My problem with the NHL’s officiating

My problem with the NHL’s officiating

Written by Steve Fowler

Today, I’ve decided to bring up the very talked about, and controversial topic of how the game of hockey is managed in the NHL.


The controversy surrounding the NHL’s refereeing is nothing new. This has been a topic of conversation practically since day one, now dating back 104 years. Though the concept of scoring more goals than your team’s opponent to win a game has never changed, Practically everything else though, from equipment used, to adding/modifying, subtracting various rules, salaries, ticket prices, etc… has. Well,… (I should add, home crowd booing the on ice officials whenever they are not happy with a particular call as also being a constant).


Ok,.. So. I will start by saying, yes the refs cannot be perfect in this league, and are not expected to be. Missed calls will always be a part of the game, like it or not,, But it sure would be nice if they held a better penalty call consistency record, to say the least. In my view, from remembering the league deciding to go with the 2 referee system, because of missed calls, seems to me that nowadays considering what the league now has at their disposal in order to create a fair game environment for all teams, that particular aspect of the game appears to be at it’s worst.

Now, I understand the concept of the game being within the game, But It seems this also includes, allowing on ice referees to largely enforce the rules at their discretion, and manage the game as they see fit. Add to that, the fact that in certain cases video replay, which was suppose to help correct and overturn certain on ice rulings, whenever necessary, has proven to also bring controversy, for unexplained reasons. The Gallagher disallowed goal with 2 seconds left vs Ottawa back on Feb 23rd 2021 is but one example. After seeing the replay, Toronto’s head office in charge of video replay, also got it wrong according to the rulebook. it’s one thing for a referee to make a mistake, but upon reviewing the play on video, it was quite obvious the goal should have been aloud, and yet… Now add to that, no apologies nor explanations, for the decision made. Another one swept into the NHL’s bottomless pitt of shame and cleaverly covered up with a nice velvety carpet, beautifully emblazoned with the famous copyrighted NHL logo…

Next…

Nowadays, the practice of enforcing the rules at the referee’s discretion, is apparently (according to the NHL), called managing the game. As if that term alone does not sound suspicious… Now, i’m going to start tossing some interesting tidbits into the how these games are managed pile. Starting with,.. not calling penalties equally. Within 2 games I get that, but within 2 teams same game? not so much. ( It wasn’t always this way peeps). Add to that, the fact that the league doesn’t give a rats ass about what anyone thinks of this rather regular practice. Add to that, Anyone, within the league dare to question their decisions, and the only thing that get’s done about it, is the team raising concerns are then fined. Again, no apologies, explanations, nothing. Just shut up and deal with it… And what the heck is up with the far referee calling a penalty that the one standing around with his chin 6 inches away from the play couldn’t call???.. Was too busy dreaming of being a hockey player???..

Next…

I get that the NHL is a huge business involving a butt ton of money, supply demand and all, I get that as well. Player’s wanting their share of the pie and all. What i’m still trying to wrap my head around though, is the deal Bettman made with MGM resorts involving betting sponsorships back in 2018. Not only was this deal reached soon after the inauguration of the NHL’s 31st franchise, but also, the league’s ruling on the expansion draft. I see teams who have struggled in this league for years, despite the competitiveness of today’s NHL. I give credit to Vegas for having such a competitive team, but all things considered, it wasn’t much of a challenge…Really,.. It wasn’t

Next.

I constantly struggle with the same friggen questions. Does the NHL have an agenda? how does the MGM deal affect profit? Who profits from this deal? Is there a connection between how the game is managed on the ice, and gambling profits? To me there seems to be some pretty solid lines going across these dots. I see this deal with MGM, as one of possible necessity considering all the expenses teams have to deal with. teams that nowhere near, break even every year takes a toll on teams that do. Let’s face it,.. It’s all about money. One particular issue I see with this is, it may favour teams that happen to bring in the most money… Vega$ anyone?? On the other hand, teams such as Buffalo, are not one of those teams. You can certainly include all Canadian teams to this list as the canadian dollar being 80 cents or so to the US dollar, greatly affects the NHL’s bottom line. Is there a connection to this and the fact that no Canadian team has made the finals in 27 years? Hmm.. maybe. Sure seems like an odd coincidence though. If so this whole Covid thing must have really messed up Bettman’s agenda. Interesting how this all coincides with the league experiencing it’s worst year in recent memory as to how the game is managed on the ice though isn’t it?. The NHL would never admit it though. Because if they did, IMO, there would be so many lawsuits that they’d be forced to shut down the very next day. Imagine the embarasment. And for the record,.. Only reason Chris Lee was fired was because he got caught. Add that to the ever increasing interesting tidbits of how these games are managed pile. Makes for a pretty big pile don’t you think??

Mid Series Assessment Canadiens VS Knights

Mid Series Assessment Canadiens VS Knights

Written by Fred Arshoff

Many thanks, to Martine McGuire for the photos in ‘What Can’t Be Controlled’.

As I stated in my article, on a preview of this series, it will go at least six games as the series is tied at two games each. Please see https://montrealsportsblog.wordpress.com/2021/06/13/habs-vs-las-vegas-golden-knights-preview/ for my preview of the series.

What Can’t Be Controlled

I feel the officiating of games three and four, in Montreal, was terrible to put it mildly. I wasn’t totally surprised by that as Chris Lee was one of referees and he seems to dislike the Canadiens for one reason or another. What the Canadiens have to do is remain disciplined and don’t take any retaliation penalties. If you’re playing a man short, killing off a penalty, your most gifted offensive players will get less ice time thus reducing the Canadiens’ chance of scoring. I would think for game six June 24, 2021 that Chris Lee will be one the referees as they are trying to limit the travel of the referees to prevent the spread of the Covid virus even though he was doing the games in Montreal. I see that point but wish it wasn’t Lee being assigned to this series.

What’s Working

What is working perfectly so far is the Canadiens penalty kill. They haven’t allowed Vegas to score a power play goal while the Canadiens have scored one PP goal against Vegas. That’s due to the work of Luke Richardson who is acting head coach and is in charge of the penalty kill. Also the saves Carey Price is making is getting into the Vegas players heads and I stated in my preview Price would out play Fleury and we saw in game four that Fleury wasn’t the starting goalie. A well rested Price can do miracles and will stand on his head to save goals. Before the game on June 20, 2021 Price’s save percentage in the playoffs was .931 and that has improved during the game.

What Needs Fixing

Of the ten goals Vegas has scored, in the playoffs, seven were from the Vegas defencemen. What Richardson has to do is come up with a plan to stop Vegas’ defence to get set up in key scoring zones. What we do know is that Alex Pietrangelo has a green light to jump up in the play at his discretion. What I would do is have a forward always keep an eye on him and stick with him as he jumps into the play often in the offensive zone. Also they need to ensure that the Price has a clear view of the shots coming. As good as Price is he can’t stop what he doesn’t see.

No Lineup Changes

As much as I like to see Romanov playing it’s hard to think of making any changes to put Romanov into the lineup. Beside the first game they haven’t given up many goals and you don’t make changes for the sake of making changes.

On the forward side even if Evans is finally cleared for contact (at team practices although practicing with the team he is wearing a “NO CONTACT JERSEY”). I wouldn’t change the forwards, either, as the lines all have chemistry and don’t try to fix what’s not broken. As far as Tatar, I wouldn’t dress him unless there are several injuries on the forwards.

Tom Kurvers

Tom Kurvers

1962- 2021

Written by Fred Arshoff

I, first of all, would like to thank Marleen Wall, very much, for the photos of the late Tom Kurvers.

There is also a video tribute to Kurvers, at the end of the article, as well as another on him winning the Hobey Baker Award. Please note the tribute video is roughly one hour.

Thomas James Kurvers was born on September 14, 1962 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.. Kurvers passed June 21, 2021 of lung cancer.

Besides being a hockey player, he was also an executive. He was currently Assistant GM of the Minnesota Wild when he passed.

Personal Life

Kurvers was married and had four children.

Playing career

Tom started to play hockey in the 1979-80 season in high school. He then, in the 1980-81 season, started to play for the University of Minnesota Duluth where he was a star player on the team. He played there until the end of the 1983-84 season.

A Minneapolis native, he was a standout at the University of Minnesota Duluth during his collegiate career and won the Hobey Baker Award, given to the NCAA’s most outstanding collegiate hockey player, for the 1983–84 season after registering 76 points in 43 games.

Kurvers was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in the 1981 NHL Entry draft in the 7th round, the 145th overall player selected.

He went straight from the University of Minnesota Duluth to play for the Canadiens. He played two full seasons for the Habs and only one game in the 1986-87 season. Kurvers played on the 1985-86 Canadiens that won the Stanley Cup vs Calgary.

Kurvers was traded to the Buffalo Sabres where he played the remainder of the 1986-87 season.

He then went to play for the New Jersey Devils from the 1987-88 season until after one game into the 1989-90 season when he was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Kurvers played for the Leafs for the 1989-90 season to after 19 games into the 1990-91 season when he was traded to the Vancouver Canucks.

Kurvers, in the 1992-93 season, played for the New York Islanders. He played for them until the 1993-94 season.

Kurvers’ NHL statistics are 658 games played with 93 goals, and 328 assists for a total of 421 points. He also accumulated 352 penalty minutes.

In the NHL playoffs Kurvers played in 57 games scoring 8 goals and 22 assists for a total of 30 points and had 69 penalty minutes.

Post Hockey Playing Career

Following his retirement, Kurvers landed a job doing radio commentary for the Phoenix Coyotes, in part due to his connection to former Montreal teammate Bobby Smith who was the General Manager in Phoenix at the time. Following one season in that capacity, he was hired as a professional scout by the Coyotes. Kurvers was promoted again, to Director of Player Personnel, in 2005.
In 1991, he was inducted into the University of Minnesota Duluth Hall of Fame.
In 2008, he was named Assistant General Manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning. From 2011 to 2018, Kurvers served as the Senior Advisor to the General Manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning before being named the Assistant General Manager of the Minnesota Wild.

Hockey Awards And Achievements

1983-84 WCHA Player of the Year
1983-84 Hobey Baker Award
1983-84 All WCHA First team
1983-84 AHCA West First-Team All-American
1985-86 Won the Stanley Cup

Testament About Kurvers

“There are a lot of terrific people in the hockey world, but Tom stood out as the nicest, kindest and most humble,” Tampa Bay Lightning General Manager Julien BriseBois said. “He was grateful for all the good that happened in his life and was eager to give back. He was very generous with his advice and very insightful. I know Tom mentored many people throughout hockey, and I was privileged to be one of them.”

My Closing Statement

In closing, rest in peace Mr. Kurvers. You passed away much too young. I enjoyed watching you play for your short stint with the Montreal Canadiens.

Photos

Videos

The Case For Joel Armia

The Case For Joel Armia

Written by Fred Arshoff

As some of you may or may not know that Armia will be a UFA come July 28, 2021 (yes it’s normally July 1st but due to the late start of the season all dates have been changed for this year).

Armia is one UFA I would extend. He puts up numbers in the playoffs, as an example in his 36 playoff games he has scored 10 goals and added 5 assists. In 336 regular season games Armia has 62 goals and 63 assists. This shows us he scores when it counts the most. These statistics are from CAP friendly https://www.capfriendly.com/players/joel-armia.

Armia was a first round draft pick of the Buffalo Sabres and the 16th overall player drafted in 2011.

The Montreal Canadiens acquired Armia in a trade with the Winnipeg Jets on June 30, 2018 along with Steve Mason, a 7th round draft pick in the 2019 NHL Entry draft, and a 4th round draft pick in the 2020 NHL Entry draft for Simon Bourque. Winnipeg made that trade as they wanted to get rid of Mason’s contract as they were in tight against the salary cap.

The one drawback is Armia has missed games in the past three seasons with the Montreal Canadiens, including a concussion this season.

Armia is a big player at 6”4 and weighs 213 pounds and not afraid to use his size to go into the boards to fight for control of the puck or check an opposing player or stay in front of the net.

Also Armia plays a very good 200 foot game and is a penalty killer as well.

Armia’s salary cap hit for the 2020-21 season was 2.6 million.

I would offer Armia a one or two year contract for three million cap hit. I know that’s a bit much for a third line player and with a salary cap freeze for a couple of more years it’s a bit much but you need quality players who produce in the playoffs. As Armia is only 28 now it’s not like he is on the wrong side of 30.

I wouldn’t start any negotiations though until the playoffs are over as if talks go badly it could affect Armia’s play.

With Evans having a concussion, although they say he is getting closer to resume playing, I would rather have a good player who can fill that same role.

Dominque Ducharme Tested Positive

Dominque Ducharme Tested Positive

Written by Fred Arshoff

As most of you are aware Montreal Canadiens Head Coach Dominique Ducharme tested positive for Covid-19 on May 18, 2021.

This isn’t the first time a Montreal Canadiens coach has gotten so sick that he couldn’t continue coaching in the middle of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Just last season Claude Julien had heart issues around August 20, 2020. At that time Associate Coach Kirk Muller acted as head coach for the remainder of the playoffs.

For this year’s playoffs, including the game on May 18, 2021, Luke Richardson is acting Head Coach. Of all the Assistant Coaches, Ducharme has, none have ever been an NHL head coach. So you see why Richardson is acting Head Coach, there are a few reasons.

I will give the reasons in no specific order as they all come into play.

Richardson is the Assistant Coach with the most seniority on the Coaching staff with three years. Burrows is an Assistant Coach of the Canadiens, since February 21, 2021, being promoted from Laval Rocket when Claude Julien and Kirk Muller were let go. Sean Burke came aboard replacing Goaltending Coach Stephane Waite on March 2, 2021.

Then there is Head Coaching experience which neither Burrows or Burke have at any level, while Richardson has. He spent four years as Head Coach with the Binghamton Senators after his 3rd season with Ottawa Senators as an Assistant Coach. He took that position in 2009 when he retired as a player.

What this means is, right now, the Canadiens have one less person behind the bench but I don’t think that will matter.

With Richardson as acting Head Coach Burrows is still in charge of the forwards, so no change there. Burke will have extra duties as beside being in charge of the goalies he will oversee the defence as well. Let’s be honest, though, in the middle of the game he can’t really coach the goalie except perhaps to speak to him during TV time-outs or between periods.

I was thinking, at first, to have Joel Bouchard come in as an Assistant Coach but then thinking more about it I realized it may confuse the players. Hearing a voice, that only a few younger players would recognize, from earlier in the regular season. I feel it’s best to have one less assistant coach behind the bench. The same was done last season in the bubble.

When To Pull A Goalie In Playoff Games

When To Pull A Goalie In Playoff Games

Written by Fred Arshoff

I’m writing this article as HABS Girl on Twitter asked me about the Montreal Canadiens pulling price on June 14, 2021 when they were trailing 4-1 to the Las Vegas Golden Knights. As I normally do I reply in an article to fully explain myself and so others can see my point of view. I’d also like to thank Marleen Wall for the photo.

In a playoff game if you lose 3-1 or 10-1, as an example, it still counts as a loss and the opposition has to win one less game to win the series.

By pulling the goalie early, like Ducarme did, it gives the team a slightly better chance to tie the game up and then win it. Don’t forget when you pull your goalie you have an extra attacker on the ice. If down 4-1, like it was, and the team scores let’s say as an example one minute after you pull the goalie, there is still two or more minutes left in the game. There is still plenty of time to get another and then the equalizer and then hope for the best in overtime.

The coaches’ objective in the playoffs should be do what gives your team the best chance to win the game. If that means pulling the goalie, even with 10 minutes left, if down 7-1 I’m all for it as you’re trying to pull out all the stops to come back and win.

During the regular season you have to be more careful when you pull your goalie. If it’s a tie for a position to get into the playoffs, or close in the standings, it may come down to goal differential. So that would be a coaches decision if they wish to pull the goalie.

I recall many years ago when the Montreal Canadiens, in the last regular season game, pulled their goalie for the entire third period as to get into the playoffs they needed to score a crazy number of goals.

My Disappointment With P.K. Subban Not Winning The King Clancy Trophy

My Disappointment With P.K. Subban Not Winning The King Clancy Trophy

Written by Fred Arshoff

This article is being written as Matine McGuire asked me my thoughts on this and as I always do I prefer to answer in an article so all can see my thoughts on the subject.

Many thanks, to Marleen Wall, for the photo of Saku Koivu when he won the King Clancy Trophy.

I will divide this article into four parts. First about the King Clancy Trophy, who won it this year and then why I was disappointed that P.K. Subban didn’t win it for the 2020-21 season.

About The King Clancy Trophy

The King Clancy Memorial Trophy is a sports award given annually to the National Hockey League (NHL) player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and who has made a significant humanitarian contribution to his community. The winner is chosen by “a special panel of representatives” from the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association and the NHL Broadcasters’ Association.

The trophy is named in honour of Francis M. “King” Clancy, a former player for the original Ottawa Senators and the Toronto Maple Leafs who later went on to become a coach, referee, and team executive. The trophy was first awarded in 1988 and was presented to the NHL by Maple Leafs owner Harold Ballard, who called Clancy “one of the greatest humanitarians that ever lived”. It honours similar community services as the Charlie Conacher Humanitarian Award, which was retired in 1984.

Saku Koviu Winning The Clancy

The only player from the Montreal Canadiens to win this award is Saku Koviu in the 2006-07 season. After recovering from cancer, he founded the Saku Koivu Foundation in 2002, which had raised around 2.5 million dollars when Koivu won the award.

This Year’s Winner

Pekka Rinne, of the Nashville Predators, won the trophy for the 2020-21 season. Rinne, along with former teammate Shea Weber, helped to launch the 365 Fund, which cooperates with the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt to raise funds and awareness for cancer research, starting in 2012-13. The fund has raised over $3 million since its inception. Additionally, Rinne fully funded a suite at Bridgestone Arena under the 365 Fund, which accommodates guests and family members from the children’s hospital. He also participated in the Predators’ “Feed the Frontline” fund, which supplied meals to frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why I feel P K Subban Deserves It

What I like about P.K. is, although traded from the Montreal Canadiens to Nashville June 29, 2016 for Shea Weber, P.K., for all that is said about him, is honouring his commitment to the Montreal Children’s Hospital. I’m very sure many other athletes wouldn’t honour their pledge if traded from the city. P.K. deserves to be honoured for that and I’m very sure he is also doing other charitable work. The breakup of his marriage has nothing to do with this trophy. If others feel it should be used against him I will argue with you, about that, day and night. P.K. has committed to raise a lot more money than Pekka Rinne has raised. I believe to date P.K. has raised over five million and until we had COVID 19 came to Montreal and did a show at the Comedy Nest to raise money for the Montreal Children’s Hospital.

How his on-ice leadership is now I have no way of knowing. I would think as he got older, like the rest of us, he matured in his ways.

P.K. in my eyes you deserve to win this trophy for all you have done for Montreal. Thanks for your generosity to all the children in the Montreal Children’s Hospital. Why you never won it while with the Hab’s is beyond me.

What To Do When Petry and Merrill Can Return

What To Do When Petry and Merrill Can Return

Written by Fred Arshoff

Off the top I suspect Petry to be the first medically cleared to play as he practiced June 14, 2021 with a modified hockey glove.

When Petry does return to the lineup, depending on how Romanov is playing and if he is showing rookie jitters as it is his first year in NHL playoffs. If Romanov isn’t showing any jitters and is playing like he did at the start of the NHL season that made Juullson having to be placed on waivers and lost on waivers and having Mete be a healthy scratch until he also was lost on waivers let Romanov stay in the lineup.

In my way of thinking Gustafsson should be the healthy scratch on defence, if it’s between him and Romanov as I see it. The only slight advantage Gustafsson has he has played in 18 playoff games including this season. Romanov has only played in one NHL playoff game.

Also another reason I prefer Romanov is that he will be with the team for many more years and let him get playoff experience. He was with the team last season in the bubble so knows what it’s like and being with players now he needs physical play experience.

If the HABS aren’t scoring goals then I would go with Gustafsson as he is an offensive defenceman.

In the case of Merrill I would make him a healthy scratch.

Clear The Track, Here Comes Shack

Clear The Track, Here Comes Shack”

February 11, 1937 – July 25, 2020

Written by Guest Writer Marleen Wall

At the very bottom of this article there are photos and a video of Mr. Shack.

The native of Sudbury, Ontario played parts of 17 seasons in the NHL from 1958 through 1975 with 6 different teams, including 9 seasons with the Maple Leafs. Shack began his career as a New York Ranger, coming up through their junior team, the Guelph Biltmore’s. The winger had a 100 point season in 1956-57 and 2 years later, he was in the NHL. But the Rangers weren’t a good fit and after a trade with Detroit fell through, new Toronto GM Punch Imlach soon acquired Shack in the November ’60-’61 season. He played 9 seasons with the Leafs. In the spring of 1963, he netted the Cup winning goal against the Detroit Red Wings, the second of 3 consecutive titles, before a career best 26 goals and 44 points in 1965-66. Eddie was part of 4 Stanley Cup championships while with the Leafs in the 60’s. After the 1967 season, he spent the next few seasons moving from Boston, L.A. Kings , Buffalo Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins before coming back to Toronto for the 1973-74 season, where once again you were to hear the chants “we want Shack”. He retired after the 1974-75 season. Eddie was a colorful third line agitator who was popular with the fans despite a lack of scoring prowess. Who else would have a song written about him. “Clear the track, here comes Shack” debuted in February 1966 and quickly climbed to No.1 on Toronto’s music charts and stayed there for 2 weeks.

He earned the nickname “The Entertainer”, a persona he drew on in a second career as a TV pitchman and despite not having a formal education, became quite the astute businessman. He starred in television campaigns and acting as spokesperson for companies like Esso, Journeys End Hotels and perhaps the most famous, the Pop Shoppe, where he appeared on billboards and radio spots.

Shack’s enthusiasm for the game of hockey was on display whenever his blades hit the ice. So too was his commitment to winning and whether it was by firing up his teammates in the dressing rooms between periods or by being a comedian and getting those around him to loosen up, Shack was always what his team needed him to be.

Shack’s achievements are 4 Stanley Cup wins with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1962, 1963, 1964 and 1967. During his 17 year NHL career, Shack scored 239 goals and 226 assists for 465 points in 1,047 games played. He also had 1,439 PIM’s. Throughout his post hockey life, Shack used his fame to educate for literacy in schools with the hope of inspiring students to study so they wouldn’t endure the same academic struggles that he faced.

RIP Mr. Entertainer; Eddie Shack

Photos

Above Eddie Shack

Above Eddie Shack with 1996-67 Stanley Cup wining Leafs
Above Eddie Shack with his Stanley Cup rings
Above Eddie with Red Kelly during the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Stanley Cup win
Above Eddie Shack salutes one of his Pop Shoppe posters

Video

Habs…Who’s next…

Habs…Who’s next…

Written by Steve Fowler

Sooo,.. Here we are……

As I’m sure that, the few of you reading this are anxiously awaiting the Habs next formidable opponent.. So am I…. So….Are we there yet?!
Today I’ve been reading up on 2 things. Thing one, being, about former NHL’er and Habs Hall of famer, 5 time Stanley cup winner, 4 time Selke trophy winner, Conn Smythe winner, and quite possibly, all of the free beers you can drink winner, Bob Gainey, having made a rather inspirational appearance in meeting up with the players. And thing 2, was about how this is all being compared to 1993! Now, seeing Bob Gainey walk into a room for me would of been like, seeing Mr Gainey’s picture in the dressing room suddenly come to life. It also brings back very fond memories of our, rather optimistic and inspirational chat that we once had, Mr Gainey and I… Went something like this,.. “Good afternoon Mr Gainey, how is everything?” Mr Gainey,..” Great, thank you”, right before he proceeded to make good use of the hotel’s facilities. It was at that very moment, that I had decided that chasing him down for an autograph,.. may not be such a wise idea…! After having re-visited some fond memories of his playing days off of You tube, It’s really not hard to see just how dedicated he was to his sport, and to winning. I’m sure that, those videos alone, could inspire many generations of Habs players, let alone him recounting those days first hand. What an Inspiration. And now onto thing 2!
So,.. Been seing a few stories of how this playoff run compares to 1993’s successful run, and in some ways it does. From the 7 consecutive wins,(3 in overtime) to their current style of play, and that’s great. Having lived in Mtl at the time, and seeing all of it unfold seemed all to surreal and unexpected, However, with all due respect to those who had contributed and supported, the 93 cup run, I prefer considering this, as their moment. Their book to write, and therefore it be, their story to tell! Was I surprised that they they came back from a 3 to 1 Deficit Vs the leafs? no. What impressed me though was the way that they did it, the adjustments that they made within their game in order to overcome being down in that series. Now it’s a question of, hanging onto that confidence, keep doing the little things and going the extra mile to make a difference!
So far I can’t see the team having asked for the more perfect scenario going into the semi finals. First round, overcoming adversity, second round huge confidence booster. Third round?? who knows. Another interesting chapter in this really odd NHL callender year? Perhaps.. But one thing’s for certain. Out of the 4 teams moving onto the next round, none, have had to deal with the challenges the Habs needed to deal with in order to get to where they are today. NOT-A ONE. Therefore, IMO, none, are better prepared to deal with adversity, than this current edition of the Montreal Canadiens. Them being the parennial underdogs from the start, this gives them every reason to want to prove them all wrong, and is exactly the kind of fuel they need to keep the fire going!
So , am going to conclude this in Rock fashion. Who’s going to be the Habs next opponent going into the 2021 Stanley cup Semi finals you ask???…..IT DOESN’T MATTER!!….Who their next opponent will be. All that matters is, that they believe in themselves, never quit on a play and leave it all on the ice. Stick to the script peeps, and this edition shall simply write itself out… And also, make sure to dot the I’s cross the T’s, and end every paragraph with a FRIGGEN EXCLAMATION POINT! :)!