Sunday, April 11, 2010

Pick your poison

Well, the Habs are in, but their first round opponent is not yet known. It comes down to two games today. First, if the Rangers and Henrik Lundqvist can walk into Philadelphia and beat the Flyers and Brian Boucher, the Canadiens finish seventh. If not, it's eighth place and a date with Alexander Ovechkin and the mighty Washington Capitals. The Rangers-Flyers sudden-death match-up is on at 3 p.m. on the NHL Network. 

Should the Rangers win, then Montreal gets the winner of today's game between the Sabres and Devils in New Jersey, starting at 5 p.m.

Here's a look at how Montreal did against each of its three possible playoff opponents this year:

Buffalo Sabres 
2-3-1 record.

Oct 3 - 2-1 OT win in Buffalo: Carey Price commits larceny in upstate New York while Brian Gionta bats a puck out of the air to win it in overtime. Montreal was outshot 35-17.

Dec 3 - 6-2 loss in Buffalo: Jaroslav Halak gets shelled for six goals on 37 shots, but at least the Habs penalty killing was perfect on two opportunities.

Dec 14 - 4-3 loss in Montreal: Halak allows four goals on 27 shots as Andrei Kostitsyn, in the midst of his one torrid stretch of the last two years, scores twice and adds an assist on Mike Cammalleri's goal. The Sabres won it on a power play goal with 5:19 to play.

Jan 3 - 1-0 loss in Montreal: One of Carey Price's toughest losses of the season, a 29-save effort resulting in zero points in the standings, typifying his year. Cammalleri had a chance to tie in the dying seconds when he unleashed a laser-beam one-timer toward an open side, but Ryan Miller got across to deny him.

March 24 - 3-2 SO loss in Buffalo: If the last game was one of Price's toughest losses of the season, this was the toughest. A 2-0 lead squandered in the final 1:59 of regulation and Price looked like he gave up in the shootout. Afterwards he said, "We played hard for 55 minutes and after that we just sat on our asses and let them come to us." Ouch. Regardless, the Canadiens did control most of this game and showed they could skate with a Sabres squad that was not missing any key pieces.

April 3 - 3-0 win in Montreal: Buffalo was missing Tomas Vanek, Tim Connolly, Pat Kaleta and Andrej Sekera, but it was an impressive win nonetheless. Halak pitched his second straight shutout.

New Jersey
1-2-1 record

Dec 16 - 2-1 loss in New Jersey: Price stopped 26 of 28 shots and lost as Martin Brodeur tied Patrick Roy for the all time games played record.

Jan 9 - 2-1 OT loss in Montreal: Halak made 26 saves but was outdueled by Brodeur with 29 stops as Zach Parise won it in OT.

Jan 22 - 3-1 win in New Jersey: One of the more surprising wins of the season, Benoit Pouliot, Mathieu Darche and Cammalleri scored as Halak stopped 31 shots for the win.

March 27 - 4-2 loss in Montreal: The Habs fell behind 2-0 and 3-1 but still kept it close until the Devils scored in an empty net to clinch their 13th straight playoff berth. Halak made 22 saves in the loss.

2-1-1 record

Nov 20 - 3-2 win in Washington: A depleted Habs lineup missing Andrei Markov, Brian Gionta and Hal Gill handed the Caps one of only five regulation losses they've suffered at the Verizon Centre all season.

Nov 28 - 4-3 SO loss in Montreal: Habs erase a 2-0 deficit to tie it by the end of the second, go up 3-2 in the third, allow Eric Fehr to tie with less than 12 seconds to play in regulation then lose in a shootout. Shots were only 24-23 for the Habs.

Jan 5 - 4-2 loss in Washington: Price made 39 saves as he was bombarded by the Caps in a 4-2 loss. It was a one-goal game until Alex Semin scored with 2:02 to play in regulation.

Feb 10 - 6-5 OT win in Montreal: The Caps score three in the third to tie it with 19 seconds left in regulation, but see their 14-game win streak come to an end as Tomas Plekanec gets his second of the game at 4:52 of overtime.  


Anonymous said...

Second exhibition season scores mean nothing.

Two years ago Habs went 8-0-1 against Bruins and 4-0 against Philly. Had the split those 12 games instead of winning all 12 and gone 6-6 the first place Habs would have missed the playoffs outright.

So in the playoffs the same year the 12-0 Habs then went 5-7 against the Bruins and the Flyers.

If you can't see the talented Washington team is where they are because they are far more skillful than any other east team save Pittsburgh, you really don't know too much about hockey.

Anonymous said...

ow about the media genius Bettman scheduled afternoon games on the final day of the season at 12pm, 3pm and 5pm and NBC having to do the early time slot because of the Masters so they show the totally meaningless Boston/Washington game and NOT televising nationally what is in effect a sudden-death playoff game between the Rangers and Flyers at 3pm!

And they wonder why NHL has terrible ratiungs in the USA.

Anonymous said...

and then on the NBC national telecast of the meaningless Caps/ Bruins game, Milbury says AND they show a graph that if Philly wins today the Flyers will play Washington in the 1st round.


A Philly win and Habs play Washington.

No wonder no one watches hockey in the USA.

Anonymous said...

This Rangers/Flyers game could possibly be the first NHL elimination game ever decided by a shootout.

Anonymous said...

eliminated by a shootout! why not just flip a coin before the game? bettman is an idiot. by the way why was the meaningless bos/wash game televised on national tv nbc in the usa and NOT the ranger/flyers game which was a sudden death playoff? just how long do these owners want to keep letting this bettman continue hurting hockey?

Bryne said...

Regarding the complaints about the shoot-out deciding the Rangers-Flyers fate - at least they were able to determine it ON the ice. Far better than having to fall back on the arbitrary tie breaking procedure thats in place.

Anonymous said...

How true!

c/p tsn

1 hour ago
Philly just eliminated the Rangers AND the Habs.

Anonymous said...


"settle it on the ice"?

with a skills competition?
i couldnt care less which team won. but to get in on a skills competition that no other sane north american sport has and have the other eliminated that way! this is bettman hockey! not hockey that has been around over 100 years before that dwarf ever decided to make money off it. on saturday i saw his extra referee he added to the one ref that always was enough, in the boston game the ref who now stands behind the net as his main job now is point into the net that a goal is scored so a guy up in the press box can turn on the red light(because bettman got rid of the goal judge), that ref in that game standing behind the net behind the goalie ward the puck completely loose at least 5 feet IN FRONT of the goalie but from behind the goalie that ref could of course not see the puck and blows his whistle just as bruins player is shooting the puck into the net - NO GOAL ALLOWED! then i watch leafs/habs and phaneuf in corner near boards doing nothing illegal about 40 or more feet away in front of net near opposite boards a different leaf player clearly trips a hab. the ref gives the tripping penalty to phaneuf who has to serve it. thats the great benefit of this idiot bettman's new game. today the red light in ranger game comes on but puck never even came close to entering the net- turned on by a guy upstairs 50 yards away BECAUSE bettman got rid of the goal judge. this game was NOT on national tv because bettman is an idiot. nor is it on espn anymore because of him. remember that nyr/buf overtime playoff game a couple of years back on nbc national tv that was cut off in overtime because of the preakness. because bettman was too stupid to start the game a couple of hours earlier.

Anonymous said...

Looking at these final standings. Philadelphia won 2 more games than Boston did but finished 3 points behind Boston. That is the logic of Bettman's NHL.

Anonymous said...

Understand a team may be seeded higher with lower points but because a division winner is seeded higher than the 2nd place team in a different division who may have got more points. NFL does the same - actually Bettman just copied the NFL on that one. But here in that Bos/Pha situation we are talking about Philly winning 2 more games but having less points because Bettman in effect by adding that 3rd point to "some games" had devalued what a win was worth. I.E - it used to be worth 2 points MORE than what the loser got. Now the loser in "some games" gets 1 point which has devalued by half for "some games" what a win was worth.

Imagine a 9 inning tie in baseball- play 1 extra inning - if still tied have a home run derby to decide the winner.


In the NFL you could have a fieldgoal kicking contest after a tie and 5 minutes of overtime.

What Bettman has done to this game is totally absurd

NYG24 said...

The Montreal Canadiens have a winning record against the Washington Capitals (2-1-1), and the Capitals have a winning record against the Habs (also 2-1-1).

Each team went 2-1-1 against the other in the SAME four games. Typical NHL logic of the Bettman era.

Game 1 - Montreal wins 3-2 (0-1)
Game 2 - Caps win 4-2 (1-1)
Game 3 - Caps win in SO 4-3 (2-1)
Game 4 - Montreal wins 6-5 in OT (2-1-1)


On April 15, 1952, the Montreal Canadiens met the Detroit Red Wings in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals at the Olympia in Detroit. Detriot led the series 3 games to 0 and had won 7 playoff games in a row. A pair of fans, Pete and Jerry Cusimano, threw an octopus on the ice, their father was working in the fish business. The 8 tentacles of the octopus symbolized the 8 games the Red Wings needed to win to be Stanley Cup champions. Detroit won the game 3-0 to sweep the series and a new tradition was born. Fans continue to throw octopuses on the ice at Red Wings games for good luck. At Detroit's Joe Louis Arena, a huge mechanical octopus was suspended from the rafters.