Wednesday, March 09, 2011


The Bruins better hope they don't face the Canadiens in the playoffs. Because it's just not a good matchup for the B's. They're 1-4 against Montreal, and have allowed 20 goals in those 5 games (4 per game, for the mathematically challenged). And the main reason is speed.

The Canadiens remind me of Boston College's team. They use their speed on defense and to win physical battles. Their fast forwards help out the defensemen with back pressure. And they get to loose pucks in an instant.

The Bruins aren't fast. They're not slow skaters, but they're slow doing everything else. They're slow to shoot, to pass, to make any sort of decisions whatsoever.

Montreal didn't utterly dominate like the score might suggest. Domination is rare when two quality teams engage in a playoff style game like this one. However, they won battles on the boards and in front of the net. They got to loose pucks. They made plays. The Bruins didn't. Hence the lopsided score.

Montreal's first goal came when Lars Eller got to a loose puck before Matt Bartkowski could.

Their second goal came when Michael Ryder got beat to a loose puck by Travis Moen.

Their third goal was a bit of a weird one, tumbling through Rask's padding, then poked by Chara off Rask's back and into the net.

The fourth goal came after winning a battle on the boards.

That's how you surrender 4 goals. Now how do you only score one?

Well Marchand had his worst game of the season. He misfired on a penalty shot, missed a gift goal in the 1st, and I don't think he completed a single pass. But 19 goal scoring rookies are easily forgiven. I just hope that since he's cooled off a bit (0 goals, 1 assist in last 6 games), he's not pushing too hard to recapture how hot he was. Especially as his teammates struggle to replace that production.

I've already mentioned how poorly the Bruins did on the boards and in front of the net. That was true offensively as well. The static power play continued to inspire yawns.

Now, regarding Chara's hit. Even though I think Max Pacioretty is an utter tool, you hate seeing this:

Did Chara mean to check him into that corner of glass? I doubt it. Did he hit him late? Definitely. Did he hit him in a dangerous part of the ice? Most definitely. Does he deserve a suspension? I don't know. Will he get suspended? Yes.

What gives me mixed feelings is that Chara usually doesn't get interference penalties. Roughing and cross-checking, sure. The token hooking, tripping, high-sticking, of course. He usually doesn't hit late. And almost never this late.

I think Chara was frustrated and badly wanted to hit Pacioretty hard over the boards. They have a history.

But Pacioretty passed the puck along. Despite that, Chara finished his check. Unfortunately for Pacioretty, it was in a dangerous spot.

How dirty was it? That depends on your definition of "dirty." I don't think there was intent to injure. I don't think Chara specifically meant to hit Pacioretty into that corner. I do think Chara's emotions were boiling over. He was reckless. Though I think that recklessness spawned the lateness of the hit, not the location.

We'll see what kind of punishment is handed down by the geniuses who suspended Sean Avery 6 games for words and Matt Cooke 0 games for a hit to the head.

Bruins host the Sabres Thursday night.

Photo Credit:
AP Photo

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