the second goal. Love the guy but its time to go with price.

Anonymous said...

pmk said...

Isn't it just a bit ironic being called out to identify yourself by a guy who posts ANONYMOUSLY. Is it just me???


so "pmk" is yours? you hypocrite!

yes anonymous is not my name EITHER

pmk said...

uh ya its my intials fool.
philip matthew kaufman

just kinda long to type out troll

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