It’s game seven, ladies and gentleman. This is what we live for. There is no doubting from anyone, anywhere about whether or not we can complete this incredible comeback. However, there is still a game to be played tonight. And, no matter what history tells us, we don’t plan on losing.
We enter tonight’s game on the road, in the not-so comfortable confines of the Fleet Centre. However, we took game five in Boston, and history is known to repeat itself. While there will be a great deal of Bruins fans in attendance, expect many of the Habs faithful to be cheering their hearts out for our boys.
The first goal will be a crucial one. A quick start could see the difference between the second hole and the second round. If the boys were to get an early goal, not only would this crowd silence themselves, but the doubters would be in full force. We have them rattled, or so it seems, but nonetheless they are a good team full of good players that can leave us in the dust if we don’t give it our best effort.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that grinding winger Jason Ward will play tonight, as a neck injury has all but sidelined him. On the other hand, this all but assures us that Yanic Perreault will be in the lineup.
Perreault will have quite the role tonight. It is very possible he could find himself on the second trio with Ribeiro and Ryder, and if he lets loose that dangerous shot and continues to win draws at ease, he could have a huge determining factor on tonight’s game.
His linemate in Michael Ryder also could greatly impact what happens after tonight. He has been buzzing, creating, and working all series long. If anyone not named Steve Begin deserves a goal, it could be Ryder. All he needs is one break, one stroke of luck, to get back in order. God knows he’s been shooting til he drops, and you just can’t help but hope he can bag a goal; no matter how he does it.
Alex Kovalev and Saku Koivu currently find themselves at the top of two marquee scoring categories, that being goals and points, and have played their hearts out for us.
Kovy has goals in four straight games, quite the mark, and has come through in the clutch for us more than once. He will need to continue that play, and there’s no reason to believe he won’t. The very large, very talented winger has found a home beside Captain Koivu and to his credit, has never lost in the first round before. He is also a Stanley Cup Champion.
In the case of Koivu, what more could be said than, “wow”. He has racked up eight points in six contests, and scored two timely goals while setting up a few more. Along with Richard Zednik and Kovalev, he has helped outduel Joe Thornton up to the point where the one and only Darren Langdon has outscored big #19.
On the topic of Thornton, it was Mike Komisarek who played a key role in disrupting the big man. Komo unloaded on Thornton during Game Six and sent him down to the ground, wincing in pain. Joining Komisarek in the roughing up of Thornton will be Steve Begin.
The fiery fourth-liner will be trying to rattle the Bruins captain, and if he can bring him to a certain point, it is quite possible that Thornton could explode with undisciplined penalties.
In nets, Jose will undoubtedly be huge again. He has played great in our past two games, and my only worry is his playing of the puck. We’ll never mistake him for a great puckhandler, but quick forwards such as the Bruins’ Samsonov could make our netminder pay if he misplays a puck. Nonetheless, after his recent efforts there is no reason not to be fully confident in Theo. He wants this win as much as anyone.
And, how much do we want that win? Let’s just say that there would likely be a flood of tears throughout Quebec and various other stations of Hab fans should the boys be unsuccessful, regardless of an incredible, overachieving season. Bah, who am I kidding? We’re talking about the Montreal Canadiens. When it comes to winning and glory, we take the cake.
Go Habs Go, let’s give ’em hell.