Photo of the smiling captain by John Mahoney of The Gazette
We don’t have a whole lot of time to reflect on Game 6 glories because Game 7 begins in about 12 hours.
Besides, the game wasn’t all that glorious.
Refereeing had too much to do with the outcome. The Canadiens took advantage of TWO 5-on-3s to score their goals; and because of the parade to the penalty box, neither team was able to develop much rhythm or flow.
In his postgame press conference, Claude Julien drew solace from his Bruins being the better team at even-strength in Game 6.
I don’t know about that. I thought Boston might have had a territorial advantage in the third period, but the game was pretty even through 40 minutes.
Julien did not want to coach a seventh game. Now he has to, and we’ll see how that works out.
The Canadiens won the way they’ve won all season. They max-protected Carey Price – to the tune of 27 blocked shots – and the goaltender did the rest.
Special teams excelled: Two power-play goals, another perfect night for the penalty-killers.
And the team, as they’ve done all season, gutted it out.
No James Wisniewski and David Desharnais? No problem.
Disallowed early goal? No problem.
Heavy hits by the big, bad Bruins on Lars Eller and Jaro Spacek? No problem.
The Canadiens refuse to let adversity defeat them.
It’s called character, and this team has it right through the roster (Benoit Pouliot was a healthy scratch again last night).
Michael Cammalleri talked about the Canadiens’ “underlying compete level”, both as individuals and as a team.
He epitomizes it.
The measure of a great athlete is how well he or she plays when the games mean the most.
Cammalleri had 19 points, 13 goals and six assists, in 19 games during the Canadiens improbable playoff run last spring.
He has nine points, three goals and six assists, in six games against the Bruins. Cammalleri and Claude Giroux leads the playoffs in scoring.
It goes beyond scoring. Cammalleri, along with linemates Tomas Plekanec and Andrei Kostitsyn, has played high-energy shifts against Boston, their speed exploiting the lumbering Boston D.
There was a similarly high-octane effort from Brian Gionta and Scott Gomez last night. Making the Boston defenders work pays off over the course of a game, and perhaps we’ll see its cumulative effect in Game 7.
Of course, it cuts both ways. The Bruins are not fast, but their strategy has been to pound pucks into the corners and pummel the Canadiens’ D. It will be interesting to see how Spacek and Roman Hamrlik, playing their second game in two nights, fare in Game 7.
P.K. Subban is one man we don’t have to worry about.Even-strength, PP, PK: the kid has been great in every situation through six games.
Try as tghey might, the Bruins can’t muscle P.K. – hard to hit what you can’t catch – or get him off his game.
Like Cammalleri, P.K. plays his best when the pressure is on. He’s been EASILY the best defenceman in the series … and Subban doesn’t turn 22 until next month.
Maybe he’ll still be playing.
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Pick of the Comments:
This team fills me with so much energy. What a team! I can sit here all day and talk about defensive zone problems, Gionta or a whole basket of other things but why? They pull together and get the win! What a building! What a hockey city! A game like this justifies to my wife why I save my pennies every year to make sure my boy and myself get to the bell centre from Newfoundland. It’s the best time of the year, its playoff time and my sleep deprivation is overwhelmed by my excitement and my heart racing. Too bad she is a die hard Pouliot fan (not for hockey skills) but I still get to see her in a jersey?
Watching the game 315 kms off the coast on an oil rig and the jersey is alive and well just like the series.
No matter what tonight brings I am very proud of them all. Let’s all just take a collective breath today and see if we can pull a cat nap before puck drop tonight, for some reason I think we will need it.
Habs fans are the best!! I have to go find more pennies…..
It was such a weird game, it’s hard to say who was the better team. If you include goaltending and special teams, I guess you have to go with the Habs.
Did I LIKE watching the Habs play Jacques’s 1-goal lead-protection system? Get chased and dominated and just desperately try to flip the puck out? Um, no. But they won a game they shouldn’t have. And that goes nicely with the game they should have won but didn’t, you know?
I’ve said Habs in seven all along, and this seems like a bad time to change my tune! I’d just like to see the same commitment to defense matched with some kind of forecheck next game … I’d also like to see better refereeing, but hey, how could it be worse??
A win, but a worrisome one. No even strength goals – where would we have been without the refs. With a few brief stretches, it was like watching a 60 minute PK. Sloppy passing and lack of line chemistry, especially from AK, who seems to be back in the haze of earlier this season. Boston seemed to be clogging the neutral zone more and we didn’t adjust very well. Over-reliance on the older veterans – lucky we didn’t need them for OT. But last of all, thanks to JM for sitting Benny. He had a much better view of the game than either White or Weber, and logged almost as much ice time. Let’s hope Max wasn’t teaching him the finer points of Tweeting up there in the press box.
Third period, especially, we didn’t play together in our own end. Everyone was playing their own game, running around trying to cover the puck. The problem with that is when we finally get posession, everyone’s out of position and it’s really difficult to break out, especially when Boston played really well below the goal line. So we end up flipping the puck, dumping it, or trying to skate it out from deep in our own end resulting in a turnover. The only real good news was that it was a lot harder for Boston to get a change as their bench was furthest from our defensive end (obviously)…I think they tended to stay out a bit longer due to the amount of possession time they had.
Bottom line, it’s the playoffs and it’s only about figuring out a way to win that one game and play another. But the third period reminded me of much of last season’s playoffs where we’d play for lengthy periods in our defensive end, break out finally and score…which eventually caught up to us.
It’s not a beauty contest or “correct hockey” but whatever it takes to win tonight and move on. Whatever it takes.