Five Keys to the Game: Habs-Caps #7
Closing the gap: It may be a cliché, but anything really can happen in the playoffs. With 33 points separating the Caps and Habs in the regular season, the series kicked off featuring the fifth-largest differential in NHL history and the second in team history. The last time the Canadiens faced such a daunting task? In 1951, when Dirk Irvin’s squad upset the 36-point favorite Red Wings that spring.
Do or die: The Canadiens will be playing their 20th Game 7 in franchise history on Wednesday night, but at least it won’t be against the Bruins for a change. The last three times Boston and Montreal have met in the postseason, the series has gone the limit. The Habs are 11-8 all-time in Game 7s, while the Capitals have a 2-6 dossier in that category.
Shots, schmots: The Canadiens appear to have caught on to the fact that expending energy trying to out-shoot the Capitals is not the way to go. After picking each of their wins heading into Game 6 on nights they were out-shot by the Caps and losing the only game they had an edge in that department, the Habs put the theory to the test on Monday night. Despite being spectacularly out-blasted 54-22 in shots, the Habs still came out on top. Hopefully Jaroslav Halak doesn’t bruise easily.
No-vechkin: This may sound simple enough, but not allowing Alex Ovechkin to put the puck in the net might actually be something for the Habs to look into ahead of Game 7. To say that as Ovi goes so go the Caps would be an understatement. Ovechkin has scored in four of the six games in this series with Washington going 3-1 in those contests. As for when he’s left the rink having un-lit a goal light of any kind, Ovechkin could only look on as the Canadiens were winners in both Games 1 and 6.
Winner take all
Jaro vs. Goliath
Habs force Game 7
The Numbers Game - April 26, 2010