The keys for Game 1

• Carey Price: He won’t have to stand on his head to beat the Boston Bruins. That will come later, if Canadiens advance. The goaltender will have to be good, if not necessarily great against a team with limited firepower. No softies and no puckhandling screw-ups like Martin Brodeur pulled against the Rangers.

Alex Kovalev: He’s got the C on his jersey and the team on his back. Something else on that number 27 shirt: a big bull’s eye. The Bruins will come after him hard. But the Canadiens’ leader is strong as a horse, and Kovalev is at his best when the pressure is on. Other targets: Andrei Markov, Tomas Plekanec, Josh Gorges.

The zebras: They have to apply New NHL rules.  Boston’s only hope is to  muscle the Canadiens, whose best defence against being muscled is the league’s top power play. But infractions – particularly attempts to mug Price – have to be called. If the refs swallow their whistles, as has been known tohappen in the playoffs, it could be a long, frustrating night.

The Kiddie Corps: Until the puck drops, there’s no way to predict how Guillaume Latendresse, Maxim Lapierre and the Brothers Kostitsyn will react to playoff pressure.

Mike Komisarek: With Ryan O’Byrne in the pressbox, I hope Komisaurus is ready to rumble. Because if his hip acts up after a few shifts or if he’s knocked out by a big hit early … well, let’s not even go there.

Guy Carbonneau: He has to keep his cool with the refs, match lines adroitly and make good in-game adjustments. That ain’t Scotty Bowman behind the Boston bench, but Julien is a very good coach. And man, will he be motivated!

The seventh man: Loud, baby! And don’t start freakin’ after Breeze’s first giveaway.


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