That’s what the Montreal Canadiens said to the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight.
Fuck you for being up 3-0 in this 2nd round playoff series despite having been largely outplayed.
Fuck you to all the goal posts they hit.
Fuck you to last second goals and soul crushing defeats. And fuck you to being down 3-0.
From the drop of the puck tonight, the Habs looked determined, ready, and, quite frankly, pissed off.
Max Pacioretty scored in his typical style.
Andrei Markov and PK Subban were as ferocious as an egg-fart vapor-trail.
Brendan Gallagher continued to show he’s a playoff gamer, and Carey Price, for once, got some goal support.
Carey Price must be looking at the scoreboard and wondering what that squiggly line is under Montreal… It’s a 2, Carey, a 2. #Mtlhockey
— corey collard (@coreycollard24) May 7, 2015
Also, Montreal finally showed that Tampa goalie, Ben Bishop, is actually mortal.
Of course he is!
One just has to reference the Lightning’s first round series against the Red Wings, to see Detroit getting Bishop off his focus.
Bishop is a great goaltender. But unlikely Price, he can be rattled. And the Habs did so tonight, getting to him early and often.
As a result, we saw Bishop flopping around on the ice, losing his stick, diving to try and get calls, and overall looking like a goaltender who is inferior to Price…
…which he is.
But most importantly for Montreal, their leaders lead.
From PK Subban, to Markov, to Pacioretty and more, the Canadiens, to a man, were determined not to be swept.
So golf clap for winning a game where the opposition was lacksidasical and comfortable with their three-game lead.
But now what?
Well, Montreal is still down 3-1 in the series, but they have reasons to be optimistic.
Game 2 aside, they’ve largely outplayed Tampa in this series. But more importantly, they’ve got momentum going back home to the Bell Centre.
For my money, there is no way the Habs lose Game 5 in Montreal. No way. Not with the pride and leadership in this group.
Equally, I don’t see any way the Habs lose a potential Game 7 in Montreal, if that game happens.
Not to jump ahead too much, but for me, it all comes down to a Game 6 in Tampa. If the Habs can win Game 5—and I don’t see how they lose that game—they will be playing their most important and, difficult, game of the year Game 6 in Tampa.
But this is all conjecture…
The reality right now, is that the Habs are down three games to one, with history dictating that there’s no way they can come back to win.
As we saw with the Canadiens’ first round matchup against the Ottawa Senators, winning one or two games may put the fear of God into the opposition, but it doesn’t win the series.
I know it’s a cliché, but the Habs really have to take it one shift and one game at a time. What do they need to do to win the next game? That’s precisely what’s got to be the focus…nothing more.
It’s like that age old adage…how do you eat an elephant?
One bite at a time.
What’s your take on the series? Do that Habs have a chance? What do they need to do to win?
SIDENOTE: Yes, I realize it’s been the better part of two years since I’ve written anything, anywhere, about hockey. I have to thank the great writers who have kept the ball rolling in my absence. I’m not sure how often I’ll start blogging again. It won’t be the 100s of posts I was doing per year in the past, and it might be in a slightly different voice, but I’ll definitely be contributing my thoughts on the Habs again…in some capacity!
(photo by Canadian Press)
Kamal is a smart ass who thinks he knows a lot about hockey. He’s been on-air, started businesses, and has embraced social media, all with a focus on hockey. He recently flew to Spain. Have you been to Spain?
Follow him on twitter @KamalPanesar…or don’t.