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Author: Ron Reusch

GAME #56 – HOPES FAINT, BUT STILL ALIVE – Canadiens-3 Anaheim-2 (Overtime) Feb. 6, 2020

The Canadiens are dead but quite simply won’t lie down and admit it.

Thursday night against Anaheim was a lame-duck game in what has been pretty much a lame-duck season. Shea Weber joined Jonathan Drouin and Paul Byron on the injury list and more than a few members of the Canadiens struggled with a flu virus.  Somehow the Canadiens prevailed.

The Canadiens now have a two-game winning streak and have won eight of their last 11 which gives hope to the ‘cup half-full’ crowd of the fan base.   And to their credit, it should be pointed out that following their recent eight game losing streak it was mentioned that the Canadiens would have to play over .700 percentage hockey the rest of the season in order to come close to landing a playoff berth. Taking sixteen of the last twenty-two possible points is .722 hockey.  

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GAME #55 – FROM THE JAWS OF DEFEAT – Canadiens-5 New Jersey-4 (Shootout) Feb. 4, 2020

The two worst teams in the NHL’s Eastern Conference are the Detroit Red Wings and New Jersey Devils. Combined they have won 20 of 106 games this season.

Going into Tuesday night’s game in Newark the Canadiens one quarter of their combined wins had come against the Canadiens.  The Habs had lost all three against the Wings and both meetings versus New Jersey.   Halfway through the game against the Devils they appeared well on the way to making six losses in a row………..

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GAME #54 – BREAKDOWN – Columbus-4 Canadiens-3 (February 2, 2020)

They might refer to it as a ‘magic number’ but believe me there is nothing magical about the elimination number hanging over the Canadiens after dropping a 4-3 home ice decision to the Columbus Blue Jackets Sunday afternoon. 

 Whatever you want to call it, that number is seven.

Most seem to think that 97 points will be the cutoff for the final Eastern Conference playoff berth. If that’s true, the Canadiens can afford to lose only seven of their remaining 28 games.

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GAME #53 – PRICE GETS SUPPORT – Canadiens-4 Florida-0 (Feb. 1, 2020)

Three or four times during the season following a game like the 4-0 Canadiens win over Florida Saturday afternoon, you ask yourself “Was Montreal that good or Florida that bad.” May I submit that, yes, the Panthers who were coming of an eleven day layoff were ‘that bad’. At the same time the Canadiens were top-to-bottom very good. It’s something we haven’t see a lot of on Bell Centre ice this season.

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GAME #52 – STILL IN THE BATTLE – Canadiens-3 Buffalo-1 (Jan. 30, 2020)

I haven’t met an NHL coach yet who will admit his team is out of the playoffs until the final mathematical point is lost. Based on his roster moves to set up Thursday night’s game against Buffalo, Claude Julien hasn’t yet faced the overwhelming odds-against and deserted the sinking Canadiens ship. And off what we saw from the team as a whole, it’s evident they are prepared to go down to the wire fighting as well.

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