Sunday, April 18, 2004

Making a HABit of coming back

The Montreal Canadiens have set the stage for a game seven showdown in Boston on Monday night. The goat of game four got the fourth goal of game six; as Alexei Kovalev converted a Saku Koivu pass into an empty net to salt away the Canadiens 5-2 victory over the Bruins. His goal was followed up by Jan Bulis’ empty net goal that finished off the victory. The Habs have now battled back from a 1-3 deficit to tie the series at 3 a piece going into the game 7 showdown.

The Canadiens have been able to out hit and out play the Bruins over the last three games, as they finally solved the Raycroft riddle in the Boston nets. No longer intimidated by the Bruins net minder, more of the Habs shots are finding eyes and slipping in behind him. Raycroft has found it hard to win that clinching game, unable to shut down the Habs for that all important fourth win. If anyone’s confidence is going to be affected in a game seven it might be his.

The fast pace and heavy hitting dominant through this series continued in game six, Joe Thornton was on the receiving end of a number of crushing hits, the Canadiens holding him off the scoring sheet for the sixth game in a row.

Jose Theodore made the key saves once again that the Habs have been used to in the past, making the task of controlling the play in the Boston end that much easier for his team mates. The folks in Deer Lake, Newfoundland were doubly happy Saturday night, not only did local hero Darren Langford pick up his first career playoff goal, but it was a round on the house at the local bar. Langdon is owner of a bar in the Newfoundland town; his policy is a round on the house for every goal he scores. Fortunately for his bottom line he’s not known as a goal scorer, but if it helps the cause, why not load up the bar and load up the net.

The Canadiens can rest up their injuries and focus in on the idea of a game seven showdown. The way this series has gone, the Bruins must be feeling a little uneasy; Montreal has been coming on and seems to have the momentum factor in their favour. Expect an intense, fast paced game Monday from Boston.

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