Right now it matters little that Pittsburgh is poised to sweep the Ottawa Senators, or that Calgary has a shot at doing away with the favoured San Jose Sharks. Or that Dallas is surprising last year’s Stanley Cup champs, the Anaheim Ducks.
All that matters is game four in Boston. Montreal can ill-afford a loss to the newly-renewed Boston Bruins. Because it would be a loss that not only ties the series, but also creates even more momentum for the Bruins.
I’m sure Guy Carbonneau and his coaches are working hard to overcome Boston’s recent adjustments, which have seen the Bruins bottle up Montreal’s attack, and Alex Kovalev especially. For me, it all boils down to the power play. Get that back on track and the series will end quickly.
One Montreal writer said recently that he doesn’t know why, but the number five is a big number this year. For instance, Montreal won game two, 3-2, which totalled five.
So keeping with that, our Habs can win Tuesday night, and then game five (there’s that five) back in Montreal.
And any long series is never good in the scheme of things, as the road to the Stanley Cup is a long- distance marathon, and Montreal needs to end it as soon as possible to be fresh and healthy for the second round. But I’m not getting ahead of myself. That would be bad luck. And smug.
The Canadiens absolutely need their power play to return. It’s been their bread and butter all year. They need to unravel the ropes the Bruins have tied around them. And in general, they need a big night from everyone, especially the first line.
Every game for the last month has been a huge game for Montreal. But none are bigger than this upcoming game four.
Am I nervous? Of course I’m nervous. I’d be nervous if the Habs were up three games to nothing. But I also believe in my team.
Go Habs! You’re gonna do it.