This is the situation I will hereby refer to as The Clump: the ugly, unwanted stress that comes with six teams jostling for three spots in the playoffs. The Canadiens currently have 64 points, and tonight's opposition, 65. Boston has a handful of Olympic returnees, as do the Habs.
Tonight's matchup question: which team has the bigger Olympic hangover?
As mentioned on the Team 990 this morning, a major issue for the Habs is the fact that they will seemingly never have games in hand from here on out, and any losing streak will mark their playoff chances pretty negatively. Basically, this is a less-than-agreeable time for a roadtrip, much less one to California after this game. Los Angeles is no longer a freebie with their remarkable season, and despite Anaheim's struggles, they have quite a bit of fight left in them. San Jose, uh, well. No need to elaborate. Yet the Habs seem to play better against teams with better positions in the standings, so they have the power to surprise as well.
Bruins and stuff
- David Krejci's wakeup call has been the Olympics, where he played brilliantly before the Czechs' elimination. He should be en route to continue that pace, barring a complete meltdown.
- Mark Recchi seems to be Mr. Clutch for the Bruins as of late, and there's the ex-Hab factor in here as well.
- Marc Savard. Usual pain-in-the-butt scoring qualities that I may have eluded to previously.
- Marco Sturm was the thorn in the Habs' side the last time the two teams faced off.