MONTREAL, QC. — There are currently two schools of thought when it comes to the Montreal Canadiens’ chances of winning their first round series against the Boston Bruins. The series saw the Canadiens win their first two games, both in Boston, only to lose the next three and find themselves facing elimination tomorrow at night at the Bell Centre for game six.
School of thought #1
- The Habs are going to push this to a game 7 without a doubt.
- Don’t people remember what happened last season? They came back from 1-3 twice!
- The Habs are exactly in the position they want to be in.
School of thought #2
- The Habs are done. Season is all but over.
- Habs let the series slip away by letting those two home games get away.
- Habs lost the series by letting their lead slip away in game four.
- They have nothing left, done, game over.
When predicting the outcome of an upcoming game, which is never a certain science, I like to think that there are three general groups of people who you will find in the arena:
- Fans of the home team.
- Fans of the away team.
- Someone who is a fan of neither team.
For the fans of the home and away team, I subdivide them into two more categories being “biased fans” and “unbiased fans”. Let’s face it, every fan base has it’s biased fans, don’t go claiming yours doesn’t. I could have further added categories like “Pure haters” and so on but let’s not make this overly complicated for nothing.
If we exclude the biased fans from the equation, we find ourselves with a group of unbiased hockey heads who can formulate an opinion on tomorrow night’s outcome, without getting too much emotion get into the way.
Today, as I found myself asking these people for their opinion on tomorrow night’s game, or in many cases, reading their preview articles and so forth, and found that for the most part, everyone (in general) seems to pretty much be on the same page, which is that no one seems all quite sure what to expect tomorrow night.
Isn’t that really what this series has been all about from the get go? Many were scared for the Habs going into Boston for their first two games, many thought that they were going to get murdered by Boston’s size and ferocity, but we saw quite the opposite happen. Then, when most thought the Bruins were down for the count, they did what many did not predict which was to come back to Montreal and win two, regaining home ice advantage. In game five, Boston did what neither team had done all series, they won a game on home ice.
So as unpredictable as this series has been, it seems that the general opinion is that everyone feels the outcome for tomorrow night is exactly that, unpredictable. As is always the case, as we get closer to game time tomorrow, most will probably begin solidifying their prediction.
One thing is for certain, never count out a team facing elimination, it’s been seen time and time again that these teams will very often come out strong and determined. What interesting is this that this as hardly been the problem for the Habs in this series. They’ve often come out strong and determined, even getting out to early leads. Their issue has mostly been protecting those leads, which have been all but possible since game two.
So if the Habs are to win tomorrow night, their secret to success must be:
- Come out strong and get the early lead.
- Get the puck deep in behind the Bruins defensemen.
- Hit those defensemen constantly and tire them out.
- Continued offensive effort even after getting the lead. (No sit back, protect the lead hockey)
- Let Carey Price see the puck.
I believe that if they can put all of this together, they can come out on top and force this series to seven games.
The following comment by a Habs fan on twitter, seems to summarize how many Habs fans are feeling at the moment:
(Photo: Elsa/Getty Images)