With a rivalry as intense as the existing one between the Montréal Canadiens and the Boston Bruins, there’s no wonder both teams have seen their share of the penalty box.
Who can forget the huge melee in Boston’s 8-6 victory over the Habs February 9th 2011, that saw 192 penalty minutes handed out?
The Bruins are a large tough intimidating team, and it’s more than apparent that they’ll be prepared to throw their weight around when the series gets underway at the TD Garden tonight.
This is where La Sainte-Flanelle will need to utilize strong discipline, and stay out of the box. In their opening round vs the Redwings, Boston was 18-20 on the penalty kill, while Montréal was a dismal 2-13 on the power play. They did manage to be 5-7 on the PK against the Lightning.
Utilizing speed will be imperative for Les Boys, and continued success from Gallagher and Bourque will also be key. Having said that, Michel Therrien has shown his hand in recent practices, that he is ready to insert some muscle into the lineup in order to fully contend.
This is the record 34th meeting between these two franchises in NHL postseason history. Historically, the Habs have been the benefactor, but not so in the last four playoff meetings, where the Bruins have managed to take three of those contests.
If the 2013/14 regular season is any indication of how this Semi-Final will end up, then that’s a positive outlook for Les Glorieux.
Montréal was pretty much the only team that overcame Boston’s powerhouse play during the regular season, winning three of four. Due to some strange scheduling, Carey Price only faced the Bruins once in that time.
It will no doubt take strong goaltending from Price to allow his team to compete in front of him and have the chance to win, but having said that, it will take a full team effort and depth to emerge victorious.
Certainly Les Boys will be required to alter their style a touch versus such a different looking team than Tampa, but all in all, the same game plan should still be carried over.
It all begins tonight in Boston. The puck drops shortly after 19h30. Join us on Twitter for live in-game tweeting.
The game can be seen on CBC, RDS, and NBCSN as well as being heard on TSN 690 Montréal.