This Habs Rangers series is not over

Posted: May 20, 2014 in Uncategorized
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It isn’t over. Yeah we’re in tough. Real tough. Down two-nothing. Lost both games at home. Carey Price supposedly out for the series. (If that’s true. Am I the only one who wonders if he might just turn up before it’s over?)

So yeah no sugar-coating it. Les Boys are in deep. Are in deep trouble. But it ain’t over yet.

They arguably out-played the Rangers in game two and still lost, mainly thanks to a chap named Henrik Lundqvist. But it may seem strange to say it but I’m not even that impressed by these Rangers. I think they’re imminently beatable.

The Bruins are a much better team than New York and so there’s something that doesn’t quite make sense about Montreal being down two-games-to-none here. Sure Lundqvist is great but I still believe the Habs are making him look even better than he really is. They have to get right in his face. Stand in front of him. Stand on him. Get in pitched battles with the defensemen right in front of him. Gallagher already does all that. Others need to follow. Who? Well how about Bourque, Pacioretty, Weise, even wee Davey. Make sure he doesn’t see the puck.

And play with the passion you played with in the Bruins series. The Habs were running on passion in game six and seven. They felt – with good reason – that they were being disrespected by the Bruins, their knuckle-dragging fans and the hockey establishment, and that helped the team play way beyond its usual level.

Thursday they’re playing for their lives. It should be desperation time. They should also be playing for Carey, to give him a chance to return for the Cup final. So maybe that’s when the emotion will finally hit. Cos it hasn’t been there so far.

The other thing to do to ramp up the emotion is to bench Thomas Vanek. I know, I know, he’s scored goals, but he hasn’t score many lately and frankly I think the guy just brings down the whole team. Send him a nuclear message. Sit him. You tell him – ‘hey pal, you’re looking for a big contract this summer right? Well we’re sending a message to every GM in the League that you don’t have what it takes when it’s needed most. Enjoy the press box.’ And see what happens.

That’s also a great message for every player on the team. That no one is above the team. If you won’t break a sweat, don’t bother dressing.

Crank the guys up. I know Therrien can do it. Get Carey Price into the room to talk to these guys. Show them the video of Rangers poobah Glen Sather sitting there in the luxury box the other night with his cigar in his mouth, his shoe-less feet up on the railing, relaxing, watching his Rangers have their way with the Habs (the same Habs he knee-capped with that soul-destroying Gomez trade). Do whatever you have to do. This is it Thursday.

Believe. I’m not saying Montreal wins the series. But they win Thursday.

Or maybe the Canadiens simply aren’t good at this Conference Final thing anymore. That this is 2010 all over again, where they were shut-out three times by a no-name goalie who soon after disappeared from the Big Boys League.

But I’m not buying the cop-out pessimism. L.A. came back from 3-0 to win. Hell New York roared back from 3-1 to beat a very good Penguins team. Take it one game at a time. Therrien says momentum shifts quickly in the playoffs. So get it shifting Thursday night.

– Brendan Kelly

P.S. Passion is no ordinary word.  Listen to this Thomas.


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