Thursday, April 3, 2008

Two More Games

The playoffs are looming. It's the most wondeful time of the year and the Habs are working with home ice. Although the team has been more successful on the road than they have been at the Bell Centre, you know these guys are looking forward to the building rocking as the postseason gets underway.

Tonight's showdown with the Sabres is a chance for the Habs to deal their divisional rivals a knockout blow in their unlikely quest for the postseason. Derek Roy has being playing like a man on fire during his current 10 game point streak and is the key guy the Habs need to shutdown. Tomas Vanek is a funplayer to watch and has scored 33 goals this year, a huge drop from his 47 of last year which led to Kevin Lowe's infamous offer sheet. You could find a laundry list of reasons for the Sabres inconsistency this year. The fact is they don't look like a playoff team and even Teppo Numminen's return probably wouldn't change it.

There are car flags everywhere in this city. People are making a killing selling Canadiens merchandise as it seems every second window has a Kovalev jersey in it. A long playoff run would really get the city going as spring approaches. It would make the transition that much less difficult.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


In breaking my first major story this weekend I dealt with a lot of things. I dealt with angry fans calling me an outright liar, I dealt with uncertainty due to the teams refusal to discuss the captain's status. I lost my wallet, which was completely unrelated but nonetheless incredibly annoying.

I used to be a big fan of the Canadiens and a part of me still is. It makes me happy to see this team succeed. I've been watching them my whole life. Now that I'm a member of the media I have to switch it off. It gives me no pleasure to report that Saku Koivu, the heart and soul of the Montreal Canadiens, is out with a fracture in his foot. I received solid information and reported it. I regret including the information I was given about the term of the injury but I did.

If I could go back in time and do it again, I would have done the same thing without including the info about the 4-6 weeks.

Life goes on.

The Habs take on the Sens in Ottawa tonight. The Sens are sliding big time and still haven't confirmed their spot in the playoffs. With the start the Sens had to this year, it's hard to believe but nothing has worked. A season-long goaltending controversy that never fully went away. A coach fired as a result. Trade deadline deals that didn't pan out (or haven't as of yet).

The Habs need only one point from the Senators to clinch the division but it won't be easy. They head into the game and possibly into the playoffs, without Mike Komisarek, Koivu, Francis Bouillon and the statuses of Mark Streit and Guillaume Latendresse are far from certain.

The team needs to focus and guys like Mikhail Grabovski and Sergei Kostitsyn need to seize the opportunities they're being given. With Carey Price as the foundation, there's no telling where this team can go and when your captain has a heart the size of an MRI machine, you know he'll be there if it's humanly possible for him to do so.