Friday, February 13, 2009

Will the Montreal Canadiens make the playoffs?

I haven’t been impressed with Montreal this season but then I was also expecting them to slip back in the standings this season. I questioned whether Kovalev would be able to put together back to back MVP seasons – he has not. I wondered whether Price would be able play with consistency at such a young age – he has not. Price has been phenomenal at times but other times he has come unglued. Like last year during the playoffs or did you see him on Wednesday night? I was also thinking that some of their younger player might regress some rather than step up to that next level – Tomas Plekanec is one several key players that have disappeared.

Add to this mess is the incredible pressure to win in their 100th anniversary season. In Montreal slumps like this are elevated to the level of a national emergency. The Habs are in 6th place in the East but are now just five points away from falling out of a playoff position and will be on the road until the February 21. They have lost four games in a row and seven of their last nine. They've dropped two games in Alberta by a combined score of 13-4, including 7-2 to Edmonton on Wednesday night which was the kind of game you would expect from the Maple Leafs and not the “Stanley Cup –bound” Canadiens.

This team will still make the playoffs but is likely headed for a first-round loss to a top-ranked opponent. But they could also lose Tanguay, Kovalev, Lang and Komisarek to free agency in the off season.

But then again they could also fall right out of the playoffs unless Gainey can find a veteran goalie to stabilize their goaltending and some help at centre and the powerplay. How would Nik Antropov and Tomas Kaberle look in Hab jerseys?