Thursday, December 15, 2011

Don't Expect Brière and Plekanec to Clear the Benches - Habs/Flyers Preview

What the Habs-Flyers Rivalry Once Was

The Habs are up against a tough team today. Philly has been so relaxed and ready for this game, forward Daniel Brière even had time to make it on l'Antichambre last night for the full show. I also heard that James Van Remsdyk co-anchored le Téléjournal with Bernard Derome.

Gone are Claude Giroux and Chris Pronger so the Flyers may have their hands full  a somewhat easy time handing the Habs their asses.

You've read on this legendary blog that with a power play running at a decent 20% the Habs would be in the playoffs. They wouldn't be world beaters, not by any stretch, but they'd crack the top 8 and make life interesting in Montreal for about 9 days in the spring.

If the PP wakes up thanks to Kaberle, then it's the 5 on 5 offence that we turn to. Cammalleri, Gionta, Gomez, Plekanec all being choked offensively. Cammy now looks like he's just removed emotionally. It would not be shocking to see him moved before the deadline if the Habs chances to make the playoffs have faded by then.

Montreal-Philly is always a good show because it showcases everything that's good about the NHL: hard hitting, skilled skating, the colour orange and weak mustaches.

Habs are going for 3 straight wins. Philly aiming for its 7th in a row.

Don't think for a second that this isn't a winnable game despite the Flyers hot streak of late. You take any team's top threats on offence and defence and you're left with a vulnerable squad. The Habs have to be opportunistic. If you look at a calendar and figure that you can't drop that game in November against the Blue Jackets, well it's got to be the same instinct when you're playing the Flyers who suddenly arrive to Montreal without Pronger and Giroux. The BJ game you can predict once the schedule come out, but this is an unexpected gift and it's important that the team capitalize.

We can expect to see Emelin back in uniform tonight as Diaz rests on his Neo Citran IV. Why it takes another player's cold to give this guy his regular spot on the team is beyond comprehension - but this is a Jacques Martin coached team so it's actually very much within the confines of comprehension.

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