As expected, the series was close in the beginning but over the course of the 5 games played the Broons have really risen above the Habs. The Game 5 win was the most convincing for either team of the series, and frankly if I’m a Montreal fan I feel realllllll nervous right now. You’re about to get eliminated AGAIN by your division rivals. Make no mistake if Montreal loses tonight there will be a riot and the fans will demand that everyone in the front offices gets fired.
|The only reason this wasn't a sweep: the posts behind Carey Price.|
It’s clear that Tuukka Rask is the key to this series. Lately he has been “on” and very good… and Montreal has had very few chances to score. They know it. We know it. Everyone knows it. In fact, just watching the game on Saturday night it was clear the Canadien’s gameplan was to make Rask uncomfortable. It didn’t work. Rask has had superb rebound control in the past 3 games. Just gobbling up every puck. No second chances for Montreal. They kept diving in to him and trying to fall on or near him. Typical Montreal, trying to win the game doing everything but actually playing hockey. Thankfully the refs were/are watching for this.
As for the B’s…. just keep rolling along and like Bergy says “Do your job!” That’s all that needs to happen for the Bruins to win tonight. Do your job. What EXACTLY does that mean?
Lucic- Keep your feet moving and hit people
Krejci- Maybe take a SOG? USE the space your lineys provide
Iggy- STOP hitting the post. Play heavy
Bergy- Win faceoffs and get the hell back
Marchand- Don’t take another stupid penalty. Refs are looking for it
Smith- Keep grinding and putting away the chances you get
Soderberg- Stay hungry. Shoot the puck more
Eriksson- Keep winning board battles
Fraser- Keep your game simple and conservative
Paille- Create space & matchup problems with your speed
Thornton- Hit people
Campbell- Win faceoffs and get the hell back
Chara- Stay the hell back and play D. Don’t need you to score anymore
Boychuk- Hit people
Miller- Hit people
Krug- Stay instinctual in the offensive end zone but be careful breaking it out
Hamilton- Same as Krug. Play conservative on the back end and aggressive on offense
Bartkowski- Keep both hands on your stick and stop taking penalties
Rask- Continue to control rebounds
Pretty simple right? I can almost guarantee that is the Broons lose tonight, it will be because multiple people did NOT do the specific jobs I just listed. We’ll see what happens.
The only other thing that’s shady about tonight is that the Broons have had a gross history under Claude of trying to close out teams on the road:
2010 Round 1- Couldn’t close out the Sabres in Buffalo in Game 5 on the road
2010 Round 2- Couldn’t close out the Flyers in Philly in Game 4 or 6 on the road
2011 Round 1- Couldn’t close out the Canadiens in Montreal in Game 6 on the road
2011 Round 3- Couldn’t close out the Lightening in Tampa Bay in Game 6 on the road
2011 Round 4- Eliminated the Canucks in Vancouver in Game 7 on the road for the Cup
2013 Round 1- Couldn’t close out the Leafs in Toronto in Game 6 on the road
2013 Round 2- Couldn’t close out the Rangers in NY in Game 4 on the road
Soooooooo if you’re keeping track at home that’s 1-6 in close out games on the road under Claude. Ouch.
I’m still taking the Bruins tonight. Too strong, too much better at hockey, and they found out what it takes to beat Montreal: patience and discipline. Did you guys see PK smoke Lucic in the back of the head on the side boards? Or duck under Lucic’s hit in the first period? Or wrap his legs around a Broons stick to try and draw a call? Yea well the Broons figured out that they can punish that clown in the regular season for his antics. They figured out all they need to do is play hockey to beat the Habs. If the Bruins play hockey tonight, they are going to win. This team has played in a disgusting amount of Game 7s in the past 4 years and they know it’s a crapshoot if it gets there. I think the veteran team will close out the series tonight playing as if it was THEM facing elimination. In Tuukka I trust baby.