Archive for the ‘Game Previews’ Category

Habs Carry Playoff Weight Into Philly

With regulation losses for all three of the teams currently locked up with the Habs in the playoff race – the Bruins, Flyers and Thrashers – Montreal has gotten something of a bye for the defeat at the hands of the Hurricanes on Wednesday night and tonight have the opportunity to pull ahead of the crowd when they visit Philly.

The Canadiens notched a 3-1 victory against the Flyers in their first meeting this season but dropped two back-to-back in a home-and-home event in February. With Philly and Montreal tied at 82 points with equal games played but the Flyers holding one extra victory, the Habs can jump into sixth spot tonight with a victory.

Jaroslav Halak gets the start in nets after Price’s hard-luck loss in Carolina.

Habs Take Two-Game Skid to Buffalo

After dropping two consecutive games to end their six-game winning streak, the Habs will look to get back on track tonight against the always-dangerous Buffalo Sabres.

The Habs’ lineup will feature some big changes tonight as Carey Price gets the nod in favor of Jaroslav Halak and Mike Cammalleri and Marc Andre Bergeron both return after lengthy times off due to injuries. The latest news from Jacques Martin has the ever-struggling Maxim Lapierre in the press box as a healthy scratch.

The Canadiens were on fire before their losses to Toronto and Ottawa and will need to right the ship if they are to stay in the thick of the last few playoff positions in the Eastern Conference. I predict a 4-1 Habs victory with Cammy scoring a pair and Bergeron blasting one home on the powerplay.

Philadelphia Flyers – Game 3

The Canadiens head to Philly after their disappointing game two loss to decide a lead in their currently tied series. Many fans are a bit worried after the near-loss in the first game but I have to say this: Carey Price was a bit shaky on Saturday and Martin Biron was outstanding, that was the biggest difference in the game.

Assuming Price steps up his game from this point forward and the Montreal shooters made a better point on Monday – a big Canadiens’ win is coming.

Philadelphia Flyers – Game 2

Game two of the Habs’ semifinal series against the Flyers takes place at the Bell Centre in Montreal on Saturday evening. The Canadiens will be looking to build on the momentum they established in their game one overtime win while Philly will be looking to control Montreal’s faster skaters in order to keep the scoring to a minimum.

With Philadelphia having taken a 2-0 lead in the first period of game one the Habs will likely be looking to tighten up their defense and stay close to shooters like Daniel Briere. After suffering a few bad breaks early on in the first game between the teams Carey Price looked great so expect the same from him.


Philadelphia Flyers – Game 1

The Habs play host to the Flyers tomorrow in the opening match of their second round Eastern Conference series after both teams had trouble with their first round opponents and ended up in a game seven situation. The Canadiens shut the Bruins out 5-0 and the Flyers defeated the pesky Capitals 3-2 in an overtime win last night.

The Habs and Flyers met four times throughout the regular season with Montreal winning all four, outscoring Philly 15-6 in that period. This number combined with the fact that Carey Price is very hot (two shutouts in the first round despite the couple of rough losses) will have Philly anxious to crash the net and get some ugly goals in their push to get pucks behind Price. On the Flyers side, Martin Biron has been looking good as well – he notched 39 saves last night in the pivotal win over Washington.

This will be a great opener and a great series – enjoy and, as always: GO HABS GO!

Boston Bruins – Game 7

Canadiens fans were hoping that it wouldn’t come to this and you can bet the team is kicking itself for not coming on a little stronger in the past couple of games. For the first time in their team history, the Bruins have come back from a 3-1 series deficit to bring things to an even 3-3 tie; a win tonight by the Bruins would set another milestone, as would losing a series after being up 3-1 for the Canadiens.

Carey Price, who was soft in game five and not at his best in game six, will return tonight in the hopes of leading his Habitants to a series victory and a berth in the second round of the playoffs. With thousands of faithful stomachs tied up in knots, Habs fans around the country will unite to cheer their Canadiens on as they play to win in the packed Bell Centre.

Get ready for a big game and, as always, go Habs go!

Boston Bruins – Game 6

They beat us 2-1 in overtime and we shrugged it off. We came back the next night to squeak by with a 1-0 victory. Then they tromped us 5-1 in our own building.

So what’s really up with the Bruins? Have they finally solved the puzzle that is Carey Price and company? It certainly looked like it in Montreal on Thursday as the Habs were beaten 5-1 following a hard Bruins surge and a Carey Price breakdown in the third period. After all of those losses, this stunning victory must give Boston at least some sense of confidence.

On the other hand, Carey Price came out of that game full of confidence and with little regard for what he says will simply be a rough night that he puts behind him. The Canadiens organization also announced this morning that Saku Koivu may be ready for game six in Boston on Saturday.

All in all, I’d say the Habs aren’t really in any danger here. On the other hand, they need to get things rolling; the Bruins will be the weakest team we meet in the 2008 playoffs and the team needs to remember that.

Boston Bruins – Game 4

<img src="" alt="" />After 13 straight losses to the Montreal Canadiens over a span of two regular seasons and a playoff round, the Bruins finally managed to solve the Habs with their 2-1 overtime victory on Sunday. This has got to be a huge confidence boost for bears and the real question now is: can the top guns in red, white and blue crush that confidence back down to where it belongs?

Carey Price has been phenomonal. The Habs’ fourth line has been phenomonal. But where is everyone else? Kovalev and Plekanec have only two points each, Andrei Kostitsyn has one and Christopher Higgins has yet to notch a playoff point. The good news is that the team is well-aware of where they need to improve; Plekanec went so far as to say that he has "played like a little girl" in the first few games of the series. I would say that is a bit of an exaggeration but I’m looking forward to seeing what he comes up with in Boston tonight.

Go Habs Go!

Boston Bruins – Game 1

Montreal CanadiensThe Eastern Conference champion Montreal Canadiens open the first round of the 2008 playoffs this afternoon as they play host to the Boston Bruins. After sweeping the Bruins in the eight-game series between the teams this year the Habs are the heavy favorites going into today’s game.

The Canadiens are reporting that, while Saku Koivu will remain out of the lineup for a few more days, Mike Komisarek and Michael Ryder will both return for the Habs; Marc Savard is expected to make a return for Boston tonight as well.

I’m personally predicting a 4-1 series win for the Habs. I think the Bruins will bring their “A” game but the Canadiens will be too much in the end with their speed, skill and premiere goaltending. Here’s hoping for a big win tonight!

Toronto Maple Leafs – April 5

The Montreal Canadiens play host to the Toronto Maple Leafs in their final game of the 2007-08 regular season on Saturday (on CBC HNIC nationwide!). The Leafs are out of the playoffs and on a two-game losing streak while the Habs are in a must-win situation if they hope to continue to challenge the Pittsburgh Penguins for top spot in the Eastern Conference.

Although he lost his last start against the Leafs, Carey Price is 3-1 against the rival team this season and has gone 11-3 with a 2.20 GAA since taking over the number one spot in Montreal in February. He’s allowed only one goal in his past two games.

With the Penguins holding the first tiebreaker against the Canadiens, the Habs will need to win against Toronto and than see the Pens take at most one point in their final regular season match against the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday.

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