Defense wins championships, as the cliche goes. Right now I'd settle for a first round series win - and if that's gonna happen, the Fucking Habs had better figure out a way to shut down the Broons second-ranked offense. Seriously. The Boo-ins finished right behind Detroit. So let's see how the goaltending and defense stack up.
TFS (tm) has played way better down the stretch and seems to have gotten his groove back. Halak is way better than Emmanual F.
The Broons goalie duo of Tiny Tim and Manny the A-hole won the Jennings trophy for the team giving up the fewest goals. Tiny Tim will also likely be a Vezina trophy candidate (although Luongo is gonna win).
Montreal, on the other hand, finished 20th, giving up 51 more goals. Yeah, that sucks.
In fact, all the stats favour Boston, so lets forget about those.
Let's go with our gut, which tells us that TFS(tm) is going to play every game of this series like game 7 of last year. Meanwhile, Tiny Tim is going to play like a castoff from a second tier European team.
Just keep in mind that our guts have shit for brains.
Ummm...I think Bob will manage to find 6 healthy defensemen come Thursday. I think.
As dominate as Chara can be, he's also not the most mobile dude at 6'9, and skill guys like Kovy can make him look like Treebeard coming out of the corners. Although he pretty much always looks that way anyway.
The BadIt starts and ends with the B's Shaved Gorilla. He'll probably play about 45 minutes a game, including all PPs and PKs. Really the Habs best bet is if he gets hurt again. (I hope BGL is reading this. If you are, Google "Bobby Clarke" and "Valeri Kharlamov".)
I hate to say it, but it's clear Montreal has no one to match Treebeard. Two weeks ago I'd have no problem saying that, as a unit, I'd pick Montreal's group 1 through 6 over the Broons collection of Treebeard and 5 guys no one outside Bahsten has ever head of, except maybe Wideman. But after the fucking Leafs game...well, just another reason to wish that Grabitchski gets gang raped in a Belorussian prison.
Markov is hurt and even if he plays he won't be the impact player he has to be. The Semetic Saviour has been an inspiration playing hurt, but a 39-year-old with a bad wing isn't going to carry a team into the finals. DOOM needs to play like he did last year, not the mediocre play of this season. And he needs to plant Lucic 5 times a game. Hamr's contract is looking like more and more of an albatross. I love Georges, but he's not a difference-maker. And if Breezer is among our leading scorers again...kill me now. Franky B is probably playing for a contract - and Rhino for a career - but neither is likely to have much of an impact, if they play at all.
I fucking hate to say this, but the Shaved Gorilla is the major difference here - unless someone can render him ineffective (read: Gillooly him). Of course, IF: Markov makes a miraculous recovery; Hamr forgets he's old; Gorges morphs into Guy Lapointe; and Breezer spontaneously combusts; THEN, we have a chance.
So what I'm saying is that we have hope.
And not much else.