Imagine what the Bell Centre will be like on Monday night.
Place be rockin’ …
I’ve got a great idea for a video to accompany Michel Lacroix’s booming “Mesdames et messieurs, accueillons nos Canadiens”:
As Carey Price leads his teammates onto the ice past the flag kids, they should dim the house lights and project this clip on the ice:
Boston isn’t Egypt.
And your Montreal Canadiens certainly weren’t the Bruins’ enslaved, pyramid-building bitches.
But it did get pretty darn biblical at the TD Banknorth Garden.
The mysterious Zdeno Chara illness?
Tom Pyatt, bleeding on the Boston ice in February, buzzing around Boston defenceman like a locust on meth in April?
Claude Julien looking as stressed as Pharaoh Mubarak?
Tell me that wasn’t a just-but-vengeful G-d pounding some serious karma up Boston’s butt.
Tell me Jesus Price – who is ready for his closeup, Mr. DeMille – isn’t laying a little Mosaic mojo on them.
Tell me Jacques Martin – constantly criticized by the many delusional Montrealers, from Mitch Melnick up, who think they’re better coaches than he – hasn’t schooled the hapless Julien?
And while watching P.K., Eller, Ryan White and David Desharnais, tell me again how Martin ruins young players.
After the game, Max Pacioretty Tweeted: “the boys played awesome, again! lets keep this thing going”
And while the Canadiens aren’t nearly through to the Promised Land, there is reason to be optimistic for the first night of Passover back at the Bell.
Arpon Basu has another great piece on the Canadiens becoming favourites in this series. This thing is far from over, and Jacques Martin will have to prevent a contagion of overconfidence among his players.
I can’t see any complacency in a room of veteran leaders. The captain and Hal Gill won’t let it happen.
The Canadiens have taken a stranglehold on this series because Martin’s system has forced the Bruins into errors, and we’ve seen opportunistic scoring that was lacking through most of the season.
All five goals have been scored off turnovers. The Canadiens forechecking pressure – brilliantly executed on many occasions by Tomas Plekanec and Mike Cammalleri and best illustrated by Lars Eller playing keep-away in the third period – is relentless. The Boston defence, even with Chara, has been exposed as slow, immobile and incapable of making good first passes.
As a result the Bruins forwards have had to come back deeper than they like to. There is no speed or fluidity to Boston’s attack as it moves through the neutral zone.
When the Bruins announced, after the game, that they hadn’t decided if the team would skate on Sunday, a Boston writer quipped: “Why start now?”
Yes, Boston has had a shot advantage through two games. And Price was lucky a couple times in Game Two.
But the Canadiens have blocked 46 shots through two games, to 21 for Boston. Notwithstanding all the pre-game talk about Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton crashing the crease and making Price’s life miserable, the hulking Boston forwards have been non-factors … so much so that Julien dropped Horton off the top line last night.
As was the case in Game One, there were five white jerseys near the puck all night. The Canadiens were usually able to clear the zone with short, high percentage passes, and James Wisniewski kept the Boston forecheck honest with the kind of long tape-to-tape passes that Dennis Seidenberg can’t make.
P.K. Subban has played more than 27 minutes in each game. Roman Hamrlik has played less than 20. Hal Gill and Jaro Spacek are displaying veteran savvy, and Brent Sopel (eight blocked shots so far) has been a revelation.
Look, the series is far from over.
There are, in biblical terms, many rivers to cross.
But playing without Andrei Markov, Josh Gorges, Max Pacioretty and Andrei Kostitsyn, the Canadiens spanked the Bruins in their own barn.
And Boston, which was 24-12-5 on the roadthis season, hasn’t won at the Bell Centre since September … and that one didn’t count.
One more sleep.
And a cool mash-up from Kevin “BattleSeppo” Morin: