It’s the second and third defence pairings where the major changes will be made. Coming back from a nine game absence, Jaroslav Spacek earned second star in Monday night’s win. He played with his regular partner, Roman Hamrlik. With Gill, back in the lineup, Jacques Martin has the chance to take advantage of the two righthanded shots on defence, P.K. Subban and Ryan O’Byrne. If he follows what he showed in practice this morning, P.K. Subban will play the right point with Roman Hamrlik and Spacek will be able to move to what, until this year, was his usual, and more comfortable spot on the left point alongside O’Byrne.
Stanley Cup Playoffs
A very funny column in today’s Toronto Star listing staff reporter Cathal Kelly’s “Seven Reasons Torontonians Can’t Root For the Habs Tonight”
Fairness – So we get a summer of crippling roadwork and G20-related rioting? And then they get a Stanley Cup run and Stanley Cup related rioting? That doesn’t sound fair. How about we can both keep the rioting, but the Stanley Cup part is out? Deal.
Before heading for Pittsburgh for the deciding game in their Eastern Conference Semi-final series, seven players took to the ice at the Canadiens Brossard Training Centre this morning. Benoit Pouliot, Mathieu Darche, Ben Maxwell, Ryan O’Byrne, Glen Metropolit, Sergei Kostitsyn and Carey Price all skated.
The younger Kostitsyn’s appearance on the ice was brief. He was kicked out for turning up late. Notable by their absence were Hal Gill and Andrei Markov. Gill suffered a skate cut in the third period game five. His possible availability for tomorrow night’s game won’t be known until gametime. Markov will not play, although like Gill, he made the trip to Pittsburgh.
The Canadiens announced immediately following last night’s 4-3 win guaranteed a seventh game in the Eastern Conference semi-final series in Pittsburgh tomorrow night, that fans could watch the RDS version of the game on the giant high definition screens at the Bell Centre. Tickets at $7.50 apiece went on sale at noon and quickly the event became a sellout. All profits will go to the Canadiens Children’s Foundation. Doors open at 6.00pm tomorrow. Gametime will be around 7:05. Fans are being reminded to wear red clothing.
The hole keeps getting deeper for Sergei Kostitsyn. The troubled Canadiens right winger was kicked off the practice ice this morning after arriving late to the Brossard training centre this morning. For the second straight time he was left behind while all of his teammates traveled to Pittsburgh this afternoon. So what’s going on with
The Canadiens have faced elimination four times in the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs and have won each time.
At the Bell Centre Monday night, Michael Cammalleri scored his 10th and 11th goals of the playoffs and Jaroslav Halak turned in his usual magic in the Canadiens nets as Montreal edged Pittsburgh 4-3 to force a seventh and deciding game in the series. The game will be played in Pittsburgh Wednesday night.
In the playoffs, Benoit Pouliot has been the Ben Pouliot that the Minnesota Wild traded away back in December for Guillaume Latendtresse. Back to his uninvolved, and, some would say, ‘lazy’ approach to the game. Jacques Martin had seen enough. He yanked him from first line with Gomez and Gionta and used him sparingly with Moore and Lapierre. His ice time was the team low 5:59.
Mathieu Darche replaced him on the Gomez line and Martin liked what he saw enough to leave him there, at least to start tonight’s critical sixth game at the Bell Centre. Pouliot practiced this morning with Moore and Lapierre. Glen Metropolit centred the fourth line with Travis Moen and Tom Pyatt.
Rumour had it, apparently arising from a bar conversation, that Markov had suffered a torn MCL (or was it an ACL?) in game one of the Pittsburgh series and would be finished for the season. Wonder of wonders, there was Markov, sans crutches, accomapnying accompanied the Canadiens on their trip to Pittsburgh Saturday. This morning he was on skates at the Brossard practice facility. Doesn’t mean he’ll be available for game six of the series tomorrow night, but being back on skates in just ten days indicates something far removed from a torn knee ligament.
Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury re-established his presence and led the Penguins to a 2-1 victory over the Canadiens in the fifth game of their Eastern Conference semi-final series.
Both goals for the Penguins were scored by defencemen, Kris Letang on the first period power play and Sergei Gonchar in the second. Michael Cammalleri scored the only Canadiens goal with 31 seconds remaining on a power play with Halak pulled for the extra attacker.
While the fans love his play, P.K. Subban is less than satisfied with his work so far. In the first period of game four on Thursday, he appeared to hit the wall. There was that play that cost the Canadiens the first goal on the Maxime Talbot breakaway, but most think the referees blew the call. He had trouble in his own zone before settling down in the second and third periods. Mostly, however, Subban is unhappy with his work on the power play. Basically, Jacques Martin has asked Subban to log the lost Andrei Markov minutes alongside Marc-Andre Bergeron with the man advantage.