Wednesday, March 30, 2011


199 minutes is far too long to wait in between goals. But boy, was it ever incredible when they scored last night! The Habs first goal since March 20th came from Hamrlik, and before I could even tweet my content, Darche scored another one, merely 11 seconds later. The drought was more than over, and I, along with every other Habs fan, couldn't be happier about it.

The game itself, apart from those 2 goals in the first period, was exciting, to say the least. Cammalleri had a look in his eyes that I haven't seen since the pre-season. Travis Moen was throwing punches. PK Subban was running his mouth off. Carey Price was the epitome of focus. AK46 scored an empty netter in the 3rd to make it 3-1. Even Scott Gomez was looking better than usual. The intensity and energy from the entire team was such a difference and improvement over the listless, scoreless Habs we saw last week.

My only complaint would be that the Habs really need to solve their powerplay woes before the playoffs start. Despite the rare occurrence of out-shooting their opponents 31-28, they couldn't find a goal on any of their powerplay opportunities.
It's becoming extremely frustrating to see Cammalleri on the penalty kill as well as the power play. Granted, the Habs spend quite a bit of time on the PK, but he is a shooter, and his talents should not be diverted towards doing otherwise. Also, it REALLY grinds my gears that PK Subban isn't getting much, if any, ice time on the powerplay. While I generally keep my mouth shut on this issue, I've decided I can only do so if the powerplay actually yields results! Yes, we won last night, but we didn't score on the powerplay. Regardless of who we face in the first round (and yes, I believe we WILL make the playoffs!), we NEED to not only generate legitimate scoring chances on the powerplay, but we need to SCORE on the powerplay. I think giving Subban the ice time over Hamrlik would help solve this problem. Hammer isn't as young as he once was, and he can't be expected to play big minutes. He will be too burnt out come post-season, and we need him to be on his game.

I know it's easy to sit here and play armchair coach, but I think the coaching staff need to pull back and closely examine this aspect of the game. I don't much care if it fits into JM's "system". You can't win if you can't score, as was demonstrated last week. Solve the powerplay, solve the problem. I think that if the Canadiens coaching staff can solve that, there's no stopping us.

Remember, the Canadiens meet the Hurricanes tonight. A win tonight could put us within a point
of clinching a playoff spot. Puck drops at 7 PM.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Week That Was

This week, the Montreal Canadiens did something they haven’t done since 1949. Generally when we hear statistics of this nature, we automatically assume the team did something miraculous and marvellous, never before seen in her 101 year franchise history. Unfortunately, there is nothing positive about the record that was set this week. The Canadiens were shutout for 3 street games, their last goal coming 186 minutes and 5 seconds ago on Sunday March 20th. This is no small feat, and it is nothing to be proud of.

It is somewhat karmic to be shutout in the game following an ass-kicking like the Habs delivered in their 8-1 win over the Wild. Therefore, I was expecting a loss against Buffalo Tuesday night. But I was hoping for much more than the 7-0 loss against the Bruins Thursday. This was the team’s chance to come within 1 point of their division rivals, not to mention avenge Max Pacioretty. But nothing of the sort occurred. Instead, the Canadiens were embarrassed by the Bruins in one of the worst hockey games I’ve seen in all my years as a fan. What did the team do? Roll with it. They promised to move forward, and look to Saturday’s game against the Capitals, and fans alike vowed to do the same, preferring to forget the previous 2 games.

When Saturday rolled around, everything seemed to be in place; Ovechkin was not in the line-up for the Capitals, it was a home game (featuring cartoonesque over the top stanchion padding, merely 3 weeks too late), and the Habs were sure to score for their first time in nearly a week. As I arrived at MacLean’s Pub for the Habs Tweetup, I had high hopes. But they were soon dashed.

The Canadiens struggled throughout the 1st period, generating very little offense, as was evident by their 3 shot total for the period. The team faced a similar fate for the remainder of the game, and it was clear they were about to do something they hadn’t done in 62 years.

While it’s easy to say “let’s look ahead” and “let’s move on”, there needs to be some focus on why the team was blanked in three straight games. Firstly, the blame can’t be placed entirely on a majority rookie roster, as several veterans made their return to the line-up this week (Plekanec, Halpern, Darche, Sopel). Secondly, the blame cannot be placed on Carey Price, who is the only one who consistently shows up to every game. He has no support in front. Thirdly, why is Cammelleri playing? He is clearly injured, and needs to be resting up. If Washington can rest up Ovi for the playoffs, why can’t the Habs rest up Cammy? Lastly, this is one of the better groups the Habs have had in several years (excluding Gomez). It makes no sense that they would be so incapable of winning a few key games.

With less than two weeks left in the regular season, the Habs have now put themselves in the position of fighting for a playoff spot, yet again. While I have no doubt that this team will make the playoffs, I’d rather not scrape in with an overtime loss to the Leafs like last year. The Habs need to start scoring, and they can start Tuesday versus Atlanta. It’s a sad truth, but the Habs next goal will be a celebration of epic proportions.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Habs Tweetups

Hello my loyal readers!

As I'm sure it's pretty obvious by now, the Habs are the love of my life. So when All_Habs asked me to write about why I love the Habs, Twitter & attending Habs Tweetups, I was more than happy to oblige! Check out the piece I contributed, as well as some others on their site! Bookmark it, and make it a regular read :)

Lots of love,


Monday, March 21, 2011

The Habs This Week

The Habs have a few important games on tap this week, starting with the Sabres on Tuesday. The Habs are 3-2 against Buffalo this season, and look to prevent them from evening out the series in the final matchup of the regular season. The Habs are coming off an 8-1 win that included a hat trick from rookie superstar PK Subban against the Wild, whereas the Sabres are coming off a 4-3 overtime loss to Nashville. I don't expect an exciting game, and I'm predicting the Sabres will pocket the 2 points in this matchup.

Thursday, the Habs face the Bruins for the final time this season, although it is likely they'll face each other in the first round of the playoffs. This rivalry still has the stench of the last game a little less than 2 weeks ago, in which Zdeno Chara slammed Max Pacioretty's head into the stanchion that separates the benches, fracturing his C4 vertebra. Habs fans were outraged when Mike Murphy did not suspend the Bruins defenseman, resulting in a media frenzy, an organized protest outside the Bell Centre, and threats of sponsorship withdrawals, among other things. The Habs have found success against the Bruins for the most part this season, barring the brutal beating they took in February. Thursday's game is in Boston, and I'm predicting the Habs to win this one. Do it for Patches (who, by the way, may return for the playoffs. Saying this kid is made of steel would be the understatement of the year.)

Saturday the Habs will play the Capitals, who will most likely be missing their star forward Ovechkin, who is reportedly being given the remainder of the season off to rest up for the playoffs (though officially it's to nurse a "nagging ailment"). The Habs lost their last game against the Caps, and I'm predicting our boys to win this one. I'm also both despising/looking forward to any asinine comments Bruce Boudreau may make prior to the game. The final HabsTweetup of the regular season will also take place at Maclean's Pub on this night, so make sure to RSVP!

So if my math skills aren't as terrible as I think they are, that gives the Habs 4 points out of a possible 6 this week. And for your viewing pleasure, some Max Pacioretty awesomeness :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

An Attempt at Optimism

Over the course of the past week, I've tried very hard NOT to dwell on the bad things. This is becoming an increasingly difficult task. With Markov, Gorges, Darche, Spacek, Sopel & Pacioretty out of the lineup, the only thing that hurt worse than the 4-2 loss to the Capitals was losing Halpern and Plekanec. As of yet, the only status on their condition we have is that Plekanec suffered a lower body injury, and Halpern will be evaluated tomorrow. We should have more information in the coming days about exactly what's wrong, what the prognosis is, and how they'll be out for. Habs fans were also nearly given a heart attack when Wisniewski took a puck to the skate and limped off to the dressing room, but the trainers must have given him a transfusion of Pacioretty blood (which I already believe to be infused with Gorges blood), because he was back on the ice in no time.

But, in keeping with my recent bout of optimism, I'd like to focus on something positive. CAREY PRICE. If you weren't watching the game, it would be easy to pin the 4 goals against on him, but if you were watching, you know that's not the case. While I would pin Johansson's 1st period goal on Price (who went behind the net and lost control of the puck on a bad bounce, leaving an empty net for the Washington forward to score a powerplay goal early in the period), he was an absolute SUPERSTAR for the rest of the game, making 37 saves. Unfortunately, his teammates didn't show up to play in the 1st period, and were plagued by injuries in the latter 2, making it a miracle the Caps made off with only a 2 goal lead.

At this point, I think it's become a given that the Habs would not be where they are without Price. If you were listening to the Franchise on the Team 990 this Sunday, I said I was pretty sure the Habs would be 13th without the 23 year old netminder. That being said, I not only believe he is a CANDIDATE for the Hart trophy, but is the undisputed winner. Perhaps this a bold statement to make with a chunk of regular season games still remaining & the playoffs just around the corner, but I honestly wouldn't want to think about where we'd be without him. His consistency and ability to play well under pressure have been wonderful assets to go along with the incredible flashy saves he makes time after time, game after game.
While it's nice that the Halak versus Price debate has finally been put to rest, and it's nice to be able to depend on our goaltender as we head into the playoffs, the Habs need to generate more offence. Being outshot game in and game out is not a way to win hockey games. It's simple, if you don't shoot, you can't score. Cammalleri hasn't looked the same since returning from his shoulder injury, and our leading point-getter since the All-Star break is out right now with a broken neck & a concussion.

I've been scouring the Bulldogs roster, searching for a solution, and barring a rumoured injury, I just don't think the answer is Nigel Dawes. He's easily roughed up, and that's not what the Habs need. What do the Habs need? I honestly don't know at this point. I feel like the team is being held together with glue & string, and I'm holding my breath waiting for it all to fall apart. Oh and the Bruins won tonight, giving them a 3 point lead on the Habs with a game in hand. Yuck. How's that for optimism?

While I may sound grumpy and disenfranchised, I still think the Habs have a chance of making a legitimate playoff run this season. Just you wait.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Habs Nation

After what can only be described as the week from hell for Habs players, its staff and fans, it’s hard to sit here and try to write something meaningful either about the Habs 4-1 loss to the Blues on Thursday night, or the upcoming afternoon game versus the Pens. I find it extremely difficult to focus on anything other than Zdeno Chara’s vicious hit on Max Pacioretty in Tuesday’s game against Bruins that rendered the 22 year old forward unconscious, and ultimately with a severe concussion and a fractured vertebrae. What’s most shocking of all was Mike Murphy’s decision not to suspend the 6’9” Bruins defenseman, claiming there was no reason to believe Chara targeted Pacioretty’s head. (Colin Campbell was not involved in the decision making process, being that his son Gregory Campbell plays for the Bruins. I, however, feel that there may still have been a degree of bias included in rendering the verdict, perhaps also being that Chara is a marquis player, and Pacioretty is but a rookie. But I don’t want to delve into my conspiracy theory any further). This picture, to me, clearly indicates Pacioretty’s head being targeted and forcefully pushed into the stanchion that separates the two benches, however evidently I’m wrong.

Now, I don’t want to dwell on this excessively, however the issue of headshots in the NHL and their lack of penalization is becoming a growing concern, one that particularly hit home for Habs fans this week. While I’m outraged along with my fellow Montrealers, we need to take heed in Geoff Molson’s statement to the fans, and begin getting excited for the playoffs. There are only a handful of games remaining in the season, we’re almost certainly guaranteed a playoff spot, and Max Pacioretty is alive. These are all things I’m thankful for this week. I will, however, give the Habs a Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free-Card for Thursday’s loss to the Blues as their hearts were simply not in it, and their minds were clearly elsewhere. I was able to sympathize with them, and can’t even imagine how much worse it must have been for the players, or Max’s family.

That being said, I firmly believe that the best way to get revenge on the Bruins is by outplaying them. Not only do the Habs not have the manpower to rough house with the Big Bad Booins, but two wrongs do not make a right. A man almost died on the ice this week, and this has to stop. I don’t believe that the Bell Centre infrastructure, nor the fast pace of the game are at fault for what happened at the end of the 2nd period Tuesday night. While I don’t believe Chara hit Pacioretty with the intent of potentially killing or paralyzing him, I do believe he intended to send a message. If we were to do the same, it wouldn’t make us any better, and I refuse to stoop to their level.

We have to move on. There are still games remaining, important games, and an exciting playoff run is just around the bend. I know it’s difficult, and I myself want to mail individual bags of vomit to every Bruins fan who gave Chara a standing ovation for nearly killing someone. I want to leave flaming bags of dog poop on Bettman, Murphy and Campbell’s doorsteps. Will that accomplish anything? No. I do intend to make my voice heard, but the loudest statement of all is to succeed in the face of adversity. Habs fans, now more than ever, we must rally behind our team. We will not go quietly, and hopefully, if nothing else, Bettman has realized you don’t mess with Habs Nation…

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Why Zdeno Chara is a DISGRACE

Tonight was the game Habs and Bruins fans alike have been looking forward to for weeks. It was hyped up in the media for days; the Canadiens sought to avenge the beating they took during the 8-6 loss to the Bruins in February. Also on the minds of Habs fans was the fact that the Canadiens were looking to extend a 4 game winning streak, along with Hal Gill's rare scoring streak. From all angles, it was sure to be an exciting night of hockey...
The 1st period was an excellent one for the Habs. Early on in the period, we were treated to a great fight as Ryan White showed Johnny Boychuk that the Habs wouldn't back down, by defending a hit on PK Subban. The first period also saw a pair of goals from Lars Eller (I'd like to also add that AK46 had an assist on the 2nd one, officially extending his point streak to 7 games).

The Canadiens entered the 2nd period with the dreaded 2 goal lead. The Habs looked sloppy and took ANOTHER too many men on the ice penalty. Carey Price continued to play well, keeping the Bruins scoreless for another period, and 2 powerplay goals from Gionta and Wisniewski made it 4-0.

Then, things took a turn for the worse. With 16 seconds left in the period, Bruins' Zdeno Chara nailed Max Pacioretty into the stanchion at the Habs bench, completely leveling Patches and rendering him unconscious. Pacioretty lay motionless on the ice for what seemed like an eternity, while medical staff tended to him. He regained consciousness before being wheeled off the ice on a stretcher and taken to the Montreal General Hospital, where he was reportedly lucid, able to move his arms and legs, and not in any immediate, life-threatening danger. He was later diagnosed as having a severe concussion and a fractured vertebrae.
The remainder of the 2nd period was added on to the start of the 3rd period, where Lucic scored the Bruins only goal of the game. Habs won 4-1, although the win was the furthest thing from the players' and fans' minds.

Now, I'm someone who thoroughly enjoys the rock 'em sock 'em aspects of hockey, but this hit left me feeling nauseated. When Patches hit the ice, I sincerely thought he was dead. I was sure 255 lb Chara had killed 196 lb Pacioretty. I sat in my living room, crying, praying for Patches to be okay. This wasn't a depiction of a sport I've grown up loving, this was an absolute disgrace. What's even more disgraceful are Chara's post game comments, in regards to the hit:

"We were racing for the puck and battling for position. As the puck went by obviously I was riding him out. Unfortunately at the same time when I pushed him a little bit, kind of leaned, jumped a little bit and just hit the glass extension. It's very unfortunate." (courtesy of CJAD's Abe Hefter)

That doesn't sound like the remorseful comments I'd expect to hear out of someone who accidentally inflicted a potentially career-ending injury on another player. In fact, he does not take any responsibility for his actions, deflecting part of the blame onto Pacioretty. This is what left me reeling. How you handle these types of situations is of the utmost importance, and Chara failed.

Despite the fact that Chara is a marquis player, I sincerely hope Mike Murphy will dole out a lengthy suspension, though I'm trying not to get my hopes up. I personally believe that the punishment should fit the crime, and the severity of the injury sustained also needs to be taken into account. The perpetrator should be suspended for as long as the victim who sustained the injury is kept out of the lineup as a result of the incident. Will this be the case? No. We'll be lucky if Chara gets a 3 game suspension, in my opinion.

Regardless, Chara's actions cannot be condoned. Pacioretty did not have the puck, and Chara lifted his arm to drill his head into the turnbuckle. He knew where he was, and he knew that the outcome of such a hit would be devastating. Doesn't Chara realize that there are kids watching, trying to be just like their favourite player? Players need to realize that they are role models for the next generation of NHL caliber hockey players. Moreover, as a human being, the ultimate goal of a hockey game should not be to target players with intent to injure. I fully believe that Chara intentionally did what he did, but I'll let you watch for yourself. You decide.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Habs are #WINNING!

In the week that saw the beginning of Charlie Sheen's meltdown, it was hard to focus on little else. In fact, it already seems like the most boring trade deadline in the history of the NHL was a million years ago, when in fact it was 6 days ago. I myself came home early from school to watch live coverage on TSN, where I was bored out of my tree. There was so little happening that I actually felt bad for these guys. They even resorted to drafting a fantasy 2014 Team Canada Olympic hockey team in lieu of trade coverage.
After hearing speculation for WEEKS that Dustin Penner may find himself in a Canadiens jersey at the trade deadline, I was watching anxiously to see what kind of moves Gauthier would make. As soon as the announcement came that the power forward was headed to the LA Kings, I knew that the Canadiens would not be making any big moves. Was I disappointed? Not at all. I knew that the price tag on Penner must have been too high, and Gauthier clearly didn't wanted to part with some integral part of the current roster (or future roster, for that matter). Personally, I'm content with the team we have right now. After the circus that was our last matchup against the Bruins, I'll admit, I joined in with the gripers to complain about a lack of size and grit on the team, but in retrospect, I was just being a big baby.

Who on the roster am I stoked about? Let's start with Patches (Max Pacioretty). He had a pair in last night's game against Tampa Bay, and has displayed skill and consistency since he left Hamilton to join the lineup. Despite having only played 36 games this season, he already has 14 goals and 10 assists, just 10 points shy of Scott Gomez, who's played in nearly twice as many games (64). Gomez is still getting loads of ice time, and I really don't understand why. It seems like any time anything bad happens on the ice, Gomez was there, doing absolutely nothing. In fact, the numbers back that up, as Gomez has the team worst in +/- with a -15 (which is actually an improvement on how bad it was a few weeks ago). But this isn't a Gomez rant, this is a "who impresses me" rant, and $8 million Gomez doesn't belong in this category, so let's go back to Patches. Remember when he had bruised ribs? Oh yeah, he kept playing. He must have some of Josh Gorges' tiger blood, and this makes me stamp him as #winning.
Next, is David Desharnais. Why isn't this miniature guy getting more ice time?! He's reported to have been working on his faceoff taking abilities with Jeff Halpern, and it's definitely paying off (with the exception of Thursday's 4-0 win in Sunrise, where he didn't fare so well with his faceoff winning percentage). But he impresses me elsewhere than the faceoff circle. He's a +1 with 16 points in 27 games, and I'm more than content with those stats.

Next, is AK46... Right now. He's in the midst of a point streak, with 7 points in his last 5, including the game winner against Carolina last Saturday. He sure picked a heck of a time to get hot, being that the vast majority of fans wanted him gone at the trade deadline. I'm hoping he'll keep it up well into the playoffs.

Next, is Wisniewski. After the devastating loss of Gorges and Markov to knee injuries, it seemed like he blue line was completely shot, but now I don't remember what it was like before the Wiz filled that void. While I think PK Subban is wonderful and exciting to watch, I feel so comfortable when the Wiz is on the ice. Ignore his -15 (bear in mind he came from the Eastern conference bottom-feeder Islanders). Since joining the Habs, he's a +3 with 21 points in 27 games. That's good enough for me.
Next is Hal Gill. The big tree has 2 goals in as many games for the first time since October 2002. Fans have already coined the term "Hal Gill Hat Trick", as we anxiously await to see if he'll turn this into a 3 game scoring streak. But all that aside, his leadership on and off the ice, as well as blocking a ridiculous amount of shots makes him awesome in my books.

Last, and most certainly not least, is Carey Price. There has been talk about him being a potential Hart trophy candidate this season but I wouldn't call him a candidate; I'd call him a #winner. While Boston's Tim Thomas may be out-stat-ing him in most categories, Boston would be doing just fine without Thomas between the pipes. Tuukka Rask isn't quite 500 on the season, but the team plays well in front of him. The Bruins may not be leading their division without Thomas, but they'd still be in a playoff spot. Riddle me this; where would the Habs be without Carey Price right now? My guess would be uncomfortably sitting 13th, making a desperate but futile playoff run in the final games of the season, à la Toronto. While Thomas may be the most likely contender for the Vézina, I think Price is without a doubt the most valuable player to his team, giving him my official Charlie Sheen #winning stamp as well.

After forcing the Southeast division to submit this week, and currently being in the midst of a 4 game winning streak, the Habs look to remind Boston on Tuesday that they won the first 3 matchups of the season between the clubs. It should be an interesting game...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Box Score (With Personality)

Game Notes

Montreal Canadiens/Florida Panthers

Thursday, March 3rd 2011.

1st Period

Shots: Habs-6, Panthers-8

Habs PK

1st Penalty – 02:37

Subban (Roughing)

No goal scored


1st Goal – 05:02

Gill from AK46 & the Wiz

Gill’s 1st since NYE 2009 & the Game Winner!

Fun Fact! Habs are undefeated when Gill scores a goal (3-0)


2nd Goal – 08:54

AK46 from Moen & Eller

AK46’s 6th pt in 5 games

Panther’s goalie Vokoun pulled after 2nd goal (allowing 2 in 3 shots) – Clemmensen in

Good News of the Week: Cammy’s tweeting more since Twitter-savvy Sopel joins the roster…

2nd Period

Shots: Habs-15, Panthers-12

Habs PP

2nd Penalty – 01:10

Callahan (Roughing)

Florida has 3rd best PK in league


3rd Goal – 04:59

Desharnais from Pouliot

David was 0-3 on faceoffs in 1st

Puck crosses the line after the whistle after a Panthers shot, no goal

Weiss gets a breakaway opportunity, Price makes the save

Habs PK

3rd Penalty – 19:23

Pouliot (Tripping)

No goal scored

Price makes the save a game, sprawling with a snow angel stop

Fun Fact! Desharnais has apparently been working with Halpern on his faceoff-taking abilities

3rd Period

Shots: Habs-10, Panthers-10

Habs PK

Carry over from 2nd

Pouliot still in the box

No goal scored

As per Sergio Momesso, Pyatt will play when facing “skating clubs”, White will play vs. “grittier clubs”


4th Goal – 03:21

Eller from Moen & the Wiz

Mål is Danish for “goal”

Price makes another epic save

Habs PK

4th Penalty – 10:00

Eller (Boarding)

No goal scored


Patches hits the post

AK46 hits the post

Twitter explodes in “PING!” tweets

Momesso (on CJAD w/ Rick Moffat) almost says the forbidden “S” word with just over 5:00 remaining…

Sloppy line-change by Habs with just over 1:00 left almost results in Too-Many-Men penalty

Gomez & the Wiz try to win the fans some chicken wings with a 5th goal, but they do not succeed

Carey Price gets his 7th shutout of the season, tying Roy, Théo & Huet for the most in 30 years (since Dryden)

Habs win 4-0! PK & Pricey do a fancy triple low five, to celebrate Price’s 30th win of the season (90th career)

Three Stars:

1: Carey Price

2: Andrei Kostitsyn

3: James Wisniewski

In other news, the Leafs beat the Flyers 3-2 in Philly… WTF?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Why I REALLY Don't Want the Habs to Finish 8th

Let's take a snapshot of the Eastern Conference as it stands right now, assuming all games were played and the playoffs started tomorrow:

1- Philadelphia Flyers
2- Tampa Bay Lightning
3- Boston Bruins
4- Pittsburgh Penguins
5- Washington Capitals
6- Montreal Canadiens
7- New York Rangers
8- Carolina Hurricanes

As of today, the Habs would be set to play the Bruins in the first round. While for some, this is a scary concept, I would much rather play the Bruins than the Flyers. Fans seem to have developed an intense fear of the Bruins, after the bloodbath on February 9th. However, fans seem to forget about the 3 prior matchups this season; which the Habs won. I feel that while the Bruins may have gotten better with the acquisition of players like Kaberle, they are still only a better team on paper. I believe that the Habs are more skilled, and simply have more heart. Brute force does not a Stanley Cup win, and I would put my money on the Canadiens in a 7 game series versus the Bruins.
That being said, if I could choose any of the current top 8 teams to play in the first round, it would be Pittsburgh. Recent injury hardships have caused headaches for more than Sydney Crosby, and I think the Habs would take that series in 5. If I couldn't play the Penguins, I would take the Rangers & the Hurricanes, though this is an impossibility, given how strong the teams in the top seeded positions have been playing.

Ultimately, I would rather meet any team other than the Flyers in the first round. In fact, I'm PRAYING for some sort of magical upset that will see the Flyers being eliminated in 7 against the Hurricanes. If the Flyers are eliminated in the first round, I think the Habs will stand a good chance of making a run for the conference finals like they did last year.

Whatever the matchup, you can be sure I'll be ready.