Is tonight the night that the Lightning end their losing streak?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I hope not. In theory there should be no reason whatsoever why the Habs should not completely obliterate Tampa Bay. Let's take a quick look at how the poor team has done.
  • Tampa Bay has played 28 games so far this season which included two games in Europe against the Rangers (they lost both of them)
  • They have won exactly six games with their last win being on Nov 21 against Nashville.
  • Since that win they have gone on a nine game losing streak
  • Apparently it's been around eight years since they last lost ten games in a row
  • They are sitting not only at the bottom of their division but also at the bottom of the entire league
  • Oh and they fired their first coach just 16 games into the season. A month later and he's began blasting his old team saying that he hopes that they never win another game. Well, as long as they don't start winning tonight, I'll be happy, but the point is there is all that junk to deal with mentally.
  • Apparently they had flight issues and aren't expected to arrive in Montreal until 1:00 today. Me thinks someone's going to be tired tonight.

Now compare that to the Habs.

  • The Habs have played 27 games going into tonight's game
  • They've won 16 games with the last win coming last Tuesday against Calgary
  • They've won four out of their last five games all of which were at home
  • Apparently this seven game home thing is some kind of franchise record
  • While the Habs are not on top of their division, they're sitting in fifth in the whole league and would be higher if the Rangers hadn't played a whole pile more games than them
  • Habs still have Carbo and after all the talk about whether he was actually qualified for the job or not, the Habs have picked it up recently and all that has died down
  • As the Habs kind of live in/around Montreal they shouldn't have to worry about getting to the Bell Center, unless the snow removal continues to be stupid and not remove the snow therefore making it impossible to drive downtown (I was downtown last night and it took a bloody long time to get anywhere because the streets hadn't been cleared properly).

I can see several problems tonigth for the Habs however.

  • They have shown a tendancy to slack off against bottom ranked teams. St Louis Blues, Islanders, Washington (okay, so they aren't the bottom of anything but they sure weren't playing like an NHL team when the Habs got blanked by them), and Atlanta to name a few. Slacking off tonight is NOT an option.
  • Higgins and Dandenault are out with injuries which means they're getting replaced with Latendresse and O'Byrne who haven't played in... a while which could disrupt all the chemistry that has been developing despite the whole musical lines thing. Plus, there's a reason why these two have been sitting out for a while *coughs*
  • Tampa Bay has got to be pretty desperate for a win - though I expect that they've been desperate for quite some time now - and if the Habs slack off it could be lights out

In theory though, there should be no reason why the Habs don't win. O'Byrne wasn't doing terribly before his little break and we can survive Latendresse as long he doesn't end up playing on the same line as D'Agostini who needs to extend his scoring streak even more. The Habs also need to catch up to Boston and if they win tonight then they would only be within three points of them.

No word yet on who's going to be in nets. Apparently Price has got a cold but even if he was healthy, I think Halak should be in nets again. He did really against Calgary and he deserves to play more than once every two weeks. As long as the Habs stay wide awake and play well, then there be no problem with Halak in nets. I want Price in good health and wide awake when the game against the Capitals because they're looking good again. Unfortunatley.

Bottom line is: If the Habs lose tonight I will scream and die. No, not for real. I like my voice too much and I can't complain about the Habs if I die. But you get the idea.


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