With the 2013 season ending with a run of luck so bad that it would even evoke sympathy from Oedipus, it's safe to assume that the karmic debt owed to the 2009-2010 Washington Capitals has officially been paid. To remind all that may have cheerfully forgotten, Montreal went -28 and -50 (!) on Corsi differential in Games 6 and 7 of the 2010 ECQF match and did not deserve to stave off elimination like they did. Although the possession stats in the Ottawa-Montreal series aren't as overwhelming as Washington-Montreal, the chance numbers are still pretty depressing. By Olivier's counts, the Habs outchanced the Senators 72-57 at even strength, scoring on a mere 8% on their even strength chances. Meanwhile, Ottawa scored on 22% of their even strength scoring chances. Like a Steve Tambellini press conference, everything - from goaltending, to puck luck, to injury luck, to luck with regards to officiating - went wrong and the final outcome was often embarrassing. I think Stephen's comment sums things up really well:
The fates are three old grandmas in a cave, but when they want to they can crush whoever they like.
In summary, I'm still pretty bitter about our opening round exit. If you're feeling like I am, check out these fine links that will hopefully make you feel better about what is admittedly a first world problem.
Habs News and Analysis
- Saturday was the final day for media to meet with the team and thus a fair bit of roster stuff has surfaced. Andrew has covered a lot of this information in previous posts, but I thought I'd recap it in one place anyway. First, here's some injury news. Ryan White punctured a lung in Game 3 of the ECQF while Francis Bouillon broke a finger in an April 11 scrap with Steve Ott. Brandon Prust suffered rib and shoulder injuries in the first round and will get an MRI on his shoulder in a couple of days. Carey Price suffered a sprained MCL in his knee in Game 4 and will need about six weeks to recover. Lars Eller has been symptom free from his concussion for the past couple of days and feels that he'll be ready for the start of the 2013-2014 season.
- Also noteworthy is that Larry rejects the notion that the Habs need to get bigger to compete in the playoffs. Meanwhile, Alex Galchenyuk will play for the United States at the World Championship and Tomas Plekanec will suit up for the Czechs. Raphael Diaz awaits medical clearance from Montreal team doctors to join a Swiss team that is playing extremely well.
- In his Puck Daddy eulogy of the 2013 Montreal Canadiens, Graeme Nichols from The 6th Sens calls the Habs "nothing but insufferable, petulant, excuse-making whiners," referring to us an Eastern Conference version of the Vancouver Canucks without the Presidents' Trophies to our credit. I am rubber and you are glue, Graeme.
- Christopher Boucher has posted a comprehensive review of Michael Ryder's 2012-2013 regular and postseason. During the regular season, Ryder underperformed in the offensive zone relative to the average winger, but he beat this average in the postseason.
- Carey Price talks about life as one of the most scrutinized men in Montreal: the highest-paid player on the Montreal Canadiens. With regards to "living a normal life," Price had this to say: "I don't even go to the grocery store anymore. I hardly do anything anymore. I'm like a hobbit in a hole. I just don't do anything anymore."
Know Your Enemy: Ottawa Senators Edition
- Scott over at The 6th Sens has finished tallying scoring chance numbers for the Montreal-Ottawa series. He has the Habs ahead on even strength chances 53-52, totals that are considerably different than Olivier's 72-57 counts. The degree to which scorer bias is influencing either observer is not something I can gauge as I've never tracked chances myself. I'll just rent the barn and let these two guys sort it out.
- Mark Parisi over at Silver Seven Sens has a brief review of what went right for the Ottawa Senators (luck, goaltending, and more luck) and what went wrong for the Ottawa Senators (puck possession) in their first round match up with Montreal.
General News and Analysis
- Apparently, there's been rumbling that the Sedins' "decline" is the reason that Vancouver was swept in the first round of the playoffs. Thomas Drance over at Canucks Army disagrees with this sentiment.
- Jo Innes over at Backhand Shelf invites us to scrub-in and take a tour of the NHL Playoff sick bay. She breaks down Brian Gionta's torn biceps tendon in depressing detail.
- Lighthouse Hockey's PGI has a recap of the New York Islanders' Game Six OT loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. There's an optimism among Islander fans evident in the article and comments section that is both unfamiliar and slightly off-putting. Despair is emotion I'm used to seeing from the Long Island faithful and with hope permeating their community as well as the community of the Tambellini-less Oilers, the hockey world seems out of sorts.
- With their 2-1 win over the Czech Republic (2-1-0-3), Canada (5-0-1-0) passes Switzerland for first place in the Stockholm group at the 2013 World Hockey Championships. Canada won the game on an end-to-end rush by Jeff Skinner, the forward with the lowest ice time on the day at 8:48. If you're interested, check out these highlights and post game comments
- Jaroslav Halak and Ken Hitchcock had an airing of grievances outside the Blues locker room before Game 4 against Los Angeles. Specific bones of contention include Halak upset over not getting the start against Chicago in the St. Louis' season finale and Hitchcock upset with Halak giving "less-than full effort in practices."