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09-19-2011, 01:31 AM
  #29
MathMan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterDecoy View Post
im not one to buy into the whole "toughness fighter habs too small rah rah ********", but from what i remember, that's pretty much what happened no?
Not at all. Besides Philly's offense was actually built around small forwards.

The reality of the 2009-2010 run is that the Habs had no business beating the Capitals and even less beating the Penguins. They were getting thoroughly dominated by both clubs. Only incredible good fortune and an awesome goaltending performance allowed them to steal both series. Much has been made about the Habs' defense, but considering how much Halak was bombarded, you have to wonder how much worse it could've been without all these blocks. Most of those series were played in the Habs' zone.

Philly was the weakest of the three teams the Habs faced, but they were still better than Montreal. The Habs' luck simply ran out; they were unable to get the early lead and utterly unable to penetrate Philly's defensive system once they got behind. Blame it on bad coaching on tiredness or whatever, the problem wasn't that the Habs couldn't penetrate the slot; they couldn't even enter the offensive zone!

Montreal was awful in 2009-2010, from around game 20 of the regular season right up to the end of the playoffs. Outside of goaltending they were one of the worst 5-on-5 clubs in the league. Thankfully, 2010-2011 represented a complete turnaround of their 5-on-5 game and they became an outchancing, puck possession team. It coincided with amazingly bad shooting luck (call it karma for that playoff run if you're superstitious) but the Habs' improvement in the standings was no accident.

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