Call of the Wilde: Coping with the loss, looking to the future
Brian Wilde, CTV Montreal
Published Saturday, May 17, 2014 6:51PM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, May 18, 2014 2:25PM EDT
Rather than categorize into horses and goats for game one, perhaps wiser to be your psychologist Habs fans. Not because I have a dog in the fight because I don't, but because you're seeing the short term here and not focusing on tomorrow.
This was but one game. It was a brutal one game but still one game. It is the first one to 4 games won. It is not the first won to 20 total goals. The score is not 7-2. The score is 1-0.
The biggest problem for the Habs was mental preparation. After beating the best team in hockey in their own arena in game seven how hard could the Rangers be? You don't want to think like that, but it's human nature. You got the warnings to not let down but it happens. That's why losing badly is actually a good thing in a way. The Habs will not be under any false pretences that they are okay. That that was good enough if they just would have got a break or two. It wasn't close to good enough.
The result of a beat down that severe is a very attentive audience when they look at the tape. When the coaches make adjustments the players will listen with intent and be very focused on learning. They'll listen to ideas on how to slow the Rangers down. They'll watch tape on how to defend better. There's always a point counterpoint adjustment and now the coaching staff has a rapt audience ready for counterpoint.
The beat down also means the hunger will be at an absolute maximum on Monday night to make sure that doesn't happen again. Expect the Habs to come out with jump instead of letting the game come to them.
Conversely, the Rangers have to be alert to not let their guard down because psychologically that was too easy for them. They'll be naturally inclined to read their press clippings of how amazing they are. Their friends and family will tell them that they're going to the Stanley Cup final no problem.
It tends to even out. The Sharks crushed the Kings in their series 7-2 one game. Well, it's the Kings who are still standing.
The Habs are going to be fine here. They have been all season. There is no panic in the locker room. They laid an egg. It happens. Game two they'll be hungrier. They have been resilient all season. They'll be resilient Monday.
Every team puts in a stinker every now and then. Look at the Rangers who seemed dead and disinterested in their games 3 and 4 last round. They were written off against the Pens. Le monde change vite.
There's one wild card to a Habs recovery that I am fully expecting for Monday night. That is Carey Price. Therrien didn't seem to answer directly whether Price was healthy. Sure he said Budaj was put in to protect Price but that's not a direct answer. The media rephrased the question and still couldn't get it clearer in English. My feeling is that Price isn't 100 percent but if he was good enough to play the rest of the second then he should be healed for Monday.
Didn't like the Kreider play though. What is Kreider doing going blades up into a fray? You can cut a throat that way. Never go in blades up. It happened fast though in his defence I suppose. Therrien called it an accident and it probably was but it is one of those moments that a reporter puts in his memory bank because the radar is now up on Kreider.
All the Habs were bad in game one. Don't bother getting a hate on for anyone in particular. All the Habs will be much better in game two.
They will have to be because two lost at home will likely be the end of this magical run.
It's just one game. That's okay. But it can't be just two games.
Expect the Habs to be resilient Monday. Why? Because they have been resilient all season. Because they've exceeded your expectations all season.
I expect the Habs to play a dandy Monday. Should be fun. See you then.