Aldous Huxley - sci-fi writer and esoteric guru - speaks of a perennial ground which links all things in existence in many of his writings. With less than 24 hours to turn around and get back on the ice after a heart-breaking loss, the Montreal Canadiens will need to be in touch with that ground if they want to perform the miracle of getting back in this series. A "transition year" or not, the look of defeat after last night's game, and post-game comments coming out of the Canadiens' dressing room indicated that this is a team that wanted to win it all this year, despite their General Manager's admonitions that this is a stepping-stone year, and probably not the year.
The Montreal Canadiens have been down 0-3 in a playoff series 12 times in their history, swept 6 times, and have never come back to win a series in which they have gone down in the first 3 games. Athletes being eternal optimists, P.K. Subban was already looking forward to Game 4 in his post-game comments last night, saying it was a good thing there was so little time between games as they would have less time to think about the last-second loss.
Coming back from an 0-3 deficit is extremely improbable. But so many things in life, when actually examined are improbable, such as shuffling a deck of cards and ending up with the particular order of cards in your hand, (a 1 in 80658175170943878571660636856403766975289505440883277824000000000000 probability), or winning the lottery, or putting your hat in the ring for any particular competition where there can only be one winner. In sports, there is talent, competitiveness, reffing, coaching decisions, mental lapses, injury... and so many other factors that go into creating the circumstances for the winner to emerge, which is what makes sport such an entertaining event.
The margin of error in NHL playoff hockey is microscopic ("micro-margin"), as thus, the margin of victory is often the cause of small differences. The Canadiens are not done. Not yet. The odds are stacked - intensely- against them. The sight of overcoming an 0-3 deficit in this series is very hard to conjure for even the most imaginative Habs' fans... but the object must be simplified: one game, one period, one shift at a time. Keep on fighting until the end, forget the odds, and just play - there's really nothing left to lose.
In Canada (French): TVA Sports
|Max Pacioretty||Tomas Plekanec||Brendan Gallagher|
|Alex Galchenyuk||David Desharnais||Dale Weise|
|Brandon Prust||Lars Eller||P.A. Parenteau|
|Jacob de la Rose||Torrey Mitchell||Devante Smith-Pelly|
|Andrei Markov||P.K. Subban|
|Alexei Emelin||Jeff Petry|
|Tom Gilbert||Greg Pateryn|
Scratched: Mike Weaver, Manny Malholtra, Sergei Gonchar, Brian Flynn
Injuries: Nathan Beaulieu (upper body)
|Alex Killorn||Steven Stamkos||Ryan Callahan|
|Ondrej Palat||Tyler Johnson||Nikita Kucherov|
|Cedric Paquette||Valterri Filppula||J.T. Brown|
|Jonathan Drouin||Brian Boyle||Vladislav Namestnikov|
|Victor Hedman||Anton Stralman|
|Jason Garrison||Braydon Coburn|
|Matthew Carle||Andrej Sustr|
Scratched: Mark Barberio, Nikita Nesterov, Brenden Morrow
Injuries: Mattias Ohlund (knee)
Check out the enemy over at Raw Charge.