CFN – Montreal and Boston. It always feels like a Stanley Cup final match when these two teams get together.
Somehow there’s a lot of extra meaning. The Ghosts of the 70’s still burn deep in Bruin’s fan’s hearts.
Heart will be the deciding factor in this series. Yes strategy will be important, and yes I’m a lifer as a Hab fan even through the horrible icky years, and even though Reggie Houle stiffed me on my last Habs pay cheque thus forever giving the team a Romanian Jewish curse which won’t be lifted until he personally rights it.
Frankly the Bruins should blow Montreal out of the water in this series. In almost ever metric Boston comes out on top.
Scoring, defense, coaching, the Bruins are bigger, badder, and can do things Montreal simply can’t.
They have Zdeno Chara who is a sure fire Hall of Famer who can beat a team in so many ways including physically.
They’re relatively healthy and have Jarome Iginla who is the story of these play offs as his quest for a ring is a probability with this team.
Does Boston have any weaknesses? The only thing I’ve crunched is team defense in their own end; but a heavy fore check can be fatal if it’s not successful as the Bruins have the horse power to bury mistakes unless Carey Price rocks the series.
Unlike the Habs, the Bruins best are leading them right now. Bergeron has 5 points, Iginla 4, Lucic 4, yougun’s on D Torey Krug & Dougie Hamilton have 4.
The only regular really having a bad play off so far is Brad Marchand. Tuukka Rask has a .961 sv % and 1.16 GAA. That’s nuts!
Montreal will literally have to elevate its game to places that would make this team Legendary to win. We’re talking Patrick Roy kind of legendary where he back stopped a team that wasn’t that good to the final and last Habs cup.
And the puck does stop with Carey Price. If he can somehow do something incredible for this team he will cement a legacy with this city. If he’s sub par I don’t think he’ll be with this team come next season.
For Montreal to win PK Subban will have to really shine which he did in the Lightning series. Montreal really wasn’t that good in their sweep. I know that sounds odd, but they really weren’t. Andrei Markov was his usual no points for the play offs with zero and a -2 for the series.
There is hope, but it will all be about grit, heart, and heroics if Montreal advances in this series.
Who to watch: Boston – Chara, especially if the series gets mean. Same for Lucic. Igninla may be a oldster, but he’s still a heck of a hockey player, and one on a mission. Dougie Hamiltion seems to have shifted into a higher gear vs Detroit.
If Boston loses it will be because of penalties. Boston will probably try and physically dominate the Habs, especially Brendan Gallagher who will be a prime target, as will Pacioretty. If they get over zealous or the refs choke them they might be in trouble.
Montreal: Price, Subban, and Pacioretty. All three key in to critical points for the team, and all three have to shine so that they’ll be less pressure down the line.
Price has to simply be better than his regular season numbers. He needs one shut out in this series. He needs to get in the Bruins heads and stand up to them, and make them squeeze their sticks.
PK can be a game changer. He can’t win the series on his own, but he can cause some major grief with the Bruins and draw some penalties. Pacioretty needs to get on the board early. He needs to get some open ice for Vanek.
The Habs power play needs to go back to basics. Get shots on net and stop trying for the one timer. Get some traffic and let PK blast em from the point. Montreal needs to draw penalties and hit the net if they have any chance of winning. They also need to keep the puck out of their own end. This is not the team of Robinson, Savard, & Pointu.
Finally the Hab fans. They need to not curse the team. No “hey hey” singing in the first period. No booing the US anthem. They need to be the extra attacker for Montreal unless they want this team golfing.
This is the 34th time these teams meet in the play offs. Boston has won the last two including an embarrassing sweep in 2008/9
The mantra for this series is hope. The pressure really is on Boston as they are expected to blow the Habs right out of the water and that includes if youngster Alex Galchenyuk returns. The Bruins are deeper and frankly a better team. Montreal can use that leverage if they can snatch an early win, or two, or three, and maybe even four!
I predict Boston winning in 5. Of all my predictions I hope I’m totally proven wrong!
What do you think hockey fans? You can post your comments below.