Monday, April 12, 2010

Washington bound

So the Canadiens draw the mighty Capitals in Round One, and everyone will quite rightly say that regular season match-ups mean nothing in the playoffs. Fair enough.

But throw the 2-1-1 regular season record against Washington out the window and just look at how the Canadiens played against this team in those four games. They competed in each and every one, save for maybe the 4-2 regulation loss on Jan. 5, but even that was a one-goal game late into the third.

The Capitals are a fine offensive machine, no question. They have the league's most exciting player, most offensively dynamic defenceman, and two supporting players that would be the best on just about any other team. It's a daunting challenge.

But the playoffs are all about challenges, and I'm not willing to write off the Canadiens in this one just yet.

I'll spend the next couple of days breaking it down, but this post was more to announce that I'll be hitting the road to cover the series for as a playoff blogger for a third straight year. Very excited about it, but it means this blog might not be quite as full as it should be in the midst of a playoff series. I'll still check in here very regularly, and will provide links to my work for CBC and The Canadian Press so you can check out what I'm up to.


Bruce said...

The CBC is broadcasting two American teams(Bos/Buf)instead of the Habs/Wash series. Three Canadian teams in playoffs and they can only show two of them? Can someone explain that one!!

jkr said...

I know the seaosn series was 2-2 but I just can't see teh Habs making any headway against an offensive machine like Washington. I can't see them winning more than one game.

Arpon Basu said...

TSN's last NHL deal stated that if there are three Canadian teams that make playoffs, they get at least one. CBC had top two picks and went with Vancouver and Ottawa/Crosby. I originally was baffled by the decision, but given the fact CBC would be competing with RDS for viewers on Habs and the draw of Crosby, I understand it more now.

Anonymous said...

Habs won less than half of their 82 games in attaining 88 points. Note- the 7th place team in the west had 100 points. Habs won 24 games out of 82 in regulation time. Habs scored 101 less goals than Washington. Habs finished 33 points behind Washington.

Biggest mismatch of this year's playoffs!

Anonymous said...

The only hope the Habs have is for Washington being overconfident.

TK said...

Although their chances are slim, I am not willing to count out the Habs either. Goaltending always plays a huge role in the playoffs and there is no telling who may catch fire, and who may drop the ball for either team. For Washignton, Theodore has been up and down all season but he managed to finish strong. Varlamov hasn't looked great since coming back from his injury. Halak will finally get his opportunity to take the team into the playoffs, and he will have to be at his very best if the Habs have any chance.
Have fun in the Capitol Arp!

Anon- This should be an exciting series, even if it is a mismatch (#8 v #1 series often are).

Paul said...

1982 L.A. Kings vs Oilers

Not saying it will happen again. Just pointing out that it could.

Anonymous said...

@Paul - Wishful thinking!


Key number: 88. That's the number of points the Canadiens earned to make the playoffs. It's the lowest total for a playoff team in the Eastern Conference since the lockout.

A bunch of guys claiming to be Montreal fans on this and other blogs/boards wanted Washington, now they'll see how little they knew about hockey.

Anonymous said...

Montreal Canadiens 80 60 8 12 387 171 132
Montreal Canadiens 80 59 10 11 359 183 129

In 80 games(2 games less) the Montreal Canadiens won 59 and 60 games in REGULATION time(60 minutes).

Montreal Canadiens in 82 games(2 games more) the Montreal Canadiens won 24 games in REGULATION time(60 minutes).

This team does not even belong in the playoffs(which they proved by losses to bottom feeders Carolina, Islanders and Leafs in games they needed), let alone to have to play against the best team in the league who no one in either conference even came close to their 121 points.

Paul said...

Of course it's wishful thinking. I wouldn't bet more than ten bucks (as a friendly bet--with the full expectation I would lose) on the Habs. I was merely pointing out (I'm an historian, so I tend to remember such things) that it was not impossible for the Habs to pull off an upset.

pfhabs said...


-as a historian you know this axiomatic phrase: 'learn from history or you're doomed to repeat it'

-CH management has learned nothing in the last 7 years and Geoff Molson will soon a very hard lesson and even a harder one next year when he looks at his cap situation and his defence: their age, lack of speed and lack of physicality and salaries. the heart is willing but the body is broken down

@Anon + @Anon above Paul:

-glad to finally see some common sense hard will some fans fall when they come to realize that they've been lied to by CH management

-got rid of 12 guys and brought in a bunch only to end up in the same sad !

Anonymous said...

We're being lied to? lol We aren't going to war here, just cheering our team on in the playoffs. Lighten up man.

If you want delusional Habs fans you are probably looking in the wrong place. I don't think too many people commenting on this blog expected much more than the Habs provided this season.

Anonymous said...


ovechkin = gretzky
oilers scored more than 100 more goals
kings/habs 24 wins in regulation time

Edmonton Oilers 80 48 17 15 111
Los Angeles Kings 80 24 41 15 63

LA Kings then won the first round series 3-2

Sliver24 said...

I wouldn't put too much stock in pfhabs' assessment of what Geoff Molson feels about the team. In fact I have first-hand info that it's not how he feels.

I was in (exotic) Moncton for work all last week and was unfortunate enough to have a connecting flight via Halifax on the way home. As Murphy's Law would have it, my colleague and I were grounded due to fog and ended up in the Quality Inn by the airport for the night.

We headed to the bar for a nightcap and who was at the bar but Geoff Molson, sitting with two other randoms. Truth be told I didn't recognize him but one of the other guys leaned over and pointed it out to me.

He was in Halifax launching 'M' in the Atlantic Provinces.

I'm not usually one to chat up a 'celebrity' but in that kind of a setting it was impossible not to strike up a conversation. Here is what I learned about the Habs new owner:

Geoff Molson is a fan of the team. He told me straight out that he would never even consider interfering in hockey operations, and I believed him. We discussed the Habs in a general sense and I felt compelled to pass along a few of my own nuggets of wisdom, which I'm sure he promptly filed under 'G' (as in garbage - I would have in his position).

He also said he hoped (hoped - as in he has no input) that Carey Price would have a long and prosperous career with the team, playing right alongside Jaro Halak. Seriously, it was like shooting the breeze with any other die-hard fan.

He obviously avoided making any negative comments about the team or the players - you never know what's going to end up on the Internet ;) - but it was obvious that he is full of passion and loves being the owner of the team.

In any event, he has handed the keys to our friend Pierre Gauthier and he's going to keep his hands off the wheel until he decides he's seen enough of PG's driving. Then he'll find someone else to steer, but he'll be remaining safely strapped into the passenger's seat.

Arpon Basu said...

Wow Sliver, a brush with greatness in a Halifax bar. Was Geoff drinking Keith's?

pfhabs said...


-still having trouble reading ! I have no idea what Geoffie thinks nor have I ever said I did.

-but it's clear from what he's said in public interviews and what you relayed that he's a fan. unfortunantely he's forgotten that in fact he's the boss. one can only hope 7 years of the same result registers


-difficult to know if you've been here long ? there are some that had them 3rd or 4th in the conference...isn't that right S24 ?

-others who think calling them a bubble team is just to dam negative and disrepectful of Bob. right V ?

-in the end they'll make as good a showing as possible which will be enough for a lot and not so much for the rest....and the mouse wheel of futility will continue...enjoy. I will not lose any sleep either way