Don’t look now, but there’s a chance the Penguins will face a familiar foe in the first round of the playoffs…and get a chance at redemption in the process. As things currently stand, the Pens could end up as the 4 seed. Montreal has a shot at the 5 seed. That’s right – we could see a rematch of last season’s second-round matchup. And we all know how that ended, as the underdog Habs pulled off the upset and ended Pittsburgh’s quest for a second straight Cup.
Montreal is currently in sixth place in the East but trails fifth-place Tampa by only 2 points. The Pens haven’t fared particularly well against the Habs this season, going 1-2-1. Outside of a 5-2 win Jan. 12, the Pens have only 3 goals in three games. Most recently, Montreal shut us out 3-0 on March 12.
If this matchup comes to fruition, everyone will be thinking of last year and how that series played out. I know I will. In fact, here’s what I’m pondering: we just don’t seem to match up well against the Habs; they have our number (in the postseason); they have a couple of players that always seem to kill us (Cammalleri, Gionta); and they have a goalie capable of getting hot and stealing a series (Price).
With under 10 games to go, it’s time to keep a close eye on the standings. I’m hoping either Tampa holds off Montreal or the Habs drop. It’s not like anybody’s going to be an easy out for the Pens. I just don’t want to see Montreal and that defensive system again.