JT UTAH/HOCKEY


jtutah.com// HABS IN PLAYOFF / MONTREAL CANADIENS / NHL / PREDICTIONS
March 27, 2008, 8:40 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

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Habs back in the playoffs

by Manwhore

It is now official; the habs will be part of the spring dance. They will have a shot at the Stanley cup like 15 other teams who will qualify for the tournament. Back in September, most of the experts predicted that the Montreal Canadiens would be deep down in the eastern conference standings. I believe these so-called experts didn’t really analyze the team and do their job properly. Since the Habs didn’t sign any big names over the summer and other eastern teams did so, the journalists simply put the Canadiens behind the Leafs, Islanders, Buffalo and so on. Here is a top 3 reasons why the Canadiens have fooled the sceptics. 

Kovalev(2006-2007) vs Kovalev(2007-2008)

It is no secret that Alex Kovalev had one of his worst seasons ever last year. He just didn’t seem motivated, and did not look like he wanted to play for Guy Carbonneau. I think Guy realized that if he wanted his team to do well, he needed to let his star player play a much bigger role in the team. This is why for a good part of the season, we saw Kovy playing on the PK. I don’t care if the guy isn’t blocking shots; he still creates good scoring chances with Plekanec when they’re on the ice to kill penalties. We can clearly see that Kovalev absolutely loves to play with young players. He can teach them some new things about life and their energy seems to give him more fuel in the tank. It is not only his offensive play that has dramatically improved this season but the defensive side of his game is at its best. Last year, he finished the season with a -19 and this season he is a +17. This has nothing to do with his PP points since the power play goals and shorthanded goals let in aren’t accounted for in the +/- stats. It means that at 5-5 or 4-4 he has a +36 differential compare to last season. This to me, really proves that Kovy is on a mission this season and is the no.1 reason why the Habs have a good shot at the

Eastern conference.Aebischer vs Price

Personally, I was never a big fan of Christobal Huet, this is why I believe the second goaltender for the habs played a huge role in the success of the team over the past two seasons. Last year, whe Huet got hurt, we were looking for Aebischer to step in and really take care of business. Instead, he lost 6 of his 9 games played after Huet got hurt, which forced coach Carbonneau to use Halak, which by the way did a great job, for the rest of the season. Aebischer who was supposed to fight for the pole in October finished with a less than respectable 13-12-3 record and now has no more jobs in the NHL. Now, let’s talk about the magnificent Carey Price; the next one as I like to call him. He has been nothing short of excellent since the Habs management team has decided to give him the no.1 spot. He played a big role 7-2-1 record of the team in their last 10 to confirm their spot in the postseason. He is part of one of the best tandem in the NHL with his good buddy Jaroslav Halak. His record of 20-12-3 is much better than what everybody even him expected (his goal was 15 wins) and will play a major role in our playoff run this year. Let’s not put too much pressure on him though, the team’s objective was to make the playoffs, now extra round is a bonus for us. 

Virus vs no virus

I know, I know, it sounds like a very bad excuse. It sounds like the good old: “my dad ate my homework”, but stills when a professional team all get sick at the same time for about a month, it is absolutely impossible to deliver the goods. Last January was the beginning of the end for us and it all got started by that virus. These guys are travelling most of the time and rarely get a chance to rest. They are in great physical shape which keeps them going and going but when you’re sick, there’s nothing you can do about it. Even Roger Federer, perhaps the best athlete in the world couldn’t win any tennis tournaments while he had mononucleosis. In average, a month in the NHL is about 15 games, let’s imagine the same situation would have happened this year and we would have lost 10 or 11 of these fifteen games, we would be nowhere near the top of the East.  

Your comments are always appreciated…let me know why you think the Habs are in this season

Manwhore

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