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McKenzie: Late goals against have pushed Habs to brink

Bob McKenzie
4/21/2010 11:38:53 PM
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Some quick thoughts from the NHL on TSN on Wednesday night:

If a No. 8 seed is going to beat a No. 1 seed, you've got to be almost perfect if you're the No. 8 seed, or else it's not good enough.

Flashback to Game 2 of the Montreal-Washington series. The Canadiens were in control of the game, and they were in control of the series. They were up 1-0 in the series and had a 4-1 lead when they allowed Nicklas Backstrom to score a goal late, with 1:37 left in the second period. Montreal was outscored 10-2 after that going into Game 4.  Flash forward to Wednesday night...seven seconds left in the second period when Mike Knuble scores a shorthanded goal. Then in the third period - they allow two goals 52 seconds apart by Ovechkin and Jason Chimera.

That was all she wrote for the Canadiens in this hockey game, and you would think, that's all she wrote for the Canadiens in this series. They really were in a position to do some major damage in this series, but some self-inflicted wounds late in periods led to unleashing the monster that is the Washington Capitals offence.


Ottawa's Goaltending Situation

The sad part from the big picture for Ottawa's goaltending is that it's not supposed to be Brian Elliott in there, it's supposed to be Pascal Leclaire. That's why they went out and made the deal for him and they gave up Antoine Vermette. Vermette shot the lights out in Columbus and did well this year, and here you've got a guy that was supposed to be a number one goaltender sitting on the bench, and they weren't even able to use him down the stretch.


Bad Breaks for Flyers

It's a bad break - no, make that two bad breaks - for the Philadelphia Flyers. In losing Jeff Carter and Simon Gagne to foot injuries, it's bad because it's two top-six forwards. If you look at these guys, Carter had been in a slump until he got a goal off his right foot in Game 4. Remember, it was his left foot that was the problem before, and now it's the right one, so it's not good. He's out indefinitely and that's a really bad break, playing on that line with Danny Briere and Scott Hartnell.

And then you've got the shot-blocking phenom Simon Gagne, and he wasn't really producing at the level at which we're used to seeing Gagne produce. But boy, he's been playing well on his line with Dan Carcillo and Mike Richards. And that's a big loss to take those two guys out of the lineup. They've got some buffer, they've got some margin for error with a 3-1 series lead, but they just lost two important cogs to their hockey team.

Bob McKenzie

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