As a reward for winning the Atlantic Division and claiming home ice advantage for at least the first 2 rounds the Canadians get to face one of, if not, the hottest teams in the NHL. The Senators have been on a tear and against insurmountable odds completed an historic comeback claiming a spot in the 2015 playoffs. This alone is a tremendous story and everyone who loves sports has to be not only impressed, but excited for their franchise likewise fan base. The Habs have also had a phenomenal season of headlines capped with 50 wins and a goaltender that now holds a team record 44 in a single season. This series has the makings to be Sen-sational and Habs-mazing.
Hats off to these teams and their regular season success. Now comes the harsh reality of the playoffs where only one team moves on and only one is crowned champion. It’s time to pull out all of the clichés and flood the press with reused one-liners every coach and player has burned to their minds. Now we find out who the real hockey Gods are backing. At this time of the year there are no Cinderella stories just ask the Rangers who fell to LA as many before them have tripped on that glass shoe on way to big ball. This is now about men playing men. It’s about the hit crossbar, the missed high sticking call, the bad bounce or the open net that got away. It’s about split seconds and millimeters. It’s about shot blocks, broken sticks and stitches. It’s about who wants it more and who is willing to go into the corners to get it. All this will be factored into the grand equation and then with a little luck on your side you can go all the way.
On paper heading into this series the favorite team would have to be the Senators. They have 3-1 edge in the regular season and Carey looks merely mortal against them with a below average save percentage. The last time these teams meet in the postseason the Senators flattened the Habs easily walking away with a 4-1 series. They are confident and have what appears to be stellar goaltending. Looks like they are the favorites and the Habs are the underdog even though the standings show otherwise. Word on the streets in Montreal according to Jarod Crozier from Hockeybuzz is the fans here have a defeated look in their eyes.
Do you believe the players are feeling the same?
This team has proven time and again this season how resilient they are and they will prove their metal again in this series. Pierre McGuire has continuously supported the Habs from the start of the season. He has been bullish on them and on every afternoon show from the Team 990 he has repeated that he is a believer. Perhaps he’s a believer in the Senators too, but I assure you this will be a battle and this will be a series.
For a great breakdown of the matchup and stats Aaron Basu & Chris Stevenson wrote an in-depth piece on how these 2 teams stack up http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=762816&navid=DL|NHL|home Excellent read and highly insightful.
By the end of this series will there be a book out on Hammond?
Will the pressure of the playoffs get under his skin?
Do you think there will be let down now that the Senators have reached the postseason?
Wednesday night 7pm all the fun begins. Should be a lot of fun. This is the best time of the year!
Prediction Habs in 6