Friday, May 30, 2014

Montreal-New York Game #6: The Grind of the Playoffs Finally Wears Through the CH

Date: 29/05/2014
Opponent: Rangers
Location: New York

Loss: 0-1

Habs Goalie: Tokarski (L)
Opposition Goalie: Lundqvist (W)

Habs goalscorers: None
Opposition goalscorers: Moore

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Montreal-New York Game #5: Quick Strikes Stun Rangers

Date: 27/05/2014
Opponent: Rangers
Location: Montreal

Win: 7-4

Habs Goalie: Tokarski (W)
Opposition Goalie: Lundqvist, Talbot (L)

Habs goalscorers: Galchenyuk, Plekanec, Pacioretty, Bourque (3), Desharnais
Opposition goalscorers:Stepan (2), Nash, Kreider

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Some Wins Now For Briere

If the Canadiens need some inspiration, and it seems that they may do, they should think about this:

Daniel Briere is 36 years old and not looking at too many more contracts in his future. He also happens to be one of the premiere playoff performers of all time to never hoist a Stanley Cup.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Montreal-New York Game #4: Montreal Must Forget Mistakes That Weren't Forgiving

Date: 25/05/2014
Opponent: Rangers
Location: New York

Win: 2-3 (OT)

Habs Goalie: Tokarski (L)
Opposition Goalie: Lundqvist, (W)

Habs goalscorers: Bouillon, Subban
Opposition goalscorers: Hagelin, Brassard, St. Louis

Friday, May 23, 2014

New York-Montreal Game #3: Tokarski & Clutch

Date: 22/05/2014
Opponent: Rangers
Location: New York

Win: 3-2 (OT)

Habs Goalie: Tokarski (W)
Opposition Goalie: Lundqvist, (L)

Habs goalscorers: Markov, Briere, Galchenyuk
Opposition goalscorers:Hagelin, Kreider

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Why I Trust Vanek

From the off with this blog, I feel I have been at least consistent in one thing: trusting talent.

Our very first post dealt with the rocky relationship of Habs fans and Kovalev and how not really having a true scorer for many years hurt the observer's ability to understand his movements and potential payoffs. I got in quite a few spats with other bloggers over Kovalev and had the quiet satisfaction in the impact he made in 2008 (Of course by the end of that season, each adversary knew that it would happen that way).

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

On Penalties, Posts and Kreiders

The opening of the third round has been difficult for the Canadiens thus far. The team lost game #1 within minutes of puck drop and have since lost another. The most penetrating wound inflicted by the Rangers being the injury to Carey Price, which removes not only a very good goalie from the Canadiens lineup, but also a whole system of play built over months.

I wanted to explore in a little more depth the incident that precipitated Price's exit from the lineup. Much has been said about the accidental hit already. Far less about what can be done to help prevent this. I hope to touch on a bit of both.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

New York-Montreal Game #2: Canadiens Fall Again to Able Opposition

Date: 19/05/2014
Opponent: Rangers
Location: Montreal


Habs Goalie: Tokarski (L)
Opposition Goalie: Lundqvist, (W)

Habs goalscorers: Pacioretty
Opposition goalscorers:McDonagh, Nash, St. Louis

Monday, May 19, 2014

Montreal-New York Game #1: Let It All Out (In)

Date: 17/05/2014
Opponent: Rangers
Location: Montreal

Loss: 2-7

Habs Goalie: Price (L), Budaj
Opposition Goalie: Lundqvist, (W)

Habs goalscorers: Bourque, Eller
Opposition goalscorers: St. Louis, Zuccarello Kreider, Richards, McDonagh, Stepan, Nash

Friday, May 16, 2014

Revving Up Round 3: Strengths and Weakensses for Canadiens and Rangers

What a pleasure to have to write another one of these. Another series means the Canadiens strengths might be tested in different ways, as well as their weaknesses. To analyze the Rangers is a taller task than the Bruins, as they occupy less of my thoughts on a regular basis. Here goes anyway.

Canadiens strengths

1. Depth of scoring (Same as Bruins series)
This strength remains a core strength. In fact it did the Bruins in. To have Daniel Briere take a 4th line shift is a huge luxury, as is having a revitalized Lars Eller with experienced Gionta and fast Bourque on the 3rd unit.

The fortunate problem of the Canadiens coaching staff right now is the imminent return of Alex Galchenyuk: one of the team's strongest on-puck players. Usually it takes time for a player to go from first contact practice to insertion in the lineup, so don't expect #27 on Saturday. Beyond that, it's a coach's decision. The depth he adds is interesting as he could be inserted onto any of the forward lines to create a change of look and improve talent level throughout.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Bye Bye Bye

Boston-Montreal Game #7: The Depth of Desire

Date: 14/05/2014
Opponent: Bruins
Location: Boston

Win: 3-1

Habs Goalie: Price (W)
Opposition Goalie: Rask (L)

Habs goalscorers: Weise, Pacioretty, Briere
Opposition goalscorers: Iginla

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Three Little Numbers


Montreal's record in Boston this season, with this team is 3-2-0. If you want look at Boston that have been 2-1-2 (I guess also 0.600 by total points from those available). They have only been the same as home ice then: 3-2-0 (also 0.600).  Throw in other recent years on both surfaces and it only shows that the ice surface these teams meet on, or the fans they play in front of matter little to both groups of players.

This doesn't reveal much. Except this: Montreal is perfectly capable of playing hockey in Boston and winning.


A player to watch tonight: PK Subban. This will be his 4th career Game #7 in 7 playoff series with the Habs. Each has been against a higher seed (so well earned). The team has done well, but so has Subban and grown in influence over those series. He was marginal against Washington in 2010 when Markov was healthy, but a couple of weeks later was basically the number one defender against Pittsburgh. Facing Boston in 2011, he was again without Markov, and scored that goal neither Tim Thomas nor any of us will forget. He has two domes in the three games. You can read the reports here: WAS 2010 Game 7; PIT 2010 Game 7; BOS 2011 Game 7.

This series so far has been another big step for Subban. Never mind the goals, he dealt with the sideshow of racism with quite some grace and has shown he is fully capable of pulling behind the team plan when the team needs him to.


The number of people who know who is going to win. I am sure there are two coaches who "expect" to win, whether they say so publicly or not. The reason games are any fun at all to watch is because no one can predict what will happen. I don't know anymore than Claude Julien, I'll leave it at that.


Monday, May 12, 2014

Boston-Montreal Game #6: Habs Use Home Ice To Max Effect

Date: 12/05/2014
Opponent: Bruins
Location: Montreal

Win: 4-0

Habs Goalie: Price (W)
Opposition Goalie: Rask (L)

Habs goalscorers: Eller, Pacioretty, Vanek (2)
Opposition goalscorers: None

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Boston-Montreal Game #5: Bruins Of the Regular Season Returns to Take Series Lead

Date: 10/05/2014
Opponent: Bruins
Location: Boston

Loss: 2-4

Habs Goalie: Price (L)
Opposition Goalie: Rask (W)

Habs goalscorers: Gallagher, Subban
Opposition goalscorers:Soderberg, Smith, Iginla, Eriksson

Friday, May 09, 2014

Boston-Monrreal Game #4: Figures

Date: 08/05/2014
Opponent: Bruins
Location: Montreal

Loss: 0-1

Habs Goalie: Price (L)
Opposition Goalie: Rask (W)

Habs goalscorers: None
Opposition goalscorers: Fraser

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Drawing Penalties: The Illegitimate Child of Offensive Play

When you live  Boston series for a few days in a row, you really get the sense of living in a completely different world from the opposing fanbase. Besides the difference in player drafting and development philosophies, it's the complete divergence on what is hockey and what is not.

To the Bruins, there should be no penalties. Their players know the rules and that should be enough. Let them be the ones to interpret how things can be taken -- given the game situation. The Canadiens believe quite firmly in penalties and are happy to derive strategies with the fact-of-NHL-life at the centre.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Boston Montreal Game #3: Early Goals Bury Bruins This Time

Date: 06/05/2014
Opponent: Bruins
Location: Montreal

Win: 4-2

Habs Goalie: Price (W)
Opposition Goalie: Rask (L)

Habs goalscorers: Plekanec, Subban, Weise, Eller
Opposition goalscorers: Bergeron, Iginla

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Hey Boston: Here Comes the Night Game

I'm invoking the March 15 intro:

A Study on Bruins Thinking

The Bruins and their fans are an interesting study in thinking. Between games, an interesting documentary on one-sided thinking is being recorded for posterity.

1. Thronton

I have been particularly interested in the past couple of days in the Shawn Thornton moment for a few reasons:

Monday, May 05, 2014

Some Notes on the Bruins Comeback Machine

Forgive the Canadiens for believing it, they've succumbed themselves now twice to the feat, but the Bruins third period numbers (that is goals for vs. goals against) is tied much more closely to the story that they keep leads (the majority of their games) rather than the fact they take them back.

The numbers that has the admirers slack-jawed with awe show that Boston outscored their opponents by 50 goals in third periods to the tune of 3.80 GF/60 and 2.05 GA/60. A bump in offense over their 3.15 GF/60 generally, but very consistent with their 2.08 GA/60.

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Boston-Montreal Gam2 #2: Bruins Claw Back to Even Series

Date: 03/05/2014
Opponent: Bruins
Location: Boston

Loss: 3-5

Habs Goalie: Price (L)
Opposition Goalie: Rask (W)

Habs goalscorers: Weaver, Vanek (2)
Opposition goalscorers: Paille, Hamilton, Bergeron, Smith, Lucic

Friday, May 02, 2014

Boston-Montreal Game #1: Habs' Award Snubs Outshine Nominees

Date: 01/05/2014
Opponent: Bruins
Location: Boston

Win: 4-3 (OT)

Habs Goalie: Price (W)
Opposition Goalie: Rask (L)

Habs goalscorers: Subban (2), Bourque, Bouillon
Opposition goalscorers: Smith, Krug, Boychuk

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Revving Up Round 2: One Last Turn of the Crank

The tough self-image carried by Boston fans and their team is so hollow it is silly.

Revving Up Round 2: Boston vs. Montreal (Playoff Experience)

When it comes to a series of underdog vs. Cup favourite, a lot of words are trotted about experience in these situations. The wisdom is that Boston has more and can use it to their advantage. Let's see this in raw form.