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Canadiens vs Senators EOTP staff series predictions

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It's the most wonderful time of the year! Here's what our staff thinks will happen in the upcoming series

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Jack

For me, the biggest difference between the regular season and the playoffs is that in the postseason, you're seeing the same players and systems for up to seven consecutive games, which gives the edge to a structure-driven team like Montreal. That's without taking into account that Hammond is playing at an unsustainable level in every statistical category. Canadiens in 6 games

Stephen

I admire the streak. I love hamburgers. But I also admire what the Montreal Canadiens have done this season. They have been consistent all year, with their worst losing streaks being no more than three games (five times this year).The will to win seems to be there, although the Habs are facing an opponent coming into the playoffs hotter than an asteroid in atmospheric entry moving at supersonic speed.

It is a possibility for Andrew Hammond to run away with this series, or for Mark Stone to continue dominating and scoring timely goals. I may end up eating a huge bowl of Frosted SensFlakes. But what makes me lean this way is my belief in Carey Price. He's not going to let himself down in this series, or his teammates. They won't let him down either. It's an effect that unique circumstances, like the playoffs, brings out in a competitive atmosphere as intense as this.

The games will be close (get out your beta blockers), but I think the Habs have the edge to overtake Ottawa slightly in every game except maybe one or two. Canadiens in 5 games

Justin

Montreal tries to out-muscle the Senators in Game One and suffers a multiple goal defeat as a result.  The loss of home ice advantage has Habs media writing stories about Ottawa's momentum from their regular season run and why playing at a playoff level prior to the start of the post-season had them better prepared.

Montreal changes tactics and decides to absorb the hits and focus on making plays up the ice — as they have in recent seasons versus the Bruins — and tie the series up at one in a close game.

The strategy continues to work and Montreal takes back control of the series as the Senators come down from the peak they needed to get into the playoffs.  The Habs go up 3-1 before Ottawa wins one final game in their Cinderella season before being eliminated in Game Six. Candiens in 6 games

Cara

Andrew Hammond remembers he is Andrew Hammond, but the Sens remain enamoured with him. Pacioretty returns to health for game 2 or 3 and Price remains Price. The only concern I have is the depth forwards, but Eller has been stellar lately and his strong play will be a huge boost. Canadiens in 6 games


Matthew M.

Montreal remembers their early exit to the Sens in 2013. It won't happen again. Revenge is sweet and the Andrew Hammond express has reached its final destination: Gare Centrale. P.K. Subban will lead all Habs in points through the first round and Carey Price will be Carey Price. Better luck next year, Ottawa. Thanks for the all the frozen patties. Canadiens in 5 games

Avrum

Yes, the Sens have the Hamburglar, and he will continue to be reasonably consistent. Yes, they have Mark Stone, and this young man will nab a few timely goals. There's the strange case of Jean-Gabriel Pageau, who is the perfect embodiment of a pesky Sen. And, of course, we know all about Karlsson, but we also know that he's no match for Karl's Son (see what I did there?). So, in the end, the Habs will have a sudden jolt of offensive jam, the youngsters and newcomers will gel, and Price, well, he will be Carey Price. Limit playoff ticket availability all you want, Ottawa, you'll only have one round to violate the human rights of hockey fans. Canadiens in 6 games

Mike

Ottawa is coming in hotter than Jacob De La Rose's hair and full of emotion and confidence so an easy sweep under the rug a la Tampa isn't happening here. I think the Habs are a lot better than they're getting credit for and they will show by asserting themselves on the ice against the fan, media and SAP favourite Senators. I also think that Hammond is going to regress back to being an ECHL goalie before the Sens win four games so that should help the Habs' chances. Aside from how much the Sens are going to suck I think getting Pacioretty back in Game 2 or 3 is really going to put the Habs over the top and send them through. Canadiens in 6 games


Matt D.

Two years is not that long ago, so they'll be looking for revenge. Since a lot of them were there last time they know what not to do, and need only remember the pair of 6-1 losses to that end.

Price is in the best game form we've ever seen and Hammond is long overdue to regress. If that regression comes this series could be over in four, never mind five. Canadiens in 5 games

Laura

Assuming everyone stays relatively healthy (whether or not Max Pacioretty comes back), Andrew Hammond will regress and the Canadiens will do that thing where they suddenly ice a lineup that half makes sense like in last year's Tampa series. Carey Price will be solid. Obviously Ottawa will focus on containing P.K. Subban and Montreal will focus on containing Erik Karlsson.

Neither can really be contained but assuming both teams manage to minimize the effect of each other's superstar defenseman, Montreal's remaining lineup just looks more promising. Canadiens in 6 games

Aruny

Despite Montreal's incredible ability to make Pageau look like the second coming of Lemieux, the Habs will take this series in five games. This is a team that has been healthy, well-rested and have plenty of playoff experience amongst their group. This is a Habs team that went the majority of the last playoff series without Alex Galchenyuk and still managed to hold their own. The Sens' special teams don't necessarily give them an advantage over the Habs either (sporting nearly identical power play percentages despite the Sens having more power play opportunities).

Also, Price > Hammond. Canadiens in 5 games

Marc
The Habs finished with the second-best record in the league. They won their division, and outclassed the Senators by more than 10 points in the standings. The Habs have the better top-end talent, and the better goalie. Slam dunk, right?

Not at all. As high as they ended up in the standing, it's clear that Carey Price's excellent play has been the main reason why Montreal holds home-ice advantage going into the playoffs.

The Senators are a better puck-possession team, even more so now that Dave Cameron took the reigns from Paul McLean. He managed to up their CorsiFor% from 47.8% when he took over, all the way to 51.4% once the miracle run to clinch the final playoff spot was over.  I assume it will be a hard-fought battle between the two rival teams, but in the end the numbers favour Ottawa. Senators in 7 games

Don't forget to give us your series predictions in the comments below!