Friday, April 17, 2009

Habs: We care for nothing Lebowski

I wrote this yesterday afternoon, but couldn't post it. Bear with me:

Uli and his band of Canadiens approach tonight, Nihilistic and ready to rob us of our dreams. Is Uli from Quebec? No. Do I care? No. Ride with me on this.

The Canadiens have knocked us out of the playoffs three times since 2001, including twice when we were the Division champs and held home ice. The Canadiens are lucky to be in the playoffs, as one of the most penalized teams in the league, one of the worst defensive teams in hockey, and show up as literally the walking wounded with their second best forward (Lang) and best defenseman (Markhov) gone for the series. Do you think these Canadiens care about anything? Do you think, seriously, that they have anything to lose? If you do, get outa Malibu, Lebowski!

There’s only one expectation from fans in Montreal now (I know some, so trust me) - make it respectable. If they win, we’re the humiliated, sad, sorry excuse for a franchise that they always make us out to be. If we win, big deal, they were hurt and we’re not.

One of my favorite sites for analysis, if you’re looking for something intelligable that is, is Puck Prospectus. The same sabremetric wizards that gave us VORP in baseball, now give us GVT (goals versus threshold, read more here) in hockey. They have a phenomenal preview of the series available here.

Great tidbits…

1. Did you know that Tim Thomas posted the second best save percentage mark EVER? Only DominiK Hasek in 98-99 did better (by 0.004).

2. The Canadiens are one of 8 teams in the NHL to allow more than 10 Shorties this year (11).

3. The Bruins rank 3rd in offensive GVT and the Canadiens rank 25th in defensive GVT (eeeeek!)

4. I’m stuck in an airport right now…wait, that’s not pertinent.

Montreal fans are pumped up, no doubt, but from a pure hockey standpoint, they’ve got to be about as fired up for this series an LA cop searching for a tape deck who’s working in shifts with no good leads. But statistics to not apply anymore. What applies now is what the teams leave on the ice in these next two weeks. Can the Bruins bury the ghosts of Quebec Separatist past? Can the Canadiens muster the consistency to stay with the young B’s for 6 or 7 games? One thing’s for sure, a longer series favors the Habs. If you don’t love every inch of this, hockey just isn’t for you.

Go B’s!!!

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