Smart, passionate and somewhat biased commentary about the Montreal Canadiens (HABS) from a lifelong fan now living in Toronto (LeafLand).
Apr
28
2011

2nd Round Predictions

No time to sit around... the 2nd round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs begins tonight with the Nashville Predators visiting the Vancouver Canucks. So here's my predictions. 3-5 in the opening round. Not great, so let's see if I can finish in the money for the 2nd round:WESTERN CONFERENCEVancouver Canucks vs. Nashville PredatorsHere's the deal. The Canucks should win. But the season series was tied 2 games apiece and we know Nashville plays hard and does well with seemingly very little. They also have a top goaltender in Pekka Rinne. Advantage in nets to Nashville, but I have to pick…
Apr
28
2011

OT Habs’ Achilles Heel

And so my friends the last siren has sounded on the Montreal Canadiens' 2010-2011 season, falling 4-3 in OT last night to lose their opening round series against the Bruins 4-3.David Krejci celebrates as he reacts to the puck hitting the twine in Game 7 last night in Boston. Price had no chance on the deflection off of Jeff Halpern's skate. Some unlucky bounces and the lack of 5-on-5 scoring did the Habs in.Disappointment reigns large, but this Habs team has nothing to be ashamed about. They fought hard, showed a lot of courage and determination last night and in…
Apr
27
2011

THIS IS IT!!!

Game 7 tonight in Boston.This is it. For all the marbles.Winner take all.Who will it be???The Habs have to be happy to have forced Game 7 and to have successfully put all the pressure back onto the Bruins' shoulders heading into Boston. Carey Price has to be happy that a soft goal wasn't the difference in the game this time.The Bruins have to look in the mirror and wonder why they played such an undisciplined game last night!? Maybe Dr. Recchi specializes in sports psychology???? They have to be pleased that they carried the game 5-on-5, but now nerves and…
Apr
26
2011

Wotta Night of Hockey!!!

Tonight's a HUGE night in the 1st round of the NHL playoffs. The question is how I'm going to watch it all:Habs vs. Bruins - Game 6In Montreal the Habs look to send the series back to Boston for the ultimate showdown tomorrow night. Who in the NHL doesn't want Game 7 to happen???? Price is due after losing his last 7 playoff starts in Montreal and the team needs to redeem themselves after letting Game 4 slip through their fingers. If Montreal plays a full 60 minutes they can pull this out. Then all the pressure goes back onto…
Apr
24
2011

Habs Need Win at Home to Force Game 7

Can't really blame the Habs last night for coming up on the short end of a 2-1 double OT loss to in Game 5 to the Bruins last night. The game could've gone either way. That's playoff hockey folks.For the first time in the series it's my opinion at least the Bruins played and dictated -- for the most part -- their style of game. The limited offensive chances, they pressured the Habs' zone, they cycled the puck well and they got two dirty goals when it counted.The Habs for their part played a solid, reactionary game evoking tons of…
Apr
22
2011

Bruins Burn Habs Homestand — Series Tied at 2

Turnabout is fair play, at least that's how the expression goes.With all the momentum after winning the first two games in Boston, the Habs had the Bruins on the mat, bloodied and confused.But they let the Bruins off of the mat and now, suddenly, Boston has all the momentum heading back to Boston for Game 5 after a dramatic 5-4 OT win in Montreal with who else but Michael Ryder scoring the overtime winner 2 minutes in.The Habs led in each period but couldn't put the Bruins on fire.Actually there were two games in one last night. The first saw…
Apr
19
2011

It’s a Series Now — Bruins Take Game 3 in Montreal

Nobody expected the Boston Bruins to just roll over and die.Well, nobody except the Canadiens, apparently.The Habs came out flat and were "out Canadien-ed" by a now officially desperate Bruins team to lose 4-2 in front of a frenzied crowd. Boston is back in the series and now have new life.It seems that the pressure to perform these teams face in front of their home crowds is getting to them. Boston has been ruthless on their team. The Montreal crowd last night did everything they could do to motivate their team, but it wasn't enough.Buoyed by the return of big…
Apr
17
2011

Habs Head Home Up 2-0

Can't ask for anything more than this. Habs are up 2-0 in their 1st round series against the Bruins with Games 3 and 4 to be played in Montreal. It's only 2 games, and there's still a long way to go. But is it safe to say to all of the naysayers that the Habs are the real deal and that last year's run was no fluke?? And that the Habs have crafted a team around a core that knows what it takes to win in the playoffs??? The Habs continued to put into practice their tough, everyone plays for…
Apr
15
2011

Price Perfect — Habs Win Game 1 in Beantown

It may go against the so-called experts' predictions, but is anyone really surprised how the Habs won game 1 of their opening round series against the supposedly big, bad Bruins? Montreal-area Boston Pizzas are changing their names for the series. Brilliant!!Not me. But of course, I picked the Habs. The Canadiens as a team played a picture-perfect road game and Carey Price stopped all 31 shots he faced, making sure to remind everyone that he plans to build on his terrific regular season and take things to the next level in the playoffs with last night's 2-0 shutout against the…
Apr
13
2011

Nobody is Picking the Habs!!

The "real" NHL season begins tonight -- a long and tough road that leads to the holy grail of sports trophies -- the Stanley Cup. Hayden Panettiere licks Lord Stanley's... mug. Oh, to be young again, when this time of year Montrealers would watch as Ste. Catherine street was cleaned and prepped for the annual Stanley Cup parade. You know, how then Mayor Drapeau put it, along the "usual route." We took it for granted back then. Still a little boy, I was just happy that Montreal, the city I was born and bred in, was a winning town. We're…
Apr
10
2011

Leafs Throw in the Towel as Habs Head Towards Beantown Showdown

Well that's the end of the 2010-2011 Montreal Canadiens regular season. It's been fun and some great stories emerged. April 9, 2011. MLSE handed out these towels upon entering the ACC in Toronto last night. How fitting. (Photo by HabsFanInLeafLand.) The Habs faced a lot of adversity this year right from the onset: 1) Mike Cammellari suspended at the start of the season after his hack on an Islanders prospect in the preseason; 2) Andrei Markov tearing the same ACL he had repaired against Carolina -- out for the season; 3) Josh Gorges playing on an injured knee which finally…
Apr
06
2011

Nailbiter Towards the Playoffs

Phew! That's what I said after last night's game which saw the Habs score a 2-1 OT victory against the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks. You'd think normally a 1-1 game would be snooze-fest. Not this time. End to end action. Both goaltenders on fire. Lots of speed. Some good hitting. Maybe some questionable calls... but most importantly, the end result the team and Habs fans alike were hoping for. With the win, the Canadiens punch their ticket into the postseason and win their final home game of the year. Nice to do it with a victory instead of…
Apr
03
2011

Play the System = Habs Win

Last night's 3-1 victory against the New Jersey Devils in Jersey last night was more of a morale booster than anything. But it also showed that the team took a step to evaluate themselves, and return to the kind of hockey that has proven to be successful for this team. Carey Price checks out what's behind him on Mattias Tedenby's penalty shot last night in New Jersey. The puck hit the post before touching Price's right pad to keep it out of the net. Photo by: Paul Bereswill, Getty Images. Jacques Martin's squad played a solid, 60 minute performance that…