We have ourselves a new 8-Ball update going into Monday night's action, as the Montreal Canadiens will be trying to force a Game Seven in their series against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Habs were not able to pull a Game Five victory out in Pittsburgh, so they will have to even the series back up at home in the Bell Centre in order to get a trip back to Pittsburgh on Wednesday night.
The games in this series have been awfully close, no matter the result, so I would be expecting a lot of the same and I wouldn't be terribly surprised with the result either way. The Canadiens have done really well with shutting down the offense of the Penguins, as a whole in wins and losses, so they will need to be on their best transition game to make sure they take advantage of the little mistakes.
The Habs are in no way supposed to be in this series, according to the selections in the pool, so staying in this series would almost be an upset in itself, but being eliminated is almost expected. Marc-Andre Bergeron is the most popular Canadiens player in the pool, with only five selections, while Roman Hamrlik is the only other player taken and he has three selections to his name.
The Philadelphia Flyers will continue to play from behind the 8-Ball tonight against the Boston Bruins, as tonight, but they will have to do it in Boston in the TD Garden for Game Five of their series. The Flyers and Bruins series was thrown off their regular schedule over the weekend, so they are only playing Game Five now.
The Flyers managed to avoid being swept at home in Philly on Friday night and now had an extra day off from play, but that won't likely solve many injury problems. The Flyers will likely be without non-pool player, Dan Carcillo, tonight because of an injury he suffered on Friday in Game Four. Carcillo has been playing on the top line with Mike Richards in this series, but it looks like he'll be replaced by another non-pool player, Jon Kalinski. The Flyers will get a slight boost on the bench, as it appears that Michael Leighton appears to be ready to return from an ankle injury, which he suffered in March. Leighton will likely back-up Brian Boucher and give the team a viable option, if the goaltending is shaky to start Game Five.
Looks like we can have ourselves the entire Eastern Conference Finals set-up by the end of the evening, if the Penguins and Bruins each win their respective elimination games. For some poolies, I'm sure they'd prefer to get another game out of both series later on in the week. If either one of these games (or both) go in the way of the team that is behind the 8-Ball, both series will resume on Wednesday night. Myself, personally, I could care less whether or not they go an extra game or not, because they will all be waiting for the Canucks and Blackhawks to finish Game Seven on Thursday night (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).