I'm really confused by this current bunch of players wearing the CH. Right now they are on a huge winning streak that has all but locked up a playoff spot. If you combine this end of season winning streak with the amazing start the Habs had they are right there with the elite teams....but here is the rub we also had another Habs team play for us this year, the one we watched from December to mid-March. The team the played below .500 Pitsburgh type hockey for almost 4 months of the season.
Will we watch this current Habs team make a long run into the spring, or will that other team rear its ugly head once again and send us packing? Can anyone remember such a hot and cold team in Habs history?
Just a small correction. I think this team has been playing very well since the game Huet took over at the beginning of February.
Before and after the Olympic break, the team went on for a 9 game streak with at least 1 point and 8-2-3 until the 3 game losing streak in mid-march. They then returned to form and are now 8-1-0 since. That's 16-6-3 since February 2nd!!!
The slump was 3 months, not 4. It coincided with a conjunction of injuries to Kovalev, Koivu, and Markov as well as having a sieve for a goaltender.
I think we are now seeing a very confident team, playing in front of a confident goaltender, and players looking out for each other, and on any given night 4 lines that can contribute. This is a team that is slowly but surely getting set for an interesting playoff run.
There are many keys to this team. Rolling 4 lines, a solid forcheck, Markov, grit and toughness (i.e protecting teamates, standing up for each other), confidence and playing time in the rookies, and of course, very good goaltending.
The last 2 months under Julien and first 2 weeks of Gainey were simply a joke. We had a checking line of Bonk and Sundstrom doing nothing but going out there for 16 minutes a game and letting the other team come at them. We had absolutely no forcheck, we let the other team dictate the play constantly. We finally got with the times and lost this insane idea that you needed a checking line to sit back and trap it up.
Higgins and Komisarek have started to blossom, Perezhogin and Plekanec have looked very solid the last 2 games. Guys like this add youth and energy to our line-up and were totally held back under Julien.
Guys like Murray and Downey are absolutely needed for your 3rd and 4th lines. You just won't win with a team full of guys like Bulis and Ribeiro.
I don't need to talk about Huet, everyone knows what he's done.
We are not going to win every game till the end of the year, or even have our A game every night either, but if we just keep going out there and forchecking hard and letting Huet see the first shot were going to make things very interesting in the last 7 games and the playoffs.