Friday, April 10, 2009
BRUINS PREVAIL IN POSSIBLE PLAYOFF PREVIEW
The Montreal Canadiens came into Boston with a chance to secure a playoff spot. The Bruins, on the other hand, didn't have much to play for, at least officially. Except their pride. And the Bruins have pride in abundance.
Montreal's strategy was clear from the outset. Try to get under the Bruins' collective skin, get some penalties, get the Bruins angry enough to make some mistakes. And to be fair, this is Montreal's only strategy against the much tougher Bruins. They tried to play the B's in a physical contest back in January, and it didn't work out too well for them.
Also to be fair to Montreal, their strategy of provoke-then-hide worked very well for them in the 2nd period. Milan Lucic clearly lost his cool, and forfeited a Bruin power play, giving Montreal a 4 minute man advantage, in which they scored the tying goal.
There were 63 total penalty minutes in the 2nd period.
The game was tamer in the 3rd, but still aggressively physical and hard fought. The Bruins saw the puck slide across Carey Price's crease two or three times before Chara finally put the puck in the net to tie it.
In Overtime, Mark Recchi finished off a brilliant play keyed by Patrice Bergeron's hit at the blue line that forced a turnover. Recchi's introduction to the Boston-Montreal rivalry saw him score 2 goals, and pick up 2 assists.
As the standings are right now, the Canadiens are in 8th place. So these two teams could very well end up clashing in the playoffs. Personally, I want the B's to play Montreal. Not only for the chance to knock them out and atone for years of being eliminated by them, but because the Bruins match-up very well against the Canadiens. The B's were 5-0-1 against them this year, as opposed to 2-2 against the Rangers.
So bring on Montreal.
Bruins vs. Sabres Saturday night in Buffalo.
AP Photo/Charles Krupa