2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs
Game 7: Montreal Canadiens vs. Pittsburgh Penguins @ Mellon Arena
5-2 Final; Montreal wins series 4-3.
After defeating the Presidents' Cup winner Washington Capitals in 7 games in round 1, the Habs were made to face the 2009 Stanley Cup champions, the Pittsburgh Penguins. Now in game 7, will the champions be champions tonight or will the underdogs of the playoffs come out on top?
Now that Vancouver (I say that whilst restraining tears) Canucks are out, the Montreal Canadiens are the only hope for Canadian franchises left in this year's playoffs. They've proved everyone wrong; the Habs can play and keep up with the best.
And I love that the Bell Center is practically full although the game is in Pittsburgh. Ain't that something, eh?
For so long, Marc-Andre Fleury has been the man for the Canadiens. But tonight was not his shining performance. After facing 13 shots and letting 4 of them (one of them a SHG), he saw his last shot and made way for Brent Johnson.
Once Johnson got situated in the net, the Pens finally break the goose egg. A goal from Chris Kunitz broke the seemingly impossible wall of Jaroslav Halak. But just breaking the wall, albeit twice, wasn't enough for the Pens. The Habs played man-to-man and played smartly and simply to keep the '09 champions quiet and eventually silenced.
As much as the flightless birds shot the puck on net and/or on Halak, that wall just stayed put and kept that biscuit out of his net.
What went wrong for the Pens? Little cracks were found and taken advantage on early in the series, and goaltending was on the Habs' side all season long. Frustrations and emotions ran high with the Pittsburgh team and maybe that got the better of them. But only higher powers can tell (higher than GMs and owners) what really went wrong, and the Pens will have to redeem themselves next season.
Maybe Bob Gainey was onto something during these past couple of off-seasons and trade deadlines? I think I need to apologise for my criticism and very harsh words directed towards you, Mr Gainey.
So I say, sorry Mr Gainey, congratulations Montreal, 'how you like 'em apples, Pittsburgh?', 'hello, Eastern Finals!', and of course "WOOOO~~~!!!". And a bit of a sorry for the rudeness, Pens.
Now I am off to brag to my Pittsburgh Penguins fans and collect my bet winnings (which should total to about $15). I'm happy and I'm going to go run down the street with my Habs mini-flag waving about. And what an early birthday present for Jaro Halak and PK Subban, eh? Well... PAIX! Rock it out, Bell Centre! I can't say anything to tell you how glorious I am feeling (minus the leftover pain from last night).
1) Jaroslav Halak
2) Brian Gionta
3) Michael Cammalleri