ESPN's Bottom Line Widget

Sunday, May 25, 2014


         Earlier tonight in New York, the Rangers had a chance to take a 3-1 series lead and the Montreal Canadiens were looking to tie the series. 7 minutes in, the Habs were on the powerplay, Subban gave the puck away at the side of the net and Boyle sent Haglin up the middle and he scored on a breakaway and the Rangers lead 1-0. The shots were 11-9, Montreal in the first. 8 minutes into the second, Bouillon came up in the rush and was on a 2 on 1 and he fired a shot past Lundquist to tie the game. In the final minute of the period, Girardi sent a pass up the middle to Brassard and he had a breakaway and he took a slap shot and it beat Tokarski to give the Rangers the lead. 2 minutes into the third, the Habs were on their 6th powerplay of the game and Subban blasted a shot past Lundquist to tie the game. Late in the period (under 3 to play) and Bourque fired a shot from the slot and it hit the crossbar. So were off to overtime, score tied at 2-2. The shots were 8-6 Habs in the third. 6 minutes into overtime, Haglin played the puck to Martin St.Louis at the side of the net and he scored! Rangers win 3-2 and take a commanding 3-1 series lead. The Habs had many many chances in this game on the powerplay.

        In fact they had 8 powerplays and only scored 1 goal on it and its because of their PP system. They have two guys who can blast pucks on goal from the point, Subban and Markov. But Subban is the only man at the point and everyone on the Rangers know that 99% of the time the pass goes to him and they are set and ready to block his shots. This is why the Habs lost, when you have so many PP chances you simply have to score, especially when you have it in overtime. But they didn't and they lost. I'm taking away from the  27 save performance by Lundquist, he was a big reason the Rangers won, but when you have the same PP system each time out, you become predictable.  As for Tokarski, he played really well again. He made 26 saves and several of them were highlight reel ones, including breakaway stops on Haglin and St.Louis. But unfortunetly for him, the Habs couldn't clear the zone on a play in overtime and they lost.

         My prediction for Game 5 is that the Habs will come out and play their best game of the Playoffs and win a game on home ice. If the Habs lose game 5, not only are they eliminated, but they would have had their worst home ice playoff performance since 2006. In round 1 of 2006 against the Carolina Hurricanes, the Habs won two games on the road to take a 2-0 series lead, they ended up losing 4 in a row to lose the series.  3 of the 4 losses came on home ice and if they lose Game 5 against the Rangers it means that for a second time in 8 years, they have lost all 3 games on home ice and thats not good for a team thats known as "The Vatican of the National Hockey League (MTL has the most Stanley cups with 24)." But I do believe that they will 100% win Game 5.

- Andrew Di Pardo

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