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Series Thread: Round 3 vs. the NY Rangers


BigTed3

  

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  1. 1. What will it be?



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The series isn't completely over, but we're in a pretty position. Losing games 1 and 2 on home ice hurts. However, the Rangers are not an immortal hockey team. They can be beaten. I think we'll lose, being in the crappy situation that we're in, but I think we'll split the games at MSG.

The Habs have played well on the road this playoff season... winning the third game can make a difference still. IMHO certain players are either worn down or close to that. Some have still not given everything they can. Others are simply not committed. A few other things have actually hurt the team more than helped.

Worn down or close to it... Gionta, Gorges, Plekanec are key players not playing at the top of their games that look tired. Prust is defintely not 100%.

Players not giving everything they can... Vanek tops the list (unless what we've seen is all he's got), Eller needs to get to another level (I think he can), Weise has tailed off and Bourque too.

Not committed... Emelin, Vanek again, Briere (although in his case it could be argued he hasn't had the best chance to do so).

Things that may have and continue to hurt the team more than help IMO... giving up so quickly on the Pacioretty-Desharnais-Vanek line. Not using Bournival on the 4th line continuosly with Weise and Briere and cutting back their ice-time. The movement of Gallagher to the top line again and saddling Plekanec with a under-acheiving, non-committed Vanek. The continued pairing of Emelin and Markov, Gorges-Subban, whoever and Weaver when the top-six need some injection of youthful exhuberance, size and change in make-up.

If the Habs are going to lose, I'd rather see them doing so by making better use of the youthful depth they have waiting in the wings. It is still hard for me to accept that White, Tinordi and Pateryn have not seen any ice-time in the playoffs at all. Not integrating these players more often during the regular season and plaoffs could be the ultimate downfall of the team in this playoff run. Management talks about depth... but they haven't really used it enough to their advantage with the right personnel (wasting far too much time with the likes of Bouillon and Murray on defense regular season and playoffs).

So...

Go back to Pacioretty-Desharnais-Vanek, Give Plekanec some energy and size to work with, sit out Gorges, Gionta, Prust, Emelin and reconstruct the defense pairings.

Pacioretty-Desharnais-Vanek

Galchenyuk-Eller-Gallagher

Bourque-Plekanec-White

Bournival-Briere-Weise

Tinordi/Beaulieu-Subban

Beaulieu/Tinordi-Weaver

Markov-Pateryn

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A week after we beat the Bruins and spent the whole series complaining about how dirty they are and how their fanbase are bloodthirsty thugs, I saw multiple posts calling for someone to run Lundqvist and for Prust to go after Kreider.

It's embarrassing.

+1000

Well, I for one wouldn't have a hard time accepting an unfortunate "accidental" hit on either player that results in injury. I would put it down as the hockey gods providing for a more even tilt of the ice.

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Guys, lets put one thing into perspective: After game 3 all series are either 2-1 or 3-0. We obviously need this next game to be a win, but this is still a hole we can climb out of.

The boys seem positive and upbeat, knowing they just have to keep doing 'more of the same' as game 2 - Lundqvist is not invincible.

I predict wins in games 3 and 4. I think we will come back home tied 2-2.

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Guys, lets put one thing into perspective: After game 3 all series are either 2-1 or 3-0. We obviously need this next game to be a win, but this is still a hole we can climb out of.

The boys seem positive and upbeat, knowing they just have to keep doing 'more of the same' as game 2 - Lundqvist is not invincible.

I predict wins in games 3 and 4. I think we will come back home tied 2-2.

If we can get back to playing 60 minutes like we did in the first five last game than it's possible. We can't just stop when we have a bad break that kills momentum. We must get it right back. We have to have bodies in front of Lundqvist, if he can see it he will stop it most times. I wouldn't mind replacing Prust with White, putting Weise back in along with Bournival. Who sits?

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Guys, lets put one thing into perspective: After game 3 all series are either 2-1 or 3-0. We obviously need this next game to be a win, but this is still a hole we can climb out of.

The boys seem positive and upbeat, knowing they just have to keep doing 'more of the same' as game 2 - Lundqvist is not invincible.

I predict wins in games 3 and 4. I think we will come back home tied 2-2.

I like your optimism... and want to share the dream. But all I'm left with is hoping for a miracle... and lots of breaks/luck going the Habs way.

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I like your optimism... and want to share the dream. But all I'm left with is hoping for a miracle... and lots of breaks/luck going the Habs way.

I think that if we're down 3-0 then we need a miracle. 2-0, we just need a full 60 minutes of effort & we can do this. Remove both goalies & we are the better team. Yes they have a huge advantage in nets right now but we can still beat them.

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I think that if we're down 3-0 then we need a miracle. 2-0, we just need a full 60 minutes of effort & we can do this. Remove both goalies & we are the better team. Yes they have a huge advantage in nets right now but we can still beat them.

Why do you think we have the better team? The Rangers are loaded with talent and experience with a size advantage at forward and on defense. They're speed game is balanced throughout the line-up at forward and defense.

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Why do you think we have the better team? The Rangers are loaded with talent and experience with a size advantage at forward and on defense. They're speed game is balanced throughout the line-up at forward and defense.

cute-puppy-pictures-anything-you-can-do-

Seriously though, the Rags are a team built eerily like ours. depth on 4 lines, elite defensman leading an overall pretty decent defense corps, world class goalie. Some high end talent on several lines etc etc. Their stats this year were very very similar too - right down to the PP and PK being very close.

I think we have an edge because we have a better defense (as good as McD has been, PK is a better dman, they have no answer for Markov and Beaulieu is well on his way to becoming a top 4). Up front they have an edge in "top line" talent in terms of St Louis and Richards but we have better scoring depth throughout our lines (not that you can tell in this series).

Its only my opinion, of course, that we're the better team, but I'll leave it at this:

If everything was the same except we switched coaches, who do you think would be the favourites? I still believe we are not icing our best team possible & while Therrien has done some very good things in the post season, he's also turned a blind eye to glaring issues (Emelin) stubbornly brought us to the bring (Murray) and scratched players that should have remained in the lineup (Bournival). Im not saying Vignault is Scotty Bowman or anything but I like our chances more with that switch.

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When I am feeling down in this series (which has been more than I would care for) I just say the following to myself and I start to feel a little bit better....

"At least we eliminated the Bruins"

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When I am feeling down in this series (which has been more than I would care for) I just say the following to myself and I start to feel a little bit better....

"At least we eliminated the Bruins"

True, but it would be a shame to fall to the Rags. I still think we can do it. If we manage to come back for the STF then I dont think we can overpower Chicago/LA without price but I still think we can beat the rangers without him if we stay focused and dont give up.

This team was very calm when facing elimination against the bruins and while we clearly needed price at his best in that series, we also beat the B's as a team. We need to do the same against the rags.

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The Habs have played well on the road this playoff season... winning the third game can make a difference still. IMHO certain players are either worn down or close to that. Some have still not given everything they can. Others are simply not committed. A few other things have actually hurt the team more than helped.

Worn down or close to it... Gionta, Gorges, Plekanec are key players not playing at the top of their games that look tired. Prust is defintely not 100%.

Players not giving everything they can... Vanek tops the list (unless what we've seen is all he's got), Eller needs to get to another level (I think he can), Weise has tailed off and Bourque too.

Not committed... Emelin, Vanek again, Briere (although in his case it could be argued he hasn't had the best chance to do so).

Things that may have and continue to hurt the team more than help IMO... giving up so quickly on the Pacioretty-Desharnais-Vanek line. Not using Bournival on the 4th line continuosly with Weise and Briere and cutting back their ice-time. The movement of Gallagher to the top line again and saddling Plekanec with a under-acheiving, non-committed Vanek. The continued pairing of Emelin and Markov, Gorges-Subban, whoever and Weaver when the top-six need some injection of youthful exhuberance, size and change in make-up.

If the Habs are going to lose, I'd rather see them doing so by making better use of the youthful depth they have waiting in the wings. It is still hard for me to accept that White, Tinordi and Pateryn have not seen any ice-time in the playoffs at all. Not integrating these players more often during the regular season and plaoffs could be the ultimate downfall of the team in this playoff run. Management talks about depth... but they haven't really used it enough to their advantage with the right personnel (wasting far too much time with the likes of Bouillon and Murray on defense regular season and playoffs).

So...

Go back to Pacioretty-Desharnais-Vanek, Give Plekanec some energy and size to work with, sit out Gorges, Gionta, Prust, Emelin and reconstruct the defense pairings.

Pacioretty-Desharnais-Vanek

Galchenyuk-Eller-Gallagher

Bourque-Plekanec-White

Bournival-Briere-Weise

Tinordi/Beaulieu-Subban

Beaulieu/Tinordi-Weaver

Markov-Pateryn

I would love for this happen to our D. However at F I would like to see Eller move to the #1 line, and Briere into Eller's old spot, and DD into Brier's old spot. I just think that our #1 line is getting a bit stale with DD centering.

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The current Patches-DD-Gallagher line was on fire in Game 2, I'd rather leave them to do their thing. Ditto for Eller's line. I'd swap out Bournival and Prust and keep Vanek on a short leash on Pleks line, swapping him and Bournival if he can't get it going.

Honestly, we played quite well overall, I probably wouldn't make too many changes. Having said that, sometimes if you're having trouble scoring, a few 'changes for the sake of change' might spark something, so who knows if we see any tweaks.

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The current Patches-DD-Gallagher line was on fire in Game 2, I'd rather leave them to do their thing. Ditto for Eller's line. I'd swap out Bournival and Prust and keep Vanek on a short leash on Pleks line, swapping him and Bournival if he can't get it going.

Honestly, we played quite well overall, I probably wouldn't make too many changes. Having said that, sometimes if you're having trouble scoring, a few 'changes for the sake of change' might spark something, so who knows if we see any tweaks.

Yeah, id be tempted to reunite the EGG line but Pacioretty/DD's line was so good I dont want to mess with it. What about:

Pacioretty - DD - Gallagher

Galchenyuk - Eller - Gio/Bourque

Briere - Plekanec - Bourque/Gio

Bournival - White - Weisse

I know it seems nuts to sit Vanek when we are not scoring goals but we need to address the 2 lines that were consistently being beaten last night & I think this would do the trick.

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  • I'm really in favor of going with Peter Budaj in the next game. 0-5 in post-season starts. Perhaps he's due for a win!

Should they consider returning Bournival to the lineup? I think so. The speed will be helpful.

It's positive to see that Desharnais' line was effective last night. Much better than in the Boston series.

So happy to see Galchenyuk back!

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A week after we beat the Bruins and spent the whole series complaining about how dirty they are and how their fanbase are bloodthirsty thugs, I saw multiple posts calling for someone to run Lundqvist and for Prust to go after Kreider.

It's embarrassing.

To me, it's far from the same thing, for a couple of reasons:

1. The Bruins are often initiators. They want to play a physical, often dirty game. There's a major difference between trying to hurt someone for the sake of intimidating the other team or trying to gain an advantage and trying to get retribution.

2. The major reason for wanting retribution is that the league absolutely fails to police these kinds of dirty plays, like the Chara hit and the Lucic spears and the Kreider crash. If the league went out and said, "hey here's a player who has now run multiple goalies in the past year and has injured two severely and did it with an unnatural falling position with his skates up, maybe we should be suspending him"... if Kreider was given 5 games for taking out Price, then I'd still be unhappy that Price was injured, but I wouldn't be wanting our guys to do the same. Instead, the NHL turns a blind eye to these things and it benefits the dirtier teams. So if that's the way it's going to be and we can't get justice, then yes, I want to see our boys run over Lundqvist and hurt him so that we get a fair shake. It has nothing to do with hurting a player to hurt him, as is the case with Bruins fans; it has to do with that being the only way to get a fair shot from the NHL.

Guys, lets put one thing into perspective: After game 3 all series are either 2-1 or 3-0. We obviously need this next game to be a win, but this is still a hole we can climb out of.

The boys seem positive and upbeat, knowing they just have to keep doing 'more of the same' as game 2 - Lundqvist is not invincible.

I predict wins in games 3 and 4. I think we will come back home tied 2-2.

I'm not as optimistic as you, to be honest. It's technically still possible, but in the big picture of things, we need to win 4 of 5 and we need to play 3 of the first 4 games on the road. We also need to win those games without our star player, and the last time we played without him, we tanked. I think Tokarski or Budaj is good enough to get us 1-2 wins. After that, we're really going to need a lot to fall into place. I think Tokarski played well last game, but one bad bounce off Gorges hurt us quite a bit in terms of morale, even though it wasn't the goalie's fault. You could feel the team just didn't feel like things were going to go well thereafter.

Bottom line is that I think there's fight left in this team, and I think we'll play well the rest of the way. But I;m not convinced we're any better than NY and that we can play 0.800 hockey against them. It's not impossible, it's just unlikely. I think if we lose Game 3, we'll lose Game 4. And even if we win Game 3, I think Game 4 will be a toss-up with a slight edge to the Rangers.

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I'm not as optimistic as you, to be honest. It's technically still possible, but in the big picture of things, we need to win 4 of 5 and we need to play 3 of the first 4 games on the road. We also need to win those games without our star player, and the last time we played without him, we tanked. I think Tokarski or Budaj is good enough to get us 1-2 wins. After that, we're really going to need a lot to fall into place. I think Tokarski played well last game, but one bad bounce off Gorges hurt us quite a bit in terms of morale, even though it wasn't the goalie's fault. You could feel the team just didn't feel like things were going to go well thereafter.

Bottom line is that I think there's fight left in this team, and I think we'll play well the rest of the way. But I;m not convinced we're any better than NY and that we can play 0.800 hockey against them. It's not impossible, it's just unlikely. I think if we lose Game 3, we'll lose Game 4. And even if we win Game 3, I think Game 4 will be a toss-up with a slight edge to the Rangers.

I dont disagree with anything you've said here but its why the quote in my sig (from Gallagher) is so crucial for the team right now: One game at a time. Period.

We cant get ahead of ourselves & think 'we need 4 out of 5' or whatever. Its simply "we need to win the next game" and we have only 1 reprieve at this point (and we'd better not use it up fast).

Obviously next game is key. If we lose it, well, the chances of coming back are virtually nil. But if we win it... well you never know.

We'll have to see how it goes, but I do have optimism. After all, whats the point of being down? Watching hockey is fun & I think - even those of us who are optimists - have to agree they've already gone a lot further than most of us expected.

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To me, it's far from the same thing, for a couple of reasons:

1. The Bruins are often initiators. They want to play a physical, often dirty game. There's a major difference between trying to hurt someone for the sake of intimidating the other team or trying to gain an advantage and trying to get retribution.

2. The major reason for wanting retribution is that the league absolutely fails to police these kinds of dirty plays, like the Chara hit and the Lucic spears and the Kreider crash. If the league went out and said, "hey here's a player who has now run multiple goalies in the past year and has injured two severely and did it with an unnatural falling position with his skates up, maybe we should be suspending him"... if Kreider was given 5 games for taking out Price, then I'd still be unhappy that Price was injured, but I wouldn't be wanting our guys to do the same. Instead, the NHL turns a blind eye to these things and it benefits the dirtier teams. So if that's the way it's going to be and we can't get justice, then yes, I want to see our boys run over Lundqvist and hurt him so that we get a fair shake. It has nothing to do with hurting a player to hurt him, as is the case with Bruins fans; it has to do with that being the only way to get a fair shot from the NHL.

Ask Bruins fans about why they like their team's style of play and they'll give you the same reason #2 and cite Marc Savard.

It's silly. We can't take the moral high ground as fans and want someone to run Lundqvist or Kreider.

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I dont disagree with anything you've said here but its why the quote in my sig (from Gallagher) is so crucial for the team right now: One game at a time. Period.

We cant get ahead of ourselves & think 'we need 4 out of 5' or whatever. Its simply "we need to win the next game" and we have only 1 reprieve at this point (and we'd better not use it up fast).

Obviously next game is key. If we lose it, well, the chances of coming back are virtually nil. But if we win it... well you never know.

We'll have to see how it goes, but I do have optimism. After all, whats the point of being down? Watching hockey is fun & I think - even those of us who are optimists - have to agree they've already gone a lot further than most of us expected.

It's all in the optics of things, but yes, it's easier to tell yourself you only need one win. I just don't know that we can do that 4 times, although I'd love to be proved wrong.

I had the Habs losing to the Rangers in the ECF in our pre-season predictions thread, so while I got some other things wrong, I can honestly say I had a reasonable expectation both us and the Rangers would get to where we are today. That said, it seems that whenever we do have an opportunity in the playoffs or make a good run, it comes crashing down on us... we went out to Philly pretty unceremoniously in 2010. Last year, we were the favorite against Ottawa and played well but suffered a bunch of injuries and got run out. This season, we played two great series only to lose our best player to a cheapshot. It'd be nice to think that if we did go out at this stage, that we'd be doing it playing our best hockey and just being out-played by a better team, not coming all this way only to lose because a dirty player got away with a free shot to change the complexion of the series and ruin our season. To me, that leaves an uber-bitter taste in my mouth. Conversely, in 2011, we played really well and lost in OT to the eventual champion Bruins in Game 7... I didn't leave that season with any major regrets (other than the B's winning the Cup) because I know we did all we could. But in seasons where you leave something on the table (either because of poor effort or missed opportunity due to injury), it's an empty feeling that's left. Would really like to see the Habs overcome this, get Carey back, etc., but the odds are against us. Down 2-0 but with Carey, I probably don't feel that way, so no doubt the Kreider hit is the defining moment if we lose to NY.

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Ask Bruins fans about why they like their team's style of play and they'll give you the same reason #2 and cite Marc Savard.

It's silly. We can't take the moral high ground as fans and want someone to run Lundqvist or Kreider.

And if the Bruins wanted to go and fight Matt Cooke, I'd have no problem with that (and in fact would think they're justified). It doesn't mean I have to approve of Lucic spearing Emelin and DeKeyser... those are completely unrelated. If we weren't playing NY in a playoff series, I wouldn't care about running Lundqvist either; it's really only about evening up the odds since the league won't take care of it properly. To me, circumstance matters... if someone attacks me on the street, then you better believe I'd feel like I have the right to fight back and injure that person. But I would never advocate going out and attacking a second innocent person just because I was attacked. I think one can seek justice in a limited form without condoning general violence.

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Guest Regis2

Some of us , including MT , are starting to sound like the Tampa coach.

Down 2 - 0, we just need some breaks , we feel positive and upbeat etc etc , saying all the right things .

It doesn't matter, you either starting an AHL goalie or your back up and those guys aren't going to win a series

Whomever is in the nets for the Habs is going to have to have horseshoes up his behind for the Habs to win this series .

And getting retribution in the PO's is pointless , leave it until next yr and even then the Habs don't have any tough guys for that kind of stuff.

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This team was very calm when facing elimination against the bruins and while we clearly needed price at his best in that series, we also beat the B's as a team. We need to do the same against the rags.

Well said, Jed, and this a key point in my eyes.

A few years ago, when we upset Washington and Pittsburgh, we did it on the strength of Halak, Cammy and a great defensive system which shunted all the shots to the outside and let Halak do his thing. And while we won those series, our game plan was basically to grab a lead and then to turtle and try to hold on to it - it wasn't exactly what you would call sustainable.

Our win against Boston, however, was another matter entirely. I missed our first two wins, but I can say for sure that in games six and seven we controlled the play more than they did and we really deserved the result that we got. Now like you said, obviously Price was great when we needed him to be great, but it wasn't a matter of our goalie dragging us through the series like is was the last time. The team played well - just like they did at the beginning of game 2 vs the Rangers - and if they can go back to doing that there's no reason that we can't win this series with Tokarski or Budaj.

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