As I warned you earlier, good reader, I'm having trouble shaking off the teeth-grinding frustration of this playoff series. The bitter, bitter irony of it all is breathtaking.
Before the season started, everyone and his mother was saying the Habs couldn't score, but they could rely on the tremendous depth of their goaltending to steal a few games for them. They were supposed to finish out of the playoffs, as we all know. But here we are now, a hundred and four points, the highest-scoring team in the league and first in the east later, and NOW the team can't score. AND the goaltending is inexperienced and inconsistent.
The powerplay was supposed to drop in its effectiveness after Souray's departure last year. Instead, it performed better than the year before and maintained it's first-place status. But, here we are now, with the powerplay tanking and fond memories of The Slapper making us wish Big Sheldon hadn't departed for the west.
Everyone commented on how unnaturally healthy the Canadiens remained all season. Now we have Koivu playing on a broken foot, Komisarek still not himself after that late-season hip injury, Markov supposedly playing with a bad knee and shoulder and Price with a rumoured broken finger on his glove hand. I suspect we won't know the real extent of some of these injuries until it's all over.
The team completely dominated Boston and Philly all year, sweeping the season series with both teams. Now, here we are, barely dropping the Bruins in seven and looking to get ousted in five by the Flyers.
Consistency has been the Habs' hallmark this season, and Carbo has been very vocal about his pleasure in the fact that the team didn't really have a major slump. In fact, the longest losing streak they weathered all year has been three games. How bitterly, bitterly ironic that they should face a four-game losing streak in the second round of the playoffs.
It's just blowing my mind that everything the team had going for it all season has suddenly gone to crap and NOW all the dire pre-season predictions are coming true. Maybe they overstepped the bounds of confidence at some point and got cocky. Maybe this is the hockey gods' version of a bolt of lightning.
ZAP! Sizzle! Done. sigh