Game 5: Do or Die for Habs + Live Blog Details!

LIVE BLOG TONIGHT!

After the success of Wednesday's live blog for Game 4, we will be doing another one tonight at TCL for game 5 of the Washington Capitals and Montreal Canadiens series. We have a great line-up of panelists and bloggers for tonight's chat, including Kamal Panesar of Habs Addict, Steven Hindle of Hockeybuzz, Jeremy Scriven of Hockey Independent, Julie Veilleux and a bunch of other guests and surprises!

So make sure to join us. Last one was a blast with more than 50 people reading and posting comments, and tonight will hopefully be even better! Set your reminders in the frame below and join us tonight at 6:30!!

Scroll down below for the preview for tonight's game.

Tonight, it's do or die for the Montreal Canadiens. The end of the road. Last mile of the highway. Insert whatever clichés you want in here, but the basic point is that if the Canadiens lose tonight, their season is over.

It may be a little premature to get into the post mortem just yet, but to say that most of us didn't see this coming wouldn't be fair. Going into this series, the Washington Capitals were clear favorites to go over the Habs. In fact, most would probably have guaranteed that the Caps would be the winners. I myself, an admittedly devout Canadiens fan, admitted that the Capitals were mostly likely going to win it, and predicted that they would do it in 7 games in TCL's Eastern Conference predicitons.

It seems like the consensus prediction between the bloggers is going to come true tonight, as the Caps are on pace to take this one in 5 games. Even Checkers the Cat didn't think the Habs had more than one win in them!

But to throw another cliché out there, it isn't over until it's over, until the fat lady sings, until Jacques Martin goes out into the sunlight and melts. The Canadiens still have a bear minimum of 60 minutes of hockey to play, and really, anything can happen. We've seen insurmountable leads broken before. The Canadiens themselves had done it a few years ago, behind 3-1 to the Bruins. They've come back from record 5-0 deficits in the regular seasons, and they've beaten the odds to win Stanley Cups.

That being said, Montreal Canadiens fans, always hold out hope. Always believe that your team can beat the odds and win when they're clearly not supposed to.

At the same time, you can't be too unrealistic, and the true odds are that after it's all said and done this evening, the Canadiens won't be preparing for game six of the Eastern Conference quarter-finals, but prepping for their next team golf tournament.

Trust me, I have a lot to say when that actually happens, and it's all over, but I'll save the anger and resentment for next week.

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GAME 5 NEWS AND NOTES

For now, there is a hockey game to get to. And if the rest of the series has been any indication, the Canadiens probably won't go down without a fight, and they probably have at least one good period of hockey left in them. They will fight, and they will make it tough for the Capitals.

While some of the scores so far in this series have indicated that it really hasn't been all that difficult for the Capitals, I don't think that that has been the case. The Canadiens have fought in every game, at least for some period of time, and they have been competitive. Simply put, the Capitals are a vastly superior team, and that is the main reason why they've won 3 games, and the Canadiens only 1.

Despite a breakdown in nearly every game so far, I don't think Habs fans have much to be disappointed about. And tonight, they should expect a good game of hockey where both teams will make it interesting.

It's all up to Jacques Martin tonight. While this series has been one of offense, talent and goaltending, it has mostly been about the subtleties of coaching. About the match-ups, or lack thereof, about defensive and offensive strategies and the work that goes into special teams. Tonight will be no different, other than the fact that the most boring coach in the history of professional sports is going to have to find a way to motivate his team like never before.

Can he do it? His 1000+ games behind the bench imply that he can. What we've seen of him this year behind the bench of the Canadiens, imply that he probably can't. The truth might lie somewhere in between, but tonight, he has to coach the game as if it's the last one of his career.

Some Habs fans hope it might be. I might be on that list. But I think we all agree that every Habs fan tonight will be looking for the Canadiens to finally prove the naysayers wrong and come out with a victory.

A daunting task indeed. Especially with Jaro Spacek out again, and the goaltending controversy at its peak.

Jaroslav Halak gets what could be the last game of the season, and truth be told, he deserves it. Sure, Carey Price deserses better than the hand he's been dealt this season, especially by the boo birds of the Bell Centre, but the truth is simply that the reason the Canadiens are even in the playoffs is because of Jaroslav Halak. He started this, and he should end this.

Next week will likely be one of mourning and explanations for the Canadiens and there fans. I have some interesting blogs planned out for when the Canadiens are eliminated.

But tonight, the Canadiens' season is on the line, and we need to all simply enjoy what could be the last game.

On TCL, we certainly will be enjoying it, as we have a major live blog in the works, as mentioned above. Set your reminders below and join us at 6:30 for pre-game coverage!

Enjoy the game,

Prax
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