With the 4-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers, the Montreal Canadiens were officially and mathematically eliminated from the post-season. Truth be told, the Canadiens had been all but officially eliminated and already focused on the inevitable rebuild that will occur at the Draft and Free Agency.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Flyers became the 3rd team in the conference to clinch a playoff berth and they currently sit in the 5th spot with 96 points. If the playoffs ended today, the Flyers would face the Penguins. A great matchup to be sure, but one would think that the Flyers would prefer dropping to the 6th spot to face Florida.
On last night’s game, not much can really be said. The Canadiens got their only goal from Tomas Plekanec, with his 15th of the season, with assists from Lars Eller and Aaron Palushaj. Danny Briere scored 2 for the Flyers, breaking a scoring drought that saw him putting up only one empty net goal in 29 games, with Matt Read and Kimmo Timonen scoring the other 2 goals. Bryzgalov continued his hot streak, putting up a 0.958, and he became the first Flyer since Bernie Parent (1974-1975) to allow 2 goals or less in 11 consecutive games. For the Habs, Peter Budaj allowed 4 goals on 33 shots, putting up a 0.878 save percentage. His season record then dropped to 3-7-3 in 13 games played, with a .905 save percentage and a GAA of 2.90.
Now, with the Canadiens officially eliminated from the post-season, this blog will shift more towards evaluating the players on the roster and where they fit moving forward with the team. This includes RFAs to be: Lars Eller, Blake Geoffrion, Aaron Palushaj, Ryan White, Mike Blunden, Petteri Nokelainen, Alexei Emelin, Raphael Diaz, P.K Subban, Carey Price and Brendan Nash. UFAs to be include: Travis Moen, Mathieu Darche, Brad Staubitz and Chris Campoli.