Habs Need WD40 To Squeeze Into Playoffs


It’s the final game of the regular season, the Leafs are in town, making the playoffs for the home team is on the line, and the Canadiens know what they need to do. But will they do it?

How will the Habs play? Will it be a lacklustre effort, or will all four lines come out and play with burning desire?

The first puck dropped and although the Leafs were playing hard, I could feel the Habs would not be denied tonight. They didn’t look as flat as in previous games, and when Andrei Markov banked one in off Mikhail Grabovski’s skate, life was good if you were a Habs fan. 

Good right up until the time Jaroslav Halak hesitated with the puck, and suddenly the game was tied.

Is a bad goal a killer tonight, or will the Habs regroup, continue to play hard, and fight through this miscue?  Only time will tell.

And in the end, time didn’t tell much at all. Montreal played well in general, although folks might say it certainly wasn’t the case with Jaroslav Halak and Roman Hamrlik, but others came to play and it was nice to see. Benoit Pouliot dinged a couple of posts and continues to be snake-bitten, but otherwise played a dangerous and effective game. Scott Gomez enjoyed his best night in weeks, maybe months, Andrei Markov played like an all-star, Maxim Lapierre played one of his better hard-working plumber roles, Marc-Andre Bergeron blasted away, and indeed, the team managed a point to enter the playoffs after an exciting, back-and-forth show at the Bell Centre.

But they lost the game in overtime, 4-3 to the pesky Leafs, and now enter the playoffs backwards. Should we rejoice?

Random Notes:

Jaroslav Halak played like he’d never handled the puck before, and was nonchalant on a couple of occasions when he should have been bearing down. He was definitely out of sorts on this night.

Roman Hamrlik shows everyone that it’s not only Hal Gill who’s a slow-footed defenceman. Hamrlik got burned in a race a couple ot times tonight and showed big signs that his career is winding down.

Montreal blew the lead three times on this night, and blowing leads is what they do best. This will spell disaster for them in the post-season.

20 thoughts on “Habs Need WD40 To Squeeze Into Playoffs”

  1. Yup, feel confident about the play-offs? If Pleks is really hurt we’re in trouble, if Pouliot can’t stop hitting the post we’re in trouble, If Hammer and Spacek are going to man the blue line together on a power play we’re in trouble but the big one is this if Halak doesn’t find his A game then this play-off run will last all of 4 games regardless of who the opponent is. Of course if Halak plays like this in the first 2 games we will see Price in the third and if we still lose he’ll get all the blame.

  2. The team had a dilemma, win and face a goalie in the first round who reliably shuts them down or lose and likely finish in 8th, but with small chance of missing the playoffs. So they compromised with an OT loss, a guaranteed playoff spot and a 50% chance against Washington.

    Flyers win, we face the Capitals
    Rangers win and Sabres win in regulation, we face the Sabres
    Rangers win and Devils gets a point, we face the Devils

  3. Chris, you’ve been leaning towards a Caps series all along. If it works out and Habs play them and take them out, you’re going to look like a genius. You could be my main front office man when I own the team.

  4. I’m not feeling good about any of this, DJ. They’re going to need a miracle in the playoffs. And after tonight, Halak looks tired or something. It’s weird.

  5. People have got to bring their A Game, Cammalleri has been invisible since coming back from injury, Pouliot played amazing when he started, now he’s died down, There’s a lot more i can say, but it’d be a VERY long list, point is, they have got to fix the problems right now, or else advancing into the playoffs seems to be incredibly farfetched.

  6. Cammy and Benny showed signs of life in the game, a good sign. Halak didn`t have a good game, I think letting that first goal in shook him up and he fought the puck the rest of the night. He has to be better then this or the Habs will be gone fast. Sorry but I have little faith in Price at this point.
    Either way, at least we made the playoffs, that`s more then the laughs were able to do and we also have a first round pick in June, lol.

  7. Dennis, Giggy had the proverbial fer de cheval up his derriere. I counted at least four goal posts that saved him. Two by Pouliot, one by Bergeron and another by Cammy in O/T. Plus a few open netters that were missed including one by none other than Benoit Pouliot…
    All I know is that Giggy was lucky and the hockey gods weren’t on our side last night.
    It was a Halak-adaisacal performance by Jaro. This sets the stage for a return by Price sometime early in the playoffs — who would love to take the spotlight and return to his former glory.
    But it doesn’t matter much how you get to the dance. It’s what you do once you get there that counts.
    And even though the final score doesn’t reflect it the Habs offense has finally come alive.
    So, as they say — anything can happen. It’s a brand new season. Stay tuned.

  8. Halak-adaisacal! That’s good! My biggest fear heading into last night’s game was that they would start Price and if they failed to get the much needed point it would be his fault. Talk about not having confidence in JM. I am very concerned about Halak’s level of play while I agree that Cammy and Pouliot looked better. One last thought, O’B and SK have to play. JM has to stop punishing his younger players.

  9. WE lost to the leafs. that pisses me off. i could care less about making the playoffs the way WE did. by default……….. yes WE have a first round pick but the leafs have kessel whom i happen to like. at least he scores……………… the only good thing about being a habs fan right now is this blog and the discussions.

  10. Not feeling all that confident about our chances, although we played better last night. The positives, Cammy & Pouliot look to be getting closer to putting some pucks in the net, Markov played a statement game & Bergeron was dangerous on the P.P.
    Will someone wake #46 up, he looks like a mannequin out there.
    Were in, maybe not the ideal way to head into the play-offs, but with Halak getting a few days off to get recharged, I think we all know, he has to play unconscious in order for us to upset in the 1st round, if he plays ordinary like last night…were toast.

  11. D, I wonder if Halak is exhausted. And I’m like you, I wonder if 46 is alive. But now they’re in the playoffs and we’ll see. There were good signs like you say, so maybe they’re coming out of their funk. With this team, no one knows.

  12. Hob, losing to the Leafs last night just sucked, but the Canadiens played their best game in awhile. What does that tell us? They played their best game and can’t beat the Leafs. Oh gawd.

  13. DJ, I think we should punish JM. And O’Byrne. Hmm. He started the season really well, then got hurt, and has been not so great since then. I think he needs a different coach. The best isn’t being brought out of him.

  14. Jan, you just wait until we meet the Limburger’s in the finals. We’re going to eat ’em alive. Oh, maybe the Limburger’s won’t make it that far.

  15. Danno, imagine if Price returned and stood on his head in the playoffs and took them deep. What a story. Halak is either tired or was ogling some gal in a low-cut blouse in the stands. He wasn’t with it. Weird.

  16. Puckgone. Halak was really off last night. It’s hard to understand. When he’s on, the rest are off. When they were on, he was off. And yes, I know what you say about Price. I don’t have a lot of confidence either. I’m just waiting for the big hockey story in years. Price gets it together and leads the team to the promised land. They palyed better, though. But they couldn’t beat the Leafs. Bummer.

  17. Phil, Benny played a dangerous game last night but can’t buy a goal. And Gomez had a fine night. But they still lost anyway.

  18. I’ve only been hoping for eighth place for the last couple weeks. Ever since fifth place stopped being realistic. It just feels like forever watching them under perform. During our last winning streak, I was thinking we had a good shot for third.

    According to my crystal ball, we’re going to win the first game in Washington with goals by Sergei Kostitsyn. We’re then going to win games 2, 4 and 6 to take the series.

    Unfortunately the Rangers are winning, so I’ve got to hope for Buffalo to beat NJ, the same plan will work against them. Brodeur saves his A game for Montreal and will shut us out.

  19. I hate to rain on the parade, but folks the Canadiens did’nt have a master plan at all. They just sucked, we played 3 teams out of the playoffs & lost all 5 games, does’nt sound like much of a plan to me!!!
    Like I said in an earlier post I’d rather we were out than watch them get swept out the door in four!!! That must have been quite the motivational speach Martin gave them. Like hobo what pisses me off the most is that WE lost to the Leafs twice in 7 days give me a break!
    No cheers from the East this time!!!

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