Habs Let It Get Away

What could have been.

The Canadiens could’ve gone back to Montreal with a seriously surprising 2-0 series lead. But they aren’t. Like a bad dream, they relinquished a 4-1 lead, and then a 5-4 edge late in the game, and in the end, the Montreal Canadiens settle for a split in Washington after losing the damn thing 6-5 in overtime.

But one thing’s for sure. The lucky people in the stands at the Bell Centre on Monday night should stand and applaud long and hard for the heroic Habs. They’re scaring the wits out of the Washington Capitals and their fans. They’re in the series in a big way, and I’m proud of them.

And it’s sure nice to see the scorers coming to life after a season of stops and starts.

But this one hurts. Almost as much as Jaroslav Halak hurts after the referees allowed the Capitals to storm the crease, pummelling the Habs goaltender with body shots and head shots and knocking him around so much that on any other night, in any other rink with any other team, the penalty box would’ve been packed with interfering players.

Sure, they got this one, these Caps. But they know they’re in a dogfight, Montreal knows for sure now that they can win this series, and Habs fans should be a disappointed but very proud bunch right now.

Random Notes:

Andrei Kostitsyn had three big goals on this night, adding to the group of offensive guys on the team who have finally started scoring. Brian Gionta and Tomas Plekanec also lit the light.

Montreal is playing well but needs to tighten up even more. No lead is safe, it seems.

There had better be some serious discussions with the powers-that-be about the roughing up of Jaroslav Halak. The cynic in me says if all that roughhousing in the Montreal crease was at the other end instead, there would’ve been a steady stream of Habs skating to the box.

As much as I disliked New York Islanders goalie Billy Smith in the 1980’s, you can be sure that he wouldn’t have taken any of that nonsense. Several Caps players might be nursing broken ankles right now.

30 thoughts on “Habs Let It Get Away”

  1. 😀

    Can’t believe CBC decided to take the Sabres/Bruins series and show curling over this. Their loss!

    You have no idea how excited I am for Wednesday.

  2. C, you’re so lucky to be going. The atmosphere is going to be unreal. Good for you, soak it all in, and let me know what it was like.
    It was a tough loss tonight, but we got out split and the boys are playing well. Just a few tweaks left to tweak.

  3. Nobody except us guys predicted the Habs would be giving the Caps so much trouble. In spite of this heartbreaking loss I am really proud of them. And I hope the Bell Centre fans blow the roof off the place as they hit the ice on Monday.
    Refs were brutal and cost us the game — so what else is new. It’s downright maddening.
    It’s now come down to a best of five series. All we have to do is win at home to take the series.
    The home crowd is a big factor and the Caps are bound to be thrown off their game a bit since they have never experienced anything like it.
    I think Martin will start Halak, but he has to keep him on a short leash now. If he lets in a couple of soft ones he has to do what Boudreau did with Theodore. And if it comes to this it may be Price’s time to show everyone how great he can really be.

  4. It’s unfortunate how they let this one get away, it can be demoralizing. I think Halak was completely thrown off his game after the 2nd goal. He seemed to be preoccupied by players near the crease rather than the puck. And he completely misplayed the last 2 goals, he should have had them.

  5. It has been exciting hockey to watch, but it would be much more exciting knowing that Montreal is leading the series after playing Washington exactly as planned. They deserved this win.

  6. Jan, I might have to have a hit put out on you. A contract. A Mafioso manhandling. “Good hockey for the east?” You might have to go into hiding.

  7. Chris, I thought it would be demoralizing if the Caps came back from down 4-1 and won after that. But Montreal scored another and made it 5, and for me that changed things. I think the Caps aren’t feeling real great right now.

  8. Danno, I’m proud of them too. They can still win this thing and I feel they’re going to. You know, even when it was 4-1, I wasn’t feeling good about it. And I wasn’t surprised that it became tied. It’s heartbreaking but it’s early, and I have faith.

  9. I haven’t watched the game yet. Found out the result while on ferry. We set out to win at least one game. we did that. Washington has goalie problems so that is in our favour. I hope the hab fans kick the shit out of these young Washington players. Having the last change will help in Mtl. We have the advantage I doubt Price will start as he hasn’t played in a while. Halak needs to elevate his game. i am sure he knows this. We need help on our D. Would be nice to see Subban called up and sitting someone. I am definitely more confident than I was before game 1.

  10. Dennis, in the paper this morning Washington’s coach Bruce Boudreau said something I totally agree with for once:

    “By no stretch did we probably deserve to win. But we got lucky.”

    He’s absolutely right about that. Luck included those men in stripes helping out big time.

  11. bruce is lucky that jakquiz martan’s plan for protecting a lead work to script once more just like it has all season, blowing games in the last couple of minutes. yes they played great for part of the game but there is no excuse not finishing. ask your self what bowman would have done if his goalie was being attacked……. if price had of lost last nights game we would have heard about it for sure. put price in. shake it up………… to quote a famous blogger “it’s what they do best” blowing a game in the last minute.
    not trying to be negative here but that IS the reality.

  12. i love billy smith because of that. he would do anything to win and not take shit. seems to me price is better equipped mentally and physically to handle that part of the game……… but i don’t have a tv so what do i know.

  13. That was an exciting game to watch but it really did’nt need to be. My God when we were up 4 to 1 we need to learn how to put our foot on their throats & choke the life out of them! The goal that got the Caps rolling should have been disallowed due to goaltender interferance, what game are these ref’s at surely not the one they were supposed to be at. I only hope we can shake off what could have been & come out flying at home Monday. If not we just may be looking back at game 2 as the turning point of the series!! It was a good effort last night but we need it to be a GREAT effort, no sitting back & choking the life out of our sticks. The best defence is a great offence, go after the bastards till the final siren sounds! Our great teams of the mid to late 70’s knew that was the differance from losing to winning!
    Les Canadiens Sont La!!!

  14. A few little things that affected the game’s outcome:

    * Two goalie interference incidents on Halak not called.
    * Many, faceoffs won by Montreal were waived off and restarted by the refs.
    * Two needless and momentum-stopping reviews. One on Gionta’s good goal the other on the Poulliot miss
    * Ovechkin given a free pass and carte blanche to hack away with no penalty
    * Caps net was lifted on Gionta’s potential game-winning goal – no call
    * Another occasion Varlamov intentionally lifted his net to stop play
    * Markov hit in the face with a high stick – no call
    * Bullsh*t call against Hal Gill
    * Washington was offside for the tying goal by Carlson.

  15. It wouldn’t be that bad to go with price. He is 5-6″ taller than Halak and about 35-40 heavier and won’t be getting pushed around so easily. And I believe he can still deliver a big win. Price may be motivated to redeem himself.

  16. Mayo, It would be so dramatic if Price went in. And if he won, it would be talked about for years after.

  17. Danno. I thought about the momentum thing too after the goal. And all your other points are dead-on. It was a game where the Habs really got shafted in many ways. I didn’t see Varlamov lift the net but if he did, it’s another huge frree pass for the Caps by the refs. What’s going on? Why did we get hosed on so many different occasions?

  18. Mike, It could be the turning poing but maybe not because after Washington had come back from down 4-1, Montreal scored again. I had a feeling all along that it was going to get very depressing, and it did. Man, another win would have been so fantastic.

  19. Hob, I agree with you completely. They’re not able to protect leads. And I find the idea of puttting Price in very intriguing. It’ll be a big story if it happens, that’s for sure. Such a disappointing game. 2-0 lead. 4-1 lead. 5-4 lead. Shit.

  20. Danno, Montreal had this game. But they had to battle both the Caps and the officials. I’d like to know if there’s a reason behind this.

  21. I think the problem was that Halak let the 2nd goal completely throw him off his game. It was as if he was possessed by Theodore. Bad calls and non-calls are part of the game, we can’t let them affect us or stop playing.

    I really wish the NHL would ban the carbon fibre sticks. They tend to explode at the worst possible time. I think it was Plekanec’s stick that fell apart on a slight slash that led to the delayed penalty on the 5th goal. He probably wasn’t going to get a penalty, but when your stick explodes, it’s almost automatic. And goalies use the excuse of the harder straighter shots from these sticks as reason why they need a tent for a jersey and barn doors for pads.

  22. Could it be the carbon fibre sticks are being doctored by the Caps so they shatter at the slightest contact and draw penalties?
    All’s fair in love and war. And the playoffs.

  23. I guess Jason Spezza is one of the few in the league who carries on with a wooden stick. I’ve never like these metal things. Kids pester their dads to buy them and they’re not cheap, and they fall apart. BRING BACK THE WOODEN STICK!

  24. I knew that one would get you going, Dennis…keep the faith ‘eh…tomorrow is a new day. Great guns in Game 3.

  25. Thanks Jan. I’m really thinking about making you part of the executive team when I own the team. But you’ll have to make just a few slight changes.

  26. Right back at you…always need someone on the exec that is thinking out of the normal box(so to speak) to keep them guessing. “Slight” changes could be a possibility…just keep the mafioso away from our new address…deal?
    Giddy up for Game 3!!!

  27. Could it be the carbon fibre sticks are being doctored by the Caps so they shatter at the slightest contact and draw penalties?
    All’s fair in love and war. And the playoffs.

  28. Danno, Montreal had this game. But they had to battle both the Caps and the officials. I’d like to know if there’s a reason behind this.

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