…And you thought they were dead, right?? WRONG!!!
After dominating game #2 only to lose on a softie goal allowed by José Théodore in OT, outplaying the Bruins all game long in game #4 only the lose on one of the weirdest play in the history of hockey in double-OT, almost everyone -especially in Boston- thought the Habs would never get up from this heart breaking loss and 3-1 deficit going to Beantown for a do-or-die game.
I guess they just love to prove all the nay-sayers wrong…I can’t start this article without mentionning all the good things I saw from this team this week:
The guy struggled for 11 straight games in the regular season with us, scoring 1 lousy goal (an empty netter) going into the playoffs. He finally find his game back, scoring in games 3 & 4 only to make a costly error that led to the freak face-to-face with Souray and the Glen Murray game-winning, heart-breaking double-overtime goal.
I have to say that I was extremely worried to see him go back to a slump and see the rest of the team being burried alive in game 5, boy was I wrong!
I said it several times in the past two days and I will say it again: I refuse to blame Kovalev for the game-4 loss. It was a team loss, the game should’ve never gotten this far anyway and many players were to blame for many different details throughout the entire game. It seems that I was alone of my type in Habtown though… Critics were flying from everywhere, accusing Kovalev of everything they could think of, it was tough to hear. Most of you here were quick to accuse him of being soft and costing the Habs the game right after the infamous incident too, but the only thing I have to say is you can’t judge how much he was hurting because obviously you don’t play in the NHL and you don’t for a reason. Chances are, more than half of the people on the site would have reacted worse than he actually did so I don’t see how people can throw stones at him.
YET, The next day Kovalev faced the media and admitted like a man that yes he did a mistake but explained what happened that night. He didn’t have to do that, he could’ve done like many players do when there’s a storm in the locker room and hide, not Kovie’s type apparently.
THEN, in game #5 he go out and play another excellent game, scoring the game-winner and showing how much character he has. Expect another great game from him saturday as he will try to help Habs fans forget about what happened last home game, even though it’s already forgotten and everybody has decided to move on here.
Mike Ribeiro: Challenged the Bruins, almost had a reward sticked on his helmet to whoever in a B’s uniform that would splatter him into the boards… If they could catch him that is, cause not only did he attract all the attention on him to make room for his teammates on the ice, he also managed to score two goals as Martin LaPointe was skating after him, trying to catch him all game long. That’s what I call character right there.
José Théodore: Struggled in every single game so far, being outplayed by rookie netminder Andrew Raycroft and being one of the main reason why the Habs aren’t already waiting for their second round matchup. When everything was on the line last night, he was solid. Nothing extremely spectacular, just plain solid. No softies, no being out of position, 43 solid saves all game long to keep his team in the game especially in the first 10 minutes of the 1st, when Boston was actually still in the game. I am confident that he has found his confidence back.
Jim Dowd: Boy could he become one of the most usefull acquisition of the last deadline! Not only is he flawless on both side of the ice, but is the only guy in this locker room that have actually came back from a 3-1 series deficit, and he did it twice last year! Could help the team more than we can imagine in the situation the Habs are right now…
Now unless lady luck wasn’t wearing a Bruins jersey so far this year, it would be a 4-1 series as the Habs literally dominated 13 of the last 15 periods played between the two teams. I can already hear the Bruins fans saying how much I’m whining because my team lost… fair enough, I could’ve let slip away some bias in my comments, it could’ve happened. However, I know some people who are backing me on this one… let’s hear it:
”The Bruins should consider themselves lucky they are leading this series, because they’ve been outskated from game 2 up until now.” -Kelly Hrudey
”How can the Bruins play so poorly and still manage to be up 3-1 in the series so far? Unbelievable!” -Glen Healy
However I’ll be the first to admit that luck is a part of hockey, especially in the playoffs so I’ll suck it up and hope for my Habs to downright dominate a 5th straight game saturday night against the ”far more superior B’s”
I absolutely love what i saw last night from the Habs, they showed lots of character and even managed to completely shut the entire arena for a while, even transforming the Bruins chants to ”Booo’s” from their fans leaving the place in disgust with 5 minutes left in the game.
I also loved the fact that even though they were cross-checked in the head (Boynton on Zednik), Punched in the face (Thornton on Markov), High-sticked in the face (Gonchar on Ribeiro) they absolutely didn’t fought back letting the likes of Thornton & Green take stupid and selfish penalties only to make them pay by scoring 2 late PP goals that absolutely killed any chance of a comeback by the B’s. Now I really appreciate Joe Thornton’s talent even though we managed to neutralize him since the start of the regular season but hear me out Bruins fans: This guy will make you lose important games and/or series by his selfish play in the near future This guy isn’t acting one bit like a captain should act. I’d be extremely pissed at him if I was a Bruins player right now. In fact, I’d rather be a Habs player right now for these simple facts:
-We dominated the entire series from game two and know we are as much talented, if not better than the Bruins.
-We teached Boston a hockey lesson in their buiding, being down 3-1 in the series and we are going back to the Bell Center, one of the loudest buildings of the league to play a shaky team that doesen’t understand what is happening to them right now, they know their two last wins were lucky breaks, don’t worry. If we win this one, no need to say where all the momentum will be.
-The Habs have absolutely nothing to lose. I said it before the start of the series, all the pressure of the world is on Boston players’ shoulders after they’ve been upset by us two years ago.
-José Théodore seems to have found his confidence back, while rookie Raycroft looked shaky, allowing 5 goals in last game. This might get into his head for the next two days.
-The Kovalev/Koivu/Zednik line is doing whatever they want on the ice against the Thornton/Knuble/Murray line, and yet even in Boston, coach Sullivan kept on opposing his first line to ours….
Last but not least I would like to tip my hat to every single American fan loudly cheering while the Canadian anthem was played before game #5. They teached this minority of morons here in Montréal a good lesson of intelligence and respect. Thank you for that.
No matter what happens on saturday, I will say that I am incredibly proud of the way my team played so far in the series and how they kept on entertaining and exciting us, Habs fans throughout this series. This series has become the most exciting of them all since game #2.
So I hope you’re ready, Bruins fans cause the habs will definately give you a run for your money!