Canadiens Can’t Get It Done Against This Solid Bruins Squad

If I was an Ottawa Senators fan, I think I’d have a hard time watching the Montreal-Boston series, which the Bruins now lead three games to none and will soon put all of us out of our misery. Because if I was a Senators fan, I think it’d be a bummer knowing that Zdeno Charo once played in Ottawa and was cut loose when the Sens decided to go with Wade Redden instead. Redden isn’t even with Ottawa anymore. He now toils as an ordinary blueliner with the Rangers, and Chara, carrying on nicely in Boston, will win the Norris.

Imagine how Chara would’ve helped the Senators. He’s a force, a gigantic leader, shooter, checker, passer, thinker, thumper, and, if you dare fight him, you lose.

The Canadiens stormed out of the gate on this night where the final tally was 4-2 Bruins. They took the lead, played their best period of the series, and yet, when twenty minutes was said and done, could only manage a tie. By the time the third period rolled around, the early energy and pace of the Habs had been slowly snuffed out by a patient and systematic Bruins.

The Bruins are finely-tuned and well-coached, and when you think of how Ottawa let go of Chara, you can also think that Claude Julien was fired as coach of the Habs, and Bruins sniper Michael Ryder, who’s been dangerous, was traded away by Bob Gainey.

I see now that Boston has a team that can very well win the whole thing this year. They have a tight checking system, but unlike trapping teams such as New Jersey and Minnesota, Boston also has a load of snipers like Phil Kessel, Marc Savard, Patrice Bergeron,  Ryder, and a handful of others. Goalie Tim Thomas is as solid as they come. Milan Lucic, serving a one game suspension, makes his presence felt every game, in a big-time way.

And then there’s Chara.

Random Notes:

Yannick Weber and Chris Higgins scored for Montreal. The aforementioned Ryder notched the winner for the Bruins.

Alex Tanguay and Mathieu Schneider sat it out with upper body injuries. Sergei Kostitsyn sat it out because he’s brain dead. And Carey Price has now lost six straight playoff games. Does it get any worse?

I’m sure I heard some of the Bell Centre paying customers boo the Star Spangled Banner, and I definitely heard them boo Carey Price at a stage in the game when they should be rallying around the youngster, when the team still had a chance to win the thing. Yes Virginia, there are some loutish Hab fans.

15 thoughts on “Canadiens Can’t Get It Done Against This Solid Bruins Squad”

  1. The Gillis piece is alright.
    I think I used up my quota of F-bombs tonight.
    How demoralizing can it be to play a period like the first tonight but only score once and have the other team tie it late in the period on a flukey goal? I don’t agree with Lions In Winter when they suggest Price should have found a way to stop that.
    A lot of people like to say that Mtl has some of the most knowledgeable fans and I figured that had to be true because they cheered for the Canadiens. But how does anyone think that booing Price at the beginning of the game is going to make him play better? Kind of self defeating if you ask me.
    Tonight as we probably played our second last game of the season some truths became evident. First, there is no way you trade Chris Higgins. Second, O’Byrne did not hurt his chances for next year. We just have to stop messing with his head. Third, our defense is not good enough even with Markov in the lineup. This has to be Bob’s biggest priority over the summer. Fourth, Plekanec showed me that he has both courage and heart. Yes he fell into a hole this year but he was honest and never stopped trying. Fifth, people who question Koivu’s wothiness to be captain are ” Bastards and they shouldn’t come to games and we don’t need them as fans!” to sort of quote Bob. Lastly, to give credit where it is due, Boston has a good team this year. I still don’t like them especially Lucy, and I really hope they don’t win the cup.
    Anyway it will be an interesting summer.

  2. Thank you, Sandy. Your team might actually have a shot to go far.
    And Dishonest John, good comments once again. And when all is said and done, please continue to visit this site throughout the summer as I hope, as I did last summer, to post every day. I really appreciate your intelligent thoughts about the Habs.

  3. Dennis,

    I watched the full habs game tonight. I give credit to your team, they have played good hard hockey this whole series but just cant get it done. I still think the reason your team is falling short is the amount of pressure that is on them. Think about it, anything short of the stanley cup is un-acceptable?, who can perform under those expectations? do you really think for a second that is not on the players’ mind? Montreals fan base is whats killing this team, instead of taking it game by game you have had them pegged before the season starts to win the stanley cup, its ridiculous to think that. The stanley cup is the hardest trophy to win in all of sports and pre season predictions like that cant be made in any sport on any team.

  4. Jordy, its instilled in us to expect greatness from the Habs. It’s just the way it is. Doesn’t matter what you say about ridiculous or not, it’s just the way it is. Anyway, no one’s killing this team. What do mean “killing this team?” Do you mean little by little they’re getting worse? I don’t buy that for a second. I’ve never been one to lean on injuries as an excuse, but they lost a real productive guy in Robert Lang, one of the league’s premier defencemen in Markov, Tanguay had a hell of a time putting a string of games together, Bouillon, one of our most solid defencemen, was gone, And Mathieu Schneider had been a big part of the power play and we lost him too.
    But anyway, enough of that. Montreal can be a really solid team. And every year, we’re going to expect them to go all the way. You can’t change that.

  5. Some notes from the game last night that I noticed:

    How many times do the Habs get a 3 on 2, only to have the puck-carrier shoot it right at Thomas’ chest? Every frickin’ time. Higgins goal was lucky, as Thomas should have had it. But the Habs never wait for a guy to go in front of the net before shooting it. Get some traffic.

    Speaking of in front of the net: Koivu has been the only player to do it consistently this playoffs. It happened more last night from other players, but most of the time it’s just “carry the puck around the boards.” Several times last night the Habs would steal the puck behind the Bruins net, and look out front, but no one would be there.

    Metropolit is a keeper. He controls his line when he’s out there. After a particular long shift hemmed into their own zone, the Habs got the puck and started skating down the ice. You could see Metropolit telling his teammate to throw the puck down as soon as they crossed the centre line so they could get in a full line change. He was communicating to his linemates all night, probably the best I’ve seen in quite a few years.

    As for the Sens mention in the post, I thought Dennis was going somewhere different. Anyone else notice this team is copying the Sens last year? Great start, started to suck down the stretch. Injuries to key players in the playoffs. Off-ice distractions. Coaching change in mid-season. Goalie debate on who to start each game. Seen as not tough enough. Too much of a one-line team. A GM who had success elsewhere and was seen as a genius not able to cope with the new NHL. And the list goes on and on.

  6. Fair enough Dennis, I can understand that you expect greatness from your team with the past and what not. Im not saying its a bad thing to have high expectations but i just dont figure how you can expect to go all the way every year. By killing the team I meant there folding to the pressure that is being forced on them to succeed, a dangerous team in any sport is a relaxed team, a team with nothing on there mind but the game infront of them and i dont think the habs have been able to do that this year because all their media is talking about is how nothing short of a cup is acceptable (you can see it in there play they are forcing things to) . the days of the habs in the 50’s 60’s 70’s are long gone and no habs fan will ever see anything like that ever again from this team because of how much the game has changed, all im saying is their fan base and media needs to get with the times. That is just my opinion anyway, you know much more about this team then i do and im not trying to tell you how it is or anything, its just the way I see it as an outsider. I dont think thats an excuse for mentioning your injury situation either, Lang, Tanguay and Markov are all important pieces to your team.

  7. As a coach and a teacher you have several goals for the team, the individual players or your students. As a team your goal is to win the championship no matter how realistic that may be. We also teach students about probability and to use terms such as likely or unlikely, probable or improbable, possible or impossible, and the biggy certain. They have to learn that improbable does not mean the same as impossible. I think at the beginning of the year most Mtl fans thought that the Cdns winning the cup was highly likely, but not quite probable. As the year progressed we started to slip into the unlikely or improbable but not the impossible catagory. It isn’t so much that we expect the Cdns to be certain to win every year but that we want to be better than possible because it’s possible for any single team to win the cup in any given year. And we expect better than that. Does that make sense Jordy?
    Now back to the goals. You want to see your students or athletes improve over the course of the year or season. That doesn’t always happen. Look at a lot of our players who compared to last year regressed? Plekanecs, both Kostitsins, Price, Kovalev for a good part of the season, and so on. In some cases this was due to injuries but the effect on the team was huge. Who honestly could have predicted that would happen? So even if you are unlikely to win the championship you have goals for every player to improve their skills and be a positive contributor to the team. If that happens then the expectations for the team increase just like they did after last year. In retrospect we may not have been quite as good as we looked last year and I don’t think we can say that we are as bad as we looked this year. I hope people keep that in mind over the summer and look forward to next as much as we looked forward to this one.

    Back to the

  8. Right on, Tom. You nailed it about the shots on Thomas, and the comparisons to Ottawa. Good comments.

  9. I am looking forward to next year. I think the team learned a lot from all of this. How could they not?

  10. Ryder wasn’t traded, he was a free agent that found more coin elsewhere. It’s very well known that the Habs are one of the few teams with the reasonable salaries. (Ryder only has one role and if you forget about him like Komo did he’ll do it, but otherwise it isn’t very hard to stop him).

    Only thing that kills this team is the media. If I could slap them all I’d get special gloves just for the occasion.

    I still had a blast at the game though! (No one was booing Price, everyone was doing the Carey Chant though. Didn’t lose because of him). They tried, but them’s the breaks. A guy who was sitting next to us asked me later on the metro if I am disappointed they won’t win anything this year I told him “no, there’s always next year”. He rolled his eyes. I hate fans like that. Just like the guy asking his friend if he’ll still be a Habs fan next year when they were leaving the building. The friend said “I dunno, maybe”. Who needs ’em!

    And the kids are doing alright! Weber is a stronger dman than his idol Streit. Also there’s a pack of kids growing in junior/college/ahl still that are going to be great additions to this club. Even a possible line of Metro centering Chipper (once someone makes him a winger) and Higgins makes me giddy.

  11. I’s sure I heard boos and they didn’t sound anything like the chant. Cole mentioned it as well.

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