Kukla's Korner

The Upper Canadien

Woe, Canada!

People always talk about a year, but what a difference a week makes. A week ago, Canadian teams were 5-0. Now, both are facing elimination.

The Montreal Canadiens may hit the ice tomorrow minus James Wisniewski and David Desharnais, two offensive spark plugs who have been solid these playoffs. 2010 saw the Habs go 5-1 in elimination games. Can they do it again?

You might say the Habs have the Bruins right where they want them.

Now, this is by no means a sure thing. In fact, you could probably argue the Habs are the underdogs. But the Bruins won the last game by a whisker, with the Canadiens coming oh-so-close in overtime. And the previous game went to overtime. It shows what a difference the odd bounce can make, but it also shows how evenly matched these two teams are.

Goals for: even. Shots: within less than 15, over five games. That’s saying something for parity. This is the NHL Gary Bettman dreamed of.

So what’ s going to happen?

Well, let’s talk lineup. If Desharnais is out, perhpas this is last chance alley for Benoit Pouliot. He could be thrown back on a top line and dominate…or take a stupid penalty five minutes in. You just never know with Benny. But when he turns on the jets…

Defence is a much more interesting one, because the Habs have two bonafide options here. If Wisniewksi can’t go, do you dress the physical, aggressive, bearded Paul Mara, or the slick, young Yannick Weber? I’d be tempted to go the Weber route, especially after he scored in game two, but as you probably know I’m not the coach.

Or maybe you go with seven defencemen and Benny takes his usual seat in the dogohuse?

Regardless, this will be a great game. In a great city. In front of great fans. With a great opponent.

Can you ask for much more than that?

My prediction: seems unlikely, in a series this evenly matched, that one team wins four games straight. And I said that when it was 2-0 as well.

My gut is we see a game seven. And wouldn’t that be a wonderful thing?

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Comments

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I would definitely dress Mara to add some presence in front of the net. I still can’t see any way that Montreal wins this, but it has been a very interesting series none the less.

Posted by BlackXinu on 04/25/11 at 09:13 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