After a barn burner on Tuesday night at the Bell Centre, the Canadiens headed south for their fourth elimination game of the 2013/14 campaign.
On most peoples minds today, was the potential outcome of the NHL Player Safety meeting with Rangers defenceman John Moore. After a late hit deep into the third period Tuesday night, a hit that clearly rocked Dale Weise, Moore was sent packing with a five minute major and a game misconduct.
When the news came down late this afternoon that Moore also incurred a 2 match suspension, a sense of justice prevailed.
So Thursday evening, the Habs will skate onto the ice at Madison Square Garden to try and push the series to a one game finalé back in Montréal.
Back in the lineup, after serving his own 2 game suspension, is Brandon Prust. He brings a high level of intensity and physicality to the game, but his return is certainly not the prevalent key to living another day for Les Glorieux.
Looking back at game 5, there are plenty of things that need refined in order for the 21,273 seats to be filled again at le Centre Bell for a live game.
First and foremost, is a tighter defensive grouping. With a commanding 4-1 lead on Tuesday, the d corp folded like a cheap lawn chair. They lost every battle to the puck, and worst of all – showed no inclination of how to clear a puck in their own zone.
Gorges, Markov, and Subban all had weak clearing attempts that resulted in turnovers, that inevitably lead to goals. Three in just over four and a half minutes.
Just as big a concern? The power play. Montréal went 1 for 8 on the night. A conversion rate that is unacceptable. They also gave up a shorthanded goal in those attempts.
It’s also time for Thomas Vanek to stop dreaming about his 2014/15 Minnesota Wild Jersey and contract. He needs to get his head (as well as skates and stick) back into the present. I can’t fathom being this close to a Stanley Cup Final appearance and not giving it everything I’ve got.
Goaltending, which most of us thought was going to be the anchor around the Canadiens neck, has been the complete opposite.
Dustin Tokarski has more than stepped into Carey Price’s shoes. He has shown incredible composure for a young man with absolutely no playoff experience till a few short days ago. Now the team has to play in front o him.
Tall orders but not impossible. When their back is to the wall, this team has shown depth and resiliency unlike most others. They have no option but to do that again.
You can catch Game 6 on CBC, RDS, an NBCSN, or listen to it in TSN690.
Puck drops just after 20h00 so make sure to join is on Twitter for live in-game Tweets, analysis, and all your game night numbers.