Down three games to one in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs – the Montreal Canadiens are holding on for dear life. They are one loss away from losing the series to the Ottawa Senators.
Regardless of their position in the series, defenseman P.K. Subban from the Habs still thinks that the Montreal Canadiens are better than the Ottawa Senators. He may very well be right. This season was magical for the Canadiens – who battled with the Boston Bruins until the end of the year for the Northeast division title and home ice advantage. In a twist of hockey related irony, it was the Ottawa Senators who won a delayed game against the Boston Bruins on the final day of the regular season, to seal the positions of the Bruins and Canadiens. It was the Senators victory on the final day of the regular season that gave us this divisional first round matchup.
The Montreal Canadiens should not be the division champions. Their emergence as a powerhouse in the shortened season came as a surprise to many. Ottawa was leading their division when their season was almost derailed by major injury after major injury to key members of their roster.
On paper, earlier in the season we could have seen this matchup, but with the Senators holding down the two seed. Facts are facts, and you are in a place in the standings for a reason.
Subban isn’t wrong, nor his he just trying to blow smoke at the media to psych his teammates up. Teams have come back from three games down before. its tough – but you take it one game at a time, and you make sure you win the next three games.
Don’t expect Subban to skate out on the ice Thursday night against the Sens with his head down. Don’t expect him to take a shift off; because he won’t be expecting that from his teammates. He is prepared to win, and win at all costs.
The only problem is, he won’t be skating with the full power of bleu, blanc, rouge.
Starting netminder Carey Price is day-to-day, and team captain Brian Gionta is out of the lineup, as he prepares for surgery on a torn bicep. Ryan White and Brandon Prust will also miss game five on Thursday, each with an upper body injury.
The Montreal Canadiens are better than the Ottawa Senators – but the playoffs aren’t always about whose better.