Category Archives: Montreal Canadiens

Montreal’s Tomas Plekanec Saves The Day In Buffalo

I’m so tired I feel like I’m getting sleep-deprivation torture in a Saudi prison. It’s because I’m going to bed fairly late and getting up at 3:30 am to go to work. And today, at the ticket booth, I had trouble getting a guy’s credit card to work because the system was acting up, and finally, after it did work, the guy drove away and sarcastically said, “Thanks, you’re a real pro.” So I said “You’re welcome, you’re a real asshole.”

The Montreal-Buffalo game is on and it’s the end of the first period. Nothing really has happened so there’s nothing to report. So while I’m waiting for something to happen, I might as well say what I’m gonna say, and that is, “Mike’s an elevator mechanic. There’s a job that has it’s ups and downs.” BADDA BIN, BADDA BOOM!

Sorry. (This marks the eight thousandth time Mike has heard this.)

Montreal needs this game so I hope they’re regrouping in the dressing room. They need first overall for that prime spot in the playoffs, where they’d play in the first round, hopefully, Boston.

Buffalo is scratching and clawing for the final playoff spot, and if they reach it, they could play Montreal in the first round. So this is a team that’s desperate and hungry.

It’ll be interesting how this all plays out. Right now though, I’m tired.

A couple of small observations. I like the original Buffalo Sabres’ uniforms better than the ones they wear now. The ones now look like a cross between the Pittsburgh Penguins, Boston Bruins, George Jetson, and the Los Angeles Rams football team.sabres.jpg

But I really like how low the cameras are placed at the HSBC Arena. It’s just like the old days in Montreal and Toronto. And these cameras are about a mile closer than the ones in Tampa Bay.
Second period’s over. Kovalev just tied it up 1-1, finishing a nice Grabovsky play. I’m also thinking about what der Habinator said about Pete Rose should be in Cooperstown and I think so too. I also found it interesting what Mike said about how it would take an elevator mechanic 48 years to make the same money as what Patrick Roy turned down. Kinda makes you think.

Holy smokin arseholes! Tomas Plekanec scored two goals in the last two and a half minutes of the game to tie it, then Chris Higgins wins it in overtime.  They won it even though Habs fans in Buffalo sang the olay song. Maybe the song works after all.

Tomorrow night, it’s up the Queen E to Toronto. And I was thinking. If the team wants to make a side trip to Orillia before they need to play Ottawa on Tuesday, several of them could probably stay at my dad’s house on Elmer Ave. They’ll have to be quiet though. He’s 87 and goes to bed at seven. And they could go out for drinks at the Atherley Arms. I’m sure the peelers would get a charge out of it.

Montreal’s back on top in the east with 98 points. They finished with 90 points last year.

Patrick Roy Is No Jean Beliveau

Remember when Patrick Roy winked at LA player Tomas Sandstrom after making a nice stop on him? There was something about that that I didn’t like. Maybe it was because I wasn’t sure that Patrick had robbed him blind, and that it was sort of a lucky save that simply looked good. I leaned toward the lucky save. 

Then remember in 1995 when he let in nine goals against Detroit and because Habs coach Mario Tremblay didn’t yank him sooner, Roy went to Ronald Corey and told him it was the last game he’d play for Montreal? Remember? Of course you do.

How come he let in nine goals?   roy.jpg

So after this recent mess in Chicoutimi involving Roy and his son Jonathan, it rang in my ears the words TSN’s Bob McKenzie said the other day. He said Roy will someday coach in the NHL, and the natural choice would be the Montreal Canadiens. 

I say, “Please Lord, don’t let this happen.”

I don’t like Patrick Roy, but instead of me going on about it, I’ll just step aside and let Red Fisher, the man I’m waiting to retire so I can have his job, tell the story.  It’s called “Roy Lost the Honour of Having His No 33 Retired Long Ago”.  I think you’ll find it interesting. Take it away, Red.

Goaltender Patrick Roy gave the Montreal Canadiens many on-ice moments to cherish, but there were also a number of off-ice issues that people cannot forget or forgive.

Montreal — The 14 banners hang in the Bell Centre rafters carrying the names and retired numbers of legendary players who for so many years contributed so much to making the Montreal Canadiens a team with a mystique for winning.Great names. Great players. Great human beings.The game plan is to add one more next season when this one-of-a-kind franchise celebrates its centenary. The only name I have heard – Patrick Roy.Yeah, that Patrick Roy – the one who led the Canadiens to Stanley Cups in 1986 and 1993.The Patrick Roy who coached the Quebec Remparts to the Memorial Cup two years ago.

The Patrick Roy whose son, Jonathan, a backup goaltender with the team, was suspended by the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League for seven games on Tuesday after skating the length of the ice to administer an ugly, vicious beating on Chicoutimi goaltender Bobby Nadeau during last Saturday’s playoff game.

Roy the coach – and co-owner and general manager – denies the horror show took place at his urging. But he was suspended five games for “failing to control his players” and police have been asked to launch an investigation, which could lead to criminal charges.

If the Canadiens have decided to retire Roy’s number, they must re-visit the decision. Canadiens owner George N. Gillett Jr. and team president Pierre Boivin should know it is a bad decision – and has been from the start. What they must do is look long and hard and decide if retiring Roy’s No. 33 is good for the game and for the organization.

It is not.

Roy abdicated his rights to that honour with his capitulation to irrationalism on Dec. 2, 1995, when a stunned Forum crowd saw him allow nine goals on 26 shots in an 11-1 meltdown to the Detroit Red Wings. It was only then that he was taken out of the game by coach Mario Tremblay.

Anyone who was there or viewed the game on television can still see a furious Roy shouldering his way past Tremblay to Canadiens president Ronald Corey, sitting in the first row behind the players’ bench, leaning over and telling him he had played his last game with the team. That film clip has been shown over and over again following last Saturday’s hockey version of road rage – and for good reason. It was unprofessional and a gross disrespect for the sweater he wore.

Four days later, he was shipped to the Colorado Avalanche.

Roy was a man of many faces throughout his brilliant career. Pleasant one minute, a mean, arrogant and unforgiving SOB the next. The Patrick Roy who came to play and to win every night could be abrasive, controlling and vindictive, but that does not diminish his accomplishments. His NHL-high 551 wins speak for him, as does his four Stanley Cups (two with the Canadiens and two with Colorado), three Conn Smythe trophies and three Vezinas.

Can anyone forget the night in 1986, when Roy stopped the first 13 shots he faced in the overtime period of a Conference final game against the New York Rangers? There he was, a 20-year-old rookie, turning aside at least a half-dozen spectacular scoring opportunities by the Rangers – until Claude Lemieux scored the winner with the Canadiens’ first shot.

Fast forward to 1993. The Canadiens lost the first two games in Quebec, the first in overtime. They won the next four, two of them in overtime. More importantly, the Canadiens won eight more games en route to their last Stanley Cup to set playoff records for the most overtime wins in one season and the most consecutive overtime wins.

Those were on-ice moments to cherish, but there also have been off-ice issues that people cannot forget or forgive. Ugly moments. Controversial moments. Disgusting moments such as Saturday’s brawl during which Roy’s son continued punching a defenceless Nadeau after he had been wrestled to the ice.

In Colorado, Roy got into an altercation with a Colorado Springs man at a hotel where Avalanche players and their wives were having a team party. They began shoving each other over an interruption in the music at the in-house disco. The case was settled out of court.

Early in the 1998-99 season, a furious Roy smashed two television sets and a VCR in the visiting coaches’ office in Anaheim. The reason: he was not credited with a victory because he was pulled by first-year coach Bob Hartley. Even though he did not face one shot, backup Craig Billington got the win because he was in net when the winning goal was scored.

Roy lost it again when the Denver Post reported the incident and falsely accused Valeri Kamensky of leaking the story. That led to a lengthy meeting between Roy, Kamensky, the player’s agent and reporter Adrian Dater, who wrote the story.

The most publicized incident during Roy’s years in Colorado occurred during the 2000-01 season, when his wife called 911 after a domestic dispute. Dater reported at the time that Michele Roy told police her husband “ripped two doors off their hinges at their home” and that she was “afraid of what her husband might do when she dialed 911.” Roy was charged with misdemeanour criminal mischief, but a couple of days later his wife called the charges “ridiculous.” The case against Roy was dismissed. (The Roys are now divorced.)

And yet some of Roy’s best moments have come when his gentleness has moved people to tears.

Roy surely has forgotten it, but I still remember one morning after a Canadiens practice in Quebec City. There was a game to be played that night, but Roy remained on the ice waiting for a 10-year-old to join him.

The boy was born to pain, and lived with it bravely – he had this dream of going one-on-one with his idol, Roy. What could be greater than to score a goal on Patrick Roy?

So there they were at the Quebec Coliseum: Roy skating in little circles, sending up small shivers of ice pellets, rattling the blade of his stick on the ice before settling into a crouch in his crease, looking every inch like a guy in the moments before Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final. The boy’s mother looked on nervously watching her child who had not smiled or laughed nearly often enough in his young life.

“Okay … I’m ready,” Roy finally yelled at the boy. “Show me your best.”

It took a long time for the boy, skating on his matchstick legs, to close the 15 feet separating him from Roy’s crease. A wobbly shot, a desperate lunge from Roy and … a goal! Roy slammed his stick on the ice in mock anger.

“Try that again,” he muttered at the boy, who by now had a reason to smile. “I’ll bet you can’t do that again.”

Another wobbly shot. Another goal.

Ten minutes of goal after goal followed – and after each one the boy would raise his stick skyward, his face lighting up with smiles that eventually grew into a delighted laugh. His mother looked on from her Coliseum seat – and cried.

“That was a nice thing you did this morning,” I told Roy later that day. “It must have been hard.”

“It was easy,” said Roy.

Holy Smokes! More Fascinating Facts! What A Blog!

Fascinating Fact #1.  It’s just what I always suspected. Patrick Roy is a moron.

Fascinating Fact #2.  In the early 1940’s the Montreal Canadiens were bringing in less fans than the senior league Montreal Royals. The Habs were averaging only about 1500 people in those days.

Fascinating Fact #3.  Guess what changed in Montreal? What caused fans to go from 1500 to 12,000 in only a few years?  Two words – The Rocket.

Fascinating Fact #4.  And guess what completed the growth of fan attendance, from 12,000 in the late 1940’s to regular sellouts at the beginning of the 1950’s. It was the signing of Quebec senior hockey hero, Jean Beliveau.  

Fascinating Fact #5.  Mickey Redmond, who played right wing for the Habs from 1967 to 1971, has been battling lung cancer since 2003. He says he’s feeling fine, thank God. Redmond was also a member of Team Canada during the 1972 Canada-Russia Summit Series.

Fascinating Fact #6.  Redmond was involved in a major deal halfway through the 1970-71 season when the Habs traded him to Detroit for Frank Mahovlich. Montreal also sent Guy Charron and Bill Collins, along with Redmond, to Detroit.

Fascinating Fact #7.   1950’s Habs grinder Marcel Bonin used to eat glass, and also wrestled bears. And once, while at raining camp in Victoria, BC, Bonin broke his thumb during some horseplay off the ice. He kept it a secret from Toe Blake, then during the next practice, pretended to hurt his hand on the ice and kept himself from getting into hot water with Blake. It worked.

Fascinating Fact #8.   Two NHL players who were notorious for treating rookies on their own teams badly were Steve Shutt and Dave Keon. Shutt’s reasoning was, “hey, it happened to me so it’s gonna happen to them too.” 

Fascinating Fact #9.   Jim Pappin, who won a Stanley Cup with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1967, lost his Cup ring years ago.  It was found last year in the Gulf of Mexico when a diver using an underwater metal detector came up with it.

Fascinating Fact #10.  This is the seventh installment of Fascinating Facts. 

Fascinating Fact #11.  Did I mention that Patrick Roy is a moron?

Mike Has A Great Chair And Shorter Hair Than Before

They don’t get any better than Mike. We’ve been friends for 40 years, and have fought  the good wars together. Those crazy sixties wars. Those times when sex and drugs and rock and rock were as much a part of our lives as waking up. And it was a time when the team we loved took a back seat for a few years while we spent some serious time on the edge.

Mike was involved in the 1960’s movement as much as anyone. He wore his black hair long, crashed where he could, never shyed away from a good party, and ingested a few things he probably shouldn’t have. These were unsettling times, but he and I got through it, and later on he found himself a nice cool chick who he’s still with today. 

But even though we put the Habs on the backburner for a few years in the late ’60’s, it didn’t mean we gave up or forgot. Not me, and not Mike. He follows the Habs closely, has for more than fifty years, and he knows the game and his team and is pissed off when they lose. You’ll see this by his comments he throws in often.

No one is prouder to own a Montreal Forum chair than Mike. And it’s not just any chair. It’s the one he sat in in his only visit to the Forum, in the late 1970’s.

Here’s a photo of Mike’s chair, and the Bud hat signed by Le Gros Bill, Jean Beliveau. And yes, the spelling of Micheal on the chair is the way it’s spelled.

Mike may have been a mover and shaker during the hippie movement, but you can’t keep a good Habs fan down. And even though he lives in Toronto and has for decades, don’t even think about talking about the Toronto Maple Leafs with him. He can’t stand them, even though they’re just down the road. Are you listening, Ottawa fans-who-used-to-be-Habs-fans?

mikes_photos.jpg

Montreal Scores 7 Goals In Their Win Over Ottawa, But It Was A Stressful 7 Goal Win

They can’t come much uglier than this. For two periods, life was good as Montreal built up a 7-1 lead against the visiting Ottawa Senators, who previously had humbled the Montreal 6-1 in February and 3-0 March 13. It was a time to dance in the street, sing, hug the neighbour, sing the Olay song. During the second intermission, I was thinking in double digits for the end of the massacre. It was going to be beautiful. habs-logo.jpg

But someone must have slipped horse tranquilizers into the Montreal player’ Gatorade between periods, because in the third, along with giving up fourteen shots to two, also gave up four goals to make it a scary, stressfull 7-5 game that I don’t mind saying made me quite pissed off. And on top of everything else, Montreal took two penalties and had to kill off a two-man advantage for the Senators late in this ridiculously ugly third period. But they killed it and I don’t even want to think about what could have happened if Ottawa would’ve scored during this power play.

I was as stressed as if it was a 2-1 game.

So it was a good-bad kind of thing. Pittsburgh lost 4-1 to the Islanders, so the Habs’ win, (and it was a win, all things considered), increased their hold on first place in the east by three points.  sens1.jpg

The bad, of course, was that they almost blew a 7-1 game and lost.

Imagine if they would have lost. They might have had to line up the same shrinks the Boston Bruins have lined up. It’d be a mind fuck for the rest of the season. The kind of game players, and probably fans too, lose sleep over all summer. The kind of game that can make or break the rest of the season.

And I’d have to listen to all my old friends in Ottawa who once upon a time were good, hearty Habs fans, and changed, believe it not, when their town got a team in the early 90’s. If Ottawa would have come all the way back to win tonight, these friends would have been insufferable.

But Montreal scratched it out and got the two points. That’s the main thing. It’s just good that the game was only sixty minutes and not seventy. And it’s good that Montreal scored seven goals, and not five, which you’d think would be plenty enough.

Let’s just hope there’s not too much mind damage.

 The team now has a rest until their short jaunt into Buffalo Friday, and then a little swing over to Toronto on Saturday. Both Buffalo and Toronto are in panic mode to win every game and possibly make the playoffs.

So both Buffalo and Toronto are going to play their hearts out when the Habs come to town.

So boys, have fun with your wives now for a couple of days, then get down to business. Keep it going. Stay on top. Go over 100 points. (they’ve got 96 now with five games left). Hopefully they’ll meet Boston in the first round.

And don’t worry about the Senators. They’ll be gone soon enough after the playoffs begin anyway.

The Senators Come For A Licking. Plus, A New Video Of Peace And Love

Big, big game Monday night when the Ottawa Senators roll into Montreal. The Habs have been humiliated a few times this year by these notorious playoff chokers, so I’d really like to see some revenge. I’ve got a lot of friends in Ottawa who once were Montreal fans but somehow became Senators fans just because their town got a team. I don’t understand it but hey, I don’t understand the theory of relativity either. sens.jpg habs-logo.jpg

In other news, more and more, Josh Gorges is becoming a solid, contributing,and important member of the Canadiens. He picked it up several notches against the Bruins, and now, with Mike Komisarek out for at least three weeks, this is a big deal and a pleasant surpriseAnd what this means is that when Komisarek gets back, he, Gorges, Hamrlik, and Markov form a formidible defence as the team readies for the playoffs. Take that, Pierre McGuire.

Also in the news, it seems that some people have disagreed with the violence in the video I posted of the 1971 Habs-Bruins bench-clearing brawl, and I feel bad about this. So today, I’m adding a little video that I hope makes everyone feel better. Let’s get back to the peace and love we all miss so dearly. This is from 1986. Just click the link. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZemmdLQsuE

Habs Make It Eleven In A Row Over Boston. So I Have A Gift For You

I’m having a good night tonight. I got home from work and my wife had a roast and a six pack of Heineken waiting for me. I start four days off. Then I watched the recording on my new TV of the Habs winning their eleventh straight win against the Boston Bruins (eight this year), and in doing so, stay on top of the heap in the eastern division.

So, because I’m in such a good mood, and it’s Easter, I’ve decided to give you a present. Just click the link below and enjoy a five and a half minute video of a 1971 Montreal-Boston bench-clearing brawl. Beliveau’s even in there, tugging and pulling. This is a huge brawl involving fans, police, Derek Sanderson, Phil Roberto, Gerry Cheevers, and a cast of thousands. Historically, Montreal and Boston like to rumble with each other. Here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBkvn4SsR5A&feature=related Watch it pick up momentum as it goes.  You don’t see this kind of thing any more.

Kovalev Should Take His Show To Vegas. And The Bruins Probably Prefer The Dentist To The Bell Centre Saturday Night

I’m still trying to wrap my head around Alex Kovalev’s tricks with a stick and puck he does on his new dvd. Honestly, I’ve never seen this before, where someone can fire pucks from a good distance away, with good velocity, into little pockets set up on the top corners of the net, one after another, with only one hand.

And then he moved out to centre ice, got down on one knee, and his first shot landed on top of the net, and his second, lordy, lordy, went right into the pocket he was aiming for.

Speaking as a smallish yet speedy right winger for Byers Bulldozers circa 1965, I can honestly say this is practically impossible what the shifty Russian did. But I saw it, along with many others, so he did it. It was there in living colour. Holy Mackinaw!

I remember hearing years ago that Gordie Howe could stand at his own goal line and shoot a wrist shot over the glass at the other end. Until now, this has been the big feat for me. But Kovalev has taken showcase skill to a new level.

Or am I wrong? Is it possible that many pros can shoot from far out with accuracy with one hand, or shoot from centre ice on one knee with accuracy? Or is it just Kovalev. I’m really interested in finding out.

Saturday night the Bruins come to Montreal, hoping to put an end to the misery they’ve experienced against the Habs, beginning with last year. If Boston loses on Saturday, they’d better start seeing some serious shrinks. And if Boston finds out they’ll meet Montreal in the playoffs, someone better watch the players and coaches carefully that they don’t do anything drastic.

I’m also pretty sure the Bruins better not watch Kovalev’s dvd.

In a quick recap of Friday’s games, several little delicious surprises happened, some benefitting Montreal. New Jersey lost 3-1 to the Islanders, which is a surprise. Toronto beat Buffalo 4-1, which is also a surprise. And Philadelphia beat the surging Rangers, which concludes the surprises.

This keeps the Devils off Montreal’s back, and slows down the Rangers, who are quickly nipping at Montreal’s heels. So this was a good night. 

Vancouver also plays tonight but nobody cares about that.

Boston Loses Its’ Tenth Straight Against The Montreal Kovalev’s

Alex Kovalev dazzled in more ways than one Thursday night (March 20) against the Boston Bruins in Boston.

Two nifty goals by Kovalev, where he shuffled through Bruin defencemen Zdeno Chara and Dennis Wideman the way I used to do it against Collingwood and Huntsville while with Byer’s Bulldozers, led to a big 4-2 win for the Habs which sees them again on top of the mountain and looking good, although Mike Komisarek was injured with a lower body injury, and Carey Price looked somewhat out of sorts.

The win puts Montreal in first place in the east with 92 points, one more than New Jersey and Pittsburgh.

But most impressive of all was the clip TSN showed from Kovalev’s new DVD, which has just been released. It’s unbelievable. Remember when Tiger Woods juggled golf balls with his club and then whacked one away like hitting a fly ball? That’s nothing to what Kovalev can do.

The clip showed him about 30 feet out with a bunch of pucks, and a pocket at the top of each side of the net. Kovalev rifled all the pucks with great accuracy into the pockets, WITH ONE HAND!  Then he moved out to centre ice, got down of one knee and put the first shot on top of the net, and second into one of the pockets.

Anyone who has ever shot a puck knows how amazing all of this is. I’ve got a whole new respect for Kovalev.

And not only that, his new DVD, which is an exercise in skills, was made for children with heart conditions, and 100% of the profits goes to this cause. Kovalev had had a heart problem himself when he was a kid.  kovydvd.jpg

I can’t wait to tell my wife about all this. She’s Russian,  a Habs fan, and is very proud that one of her countrymen is such a good player, and is the team’s best player.

And Kovalev definitely is the team’s best player. In fact, he’s one of the league’s best players. AND THE GUY’S 35 YEARS OLD!  (And he’s got a really good looking girlfriend.)

I haven’t heard yet about just how bad Mike Komisarek’s injury is but it better not be too bad, especially with the playoffs around the corner. Komisarek is an important cog in the machine, a big bruising guy with a good attitude who calls interviewers “buddy” when he’s being interviewed. “Thanks a lot, buddy” he likes to say.

I haven’t decided if this is good or bad.

The Boston Bruins Are Feeling The Heat As The Habs Come To Town

Here’s what they’re saying in Boston about tonight’s game, and mostly about the way Montreal has manhandled the Bruins this year. I don’t know about you, but it sounds like the Bruins are slightly paranoid.
Montreal not only must win tonight, but it’s entirely possible they could meet the Bruins in the first round. So it’s big.
This story has been copied and pasted from the Patriot Ledger. I know it’s slightly lazy on my part, but it shows how they’re thinking in Boston, so I decided to cheat. Anyway, I have to go to work soon, so this works well.
The story’s called, “Bruins Want To Be Themselves Against Montreal.”
“They’ve Played Into The Hands Of Montreal In Six Losses”

WILMINGTON —
They haven’t seen these guys for two months, but the Bruins are already sick of them.Sick of hearing about how the Montreal Canadiens have scored the most goals in the NHL. Sick of hearing that Montreal’s power play is the best in the league – at home, on the road, overall. Sick of hearing that Montreal has a chance to finish first in the Eastern Conference.And very, very sick of answering questions about the Canadiens beating them all six times they’ve played this season – often easily – and in nine straight meetings overall.“It’s not something we’re looking too much into,” defenseman Dennis Wideman told a couple of reporters who’d asked why Montreal has been so dominant. “That’s your job.”

Boston’s task, in a home-and-home series with the Habs that starts Thursday night at TD Banknorth Garden (the rematch is Saturday night at Bell Centre), is to somehow silence Montreal’s high-risk, quick-strike offense. Points are essential to the seventh-place Bruins’ playoff hopes, and with only nine games left in the regular season, this is no time to be swept.

“We’re going to approach this series just like we did the New York Rangers series a couple of weeks ago – like it’s a two-game playoff,” said veteran center Glen Metropolit.

The Bruins, who’d dropped three of four before that Jan. 19-20 home-and-home with New York, would gladly take a similar result: They won by shootout in Boston, 4-3, then scored a 3-1 victory at Madison Square Garden.

Things have changed in the last month, though: Three- and four-goal games have been rare for Boston, which has scored two or fewer in eight of the last nine games. The Bruins also haven’t had the services of their captain, defenseman Zdeno Chara, for the last five games – one win, two losses, and two defeats in extra time.

Chara, sidelined by an undefined “upper torso” injury, practiced Wednesday without a red “no-contact” jersey. Asked if he could do everything he’d need to do in a game, Chara answered “Yup.” Asked if he’ll return Thursday night, he said “Don’t know. I can’t tell you today.” Coach Claude Julien said a decision on Chara’s availability would be made Thursday morning.

The B’s would obviously love to have Chara back, but the fact that he has so far been unable to help the B’s beat the Habs this year makes it just as clear that one player probably won’t make that much difference.

No, the Bruins say their best chance to win is by playing as they have most of the non-Canadiens games to date.

“Yeah, they’re a great team, and they’ve got a lot of skill and speed,” Wideman said, “but we haven’t even come close to playing as well as we can against them.

“Why? I don’t know.”

Metropolit thinks the Bruins have made it too easy for Montreal to outplay, and usually outscore them early in each game (Boston hasn’t held a single lead), and made it even harder on themselves by losing their composure.

“We start getting frustrated, and kind of try to bully them around,” Metropolit said. “So they keep going on the power play, and sticking goals in. In some of the games, we got kind of carried away.”

Defenseman Andrew Ference agreed.

“There’s a balance between playing with energy, and running around stupid,” Ference said. “If you run around and take a bunch of penalties, sure, you might be winning the physical battles, but when you’re sitting in the box, you’ve played right into their hands.”

The same goes for trying to beat Montreal at its own wide-open game.

“Every time we’ve tried to play run and gun with them, we’ve ended up on the short end of it,” said Julien, citing a 7-4 loss on Nov. 17 as an example. (The B’s matched Montreal goal-for-goal until it was 3-3, then allowed three straight.) “We were able to score some goals on them, but who scored more?”

It’s not that Julien doesn’t want Boston to score four goals Thursday night. He just wants the B’s to do that by playing Bruins hockey, not Habs hockey.

“Our players will know what they have to do,” the coach said. “Hopefully, if we execute it well, we’ll have the results we want.”

Mike Loftus may be reached at mloftus@ledger.com.