Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Habs miss playoffs

First off, I'm back and will be posting regularly once again. The Habs roller coaster season came to an end on April 7th after back to back losses to the Rangers and Leafs. Jaroslav Halak helped give the Habs hope and although he gave up a couple of soft goals in New York, the team couldn't generate any offence and showed little energy to have made his goaltending the difference in the game. Cristobal Huet took over for Halak in the 3rd period against New York and played poorly against Toronto though the loss wasn't entirely his fault. Steve Begin took a double-minor for high sticking at the end of the 2nd period and Saku Koivu took a tripping penalty just as the first penalty to Begin expired. The 5 on 3 advantages led to two powerplay goals for Toronto and changed the flow of the game in favour of the Leafs.

The Habs missed the playoffs primarily for two reasons. David Aebischer's poor play replacing Cristobal Huet as the teams #1 goaltender after he suffered a torn hamstring and the flu that swept through the Canadiens locker room, not once but twice. Craig Rivet for example lost nearly 10 pounds. In addition, the team lost Chris Higgins to a high ankle sprain for an extended period, cutting down what was a career year for the left winger.

That said, these are not excuses, just an explanation as to why the Habs didn't make the playoffs. More importantly, these events tend to hide the fact that several of the younger Habs proved themselves this season and combined with the talent developing in Hamilton the future of the Montreal Canadiens is bright.