I was watching the Washington/Boston game and it was an all other level, it just wasn't possible to enjoy the Habs game after that, they were sleeping. Well let's see what they do against the Panthers.
Anybody who has the habit of watching the Saturday doubleheaders already know that other teams play hard and are build for the playoffs.
I could practically compose the panicked overreactions, the melodramatic wails of doom, and the whipping of the current media bandwagon of this-team-needs-more-grit(-even-if-it-makes-it-worse).
Bad games happen, people. Sometimes even bad stretches. Especially on the road with players coming back from injury.
Unlike the Bruins, the Habs don't have enough miracles to escape them all.
Yes but I'm more worried about long term and I see no signs we're going anywhere more than last year. Sure, Philly lost 10 straight last year but went to the ECF. Ok, but we don't have their level of fortitude up front. No gamebreakers. That's supposed to be Kovy but he's nowhere near as effective as Richards or Carter and hell even Umberger was a superstar against us. The Hab team isn't built well for playoff success and we can see it in games where we're manhandled by teams like the Lightning or Hurricanes. The Habs will likely snap out of the funk but to expect them to go on the same tear as last year? Well teams are ready for them now.
They know to get their game up and to play harder when we're the opponent. We haven't adjusted though. The Habs aren't the unknown element anymore and everyone knows it. 100-105 pts. can be achieved by finishing with at least a record of 5 games over .500 in our last 35 games. 9 games above to match last season. But that's easier said than done since what should be wins on paper usually turn out losses and in regulation too (7 losses to the SE of our overall 14!!!).
Same problem we've had the last three years, players don't look motivated at all. Those who leave the team become different players who actually work every game. Players keep changing, but the teams style keeps staying the same. There's a point where the players are no longer the problem and you got to look elsewhere.
In the end, the goal is to go further in the playoffs than our usual 1st and 2nd round. Do you imagine going much further with teams like Boston, Washington, Jersey and Philly?
Yes... I can easily imagine that. Jersey would frighten me because the Habs are consistently terrible against them. Boston, I'm not sure about, I still feel they have to come down to Earth. But I'd be as confident as you can be in the playoffs against the likes of Washington and especially Philadelphia. One bad game won't make me change my opinion.
But forgive me, I like the Red Wings build-with-skill approach more than this strange obsession with making the team worse by removing capable scorers and replacing them with Tom Kostopoulos. Even if the scorers aren't scoring right now, which, I am sorry, I do not buy at all that the problem is a lack of grit. Maybe effort, maybe, but not "grit".
Teams "built for the playoffs" are funny to me. I'll take the talented team in the playoffs over the gritty one any day; grit is the tiebreaker, not the game-winner.