Monday, 19 May 2014

Monday Mornings with Mitchy

The Bruins are done, and the Habs are clearly dealing with another animal.

The New York Rangers, for some reason, much like the Canadiens when they took on the Bruins, don't garner a lot of respect.

I'm not sure why heading into the series, fans thought it would be a cakewalk to the Stanley Cup Finals for Montreal.

The Rangers possess a balanced attack with a ton of speed. They have last year's Art Ross Trophy Winner. They have a former Rocket Richard Trophy Winner. They have a former Conn Smythe Trophy Winner. Their defense can go up against the very best. And their goaltender is a future Hall Famer... Sounds like a walk in the park to me.

The Habs seemed unprepared, not emotionally involved and were basically chasing the puck all
afternoon in their 7-2 game one loss.

I don't think that's how the whole series will be played. Actually, a wake up call like that early in the series might have been the best thing possible for the Canadiens. The Canadiens and Rangers played very tightly contested one-goal games during the regular season and that's the trend that should continue here... as long as Price is 100 per cent healthy and ready to go. If Peter Budaj has to take the crease, or Price is playing hurt, the Habs are in deep, deep trouble.

It's hard to say Chris Kreider knocked Price out of the game intentionally. The circumstances leading up to the injury certainly help his cause in that regard. But if you ask anyone who has played the game at virtually any level, they'll tell you how easy it is to make that exact collision with the goalie look very accidental. And this guy has a track record. He's already ran into Marc Andre Fleury and Craig Anderson. Also accidental.

"I wasn't trying to run into him obviously but I felt like somehow I lost my, if you noticed a lot of times that happens to me, so I don't know," said Kreider post game.

Yes, we noticed.

Finally, the biggest concern for the series aside from the health status of Carey Price, is the tandem on defense of Andrei Markov and Alexei Emelin. This is something that could be straightened out, but they look awful in game one. The worst part of their game, the way they looked incredibly slow as the Rangers speedy forwards on both sides of the ice exploited them wide time and time again. If they don't start playing a little more on their toes early in game two, I think coach Michel Therrien will have to seriously consider breaking up what has been a solid defensive pairing for the first two rounds, because so far it looks as though they simply can't keep up.....


I'm going to haunt you forever: Ryan Mcdonagh
Inspirational Leader (repeat winner): Martin St Louis
Not So Soff Afterall: Henrik Lundqvist
Get in there kid: Alex Galchenyuck

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