We’ve been waiting a week or so to find out who the Canadiens will face in the first round, so i could put together post with predictions from the AWH staff and other Habs writers. Sunday night, we finally found out that the Ottawa Senators will be our opponents for the opening round.
So, without further a do, here are the predictions:
Bryer MacPherson, Editor at A Winning Habit
The Habs have had not too many problems against the Senators this season and that should transition over to the playoffs. The Senators definetely have the abilitie and skill to put up a fight but the line of Eller, Galchenyuk and Gallagher is on fire of late and they should be a big part of the Habs playoff run.
Canadiens should take this one in six games.
Lisa Fiorilli, Staff Writer at A Winning Habit
It will be a tightly contested series, but the Canadiens have a not-so-secret weapon: the 3rd line. I think these two teams match up well – good to great goaltending, an elite young puck-moving defenseman and good coaching. Where the Canadiens excel is in offensive depth – with at least 3 lines that can carry the offensive weight, and their third line has been spectacular and consistent all season. Ottawa has to have an answer for Eller-Galchenyuk-Gallagher, and will still need to cover some excellent offensive players on the first two lines.
Habs in six games over the Senators
Steven Ellis, Owner/Editor at TheHockeyHouse.net
Carey Price is usually good against Ottawa, so he should have no issue bouncing back into form, however with the play of Budaj down the stretch, I believe that he will be thrusted back into action as soon as Price begins to falter.
Our playoff star this year is going to be Michael Ryder, as his ability to score while playing almost seemingly under the radar should be a big help.
Canadiens are going to grab this series in five games.
Dan Kramer, Senior Writer at All Habs Magazine
There was no easy matchup for the Montreal Canadiens in the Eastern Conference, and the Ottawa Senators are no exception to this. It is likely to be a tight series, where if either team gets an early edge, they may be able to ride the momentum the rest of the way and into the second round.
Though he is a very green rookie, the addition of Jarred Tinordi to Montreal’s blueline should provide an answer to the most troubling question the Sens pose in the form of Chris Neil. Neil aside, and given Jason Spezza remains out with injury, the Sens aren’t overly threatening offensively, and the playoff versions of P.K. Subban and Josh Gorges should be able to keep a low-scoring offense at bay.
The key for the Canadiens will be netfront presence to make Craig Anderson’s life difficult. It was a strength in their game when they were most successful this season, and if they can resume playing with that tenacity, the production will come thanks to an experienced leadership core knowing what it takes to win in the post-season.
Montreal over Ottawa in Six Games.
@HabsNewsAndTalk, Habs Reporter and Twitter Follower
The Habs are only 16 wins away from their 25th Stanley Cup. The first four wins must come versus the injury plagued Senators. Despite all their injuries, the Sens managed to fight for a playoff spot.
What scares me about the Sens?
Craig Anderson. He’s been amazing this season. We need to put a lot of pucks at the night and crash the net. He’s weakness seems to be rebounding, so we need to fire as many pucks as we can at him.
Erik Karlsson. How can you not be afraid of him? He plays heavy minutes and is arguably the best defencemen in the NHL. He has great vision and puck moving skills, so we need to shut him down as best as possible.
Considering we have home ice advantage and more balanced scoring (a one player slump won’t hurt us as badly), I’m confident in our Habs under a few conditions.
We need to:
1) Crash the net
2) Play solid defence
3) Fire a lot of pucks
4) Have elite goaltending from Price.
We also need Price at the top of his game, which I’m not worried about. He’s going to prove all of the haters wrong.
I see the Habs taking this series in 6 games.