Kukla's Korner

The Upper Canadien

The last one is always the hardest…

...or is it? Is it possible the Habs will have a harder time, and win, than they did Sunday night? Ottawa led 1-0 until there were 5 minutes left, when Dale Weise tied it up, and of course Weise then won it in overtime. However, along the way, the Habs were vastly outhit, and faced the best defensive performance I've seen against them in the playoffs since the late 80's, when a fellow named Ray Bourque used to give Canadiens fans fits. Erik Karlsson did everything he could on Sunday to push his team to victory, and still the Habs found a way to win. So if they win a fourth game against Ottawa, be it Wednesday or otherwise, will it really be the hardest win of the series? 

Sunday was an interesting lesson in analysis for a hockey fan, for the Habs were destroyed physically, with thundering hits from start to finish. Yet, the Habs still won, and controleld large swaths of the game. How is that possible? I've always seen hitting as overrated. It can change momentum, absolutely, but constant hitting is just a sign that a team doesn't have the puck. You can't hit if you're trying to make a play. I'm never too concerned with the hitting aspect of a game. I'd much rather my team control shots and possession. That's much more likely to lead to a win.

So what will happen Wednesday? I can tell you this: the Habs don't want a game 5. They want to rest, regroup, and get ready to move forward. So they'll do everything they can to finish things on Wednedsay evening. Which Senators team will show up? The physical behemoths, or the skill driven team that had the NHL's best record down the stretch? Will the Burglar be back in net, or will his helper be between the pipes again? Some were blaming Anderson for giving up a weak goal in overtime, to which I say come on: any game where a goalie faces 50 shots and lets in 2 is a good performance in my books. 

Wednesday should be agood tilt, and these Sens won't go down without a fight. That said, I expect the Canadiens to come out quite motivated. I suspect this one will be over in four. 

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Comments

aerodude's avatar

Must be nice to be on the other end of one of the teams who’s only goal was to make the playoffs…

Posted by aerodude on 04/20/15 at 10:05 PM ET

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About The Upper Canadien

The Upper Canadien is your one stop shop for all things Montreal Canadiens. Since the summer of 2010, I've been providing Habs related news, notes, and most importantly, opinions. As a blogger, I don't believe it's my job to report the news, it's my privilege to comment on it. You may disagree with what I suggest. In fact, you most likely will. But that's the great part about blogging: it spurs opinion, comment and engages all involved. I've really enjoyed all the debate and commentary from readers thus far and I encourage everyone to respond with ideas on lineups, trades, logos, sweaters, mascots, whatever. The Upper Canadien is a conversation for all hockey fanatics.

I've come to Kukla's Korner with four years of campus radio and three years of sportswriting from my time at Mount Allison University on Canada's East coast. Not only do I not have any professional journalistic training, after five years in the corporate world, I've spent much of the past two years completing an MBA. Business by day, hockey by night, I'm a Canadiens fan through and through. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I do writing.

Questions or comments? theuppercanadien@kuklaskorner.com