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 doubt will set in. Even Timmy Thomas appeared a bit rattled in a post-game scrum when a reporter's microphone got a bit too close to his head.
No doubt, the Bruins lose tonight, their season is a failure and some changes will come to that squad.
The Habs win tonight, they've done it again, then they will face the Washington Capitals in a rematch that I'm sure Ovechkin et al would relish.
Although it wasn't their best game, the Habs once again showed they have tremendous character and leadership. And it all starts with Captain Gionta, who scored the game winner.
Last night's game was a bit of a weird one: the referees seemed to have taken over the game especially in the 2nd period. Poor passing, missed checks, a general lack of flow and some puck fumbling by both goalies probably was the result of nervousness with both squads.
The Habs looked nervous, but came out of the gate strong only to have a sure goal by Gionta called back because the referee lost sight of the puck and blew the play dead. Okay, it happens. He lost sight of the puck and blew the whistle before the puck went in. It's the right call, if not what we wanted.
Good on the Habs to not let that get them down.
Then the Habs benefitted from the Bruins' indiscipline. A too many men penalty (refs had to call it) bled into a slashing penalty (the refs had to call that one too) and next thing you know Michael Cammellari is blasting his signature one-timer (hope we see it again tonight) past Timmy Thomas. 1-0 after the 1st period.
Inexplicably, the Habs then started the 2nd period as if they all had two left feet and a comedy of errors and not pressing the puck handler enough resulted in Seidenberg's goal early in the period. Price should have had that one, obviously as he was beat against the post under his glove arm.
1-1 and the pressure was back on the Canadiens. Price then made a terrific glove save a few minutes later when it looked like the Habs were ready to book their tee times, thus announcing to his team "not tonight."
This is how Price has grown from previous years. He lets in a bad goal, sure. But now his resolve, resiliency and focus is so strong, he just lets it go. As does Thomas. And for the rest of the game Price came up big and made some terrific saves.
Then the Habs got another 5-on-3. Lucic clocks Spacek and gets a 5 minute and game misconduct. Bye bye Milan (no word on whether he gets suspended but I highly doubt it).
A short time after, Bergeron is called on a delay of game penalty. All penalties the refs HAD to call. So Julien can rant all he wants about those penalties and the 5-on-3s, but all he has to do is blame his own team. They weren't disciplined and put their team and goaltender in trouble. AND they couldn't score on their power play chances either.
Finally Gionta scored on a rebound -- which counted -- and the Habs regained the lead, 2-1.
Canadiens come out in the 3rd like they started the 2nd. Soft on the puck and giving the Bruins wayyyyyy too much space. If not for Price, the Bruins maybe win this game. It was nerve-wracking and the game clock -- could it have moved any slower!?
Game 7 against Boston. We couldn't have asked for much more as hockey fans. 2 games in 2 nights? Does anyone have the advantage???? Guess we'll see.
THEY FINALLY DID IT!!
The Vancouver Canucks -- by the skin of their teeth -- finally got past the Chicago Blackhawks in OT last night, winning 2-1. Captain Clutch, Jonathan Toews, scored the tying goal -- short-handed -- with less than 2 minutes remaining. At that point, who didn't think the Canucks were done like dinner!? Then the Hawks got an early powerplay in OT and I'm like "That's it." But that wasn't it. The 'Nucks killed it off and then Burrows pounced on a turnover at the Chicago blueline and pounded past Crawford. 'Nucks win. 'Nucks win. What a relief!?
Now my earlier caveat comes into play: was this victory like a Stanley Cup for the Canucks??? Can they ramp up the emotional factor even higher as they move through the playoffs??? Proof point, Luongo's comments after the game, saying this was bigger than the Olympic Gold Medal game. Careful Roberto. You have a long way to go man. Because the team will have to ramp it up to be successful the rest of the way. And if they play Detroit or San Jose, it's not going to be easy.
Goaltending!? We don't need no stinking goaltending!!!
The Philadelphia Flyers pounded the Buffalo Sabres 5-2 last night to wrap up their 1st round series. Too bad Buffalo but you had your chances. It's a tribute to the Flyers' scoring depth that they even got to 7 games, let alone win the game. Because Pronger is not 100% and the goaltending has been shoddy at best. But they pulled it out. Now they wait the winner of the remaining series to see which team they'll try to beat with 3 goalies :)