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Halak, Canadiens stumble in 3-0 loss to Flyers

May 18, 2010, 9:45 PM EST

Hahalak.jpgFinal – Philadelphia Flyers 3, Montreal Canadiens 0

Flyers
lead series 2-0

I know that a lot of attention now is going
to turn on Jaroslav Halak, and how his struggles are costing the
Canadiens after his heroics got them to this point. While Halak has
certainly looked far from the goaltender we saw in the first two rounds
(and actually, sometimes we did see this side of him) the rest of the
team hasn’t looked much better.

After cashing in on their underdog
roles against the Capitals and Penguins, the Canadiens entered this
series as not exactly the favorites but far from a team that many
thought didn’t have a chance. For the first time in the playoffs they
were a team with the pressure on their shoulders, with a crazed fan base
that was sniffing the Stanley Cup finals and demanding success.

After
two games, they have come nowhere near living up to expectations.

The
Flyers continue to play like a confident team with no pressure and
after surviving an early push by the Habs used a boring, but solid, 3-0
win to go up on the Canadiens 2-0 in the series.

Michael Leighton
became the first Flyers goaltender since Bernie Parent in 1975 to have
back-to-back shutouts in the playoffs, as he easily outplayed Halak for
the second straight game. He’s looking confident and fresh (as he should
be) and the goaltending questions the Flyers faced after Brian Boucher
was lost to injury have been answered.

On the other end, Halak
continued his trend of looking a bit worn down after a big series and he
was far from the confident and challenging goaltender we saw against
the Capitals and Penguins. Of course, this happened at the start of the
series against the Penguins yet it didn’t carry over to the second game.
Now, the Habs are faced with the question of just what to do with their
miracle goaltender, who looked even shakier in net as the game
progressed.

With the Habs trailing 2-0 in the third, and his doing
at least trying to come back in the game, Halak allowed a very weak far
side goal to Ville Leino, barely reacting to the shot. Whether he
didn’t see it, or just misplayed the shot, it was a troubling trend to
see as the game progressed and Halak constantly failed to show the
energetic and positionally sound goaltending that was so successful
before.

The series now heads back to Montreal, where a rabid Bell
Center is sure to do all they can to give their home team the support
they need to crawl back into the series.

  1. flyerontop - May 18, 2010 at 11:53 PM

    montreal got hangover,flyers got all the confident from last series win.Good goaltending will put flyer on top.

  2. Jack K, PA - May 19, 2010 at 8:22 AM

    This series is far from over: the Habs are a much better team than what showed up for the first two games. However, with the Flyers on what appears to be a huge upswing in play, chemistry, and confidence, it may seem feasible to predict Flyers victory in six.
    Looking more like a Flyers / Hawks Cup.

  3. Maxman - May 19, 2010 at 8:37 AM

    I am a proud Flyers fan and enjoyed how the fans reacted throughout the playoffs. None of us approve of bad behavior and you will have that is every city. Montreal is a great city and I enjoy traveling there whenever possible. I will be in Montreal this weekend and look forward to eating at their fine resturants, meeting the people and doing a lousy job trying to speak the local semi French language. Quebec is almost a different country certainly a different culture than Ontario or the rest of Canada. I admire the spirit and honor their culture. As a Vermonter formerly from Philly that belief in independence, love of culture and place is wonderful. But – Go Flyers beat the Habs!

  4. Flyers Hockey Girl - May 19, 2010 at 9:16 AM

    I am a proud, devoted Flyers fan who has never once doubted the Flyers! even when they were in their 10 game losing slump earlier this year or 3 years ago when they had their 13 game losing streak. I couldnt be more happy for my Men and how well they are playing and how they came back. They are hard workers just like every other team in the league and they have proved it in the last 6 games that they deserve this cup. I am predicting a Flyers vs Hawks series… Which will be an amazing game yet a hard one since my boyfriend in a Hawks fan :/ lol. so… it will be intense and all i have to say is… LETS GO FLYERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Jonny5 - May 19, 2010 at 10:54 AM

    That can cause some very “interesting” wagers to take place. GO FLYERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Flyers Hockey Girl - May 19, 2010 at 11:07 AM

    haha you better believe it. plus we are both very competative, especially me when it comes to my Flyers. Im 23 and the biggest Flyers buff out there. i can tell you facts from back in the 70’s (some of the best times in history in my opinion).(not like it matters but i got the flyers logo tattooed on my hip im die hard lol) and hes from IL so of course hes got all bets on the Hawks. so… no matter what we bet on one of us (*cough* cough* him *cough*) is going to lose and me tiiiicked off! haha

  7. wackness - May 19, 2010 at 3:12 PM

    Really?! You’re proud of how the fans have reacted? Vandalizing a Habs reporter’s car? Real classy, but that’s expected from Philly. For me, its no surpise the Flyers are doing so well. Take a look at everything they did in the offseason. I think the Habs’ run is more surprising than any, beating the the Caps and the Pens. It looks like the Hawks will take it all this year.

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