Monday, April 7, 2008

Are The Habs Too Soft & Inexperienced?

According to a story from the's Pierre LeBrun, an NHL General Manager requesting anonymity stated that the Habs are 'too soft' and will have difficulty in the playoffs against tougher teams.

The Habs are matching up in round 1 vs. the Bruins, who are without a doubt one of the bigger, tougher teams of the Eastern Conference.

But what good has that done them in their season series?

The Bruins are 0-7-1 this season vs. Montreal. They tried going skill-on-skill in the early games of the series, and that didnt work out. They tried mixing skill and physicality in the middle, and that didn't work out. The tried weighing hard on the physical aspect in the later games of the series, and that didn't work out, either.

The Habs used their speed and skill to outchance the Bruins, and were able to come away with 8 out of 8 possible wins, which says a lot about this 'soft team' sizing up to tough competition.

Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli stated that in order to come away from the series as winners, the Bruins will have to "face up to slay the dragon, so to speak".

Chiarelli on first-year netminder Carey Price: "We have to get him moving and get the puck high. He's very big. He's a pads-down, blocker-down goalie. We have to get pucks high, get him moving, and keep pucks away from him on dump-ins and hard-arounds. He's going to have pressure. He's young and it's his first NHL playoff series. We have to get in his head in a variety of ways."

The Habs are a very young team moving forward, but the experience they garnered winning the Eastern Conference crown this season pans out to be the best possible thing that could have happened to a young, playoff-inexperienced team. Alex Kovalev and Saku Koivu will have to step up as veterans mentouring the young squad; Koivu with his leadership qualities and skillful play, and Kovalev via leading by example, as he's done all season long.

Chiarelli indicated that Patrice Bergeron, recently cleared for full-contact practice, will NOT suit up for game 1. Marc Savard skated for 15 minutes before practice, skating in slow circles and taking wrist shots on goal. He is questionable for game 1. Chuck Kobasew is likely OUT for the series for Boston, as he is still on crutches.

Montreal legend Guy Lafleur calls for a CANADIENS win in 5 or 6.
HabsHockeyTalkey legend Sal Amato (yours truly, of course) has the CANADIENS in 6.

The Hockey News has released its prediction, and they believe the CANADIENS will take it in 5. Their analysis below (sorry, that's as clear as I can get it for you):

Here is the full schedule for the Canadiens/Bruins series:

Thursday April 10th, 7pm Game 1

Saturday April 12th, 7pm Game 2

Sunday April 13th, 7pm Game 3

Tuesday April 15th, 7pm Game 4

Thursday April 17th, 7pm Game 5*

Saturday April 19th, 7pm Game 6*

Monday April 21st, 7pm Game 7*

* if needed

ALL games will be broadcast on RDS & CBC. VERSUS (U.S.) will broadcast GAME #2 Saturday night.


x-ine said...

this is unrelated to your post ... but how do you like the slogan for this year's playoffs?

"16 for 25, all for one"

k_cardi said...

habshockeytalkey thats quite the title sal....i will be habshockeytalkey self-proclaimed hall of famer...calling the Habs in 5

sasabainga said...

To be very honest, I don't like the slogan one bit. Although it isn't a long slogan, it still manages to sound stretched out and doesn't have any real ring or excitment to it. I'd have prefered En Route Vers La Coupe! (Straight For The Cup!), or something very simple like that. I think they missed with it.

Karl, I am a legend, you know it...we'll have to wait and see about all that hall of famer talk ;)

k_cardi said...

i agree with sal with the slogan...i think what screws it up is the all for one...16 for 25...i think just that is fine...all for one..? clearly for 25...its a bit confusing really...16 for 25 is nice cuz it makes it a slogan for just the habs...whereas any team can use all for one, straight to the cup or wtv...but in the end...its just a slogan...

sasabainga said...

Actually, I have to now agree with Karl...16 for 25 would have been enough, it's the back-half that kills it.

Looks like you ARE Hall of fame bound, Karl.

What do you think of it by the way x-ine?

x-ine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
x-ine said...

I actually do like it, it's cliché in its own way with the "all for one" bit. I'm guessing the whole idea was to play around with numbers (16, 25, 1).
I do prefer it over something cheesy like "drive for 25" (which actually isn't bad because it rhymes).

That being said, I do have to mention that one my favourites, from a couple of years ago, is "tricolore jusqu'au bout" ... still relevant and, in my opinion, a classic.


Carey Price said...


sasabainga said...

Carey Price calls a hat trick for CAREY PRICE...PRICEless