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Canadiens' Website advises Canadiens lose game 4

In the annals of "Keys to the Game" space fillers, I can't recall ever seeing a key to the game that recommended the team in question lose the game. If that's Montreal's last, best strategy, I'm guessing the Habs are in trouble. This comes from the team's Web site. It's only the third of five keys:

Lose Game 4: While it might sound crazy, un-winning the fourth game of this series might put the Capitals exactly where the Canadiens want them. Adept at blowing series leads, just as they did last spring when they squandered a 2-0 series edge before bowing out to the Penguins in the second round, the Caps have assembled quite an impressive collection of epic meltdowns over the years. When it comes to blowing 3-1 series leads, no team compares to the Capitals. With three such implosions on record, including in 1987 against the Islanders and 1992 and 1995 against the Penguins, the Capitals take the cake in this dubious category. The only other teams with more than one such collapse on their playoff resume are the Red Wings, Flyers, and Avalanche.

Inasmuch as Nicklas Backstrom, John Carlson and Semyon Varlamov -- arguably the Caps' three best players in this series -- were not born in the spring of 1987, I might argue that result is only tangentially related to this series, in much the same way that Vinny Cerrato is only tangentially related to NFL draft expertise.

But whatever. We're all looking for something to write. Bruce Boudreau put it best on Monday morning, when asked about some of the chirping storylines:

"Well, this happens all the time, except we make tons more of it now," he said. "We're all looking for the littlest thing to make a story out of, and what we make stories out of usually are nothing....I mean, I think all the things that have been said - from what Tomas [Plekanec] has said, from what Alex [Ovechkin] has said - are so innocent little things. When Tomas said [Montreal had an advantage in net], he was looking at record and what he believes in his goalies, and I would have said the same thing if I was him. And what Alex said [about Halak's hand shaking], I mean, none of these things are really print-worthy."

But we need more and more content in the playoffs, and so we'll publish keys to the game that include a recommendation to lose a game. And then we'll blog about those keys. And then we'll go refill the coffee and look for something else to write.

(Via Reader Richard)

UPDATE: That particular key to Game 4 -- losing -- has been replaced by a different key, scoring first. That's a lot less original.

By Dan Steinberg  |  April 20, 2010; 1:46 PM ET
Categories:  Caps , Media  
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Comments

This was one of those things that you might think to yourself, but probably best not to repeat outloud--and certainly not on your team's website.

Although I did think the Wizards should have thrown Game 1 to Cleveland in 2007, rested what was left of our starting lineup (sans Arenas and Butler) and been that much fresher in Game 2. If we had won Game 2, we'd have stolen home court and had some momentum coming home to games 3 and 4.

Obviously, we ended up losing Game 1 anyway, but our starters all played and thus had no additional advantage in Game 2 that year.

And yes, I'm well aware this was a crazy post.

Posted by: Barno1 | April 20, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

"The only other teams with more than one such collapse on their playoff resume are the Red Wings, Flyers, and Avalanche."

Well if we're going by strict quantity standards, I'm sure without even looking that Montreal has lost more series after being down 3-1 than any team in the history of the NHL.

Posted by: ThisGuy | April 20, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

I'm shocked that strategy for a French Canadian Team would involve surrendering in some form.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 20, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

good1 VT!
&after booing our national anthem, I say go for it, Habs.

Posted by: Hattrik | April 20, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

"The only other teams with more than one such collapse on their playoff resume are the Red Wings, Flyers, and Avalanche."

Well if we're going by strict quantity standards, I'm sure without even looking that Montreal has lost more series after being down 3-1 than any team in the history of the NHL.

Posted by: ThisGuy | April 20, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

actually, its only happened around 20 times in the nhl. mtl has never lost a 3-1 lead. remember there were only 6 teams until '67 and only two playoff rounds. less opportunity to lose a 3-1 lead.

while the caps have lost 3 such series, they have also won 2 times this way, 87 and last year. montreal has never done that either.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | April 20, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

like the Nats selling tickets to philly fans and inviting them down to the Stadium. This goes in the category of a guy in the business side of sports not thinking things through.

Posted by: alex35332 | April 20, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

yea alright, they can lose game 4 AND GAME 5

Posted by: hockeypunk | April 20, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

The Habs site has removed the key of losing the game. Too bad.

Posted by: jpb007 | April 20, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

"actually, its only happened around 20 times in the nhl. mtl has never lost a 3-1 lead. remember there were only 6 teams until '67 and only two playoff rounds. less opportunity to lose a 3-1 lead. "

You misread what I said. What I said was that after being DOWN 3-1, I'm sure Montreal has ended up losing its series more often than anyone else. Montreal being up 3-1 is totally irrelevant.

Posted by: ThisGuy | April 20, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

I highly believe they wanted that as a key to winning because that way, when, NOT IF, they lose Game 4, they'll have some semblance of control of their fate. Quite frankly, whether they declare that it was a strategy to lose Game 4 or not, it's highly likely they'll faceplant Game 4. It's already out there, lose Game 4, Canadiens! We'll applaud your strategy afterwards. Really, we will.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | April 20, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

"Inasmuch as Nicklas Backstrom, John Carlson and Semyon Varlamov -- arguably the Caps' three best players in this series -- were not born in the spring of 1987, I might argue that result is only tangentially related to this series, in much the same way that Vinny Cerrato is only tangentially related to NFL draft expertise."

I laughed pretty hard at that one. Now my whole office knows im not working very hard today. Thanks a lot Steinberg.

Posted by: svonberg | April 20, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

I wish I could write this in French... but Habs, you are not the Habs of old and these are not the Caps of old.

Posted by: jake77 | April 20, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

LeftCoastCapsFan wrote: when, NOT IF, they lose Game 4

You want to tempt the wrath of the whatever from high atop the thing? No? Then go outside, turn around three times and spit. What's the matter with you? :-)

Posted by: Kdarienzo | April 21, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse

I wish I could write this in French... but Habs, you are not the Habs of old and these are not the Caps of old.
---------------------

Les Habs, vous n'ĂȘtes pas les anciens Habs, et ce ne sont pas les anciens Capitals non plus

Posted by: Alisterio | April 21, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

I'm guessing "start rioting and looting" would make a bad #5, given their rather long history of playoff riots.

This is the same Montreal team that has a home playoff record of 3-10 since 2004 (2 of the 3 wins having come in a 2008 sweep of Boston).

Posted by: jcurrin | April 21, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

@ Kdarienzo: I made my offering to the hockey gods - Sidney Crosby's first child. =P

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | April 21, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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