Blog Entry

Woe Canada

Posted on: May 3, 2008 11:29 pm
Edited on: May 3, 2008 11:54 pm
 

Their team won't  break the 15-year drought for Stanley Cup winners in Canada, but it didn't take long for Montreal fans to realize they had nothing to complain about.

Obviously there was disappointment in the Bell Centre as the final seconds ticked down on the Canadiens season that ended with a 6-4 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers tonight. But rather than express any of it, they instead stood and began a long ovation that told their team it was really okay. That there was nothing to be ashamed about for losing a series in just five games when they were heavily favored to win.

It was a show of understanding for a team that everyone probably realized was lucky to get the series as far as it did.

Montreal stole an overtime win in the opening game, but the Flyers essentially dominated the series from start to finish and closed it out in the face of the Canadiens best and most desperate effort. Philadelphia advanced to the conference finals mainly because its goalie Martin Biron was in a zone -- a sharp contrast to his counterpart Carey Price -- and a depth player named R.J. Umberger suddenly turned into  a scoring sensation. But there were clear differences between the two teams, and never more apparent than in the final game of the series.

The Canadiens were desperate  in Game 5 and they came out like gangbusters, taking a lead for the first time in the series before the game was five minutes old. Montreal's first goal even came on their power play, which was the league's best this season,but had gone missing in the playoffs, especially in this round. So there was something for Montreal to build on and maybe for the Flyers to be concerned about,. After all, Philadelphia was forced to a seventh game by Washington in the first round after the Flyers held a 3-1 series lead.

Biron didn't have his best stuff on this night either, which became clear after Umberger tied it halfway through the first period. The Flyers netminder didn't look particularly sharp in giving up the next two goals, and when the Philadelphia failed to convert a two-man power play, it might have been realistic for them to be thinking about going home for Game 6.

"From the start it seemed like it might be their night," Umberger said on the Versus network after the game. "But we stuck with it."

And they had the good fortune of having a 20-year-old rookie who was struggling to shoot at. Price, who was benched in Game 4, looked like he was back in his groove when he stopped Mike Richards on an early breakaway, but he gave up a soft goal to Richards 14 minutes into the second period, and didn't respond well. It took Philadelphia less than three more minutes to add another pair and go into the dressing room with a lead.

Montreal drew even early in the third period when Andrei Kostitsyn scored, but Price was beaten for the winner on a long shot tipped by Scottie Upshall late before Mike Knuble sealed it with an empty netter an 19:10.

That's when the standing ovation began. The Canadiens season ended on a sour note, but it was really far more than anyone could have expected. Montreal was not picked by many to make the playoffs for a second consecutive season, but they ended up finishing first overall in the Eastern Conference. They had the league's best offense, more speed than just about anyone and a great young corps of players, with more in the system.

That might have been why many allowed themselves to believe in some destiny coming into the playoffs,  because the historic franchise had been led to Stanley Cups twice by rookie goalies.

Still that was a lot to expect, although Price showed the potential to do so after Montreal made him the No. 1 by trading away veteran Cristobal Huet at the deadline. It was a controversial move because the Canadiens were legitimate contenders at the time and set themselves up to go to the playoffs with two freshmen at the most important position. But Price had a rare pedigree of winning at high levels, and he was superb down the stretch as Montreal beat out the Penguins for the conference title.

Price looked just as sharp early in the first round against Boston, but he started to look flustered late in that series and it grew worse against the Flyers. Price seemed to be refocused after his benching, but he didn't get much help from his defense in the last game and ultimately he proved to be simply a 20 year old who just wasn't ready to lead his team further right now.

He'll get another chance and so will this team. And that's something to look forward to, not complain about.

 

Category: NHL
Comments
Johnny F
Since: Jan 16, 2007
Posted on: May 4, 2008 3:19 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: May 1, 2008
Posted on: May 4, 2008 12:42 pm
 

Woe Canada

WHAT A SERIES BY MY FLYERS. MOST PEOPLE SAID IF THEY HAD A CHANCE THAT IT WOULD TAKE SEVEN GAMES TO GET THE JOB DONE. NOW WERE THE ONES WAITING TO SEE WHO PLAYS US IN THE EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS. TAKING OUT THE HEAVILY FAVORED CANADIANS IN 5 GAMES WAS MORE ANYONE EXPECTED AND IT SHOWS THAT WE HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO MAKE IT A SERIES NO MATTER WHO WE PLAY. OUT OF ALL THE TEAMS LEFT IN THE PLAYOFFS WE PROBABLY MATCHED UP WORSE WITH THE CANADIANS DUE TO THEIR STYLE OF PLAY AND WE DOMINATED THEM. AS FOR ALL THOSE CANADIANS FANS WHO ARE IN DENIAL AND REFUSE TO BELIEVE THEY WERE DOMINATED IN THIS SERIES YOU CAN JUST TAKE A LOOK AT LAST NIGHT AS A PRIME EXAMPLE. THE HABS GO UP 3-1 AND EVERYONE IS THINKING THAT THIS IS ALREADY IN THE BAG. THE PROBLEM WITH THIS IS THAT NO ONE TOLD THE FLYERS AND WE COME BACK AND GET 3 QUICK GOALS AGAINST A SHAKY CAREY PRICE. THEN AFTER THE HABS TIE IT IN THE 3RD WE GET A GREAT GOAL LATE AND TAKE THE SERIES. BIRON DID NOT HAVE THE BEST GAME BUT STILL MADE PIVOTAL SAVES IN THE THIRD PERIOD TO KEEP US IN THE GAME AND FOR ONCE THE FLYERS DECIDED TO HELP HIM OUT. THIS GAME MADE THE FLYERS LOOK LIKE A DANGEROUS TEAM TO ANYONE WHO HAS TO PLAY THEM AND SHOULD MAKE EVERY PHILADELPHIA FAN FIRED UP ABOUT THE POSSIBILITIES THIS TEAM POSSESS FOR THE REST OF THE PLAYOFFS AND THE FUTURE. CAN'T WAIT TO SEE WHO WE GOT IN THE NEXT ROUND (ALTHOUGH I THINK THE PENS ARE A LOCK) BECAUSE NO MATTER WHO IT IS IT WILL BE AN AMAZING SERIES.  ONE LAST THING, I WOULD JUST LIKE TO TELL ALL THE CANADIANS FANS OUT THERE THAT YOU BETTER HOPE THAT CAREY PRICE IS HURT (LEFT HAND) BECAUSE IF THIS IS NOT THE CASE THAN THE FLYERS HAVE JUST USED THIS SERIES TO GIVE THE BLUEPRINT FOR HOW TO BEAT PRICE. WHEN IN DOUBT GO TO THE GLOVE HAND.

GO FLYERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WORST TO FIRST BABY




Since: May 4, 2008
Posted on: May 4, 2008 10:40 am
 

Woe Canada

Just wanted to say both teams deserve crredit for just making it this far.  As I have said to my son we are watching the beginning of a rivalry here because both teams are young and will meet again next year and for several years to come in the playoffs.  Taking turns knocking off the most overated player and team in the NHL Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins.  MVP of the series is a tie between "LORD CROSSBAR" and "LORD THE POST".  LETS GO FLYERS



Since: Nov 10, 2006
Posted on: May 4, 2008 10:10 am
 

Woe Canada

Montreal fans can say whatever they want.  The bottom line is, you rolled the dice with a young goaltender and he came up small in the playoffs.  Regular season wins don't mean anything this time of year.  I don't care that you were the one seed.  Seeds are for gardens.  I saw good Flyers teams in the 90s lose out on the cup because of poor goaltending in the clutch.  Take 1995 and 1997.  You want to talk about bad goals in big spots???  Go to your nhl.com dictionary and look up "Hextall, Ron"    You have to re-evaluate whether or not Carey Price is the guy that can take you where you want to go.  He's still young, I'd give him some time still, but you can't goaltend the way he did and win in the playoffs, one seed or not. 



Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: May 4, 2008 8:54 am
 

Woe Canada

You're kidding, right?!?

With all due respect to my Flyers, Montreal owned the them during the regular season.  But theres no way you can tell any of us that Montreal wasn't dominated during this series.

Philly outscored the Habs 20-14.  Montreal led for only 30 minutes out of the 301 played-- and 25 of those minutes came in the last game.  From my perspective, that means the Canadiens were tied or trailing 90% of the time.  Other than the one stretch in game 5 when the Canadiens had the Flyers on the ropes in the middle of the 2nd period, the Flyers were beating the Habs to almost every loose puck and were taking the game right to them without hesitation.  For a team that was supposed to be faster, the Flyers made it look like the #1 seed should have been next to their name on the scoreboard and not the other way around.  The only thing Montreal "dominated" was shots on goal: 177-133.

When you say the Canadiens didn't get many breaks, let's remember that they had 3 more power play chances (16 to the Flyers 13) and converted on 5 of them to the Flyers 4 PP scores.  Each team had a shorthanded goal as well.

We're we watching the same series you were, RudeMood?

I've had to suck it up the last decade or so when the Flyers got smacked around in the playoffs.  Just accept it-- the Flyers dominated the Canadiens this time around.



Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: May 4, 2008 8:48 am
 

Woe Canada

You can refuse to believe that the Flyers are 4 games to 1 better than the Canadiens...but reality should have shown you that.  The Flyers dominated this series from start to finish.  With the exception of the OT win, the Canadiens never had the lead until game 5...that's not domination???



Since: Oct 2, 2006
Posted on: May 4, 2008 7:37 am
 

Woe Canada

Dude, what series did you watch?

You don't lose series in 5 games by outplaying the other team and them getting breaks.

I remember coaches telling me you make your own luck and breaks!

Game 5 typlified how the Flyers outplayed them, after going down 3-1 and not converting that 5 on 3, I thought the FLyers were done but they kept on playing and finished the job.

To the Canadiens credit, they played great tonight! but i think the Flyers just wanted a little more and made the most of their chances,  hell they outshot the Habs tonight and if Richard and Briere go upstairs on the breakways, it wouldn't even have been close.

Great showing by Canadien fans after the game!!  Great Class!!

 




Since: Jul 11, 2007
Posted on: May 4, 2008 7:32 am
 

Woe Canada

Some Canadien fans still seem to think outshooting a team equals domination. And ironically, the best game the Habs played was the last one, and the Flyers actually ended up outshooting them this time. More shots is not always the best thing.. it only matters how many go in. When a team scored the first 2 goals in each of the first 4 games (and once the first 3 goals), and never even trailed in any game until it got to Game 5, how can anyone think that the team that never had a lead, had dominated any game, let alone the series, up to a point? If anybody dominated, it was the Flyers. Yes, the Canadiens put a lot of pressure on them at times, and outshot the Flyers, sometimes even drastically.. but in case anyone forgot, this game has 2 sides- an offensive one, and a defensive one. And defense counts here people. Even with everything the Habs threw at them, the Flyers withstood it and came out on top in every game but the first one. The Habs could have outshot them 75-15, but if the Flyers had won the game, it would be the Flyers' defense and goaltending that would be the story, not the Canadiens' offense, or lack there of. Defense is part of the game, and the Flyers' defense has shined and is what has helped them dominate.. as well as making the most of their shots and scoring when they needed it. The Flyers also never stopped believing in themselves, even when they would let 2-goal leads slip away.. they would fight back, and get the lead back again. They didn't hang their heads or ever look dejected, something I saw from the Habs more than once, not just in the last game.

The way the Flyers are playing as a team, I would not count them out against anybody.. not the Penguins, not even the Red Wings should it come to that. These Flyers are not intimidated by another team's supposed superiority.. they know they can play with anyone. And they're proving it.



Since: May 4, 2008
Posted on: May 4, 2008 3:08 am
 

Woe Canada

Well, you'll have all year to reflect on how poorly Montreal played the entire series.  You'll also have time to think about Price's awful time in net, Montreal's absent power play, and Guy's goofy decision to play Price in game 5.

The Canadiens were outcoached, outplayed, outscored, and outhustled.  If that isn't domination, then you are just another Canadien fan in denial.



Since: Feb 27, 2008
Posted on: May 4, 2008 2:42 am
 

Woe Canada

Three words: R.J. Umberger.

Three more: You go sit.



The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com