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February 15, 2011

Montreal Canadiens Come Out Flat And Can`t Catch Flyers

If you watched the first two games of the Flyers-Canadians series, you probably recognized the slow start of the Canadians in both games. I am not sure why the amazing crowd at the Bell Centre was not able to pump the team up but yesterday the Canadians looked so flat. They forged a good comeback throughout the game but the Flyers definitely had more control.

There was mention of some dives that a couple of the Canadians took last night. I guess there were a few embellished falls, but then again, that has been consistent throughout the playoffs. However, I think that the Canadians were trying to play a game that was not their own. The Flyers are a tough, bruising team but the Canadians are not. The Canadians play hard and are physical but not in an extra curricula kind of way. All of that swiping at the goaltender and shoving after whistles is not the way to go. Not just because it is unsportsmanlike, it also can give the other team momentum. If you see a bunch of guys running your goaltender, you are inspired to play harder and try to make sure a win is gotten.

The Canadians have what it takes to beat the Flyers but the Flyers can be the team to come out of that series. They are a well put together group and if Biron brings his best game, he will be hard to beat. Of course, the Canadians who chose to go with youth, opposed to experience, are largely going through a learning process. Carey Price can handle the responsibility, I believe, and he has played well, although not great in this series, but his teammates have to lend him a hand.

I’ve stated before that this is a great playoff year because all of the teams have a chance to win the series. Although Colorado is not looking that promising against the Wings, and that series may shape up to be another Ottawa-Pittsburgh situation, every other series has been good. Montreal will need to prove that they are truly that high flying team that fought to take first in the Eastern Conference. The youthfulness can be a blessing or a burden, it all depends on how the team uses it.

The emotional win of the Canadians in the first game was something that should have been built on. Overtime in the Stanley Cup playoffs is the most exciting time in professional sports, in my book. Scoring that goal that ends everything is so exhilarating and it should lift you high enough to carry you into the next game with energy. The start of the Canadians on Saturday was anti-climatic and they paid for it with a loss.

The Flyers-Canadiens series is tied 1-1 and the game Monday night will be very important. The Flyers will have the emotion and pride of a few Quebecois who went into their old home and beat the legendary Montreal Canadiens. The Canadiens will need to regroup and feed off of the leadership of their captain and the few veterans that they have.

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