Saturday, May 22, 2010

Canadiens Trying to Draw Even

There is a part of me that really wishes I got to watch Game Three live, that way I would have a better idea of what the momentum was feeling like when the Montreal Canadiens stormed back into the series with a win at home. Somehow, highlights were not enough to get the full perspective, but I'll go with what I've got.

I'm kind of glad to see home-ice advantage is finally working in one series, as these playoffs have not been kind to that old adage and we're still a game away from saying that more as a fact than a passing comment.  The Philadelphia Flyers saw a different side to these Canadiens in Game Three and will have to work their way through it, if they want to put the Canadiens behind the 8-Ball going back to Philadelphia for Game Five.  Of course, if this series is truly going to be a home-ice kind of series, the Flyers have a little less to worry about, since they are the (slightly) higher seed in this game today.

So, now we go to the pool, where the magic happens.  We have a new leader, thanks to Friday night and we now have a new team joining the table, as he's crept up on the leaders in this Conference Finals, Derek B.'s second team in the pool has 20 points in Round Three, which is better than the other seven teams on the table, so he deserves to make the jump in.

TeamNeil B.Scott G.Myles D.Kalenab G.Leo M.Russ D.Stuart G.Derek B.
Scott Hartnellxx
Claude Girouxxxxx
Kimmo Timonenxxx
James Van Riemsdykx
Chris Prongerxx
Daniel Brierex
Braydon Coburnx
Marc-Andre Bergeronx
Roman Hamrlikx

So, there we have it, a new leader, a fresh name on the list and a good game at hand.  Let's work down the line, shall we?  Neil is looking for a massive game from the Canadiens this afternoon, maybe moreso a massive game from Jaroslav Halak, who no one has, but if he can shutdown the Flyers, his lead is safe.  Scott has some key Flyers in this match-up today and isn't looking behind him... yet, so his Flyers just need to score to possibly take the lead back.  Myles has moved up to 3rd and can ride the coattails of the same Flyers forwards as Scott, but hopes Chris Pronger has a much bigger game than Kimmo Timonen.  Unfortunately, Kalenab certainly can't fare too well, unless Timonen goes on an unassisted rampage, even then, she wouldn't be able to catch Scott that way.  Leo's key player today is James Van Riemsdyk, who is his unique player in this series, also carrying the same two defensemen mentioned above.  The young forward is his key though, could use a breakout game today.  Russ has a couple of unique players to his team and could make a move if they become hot against the Habs.  Daniel Briere has been hot of late and Braydon Coburn has done well to pick up assists here and there, so I can't count him out.  Stuart only has Claude Giroux to his name and he isn't at all unique to the top eight, but is unique enough to 4th place, so a minor miracle could do Stu some good.  New name to the party, Derek, he also has Giroux, so he could follow Stuart with some scoring there, but also brings the other of the two chosen Habs to the table, Roman Hamrlik, who could figure into some power play scoring.

The confirmations are coming in this morning that both Jeff Carter and Ian Laperriere are going to be in for the Flyers for Game Four, which makes the Flyers a better team, in theory. Carter hasn't played for the Flyers in a month with a broken foot and Laperriere has been out for a few weeks after blocking a shot with his head and suffering some bruising in and around his brain. This could be a pretty good lift for the Flyers, but is it enough to sway the home-ice advantage away from Montreal?

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