So much focus is being given to Laracque/Lucic/Chara/Komi/Who's gonna beat who up and all that garbage that maybe it would be refreshing to get back to a real hockey discussion. From my perspective, the keys to this series include:
Bruins Discipline - in the last reg. season game several B's lost it and it cost them. The Habs PP is coming on of late and if the Habs can draw the Bruins into cheap penalties the Bruins will pay the price. Stay out of the box.
Tim Thomas- has to make the saves a #1 guy SHOULD make; he'll make some big saves, always does...but he can't let in a softy as he has done on occasion in tight games.
Scoring depth - with Axelsson supposedly on the #1 line, I'm afraid that line will not be as effective as it might be otherwise. Therefore the 3rd line in particular (Krejci, Ryder, Lucic) is absolutely key...if they can put some pucks in the back of the net it may open things up for Savard's line and Bergeron's line (and the Bergy line has become more of a checking line of late).
Canadiens: Carey Price-This guy has the ability to steal a series, no doubt. If he is on his game he is as good as anyone I've seen. He'll need to be very very good this series.
Get Under the B's skin- The Bruins have several players who can lose their cool easily...Thomas, Chara, Lucic, Hnidy, Montador...even Savard loses it from time to time. If the Habs can antagonize but stay within the rules, they may be able to draw the Bruins into some dumb penalties.
PP-When clicking it's a very good power play, good enough to turn a game...and possibly a series...around.
The Bruins have not accomplished anything this year, IMO...nor have the Canadiens. Records don't matter, playoff seeding doesn't matter, all that matters right now is tonight's game. Despite all of the talk, some by Laracque, but most by the fans, these guys know what's at stake, and they're not looking any further than tonight's game. I expect intensity, but I'm hopeful that it won't be helter skelter right off the bat...if it is I think that favors Montreal. The Bruins would benefit from an upbeat, but very controlled start to the game and series, roll out all 4 lines, get the nervousness out. The Habs, though, I think would benefit from creating a bit of dissaray, get the Bruins emotions going early and not letting them settle into their game. The B's are the deeper team, IMO...but the Habs can match them in goal, and have the sometimes over-done (but in my opinion "real") concept of the Canadiens mystique behind them.
Good luck to all, it's going to be a helluva series I think.
lol i made half these points on the b's board and some dude really didn't take to kindly to them and made stupid comments...i am glad we can actually have good discussion...
How is Price able to steal a series? What makes you say that? Sounds like you were throwing Habs fans a bone here. I think the only way Montreal makes this even interesting is if most of their guys who've been alseep all year wake up.
Because I watch hockey. When hot he is one of the best goalies in the business. Doesn't matter which team I follow, I'm calling it like I see it.
So tell me....what is it about him that says to you he CAN"T steal a series?
Discipline, Execution, Special Teams and Goaltending.
Those are the keys for any team come playoffs.
The one that stands out for me though for Montreal is execution - bury the chances. Sometimes we can buzz around and look amazing but we just don't bury the chances. Guys like Higgins and Kostitsyn have the potential to be real impact players in this series and in the palyoffs, but they need to bury there chances and that has to start tonight!