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Tuesday, April 22, 2014


          Earlier tonight in Montreal, the Canadiens were looking for their first sweep since 1993 with a win against the Tampa Bay Lightning.  2 minutes in, Weiss brought the puck into the attacking zone, muscled his way by one defender and the d-man in front of the net (Barbario) leaves his post and goes for a big hit and misses as Weiss centered the puck to Briere all alone in front and he scored! 1-0 Habs. Thats Brieres 51st career playoff goal. With under 5 to play in the first, Eller skated the puck up the left wing and slapped a shot past Lindback to make it 2-0 after 1. That shot just went under the glove of Lindback as it was in fact a stoppable shot. The Habs dominated period 1, outshooting Tampa 15 to 6. After much speculation, Lightning coach, Cooper decides to keep Lindback in the game. 4 minutes into the second, Habs on a powerplay, Emelin turned the puck over to Palat in front he went around the net and wrapped the puck in... Or was it? The ref waved it off and eventually called it a goal. The play was reviewed and even though there was no evidence that the puck crossed the line, the goal was allowed. 2-1. Less than a minute later, Gallagher came up the right wing and slapped a shot over the blocker of Lindback and made it 3-1.
          That was it for the goaltender as he gave up 3 goals on 18 shots. So in comes  Gudlevskis. No more goals were scored in the second as the Habs once again dominated the Bolts outshooting them 14 to 7, but Gudlevskis was holding them in. 3 minutes into the third, Hedman had the puck behind the Habs net and threw the puck off Price and in and the Bolts had life. 3 minutes later, Johnson scored to tie it. Therrien called a time out to settle the Montreal Canadiens down. After the time out, Gallagher had a breakaway and he was stopped by the rookie. As he continued to keep the Lightning in. Late in the third, after the refs missed a holding call on Bourinval, the man who was being held up (Paquette) tripped him and was sent to the box. The powerline of Vanek, Desharnais and Pacioretty came out. With 42 seconds to go Vaneks shot from the left wing was stopped and Pacioretty put home the rebound as the Habs took the 4-3 lead and that would be the final! 

            The Habs sweep their first series since 1993 and score 16 goals in the series, the most goals in a 7 game series since 1993. Every player on the Canadiens registered at least 1 point in all 4 games. Its no surprise that Tampa was eliminated especially since they played with 9 defensemen and 6 forwards. The Habs will play either Detroit or Boston in round 2. But until then they have more than a week off.

- Andrew Di Pardo

Sunday, April 20, 2014


         Earlier tonight in Montreal, the Habs had a chance to take a 3-0 stranglehold lead in the series with a win over the Lightning and boy did they ever. Just 11 seconds in, Subban had the puck in his own zone and flipped the puck down the ice right to Rene Bourque and he had a breakaway and scored! 1-0 Canadiens lead. The Habs had possession of the puck for over half of the period and outshot the Lightning 13-8 and lead 1-0. 8 minutes into the second, the Lightning were on a powerplay and Stamkos shot was blocked and Polat put home the rebound tie the game.With under 4 to play, Killorn came up the left wing and drove the puck to the net and was stopped as he tripped over Price and went into the net. Killorn got up and Price skated into him and as thats going on, Flippula centered the puck to Callahan and Price lost his balance and the puck went in. NO GOAL!

        That was the call on the ice and there was no review. The goal was disallowed because Price was interfered with by Killorn and despite what Jim Hughston of CBC says, according to the rule book... It's no goal if a player makes contact with a goalie even if the goalie purposely bumbs into the offensive player. So NO GOAL is the right call.  Late in the second, after losing his balance, Stamkos was kneed in the head (by accident) by Emelin, he left the game and did return for the third.A few minutes later, Subban centered the puck to Gallagher and he scored! 2-1 Montreal. The shots in the second were 12-7 Tampa.  5 minutes into the third, Plekanec would add another goal to make it 3-1. Carle would cut the lead to one with 8 minutes to play, but thats all she wrote as the Habs win 3-2 and take a 3-0 series lead. In the win, Price made 27 saves. In the loss, Lindback made 28 saves. The Montreal Canadiens will look to sweep the series and advance to round 2 for the first time since their magical playoff run in 2010 on Tuesday night as they're back on home ice at 7:08pm E.t

- Andrew Di Pardo

Friday, April 18, 2014


          Earlier tonight in Tampa, Florida, it was game 2 of the series between the Montreal Canadiens and the Tampa Bay Lightning. Going into this game, the Habs had a 1-0 series lead thanks to the ot winner by Weiss in game 1. They were looking to go perfect on the road in the first two games. 5 minutes into the game, Gionta had a breakaway, he went to his backhand and was stopped by Lindback. That was the best chance of the period in a scoreless game. The shots were 11-10 in favour of Tampa. 3 minutes into the second, the Habs went on a powerplay, Pacioretty won the faceoff to Subban and he fired a shot and it was deflected in by David Desharnais to make it 1-0 Montreal. That was the Habs first powerplay goal in 9 games. 8 minutes later, Vanek played the puck to Bourque at center and he skated by 3 Lightning players and he scored to make it 2-0!

        The shots in the second were 8-8. 11 minutes into the third, the Bolts turned the puck over at center and Gallagher brought the puck in and fired a shot from the right wing and it found its way in to make it 3-0. That was it for Lindback as he gave up 3 goals on 23 shots, so in comes Gudlevskis . Bourque would score a rap around goal later in the period to make 4-0.  Purcell would break Prices shut out bid with under two to go as the Habs go onto win 4-1 and take a 2-0 series lead. "I think we're really focused about the work we have to do," coach Michel Therrien said. "When we approach every game, we don't want to try to see the end result. Our focus, it's been like that every game. ... I like the composure of that team, I like the leadership of that team." Gudlevskis came into the game in relief and gave up 1 goal on 3 shots. "We're not playing well," captain Steven Stamkos said. "We're not going to sugar-coat anything. We have a lot better than these first two games. It's turnovers, it's compete level, but we know what's in here. We know we have this group."

         In the win, Price made 26 saves."It's such a fine line in the difference between the games and for us it's just been consistent play and we're sticking to our systems and we're limiting the mistakes," said forward Brendan Gallagher. "We just felt comfortable today. We were able to execute our game plan as well as we wanted to and we got rewarded." The last two times the Habs stole both games on the road to open a series was in 2006 (against Carolina) and in 2011 (against Boston) and both times they blew the lead and lost the series. But with the way the Habs are playing so far, I don't see history repeating itself for a third time. Expect the Habs to go home and grab at least one or two of the games on home ice if not both. The Habs next game will be Sunday night.

Written By Andrew Di Pardo

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


            Earlier tonight in Tampa, Florida, it was game 1 of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs between the Montreal Canadiens and the Tampa Bay Lightning. The heavy favorite going into this series is the Canadiens despite the Lightning winning 3 of 4 meetings in the regular season. So the Bolts are trying to upset the 24 time Stanley Cup Champions. But they didn't bring their A game tonight. 10 minutes in, Brown centered the puck to Kutcherov and he scored, 1-0 Tampa. 19 seconds later, Plekanec skated the puck into the offensive zone and took the puck to the left wing and fired a shot past Lindback to tie the game. The Habs dominated period 1, out-shooting the Lightning 14-4 in a tie game. 13 minutes into the second, Kostka left the puck behind his own net  for guess who, Steven Stamkos and he went end to end on the right wing and fired a shot past Price to give the Bolts the lead. 19 seconds again, Plekanec split the D and fired a shot off the post. It was almost dejavu. 3 minutes later, the Habs were killing a penalty and Captain Gionta had a breakaway, he was stopped and then put home his own rebound to tie the game. 

        The game was tied after 2 and the shots in the period were 8-7 Montreal. 5 minutes into the third, Eller took the puck to the net and scored to give Montreal their first lead of the night at 3-2. 2 minutes later, Prust turned the puck over to Killorn in the slot and he scored to tie the game. Then with under 9 to play, the Habs had a two on 1 and Desharnais played the puck to Vanek and he scored. Montreal leads 4-3. Back comes Tampa the other way and Killorn centered the puck to Stamkos and he scored. It's 4-4. The sea saw action continued. This game would need Overtime. The shots were 13-5 Montreal in the third. Late in the overtime period, the Habs had their best chance to win on a two on 1, Vanek centered the puck to Pacioretty and he hit the post. A few minutes later, Briere centered the puck to Weiss and he scored to win the game! 5-4! That was Weisse's first NHL playoff goal as the Habs lead the series 1-0. "I was surprised I was that wide open," said Weise.

        "We kept our composure," Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. "Our players stuck to our game plan and we got rewarded." The habs should have won this game in overtime, but average play by Price forced this game into o.t. But Price was good when he had to be in overtime. The play that stands out was a chance where the Lightning had 3 consecutive shots, but Price was up to the task as he made 21 saves. In the loss, Lindback made 39 saves and was the only reason that the Bolts had a chance in this game. Game 2 will be on Friday night at 7:08pm E.t on CBC.

Written by Andrew Di Pardo