Gameday! Habs vs Lightning


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Montreal Canadiens vs. Tampa Bay Lightning


Here’s an interesting chart from Eklund’s site.

Team W-L-OTL-PTS

  • #1 NJD 18-2-2-38
  • #2 Bos 17-7-0-34
  • #3 PHL 14-7-1-29
  • #4 Tor 13-7-5-31
  • #5 Mtl 12-7-4-28
  • #6 Buf 12-7-3-27
  • #7 Was 11-8-4-26
  • #8 Pit 11-8-4 -26
  • ————————
  • #9 NYI 11-11-3-25
  • #10 Car 11-11-3-25
  • #11 TBL 11-7-2-24
  • #12 FLA 8-11-5-21
  • #13 NYR 9-14-1-19
  • #14 Ott 6-14-3-15
  • #15 Atl 4-12-4-12

This chart represents what the standings would look like if the season had started on January 1st, 2011.  Can you imagine?  Not only would New Jersey win the conference, Toronto and Montreal would be meeting in the first round of the playoffs!  Madness.

C’mon Gomez! Where’s that fire!

After winning 3 in a row, the Habs find themselves on a bit of a roll.  A lot of people are discounting the streak as it has come at the hands of non elite teams such as Atlanta and Florida, but I disagree.  Montreal has had no problems beating the Washington’s, Vancouver’s and Pittsburgh’s of the league.  Montreal’s problem’s have lied solely in stepping up against the weaker teams.  They seem to rise to play to the level of their competition.

All headlines since Christmas have mentioned, “the struggling Habs” and how they are “trendind in the wrong direction.”  If this simple graphic doesn’t prove to the contrary, I don’t know what people want to see.  Since Christmas, the Habs are playing well above .500 hockey and have the 5th best record in the conference.  I think this bodes well for their playoff chances.

In the words of Carey Price, “Just chill out.”

Who’s out?

Montreal

  • Andrei Markov (Torn ACL-out indefinitely)
  • Josh Jorges (out indefinitely)
  • Mathieu Darche
  • Jaroslav Spacek
  • Alex Picard (healthy scratch)
  • Ryan White (healthy scratch)

**All speculation is that Mara will be the healthy scratch, but I don’t buy it.  Mara has been fierce snce joining the team, and is the type of player the Habs need in the lineup.  A Mara/Sopel pairing is very difficult to play against.

Tampa Bay

  • Vincent Lecavalier (game time decision)
  • Marc Andre Bergeron
  • Ryan Malone
  • Mike Lundin

Keys to the Game


I’m going to offer two stat lines.

Carey Price has been incredible all year, and should be considered for the Hart trophy.  (as well as the Vezina but it looks like Thomas already has that one locked up)

Kostitsyn has been the goat all year, but his play has picked up as of late, if he can keep it going we might see him stick around next season on a one year trial contract.

My Prediction

Montreal 5 – Tampa Bay 3

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About Marcus T

Father, Husband, Blogger, A/V Guy and Huge Habs fan.
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