Sunday, 3 March 2013

Game Twenty-Two: Habs vs. Bruins

First Period:

- Krejci line looks really dangerous first two shifts. They will likely be the Bruins doing much of tonight's point production.

- Budaj totally flailed on that Kelly snapshot off the bar. Did not look good.

- Make it two shots past Budaj but off the post. One of these times Peter won't be so lucky.

- Gallagher with the usual hard work around the net draws Habs first PP.

- And Plekanec cashes in off a pretty three way pass, the prettiest pass from Ryder. Yeah, that Plekanec. Read our pregame preview. When he scores, the Habs win.

- Well that didn't last long. White wins the draw cleanly, but Armstrong is simply outmuscled the puck. He'll ride pine if that continues.

- Wow, fast and furious here. Desharnais in front to Pacioretty, I think it was deflected in off Bruins defenseman, making it Desharnais' goal.

- They're giving it to Pacioretty, but I think that'll change.

- Habs 4th line in way over their heads. Therrien will have to severely limit their ice time, Bruins ferocious forecheck is eating Armstrong and Moen alive.

- I fail to see how that was a charge by Gallagher. Oh well.

- Habs have to be very pleased with that period. Outshot the Bruins 14-9, but more importantly, they did not look intimidated by an intimidating Bruins lineup. The Habs know they're a League elite, and they're playing like it. So far.

About Last Night ...

Well, that was fun, wasn't it? A barn burning showdown, last man standing, final goal wins. While it made for an entertaining 60+ minutes of pond hockey, the game was one of the few times where the Habs played themselves out of their element, discarding their transition game founded on defensive awareness and discipline, for an all-out offensive tit-for-tat melee, a game far more suited for Pittsburgh. So it wasn't entirely surprising that the Pens came out with the extra point.

Now what we've gotten that out of our system, the Habs are now hitting the road for a 5 game trip, tonight a huge test against the Division arch rivals in Boston.

Now, Carey Price didn't have a stellar night against the Pens - but he's our go-to guy, especially against the Conference elite, the Bruins included. However, Michel Therrien has decided to go with Peter Budaj tonight, a most interesting decision since Budaj's two career starts against Boston weren't exactly memorable.

But oh well. We'll cut the coach some slack since you can't argue with a first place record. It's after the Habs loose 7-0 that we'll tie 'em to the rails.

Habs will again be without the services of Rene Bourque and Rapheal Diaz, both out with concussions.

Bruins lines to watch for include the usual suspects, two exceptionally talented top lines comprised of David Krejci supported by Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton - that trio combining for 36 points this season, and the Bergeron/Marchand/Seguin 2nd line, which has scored 42 points so far. So as you can see, containing the Bruins isn't exactly easy. They come at you from all directions with a very well balanced roster.

Hot Habs start with Max Pacioretty, who's got 12 points the past 8 games, while Alexi Emelin, of all players, continues to impress offensively, 3 points his past two games, including 2 assists last night against the Pens. On the cold side, Tomas Plekanec is pointless in last 5, and has just 3 points his last 10 games. He'll need to pick it up starting tonight if the Habs want to give the Bruins a run for their money.

Tuukka Rask, the Bruins number one guy, starts tonight. See, that's what you do. You start your best guys against the best teams, right Therrien?

Oh well.

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