For sure the Bruins will try and come out and intimidate tonight.
The Habs absolutely have to stay away from anything after the whistle like they've been doing. Play whistle to whistle. If they try and goon it up don't engage. Let them take penalties.
It was interesting to hear Krejci talk after Game 3 about how they made a concerted effort to stay out of the box and play smart...and it took away their edge almost entirely.
The Habs are one of the few teams in the league who have learned (the hard way, from years past) that you can't out-Boston the Bruins. You'll lose every time if you try. You have to stick to your skill game and force them to change their game.
I thought Detroit did a poor job of that (witness stuff like Smith trying to "fight" Chara, the 5 roughing penalties they took in one game, etc) and it's part of the reason they went down so easily. The Bruins use their muscle to get you off your game and then beat you with skill. Once you take away that first part of their game, you've already got them on the wrong foot.
The difference between being up 3-1 and being tied 2-2, obviously, is gigantic...must-win tonight.
If we win tonight, Boston will be devastated and the Habs can finish the series in 5/6 games. If we lose tonight, the series is tied and the Bruins will have momentum and probably win this series. I hope our player treat this game as a game 7.
You beat Boston with physical play and you cannot shy away from the hitting game... you simply skate away after the whistle and then hand out the punishment during play.
Sounds great in theory. Here's the reality... Moen's late hit on Iginla opens up a door to some nasty play. I have no problem with this (or your suggestion to hand out punishment during play). But you can't predict the results of your punishment - in play or not. And hockey being what it is (violent, physical, competitive, etc), has an eye for eye thing going on.
I look forward to the day where we have a weapon to be able to deliver punishment during the play AND be able to defend ourselves without:
a. Looking like p*****
b. Opening ourselves up to injury (watch what happens tonight)