Saturday, February 26, 2011
Montreal Canadiens vs. Carolina Hurricanes
Where have I been?!?! Work has had me run off my feet this week, and hasn’t allotted me any time for blogging. My apologies, I’ll try to do better. 😉
The Habs have been almost as busy this week as this season is pretty much directly in the center of the proverbial “crunch time.”
If the players haven’t found themselves busy, GM Pierre Gauthier no doubtedly has. Injuries have decimated this team this season, knocking out top defensive pair Markov and Gorges, Top forward Mike Cammalleri for several weeks and PK and shot blocking stalwart Hal Gill also spent some time in the infirmary. Now word is out that Jaroslav Spacek is likely done for the season and the news for Mathieu Darche’s nagging groin injury apparently isn’t much better. While Gauthier has performed admirably, acquiring James Wisniewski for a song and a prayer, and recently landing Brent Sopel and Nigel Dawes while moving Bulldogs letdown Ben Maxwell and a 4th rounder to Atlanta, he finds himself in a tough spot. The trade deadline is in 2 days, there is a huge void in the forward ranks and Gauthier will most likely be forced to use up his remaining cap space on a puck moving defenseman instead of getting the big winger this team so desperately needs.
With all this going on, it’s hard to imagine this team can remain completely focused on a much more pressing issue. They have somewhat fallen apart in the last 10 games or so (3-5-2) and although a huge victory over the leagues best Vancouver Canucks will help to boost their confidence, a 5-4 loss to the hated Leafs at the Bell Centre is NEVER a good thing.
With Carolina, New York and Buffalo ALL winning last night, this playoff race has instantly gotten closer and more nerve racking for us Habs fans.
- Andrei Markov (Torn ACL-out indefinitely)
- Josh Jorges (out indefinitely)
- Mathieu Darche
- Jaroslav Spacek (out indefinitely)
- Eric Stall
Keys to the Game
Is it possible Price could play the remainder of the games this season and still have something left for a playoff run? Auld’s poor showing on Thursday night has Habs fans in a bit of a panic. Price is likely to get the start tonight but down the road, Auld will have to play, and he MUST be better than he was on Thursday.
New acquisition Brent Sopel will be in the lineup and his physical presence should go a long way to help this team. With both Mara and Sopel now in the lineup, it is obvious that Gauthier is trying to help this team with some toughness in the back end.
Montreal 4 – Carolina 2