Let’s start with a riddle:
What do you call the TD Banknorth Garden during the third period of a playoff game?
The Silence of the Lames.
You gotta love it. All those obnoxious, fight-loving goobers sitting on their thumbless hands and wondering what in the sacred name of Terry O’Reilly is happening to their beloved Bruins.
Your Montreal Canadiens have played two perfect road games.
They have executed Jacques Martin’s game plans to perfection. And here’s the stat that says it all:
Thirteen Canadiens – including Michael Cammalleri! – blocked 27 Boston shots in Game Two.
Four Bruins blocked eight.
That, my friends, is commitment to doing what it takes to win.
Here’s another good one:
Carey Price has stopped 65 of 66 shots in this series, a save percentage 0f 98.5.
Tim Thomas, the presumptive Vézina Trophy winner, has been beaten five times on 46 shots. His save percentage: 89.1.
Roman Hamrlik, who deserved a star tonight, is plus-4 on the series. Dennis Seidenberg is minus-4.
Seidenberg’s errant long pass, aimed at Nathan Horton and easily picked off by Hamrlik, turned into the Yannick Weber goal that broke Boston’s back.
Without Zdeno Chara, the Bruins’ defence was even worse than it was in Game One. They’re slow and they don’t make good first passes.
This means Boston is incapable of moving through the neutral zone in possession and at speed. The Canadiens are able to set up Martin’s five-man defensive system, and the Bruins, for all their shots, haven’t had a fast-break or odd-man rush in the series.
The only Boston forward line that’s made any noise is Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand (I hate him, but he’s good) and 63-year-old Mark Recchi.
Tomas Plekanec is KILLING countryman David Krejci. Horton and Milan Lucic have done nothing, even as we expected them to become more physically menacing in Game Two.
Boston’s natural tendency to lay on the muscle may have been inhibited by Mathieu Darche’s goal, which came all of six seconds into the Canadiens’ first power play.
Boston had a 35-27 hit advantage, but at no time did the Canadiens look like a scared team.
Very good point by Michel Therrien on L’Antichambre: The game starts at 7 and at 6:45, the Bruins leader is scratched. What did that do to their heads?
Couldn’t have helped. And the damage was exacerbated by the Canadiens jumping out to another early lead.
As usual, Jacques Martin spotlighted goaltending and special teams.
Price made spectacular saves on Lucic and Bergeron. He might have had another shutout if Scott Gomez hadn’t fallen asleep on coverage of Bergeron.
The penalty kill was 4-for-4, 7-for-7 in the series. With penalties to P.K. Subban and Hal Gill, Jaro Spacek and Brent Sopel played significant PK minutes and were excellent. Plekanec, Travis Moen and David Desharnais were also good on the P.K.
Martin didn’t talk about coaching.
It would have been immodest, and he’s not the type.
But the Canadiens coach is absolutely schooling Claude Julien.
With three minutes left in a 3-1 game, Julien had Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton out with Marchand.
What the heck was that?
And did you see the TV shot of Cam Neeley steaming out of the executives’ box.
It’s going to be a HOT Sunday in Boston.