How quickly a series can change. The Habs were on the verge of sweeping the Senators, which I thought was coming, to a brand new series with the Sens a game away from tying it all up and going to a game 7. The Canadiens cannot afford to let that happen. Being up 3-0 and going to a game 7 is the type of stuff to punch the wind right out of you. The Canadiens understand the magnitude of this game tonight, and by all means, I think quit in game 5. After about 4-1 their attention shifted to tonight, where both teams are in a critical situation. If the Senators win tonight they may very well pull off the very comeback. Carey Price has to be Carey Price and the offense has to get it into gear.
As we seen last night, momentum doesn’t always transition over to the next game. The Lightning had a great opportunity to ride momentum from a big win in Detroit, but they looked lackluster and disinterested. I will give the Wings, and in particular, Mrazek credit. He was lights out again, and for the second time in this series he held the top scoring team in the NHL to no goals. Steven Stamkos was nowhere to be found, and we didn’t get late period heroics from Tyler Johnson again. In fact, Johnson was quiet the whole night.
The thing that surprised me is their body language, they looked like a team down on themselves, and a team that was the one that just suffered a bad loss. Simply put, the Lightning are being out coached in this series. If Babcock was on the Lightning bench, would we have seen Stamkos sulking with his head and shoulders slumped over? I have to say probably not. I am sure he would have had this team motivated and ready to play. The Lightning to me didn’t look like that at all. Tonight the Canadiens look to avoid going back to Montreal with the series tied, instead they would love to be getting ready for the next round.
Montreal Canadiens @ Ottawa Senators
The turning point in this series was when the Senators inserted Craig Anderson in net. Anderson is a veteran and has been in this spot before. The lights looked a little too bright for Andrew Hammond. However, Senators’ fans have to be thanking him, because without him they wouldn’t be in the playoffs to begin with. In any case it was the right move to let him sit down in favor of Anderson who has been phenomenal pulling them right back in this series.
Game 6 is going to have to be another one that Anderson steals. He has stolen series before and if the Senators come all the way back then chalk it up as another. I do however think we are going to get a focused Canadien team tonight. They have beaten the Sens twice in Ottawa already, so beating them again here isn’t the problem. The problem will be focus. I have a feeling the Canadiens come ready to play tonight and show why they finished as one of the best teams in the NHL in the regular season. They know that a game 7 spells trouble. Big game from Carey Price tonight, as he shuts the door on the Senators’ bid to bring it to a game 7.
PICK: CANADIENS TO WIN +102 5DIMES – BEST ODDS