Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Playoff Prediction

I have put this off long enough: my super awesome playoff prediction!!

Boston Bruins (1st) vs Montreal Canadiens (8th)

Game 1: Bruins excitement and momentum overwhelms the Canadiens. Bruins 5-2
Game 2: Kovalev scores early, and it becomes a tough game; but the talent of the Bruins wins through. Bruins by 1 goal (3-2 or 4-3).
Game 3: Montreal gets a chance to turn the tables a bit, and bring some of their own emotion. Fans push the team to a new level. Montreal wins in OT.
Game 4: Bruins play a "perfect" away game, playing a strong, patient defencive system and scoring on the rush; exposing the pinching Montreal defence. Bruins win 4-1
Game 5: Back home, the Bruins are ready to go and the Canadiens are on the ropes. Normally I would say jitters get the better of the home team; but since the Canadiens have failed to play with any composure when needed, I say Boston perseveres. Bruins win by at least 2.

So there you have it: now you don't have to watch the games.

Of course, this could all go out the window if the Canadiens steal one in Boston. Maybe Gainey gets them ready; maybe the entire team comes to play. Maybe the slumping goal scoreres find their touch, and Thomas collapses. NO ONE is gunning for the Habs right now (except the failthful) -- not even Maggy the Macak on TSN, or the Dog on ESPN.

If the Canadiens want to win, they have to become "hard to play against" -- keep shots to the outside, kill the momentum, and punish punish punish on their chances. Short-handed, long passes, ugly goals... whatever -- score when you get any chance. Upsets happen, but they are a result of an underdog frustrating the momentum of the better team. And a big part of that is the goaltender: they have to stop a lot of pucks.

reference: Zednik/Audette/Gilmour and Theodore in 2002, Zednik/Kovalev and Theodore in 2004

Komisarek and Schneider are gonna get hammered. So the entire team better be ready for war. Laraque, if he plays, better stop just picking a fight and calling it a night; he better be swinging every shift (not necessarily a full on scrap, but lots of shoving!). No nice-guy pugilist.

The Montreal Canadiens are capable of winning this series; but they are going to have to shed a pound of flesh from the regular season and be a different team: a better team. And even then they'll need 7 games.

God Speed, little doodle. It sure would be nice to get those ghosts to show up. Everything else "typical" of this team has happened this year: fire the coach, wild antics... why not go for the trifecta of beating the Bruins?

1 comment:

  1. Love the line 'Bruins excitement and momentum overwhelms the Canadiens' hahahaha

    It would be really cool to see the Canadiens pull this thing off, just so unlikely. I think they have to grab the first game, put some fear into the Bruins. It is unlikely if they win the second, that they'll run off 3 games in a row in my mind.

    Hopefully for you and other Habs fans, Thomas has the meltdown that so many of us feel is inevitable.

    And damn! Who is the Bruins fan! I've seen les Habitants fan, but nicely done sir!