5 Incredible Stats from Montreal Canadiens Postseason
The Canadiens' season looked bleak just a few days ago, as Boston routed Montreal and took a 3-2 series lead. But a dominating performance in Game 6 forced a deciding Game 7, where the Habs were able to score early and hold on for the win.
The Montreal Canadiens are the 2014 Atlantic Division champions.
So how have they done it? Well, it has taken two rounds, 11 games and eight wins. They are playing great team hockey and are getting some impressive individual performances as well. And there are numbers to prove it.
Here's a look at five incredible stats from the Montreal Canadiens' 2014 postseason.
Carey Price in Elimination Games
Carey Price is proving to the hockey world that he is a clutch goaltender.
Counting the Sochi Olympics and the NHL playoffs, he now sports a shiny 5-0 record when facing elimination in 2014. His goals-against average in those games is 0.40, and his save percentage .984, according to Mike Boone of Hockey Inside/Out.
Those are amazing numbers and prove that Price loves to shine on the biggest of stages.
As for just the NHL playoffs, Price is now 2-0 when facing elimination. In the two do-or-die games against the Bruins, he stopped 56 of 57 shots.
The only shot to beat Price over the last 120 minutes of hockey was a Jarome Iginla deflection off a Torey Krug point shot. There's not much goalies can do when pucks are tipped from five feet in front of them.
Price's heroics in Games 6 and 7 were a big reason why Montreal was able to come back and beat the Boston Bruins. He continues to pad his already incredible 2014 elimination-game stats.
The Montreal Canadiens are a really good shot-blocking team.
In the regular season, they blocked 688 shots, an average of 8.39 blocks per game. That ranked them second in the entire NHL, behind only the Calgary Flames.
So far in the playoffs, the Habs are averaging 9.27 blocks per game (102 blocks in 11 games). They are blocking more shots per game than any other playoff team.
Some will argue that blocking a lot of shots isn't necessarily a good thing because it means that the other team has the puck and is shooting more than yours. Over the course of a long regular season, that argument has merit.
But this is the Stanley Cup playoffs, where you're going to play a great team each and every night. You can't expect to outshoot the opponent on a nightly basis.
Getting into the shooting lanes and blocking shots helps win playoff games. It frustrates the other team and forces it to alter its game plan and be creative in getting pucks to the net.
It takes a physical commitment to win in the NHL playoffs. The Canadiens are likely suffering from numerous puck bruises, but so far it has been worth it. Their sacrifices have gotten them a date in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Undefeated When Scoring 1st
The Montreal Canadiens have played 11 games so far in the 2014 playoffs. In seven of those games, they scored the first goal. They went on to win all seven of those games.
The Habs are undefeated when scoring the first goal in the postseason. They are 1-3 when having to come from behind.
Obviously, getting an early goal does wonders for this squad. It gives it a burst of energy and seems to make it faster.
It also causes the opponent to take more chances, which Montreal takes advantage of with its speed. This was obvious in Games 6 and 7 of the Boston series as Montreal had countless odd-man rushes because of bad pinches by the Bruins defense.
Scoring first is proving to be a key determinant in whether or not the Canadiens win hockey games. They'll hope to continue their fast starts against the Rangers in the Eastern Finals.
P.K. Subban's Scoring
P.K. Subban is having himself an incredible postseason run.
Through 11 games played, he now has four goals and eight assists to lead the Montreal Canadiens in scoring with 12 points. Lars Eller and Brendan Gallagher are tied for second with nine points each.
Subban's numbers also have him near the top of the NHL playoffs scoring charts. His 11 points rank him sixth overall, behind an All-Star list of Anze Kopitar, Evgeni Malkin, Zach Parise, Ryan Getzlaf and Marian Gaborik.
What do those players have in common? Oh yeah, they're forwards. And all of them except Ryan Getzlaf have played two more games than P.K.
When games played aren't equal, points per game becomes a much fairer measure. Subban's 1.09 ranks him fourth among players who advanced to the second round (or further).
Subban is playing the best hockey of his career at the perfect time. Being an offensive defenseman, points are the result of playing great hockey. His scoring has had a direct effect on the Canadiens' success so far in the playoffs, something that is likely to continue in Round 3.
Mike Weaver: Plus-7
If there was an award for best trade of the year, Marc Bergevin would be nominated three times. The trades for Mike Weaver, Dale Weise and Thomas Vanek have all turned out to be complete wins for the Canadiens.
The final voting would be a close battle between the acquisitions of Weaver and Weise, but the Weaver trade would end up being the winner.
Back on March 4, the Florida Panthers were kind enough to send Weaver to the Canadiens for a fifth-round pick. A fifth-round pick! Most players chosen that late in the draft will never play a game in the NHL.
Weaver, on the other hand, has been an absolute gem for the Canadiens.
His plus-seven rating in the playoffs not only leads the team, but has him tied for the playoff lead as well. He's also third on the team in blocked shots.
He has played solid defensive hockey in the postseason, giving 15 quality minutes night in and night out. He has been a rock on the penalty kill and has even managed to chip in offensively with a goal and three assists.
Weaver has given stability to the third pairing, something that Montreal did not have for most of the season. He's also been adaptable, as he has been able to play alongside three different partners over the 11 playoff games.
The playoffs brings out unsung heroes each and every year, and Weaver has been one of them so far in 2014.
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