About last night ….


Fearless prediction for Game 4:
There will be more than two penalties.
And they might not be minors.
If Boston is going to avoid falling into a 3-1 hole when the series resumes Thursday night at the Bell Centre, the Bruins are going to have to be more Bruinish.

Chastened by a Canadiens power play that scored four times in nine opportunities during the first two games of the series in Boston, the Bruins avoided the penalty box in Game 3.

Carl Soderberg, who is not known as the Milan Lucic of Sweden, took the only Boston penalty, a two-minute goalkeeper interference call that Carey Price did a nice job of selling.

The final faceoff might have been a harbinger of Game 4. Lars Eller’s empty-netter had given the Canadiens a 4-2 lead with three seconds left. Claude Julien deplayed his fourth line for the meaningless centre-ice draw, and there was some predictable jostling as the siren sounded.

I think we’ll see more of that in Game 4. And the Boston BS will start long before the 19:57 mark of the third period.

The Bruins will be aggressive from the opening faceoff. And the Canadiens’ ability to deal with aggression will go a long way toward deciding how the rest of this series plays out.

Led by Alexei Emelin’s seven, the Canadiens outhit Boston 36-31 in Game 3. Every skater except Tomas Plekanec and David Desharnais had at least one hit.

Subbed in for Francis Bouillon, Douglas Murray had five hits. The mammoth Swede also blocked four shots, contributing to the Canadiens total of 29 (Emelin had five, Josh Gorges and Mike Weaver four each). The shot blocks exceeded Carey Price’s save total by three.

Because Boston likely will try to go medieval and because Michel Therrien is inclined to stick with a winning lineup, I think we’ll see Douglas Murray back for Game 4. You can time Murray’s skating with a calendar and the advanced-stats weenies hate him, but the mammoth Swede is an effective crease-clearer.

The Soderberg “hit” notwithstanding, Price dealt with less traffic than he had in Game 2. And when the Canadiens’ all-world goaltender can see shots, he stops them.

Price has outplayed Vezina Trophy finalist Tuukka Rask in this series. And P.K. Subban, who’s the reigning Norris Trophy laureate but isn’t a finalist for the award this year, is outplaying Zdeno Chara, who is shortlisted for the 2014 Norris.

P.K. was spectacular in Game 3: 27:50 of ice time to lead both teams, a goal and an assist, giving Subban 11 points in the playoffs. He’s been on the scoresheet in every game except the opener against Tampa Bay.

But stats, advanced or traditional, don’t tell the full story on P.K.

Abused on and off the ice by the Bruins and their more cretinous fans, Subban is playing his best hockey of the season. He’s avoiding the penalty box – the roughing infraction on Reilly Smith was borderline. He’s skating the puck out of trouble, and P.K. is making exquisite tape-to-tape passes to teammates in motion.

Let’s be glad the Bell Centre is home to at least five playoff games this season. Geoff Molson is going to need that scratch to pay the Canadiens’ most valuable skater.

In addition to Subban, Price and Murray, the Canadiens got good-to-excellent Game 3 performances from Plekanec, Lars Eller and his linemates, Rene Bourque and Brian Gionta; Weise, Travis Moen (did you love his savage hit on Jarome Iginla late in the game?), Mike Weaver and Josh Gorges.

Therrien reunited Brendan Gallagher with David Desharnais and Max Pacioretty. Thomas Vanek was moved to Gallagher’s spot with Plekanec and Michäel Bournival. Neither trio set the world on fire against Boston, but Vanek made a nice pass to set up the Plekanec goal.

Daniel Brière played only 6:08 – less ice time than Shawn Thornton – but his head-man pass sent Weise winging away for his second goal of the playoffs.

For the third time in the series, the Canadiens led by two goals in the third period.

This time, they were able to seal the deal in regulation.

Game 4 should be a beauty.



  1. adamkennelly says:

    Habs played a nice game yesterday. I noticed a couple of things – MT is not very good at line matching – a few times we had an opportunity to changes lines for important face-offs – we didn’t and ended up running around in our end for what felt like an hour.

    it appears he modified the forecheck slightly – with earlier pull back so as to avoid odd man rushes the other way and apply immediate and more back pressure. a couple of times I felt it hurt us as players had lines on pucks and pulled back but who knows how many times it saved our asses – cause in games 1 and 2 we saw a ton of odd man zone entires by Boston.

    anyways – game was fun as hell.

  2. mrgordon says:

    There’s so much to love about this team right now, and it’s very easy to start looking ahead. But other than a few bursts I really think the Habs haven’t seen the best the Bruins can throw at them.I really feel that game 4 is as close as possible to a must-win as a game7 would be.

    Tuuka Rask has every so slightly given us a couple breaks, and the Bruins have been prone to naps but they legitimately scare the bejeezus out of me late in these 3rd periods. I’m not sure what the Habs can do differently to weather these storms,
    because it certainly felt like Boston were going to force a tie in a 3rd consecutive game until somehow Eller got the puck out along the boards and I could finally take a deep breath and enjoy!

    Clearly the team’s depth has been a factor; being able to deploy Bournival with Vanek and Plekanec at all is fantastic, let alone near genius! We also have a budding superstar on the shelf right now who I am not even sure we have room for at the moment unless Bourque or Eller begin to trend towards lackadaisical and/or inefficient play. I thought The use of Murray was beneficial last night as well, a lot of those possession/shots advanced metrics in particular last night calculated upwards on a sequence of 3 icings in a row early on when Therrien didn’t burn his timeout. Seeing Murray lay some big body and clear the crease is a valuable tool against a team that thrives on traffic to score.

    I’d really love to see the Habs send Tuuka to the bench early in game 5 because I’ll take up smoking again if I have to deal with another game like last night’s!

    • mrgordon says:

      I also forgot to mention how it seems that Therrien has figured out something for efficient breakouts from the D-Zone and through the neutral zone. I really thought the Habs did a great job in particular of finding the trailing winger on the right side with a cross ice pass through the neutral zone to gain Boston’s zone. Bostom seemed to be giving that to MTL all night and for the most part failed to adjust.

      Also kudos for MTL for not falling for Boston’s ‘Scott Gomez’ zone entry tactic where the puck carrier skates hard in, stops, waits, and finds a point-man wide open. MTL’s coverage of the point and pressure on the puck carrier was a lot better in this game.

      Kudos to the coaching staff for some good adjustments on both sides. But frighteningly it still almost wasn’t enough!

      Some great hockey last night; much better than the NYR/PIT games indeed.

  3. JF says:

    Game two could so easily have been the turning point in this series, with a two-goal lead turning into a one-goal deficit in the space of a few minutes. The Habs could so easily have been playing on their heels, feeling that they’d stolen Game one and were being thoroughly dominated by the Bruins.

    Everything depended on how we reacted to Game two, and both the coaches and the players reacted in a confident, business-like manner. We raised our level, playing by far our best game of the series last night, perhaps our best of the playoffs. We had the edge physically on the Bruins and we outplayed them. We managed the third period well, giving up only seven shots and keeping them at bay until the final minutes, with Rask on the bench for the extra skater.

    Therrien knew after Game two that some adjustments were needed; and, with last change, he had a chance to get the matchups he wanted. Hence Douglas Murray, who could be extremely useful when Therrien could dictate the matchup but a liability when he couldn’t. Murray for Bouillon was probably a fairly obvious adjustment.

    Breaking up the top line, on the other hand, was an extremely gutsy move on Therrien’s part. That line certainly hasn’t been dynamite so far in the playoffs, but most coaches would probably have figured that it was just a matter of time before they started scoring. But Therrien looked at their performance not just in the playoffs, but also in the last few games of the regular season, when they were equally ineffective. There just seemed to be something lacking with that line, and Therrien identified it as “energy,” by which he seems to mean the kind of relentless, in-your-face hard work that Brendon Gallagher and Brandon Prust (when he isn’t injured) bring every shift and that can spark a line. So Gallagher and Vanek switched places. The move worked out for the Plekanec line with Vanek’s beautiful pass for the first goal; and Therrien thought the Desharnais line was more involved than it had been.

    These playoffs should convince the legions of Therrien doubters that he is a good coach.

    We now have the advantage in the series, and the two most dominant players are Carey Price and P.K. Subban. If these two continue playing at the same level, I like our chances a lot better than I did when the series started.

  4. Thomas Le Fan says:

    As great as PK was, I thought Wee Davey, Weiss, Weaver and Bournival had great games, as well. And Murray? Always liked him, slow or not, he’s a force out there.
    I prefer when the referees let teams play and decide the outcome without interference but that sure allows the B’s to get away with a lot more than we do. At least in the game I watched.
    Stay tuned for more nail biting action and I agree, a nastier Bruin game. Let the good times roll! Go Habs!

    Hockey isn’t everything … it’s the only thing … except for beer and guitars!

  5. Hobie says:

    What a game by PK Subban! I liked how the announcers were constantly questioning why the Bruins would even be attempting to hit the guy lol. He’s so fast, so agile and just rolls away when somebody runs at him.

    That goal he scored was just disgusting. When that puck went in I think in erased any doubt of who the best and most powerful player in the building was. Subban has taken his game to another level after hitting a bit of a lull in the regular season. The Canadiens coaching staff has got him playing sensational “all around” hockey now.

    Oh, that Travis Moen hit on Jarome Iginla was great. What a thunderous hit to end the game. perfectly legal too!

    • ffenliv says:

      I liked the hit, but I wouldn’t be so sure it was ‘prefectly legal’. Iginla wasn’t playing the puck, and Moen had plenty of time to let up. He also drilled from the dangerous distance from the boards where players go awkwardly in.

      Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing a big hit like that, but to assume there was nothing at all wrong with it … that might be a bit too much of the Habs-coloured glasses.

      • Hobie says:

        I saw it once quickly. I’ll take your word for it sir. I thought Iginla picked up the pass or it was at least in his skates…

        The reason I say it was legal was because Moen was actually trying to separate a player from the puck and keep it from crossing the blue line. Moen hit him out of desperation. He wasn’t just running at a guy for the hell of it. He was trying to save the game. IMO.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        Here is the hit again…..I would say it was legal as the puck was in his feet.


  6. Psycho29 says:

    Morning Y’all! Great win for the boys! But too close at the end, a nail biter.

    Here was my prediction yesterday:

    May 6, 2014 at 4:22 pm
    Habs will win 5-2 with an ENG.
    A goal each for Patches and Tommy V.

    I was close. Except with the Habs scoring 5 and Max/Van each getting one… Ok maybe not so close! 😉

  7. Mr_MacDougall says:

    I didn’t notice as much as I usually do last night, I was puck watching.. Frigging intense! I had a complete lack of composure.. Getting bag skated today!

    ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

  8. Butterface says:

    Alright, I have read all your comments.

    So now mine is the only truly enlightened post.

    Weaver. Discussion over, he stays in line up. Great acquisition. Why anyone has a beef with him is beyond me. You need to go to a game and just watch him as I did. See my post after Montreal 6-3 win over the Avalanche. (Weavers 6th game as a Hab)

    Murray. Great switch over Boullion for this series. He stays in. You can’t argue with net clearing presence, blocked shots, a positive +/- and an expected goon show in the next game if Montreal takes a lead.

    PK. Playing better than all Norris candidates now. (Especially Weber). His second half of the season long forgotten. He is a series changer.

    Gorges. Rock solid. Blocks shots. Keeps Subban out of trouble. He stays in series. Likely inherits captaincy if we should fail to sign Gionta.

    Markov. Quiet in this series, yes. But he is doing just fine. Stays in. No brainer.

    Emelin. Hitting is not as noticeable as in other Bruin match ups, but he is fairing well. Stays in. Keeps Lucic guessing.

    Tinordi is for next year after he hopefully plays a full season. He makes mental errors and not the good kind. I think he will be a good one, but not this year. I put Beaulieu above him in my depth chart….. but completely different types of players.

    Boullion. I find it really hard to see him as anything but a hole plugger. He played great versus Tampa, but even if we get by the Bruins, if the Pens or Rangers are up I am not sure I want him in. Maybe against the Rangers, but that would be after proving Murray ineffective.

    Now that we have the defence delt with…

    Forwards depth is all good….. except Parros. Don’t play him.

    Moen played well. White could do just fine I think. White has more zip.

    Prust, I wish we had last year’s Prust back. We don’t. He wasn’t awful, but he was ineffective. Let’s hope he gets it back.

    Lastly I see no changes in the line up for next game…though I hope White for Moen does transpire because I see the forecheck speed hurting the Bruins. Montreal’s inability to exit our zone is what is hurting us.

    This series is far from over. The Bruins are that good.

    Each game has seen Montreal improve. I am hoping that trend continues.

    We just needed one more goal to make it 4-0 and I am sure my pre-game prediction to see Rask get pulled would have transpired.

    Game 4 will be a must win for both teams. LIKE EVERY OTHER GAME IN THE SERIES !!!!

    Have they fired Healy yet ?

    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…..

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      PK was playing poor when paired with Boullion.. Coincidence?

      I think the Habs trouble exiting the zone has to do with b’s defence pinching, often times Krug speeds all the way into the corner…

      PS Krug is as much of a rat as Marchand… Just throwing that out there…

      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

    • FlyAngler says:


      Agree on all counts except White for Moen. Moen is one of the only 2 Habs that has a Stanley Cup ring- Gionta is the other and after he hit Iginla into next week, he earned another start IMO. Otherwise I think that you are spot on- especially re: Tinordi & Beaulieu.

      “Elever le flambeau!…Raise the Torch!”

  9. FlyAngler says:

    Greetings to all from Boston! Il fait beau au jour d’hui ici parc que les Canadiens sont la encore! It is simply wonderful to wake up here in Cretinville on the day after a victory over the Evil Empire.

    No one was a bigger critic of David Desharnais earlier this season than I was and even though he is not showing up on the scoresheet as yet against the Bruins, I hope that folks are noticing his stellar defensive play and the way that he is battling like a true warrior and fighting thru every hit. Some of his defensive plays have probably prevented Boston goals in the three games to date.

    While the Bruins are controlling play at times. The Canadiens are battling and fighting in ways that they did not in the 2011 series against the Bruins or in the series against Ottawa last year.

    The Habs need to continue to try to contain Patrice Bergeron who is the Bruins clutch and key performer. Bergeron got the 2 goals against the Canucks in game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals. Bergeron scored the overtime goal against the Leafs after the Leafs blew a 3 goal third period lead. Bergeron scored the tying goal on Saturday in the Bruins win. The Bruins have other weapons, but Patrice Bergeron is their go to guy and the guy who is the greatest threat to beat their opposition. The Habs might not be able to keep him off of the scoresheet altogether but they need to recognize that he poses the Bruins greatest threat.

    Endoscopy for me tomorrow, hopefully the Demerol will still be working at face off time.

    “Elever le flambeau!…Raise the Torch!”

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Indeed Bergeron is their go to clutch performer at all ends of the ice. Krejci has been relatively quiet thus far and hope he remains quiet.

      Enjoy your day amongst the enemy with your head held high Angler!

  10. Ozmodiar says:

    Just glad Therrien reads HiO 😉

    May 3, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    They should let Vanek play on the left next to Pleks. Has everyone forgotten that he prefers to play on the left side??

    Stick Prust on RW with DD and Max. Not much skill in Prust, but they just need someone to bang and forecheck anyway. What have they got to lose? That line has combined for, what, 3 points @ 5 on 5 these playoffs? They’ve become the 3rd line.

    Splitting up Vanek and Max gets one of them away from Chara, which wouldn’t hurt.

    No Prust, and Bourni on the left, so maybe MT just skims over the comments…. 😉

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      Can I copy and paste what I said about Moen when people were trashing him?

      “With a one goal lead late in a game, which Habs winger would you want to have the puck along the boards in a must clear situation? My pick, Travis Moen, not to mention his PK prowess.”

      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

      • Ozmodiar says:

        Yeah, Moen’s underrated around here. Glad he was in the lineup to help hold that lead. Plus, dat hit… 🙂

        • Chris says:

          When Moen is on his game, he is an asset.

          Unfortunately, no Hab floated through more games this season than Moen. Not even Bourque. Whether it was injury-related or not, Moen was not at all good for much of the season.

          I’ve never been a fan of Moen’s game (a guy of his size and role should be much better at forechecking than Moen is), but I’ll gladly eat crow today. He was great last night.

          • Mr_MacDougall says:

            Moen didn’t help the team, but he didn’t hurt the team either. He didn’t hit during the regular season, he bumped. He was very underwhelming, but he always gets open for breakout passes and almost always gets the puck out of the D zone. I could see him scoring zero goals in an 82 game season playing his “new, post concussion style.”

            While I agree it would be nice for him to throw bigger hits, and rough it up more often, he hasn’t lost his responsibility and does not hurt the team, in addition to that, having a 4th liner on the PK is a great asset.

            ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

          • Chris says:

            Mr_Mac: I couldn’t care less if he fights…he shouldn’t, because of his concussion issue. But his forechecking has been terrible.

            jlgib1019: Don’t have to use stats to chastise Moen…my eyes are more than good enough to see that when he is on, he is good. When he is off, he is absolutely terrible. He was on in the Ducks Stanley Cup run. He was on in 2009. He was utter crap last season for the Habs.

            Moen’s reputation as a playoff performer is based on his last two seasons with the Ducks. Since then, he hasn’t done much of anything. He doesn’t hit, he forechecks poorly and has contributed nothing offensively (2 goals and 5 points in 33 games is actually lower production than his regular season stats).

            The one thing that Moen does well is kill penalties, and he is as good at that in the regular season as he is in the playoffs. So in this case, I would say that you are talking out of your rear end.

            He was acquired because of that run in the playoffs with the Ducks. He was re-signed because the Canadiens are desperate for size in the line-up. Ignoring that he has been largely ineffective since his concussion last season is simple denial of reality.

          • Mr_MacDougall says:

            Wooooooo I am not suggesting he fights.. Sorry for the miscommunication. I’ve hated fighting in hockey since I was in pew-wee.. I used to get excited watching it.. But since seeing 10 fights in the tryouts for our Island junior team, I am 100% against it. Well 90%.

            I agree with the negatives you speak of on moen’s game.. And I thought it was just the cup run where he had decent O numbers in the playoffs.. He is an absolute dud offensively, but he does bring some positives, he is above average at breaking out, and above average on the PK.. Doesn’t take penalties or make major gaffs.. He is an underwhelming responsible player.. Definitely useful.

            ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

          • Chris says:

            Just pointing out that your logic is unsupportable…his playoff performance is actually worse than his regular season performance.

            And when Moen is off, he is one of the worst perimeter floaters on the team. Guess you missed the 2013 playoffs altogether. Don’t bother going back to watch…it was ugly all around.

            I guess we are off the insulting people, given the “boner” comment? 🙂 For the record, I am all for tough playoff hockey. What I don’t get is the neanderthal approach to fighting. People talk about “tough guys” as if they are some boon in the playoffs, yet there is almost zero fighting in the playoffs.

            Like so much of the Don Cherry inspired narrative in hockey, reality and perception diverge pretty sharply at Game 1 of the playoffs.

            I think that you win in the playoffs with offensive depth, a strong team commitment to defensive hockey, and goaltending that is there when you need it.

            People rave about Bryan Bickell because he is 6’4″ and 233 pounds. La-dee-da. I rave about Bryan Bickell because he was a 45 goal scorer in junior and he can get you 15-20 goals in the regular season. If he gets hot, he can get 5-10 in the playoffs.

            Now here’s where we differ: Travis Moen is not scoring 5-10 goals in the playoffs. He is never scoring 15 goals in the NHL. He simply doesn’t have that skill.

            Why is Montreal a bigger threat this year? Because they have no fewer than 10- forwards that can get you goals: Vanek, Desharnais, Pacioretty, Plekanec, Gallagher, Bourque, Eller, Gionta, Briere, and Bournival all have that ability.

            I am all for getting big, tough forwards that can hit and forecheck, but I want guys that can also score goals. Moen can’t. Prust can’t. For my money, Moen is better than Prust, because Moen can actually skate. Even when healthy, Prust is a bit of an anchor on his line.

            By the way, back in 2003….I was ranting and raving on old Habs message boards that the Habs HAVE to draft Dustin Brown, not Andrei Kostitsyn. I watch a lot of junior hockey, which doesn’t feature a lot of “Euros”. I love it. I was flipping between the Habs and the Storm-Battalion game last night (the Storm stole Game 3, and are now up 2 games to 1). So believe me…I value hard-hitting hockey just as much as you do. I just want some skill to go with those hitters.

            The best teams in the world are the ones that can put their star forwards in those situations. As you so eloquently put it…”Sorry bro, but this is the modern NHL, whether you like it or not,and you don’t win with a bunch of speedy perimeter floaters.” Nope. Likewise, you don’t win with talentless grinders either. Ask the Nashville Predators, or Florida Panthers, or Toronto Maple Leafs, etc. etc. etc.

  11. 24 Cups says:

    The headmaster missed one important observation in his ALN review – Therrien had Michael Bournival was on the ice last night during the last 30 seconds of the game. That’s a lot of trust from a coach who tends to be conservative and relies on veterans when the games is on the line.

    Knowing that Bournival and Bourque will be productive top nine forwards next year is a great omen for the future.

    24.4 Cups

    • Cal says:

      Bourque getting well-deserved kudos. I am in bizarro world!
      Dontcha love the playoffs?

    • Paz says:

      Bournival’s forecheck led directly to the all important first goal of the game. His speed and work ethic are second to none.
      He was a great leader in major junior, even played back at the point to quarterback the power play.

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      I thought Bournival was going to panic off that FO just outside the Habs zone when Plek won it.. But he gathered himself and cleared the puck… Wow!

      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

  12. Hobie says:

    Michel Therrien deserves a ton of credit. It was easy to be a bit concerned heading into yesterday’s game if you were a habs fan.

    The Bruins were a bit unlucky in game one, they pelted Price with pucks, could have won the game, but Price stood on his head.

    Then the Bruins won game two with a big come back in the 3rd.

    It was conceivable that all Boston had to do yesterday was play the way the did in the 3rd period on Saturday and they could really take it to the Habs.

    Therrien and his staff have shown an amazing ability to motivate the troops, forget about the past and wipe any doubt out of their minds. The Habs are all business under Therrien! Love the guy!

  13. naweed235 says:

    Believe it or not, I think it was a good thing to lose game 2 the way we did; What we have going forward is a Habs team that will know better than to take the Bruins lightly when leading and will never have a moment of “comfort” until it’s all done and over.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I tried to take that approach as well, was easier to accept that concept after we won the game yesterday, I won’t lie! But perhaps that indeed was a great learning tool.

      I just really hope we keep foot on pedal in Game 4, a loss in Game 4 and I don’t like this series at all.

  14. GrosBill says:

    Some highlights of last nights game for me:

    -Subban’s goal got people out of their seats at the Bell Centre and in many homes I am sure.

    – That was one pretty pass from Vanek to Pleck.

    – Gallagher shoving Krug and Hamilton into the Bruins net at the same time was hilarious.

    – Anyone else love seeing Weise do the chest thump after his goal?

    – Was nice to see Moen cream Iggy at the end.

    All in all, it is a good day to be a Hab fan.

    -EDIT: Could list more, but forgot the Price puck toss at Krug.

    • Captain aHab says:

      Highlight to me was Price flipping the puck towards Krug after making a save on him.

      Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

  15. Storman says:

    Sergio Momesso on air last night as Julien put on 4rth liners to end game,, “that ferkin pisses me off” or maybe “that frikin pisses me off” or maybe well you get the jest of it,,

  16. byrneoNL says:

    Boone: The “advanced stats weenies” do understand the good and the bad of Murray. It’s just mostly bad, and a body check here or “crease clear” there doesn’t make up for it over the course of a game.

    Fact: When Murray is on, the Habs directed 8 pucks toward the Boston net. Boston directed 22 pucks toward Carey Price.

    For dummies: When Murray is on, the other team possess the puck and controls the play. Most of his time is spent hemmed in our own zone, with pucks being shot at our goalie, instead of theirs.

    • Cal says:

      Just keep repeating that to yourself.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      Looking at EOTP last night, the guys figured they had to wait until the stats came in to decide if Murray played well or not. They don’t even need to watch the game to inform their decisions.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      I agree. I didn’t see what the commentariat saw in Murray last night. When he has the puck a Bruin will soon have the puck.

      On the other hand he wasn’t bad either. I think it’s a wash between him and Bouillon, and neither player can play every game.
      Moving. Forward.

      • Chris says:

        Agreed. How many times did we see Murray skating after a Bruin forward, reaching out with his right arm to try to grab them because he just doesn’t have the skating ability to stay with anybody anymore?

        Neither he nor Bouillon can play every game. And I’ll concede that I loved his hits last night. But the rest of his game wasn’t as compelling to me. He didn’t greatly hurt the team last night, but he scared the crap out of me on most of his shifts.

    • Captain aHab says:

      I’d be curious to know how many D-Zone faceoffs he was on for. With the Habs typically losing many faceoffs, if he’s starting in his own end, I would expect Boston winning faceoffs to have more shots. Not sure that is Murray’s fault.

      Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

      • Mr_MacDougall says:

        Note, he said “shots directed toward the net, I’m sure shots on goal were closer to a wash, so he used that stat.

        ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      You think pucks directed toward the net is an advanced stat?

      You think one player determines the amount of picks “directed toward the net”

      That’s what infuriates me about so-called advanced stat proponents, they actual think there are advanced stats that tell a story.

      Tell me, how do you quantify strength, endurance, shooting ability, passing ability, offence awareness, defensive awareness, positioning, ice time management, puck battling, zone clearing efficiency, team work…..

      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

      • byrneoNL says:

        It’s an indicator of who is controlling the play. When Murray is out there, we spend no time in the other teams zone (the place where we can score). So when Murray is on, generally, we can’t score.
        When Murray is on, 5-5 even, other teams are in OUR zone 3x as often as we are in theirs. Being in our zone, is how other teams score. It’s not hard, fellas.

        If you’ve ever played rec hockey. You know guy on your team who can’t skate, and when he’s on the ice, it feels like the other team is on a power play for the whole shift? That’s a Murray shift.

    • Captain aHab says:

      The other reality as well is that the Habs don’t have 6 Subbans to throw out there. If I have to pick a guy out of the remainder as a number 6, I don’t think Murray is bad at all. Bouillon can be decent but is aging and I’ve seen Tinordi and Beaulieu also get hemmed in at times this year and they don’t carry the intimidation factor Murray carries. But I guess there’s no stat for that…like when he roadgrades the puck out of the zone by basically pushing the puck and 2 Boston players towards the line. I saw him do that 3-4 times last night. Then there’s the security blanket for when the end of game stupidity starts like it did last night.

      Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

      • Mr_MacDougall says:

        Boullion gets crushed with late hits.. The B’s don’t hit Murray, because that’s like hitting themselves, Murray comes out on top even when he’s hit, B’s don’t like that.

        ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

    • 4-1 vs Boston in the lineup, took away one of the most important tactics that the Bruins use…..intimidation. 😆

      Shane Oliver
      A Little fun during the Intermission
      Brandon Predators

    • chesterfiled says:

      ‘Advanced stats weenies’ is merited. The ‘weenies’ are thankfully not coaching. Bet if you were to super advance investigate, you would find that the Bruins shots and passes were much more hurried. It seemed to me the Bruins were playing like it was no fun for them to play against Murray in the CH zone

  17. Storman says:

    You know your a redneck grandma when: from CNN: DA: First-grader brings his grandmother’s heroin to school..

  18. Captain aHab says:

    Great game last night. Don’t know if Boston has another gear in terms of hitting – we gave as good as we got last night, maybe better (I’m sure Iginla is feeling it this AM) – but I’m sure they’ll find another underhanded low-life gear. Now the goal will be to make them pay if/when the refs penalize them.

    The PP goals in Boston made them think a heck of a lot….THAT’S why Julien was braying about the refs post-game…it basically de-balled his team and he knows he needs for the refs to stay away when he’ll resort to underhanded crap.

    Now when it starts, Habs have to just keep playing their game. I think that’s what undid Detroit.

    Don’t want to see the Habs go on a rampage of hitting…just want to see them pick their spots, à la Moen on Iginla or Murray on anything in a black jersey.

    Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

  19. naweed235 says:

    It’s always a great morning after beating the Bruins. Have a nice day everyone

  20. Ian Cobb says:

    Peel was one of the worse referees in the OHL and was brought up to the NHL after the implementation of the two ref system. He was a nightmare, but now he seems to have matured into a much better ref. Now I am not sure I can say the same about Lee yet.!

  21. mrhabby says:

    Series is far from over..Habs have to be effective down low in our end to keep the freaks off the score sheet. Expect a real ugly game Thursday.

  22. JUST ME says:

    It took quite a few years for the Bell Center to take a life of its own but boy can this place rock !

    It actually took a respectfull hommage to past glories and a very difficult centennial year to understand that the forum would not re-open,Guy Lafleur was not coming back and we better look forward and write new pages in our record book.

    The present season really has something enjoyable about it and probably memorable also but only time will tell about that.

  23. Tomi says:

    Is Michael Therrien still the coach of this team?

    I just wanted to give a shout out to my alter ego Timo who for some reason has been missing in action.
    I think I can divulge that Timo is off somewhere with Rob Ford.

    Let’s just call it “re-hab”.

  24. habsguru says:

    i’m not one for post goal theater, but when Weise gave the bruins a little chest thump…. LOVE IT

    didn’t do it in front of bruins bench, didn’t get in anybody’s face. just enough to show them how stupid they look, and that everyone knows it.

  25. Storman says:

    I mentioned this when it happened,, Brad Marchand ducked out of a hit at the last second last night ,, which could have led to an ugly injury to Emelin who was attempting to hit him, ,,, Funny i did not hear Stock, MacLean or Cherry bring it to viewers attention as a dangerous avoidance of a check,, just another thing to make you go HMMM Sterling job CBC.

  26. Ian Cobb says:

    # 25 is just around the corner folks!

    This is a very entertaining product we have playing for our viewing pleasure! Great hockey team is finally back in town.

    Only 2 negatives to mention is the icings, and the give away’s. Patches is down right scary out there sometimes with his blind back passes.

    Price and the PK were in full bloom last night.
    PK does a fantastic job of maintaining possession, long enough once he crosses their blue line, for his mates to set up. The last great player we had to do this was none other than Big Jean Beliveau. I am just waiting for the day to see the PK playing up front on a line for a game. He is something else up front. I only saw him play up front once and he owed the ice.
    By the end of tomorrow we will be heading to Boston up 3 games to 1.

  27. Maritime Ronn says:

    Absolutely loved everything about Subban’s game last night, yet the highlight from here was his (attempted) hit on Smith – and the HUGE message it sent to the rest of the Bruins.

    Having had the opportunity to watch several Bruins games this year, what was amazing was how just about all their forwards would skate through the neutral zone with their Heads Down.

    Part of their success was that they had little fear of getting hit – or even the threat of getting hit, and if someone did, the gang would jump.
    They basically OWNED the neutral zone, and that lead to easy entry into the O zone.

    No More.
    Now, the Bruins forwards are thinking.
    They KNOW they have to be aware of not only Subban and his crushing neutral zone hits, yet also Emelin…and now, the big physical presence of Douglas Murray in the Habs D zone.

    If the Habs can keep that up, and not allow the Bruins to absolutely control the neutral zone without some fear, then the series is there for the taking.

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Roger that Ronn.
      We have enough over all size to not be intimidated by them now. The biggest difference is we are faster and smarter than the Neanderthals.
      #25, here we come!!

  28. Old Bald Bird says:

    Therrien quote via Basu (emphasis mine): “He made his presence felt,” Therrien said. “I liked how he was physically involved, he kept things simple. He’s a guy that has a lot of respect from his teammates. We could feel that Douglas was in the lineup tonight.

  29. I can’t get over the difference in Therrien, this is the coach I like to hear. He is completely different from the past two years. This is how a coach speaks (media), this is how a coach manages his players, and this could just be something special. Great work Therrien.

    CBC, I was so sick of them I sent them a tweet that I just turned them off and switched to TSN690, they replied with “we pass this on to HNIC and appreciate your feedback” (delete message here).

    Carey Price; Whatever, nothing needs to be said.

    Bruins fans; They were trashing our pre-game show for gawd sake, what a horrible bunch, and the crap our media personalities put up with on social media (some of our guys are no better) is unreal.

    One improvement. Defense!! With the exception of PK and Markov those other 6 give the Bruins way to many freebies, ENOUGH of the free passes from our defensive corners back to their points, it causes too many other offensive plays for the Bruins, and Enough of our wingers not recognizing sooner when the puck is being shot out!

    Bruins are scared now, you could hear it in the way they spoke after the game, they said all the right stuff (they learned from the way Montreal speaks).



    Shane Oliver
    A Little fun during the Intermission
    Brandon Predators

    • Dust says:

      I enjoyed the CBC. Their broadcast is top notch. The annoucing of the game was good. They were fawning all over Carey Price.

      • If they put even half the effort they do into a Leaf game then maybe I could enjoy it. Carey Price is the only player they love, and even then it’s this…”if it wasn’t for Price they wouldn’t even be here” they never credit the Habs for anything. Listen to TSN690 for one period and you’ll never go back, I don’t know why I ever stopped the routine of TSN on PC sound system, and the game on the big screen. I guess I want to be there when they bring some respect for the Habs 😆

        Shane Oliver
        A Little fun during the Intermission
        Brandon Predators

        • Dust says:

          Not true in that they only like price. they gave a ton of praise to a lot of the hab players. But you can hear what you want. They call an excellent game

  30. Storman says:

    By the way did you guys all know that Teemu Selanne is an awesome husband.

  31. JF says:

    Arpon Basu on Therrien and his daring move in breaking up his first line just when he had last change:


    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Bottom 4 Bruins Dmen are average at best.
      Chara cannot play 45 minutes.
      Does Julien match Chara against Max or Vanek?

      • Lafleurguy says:

        Friendly dissent from the Duck. Chara, Boychuk, Krug, Hamilton, Meszaros (in for Bartkowski), Miller are an ideal blend. Krug is a Marc-Andre Bergeron with physicality, and a bit more skilled in all other areas. Hamilton did make a newbie mistake, but as an example, that clearing pass by Gorges late in the third also was a newbie mistake, but made by an oldbie.

        • Maritime Ronn says:

          Krug physical?
          He has 5 hits in 8 playoff games

          Put in perspective, he has less hits per game than the Diaz 1 hit in 1 playoff game.

  32. HabinBurlington says:

    Listening to Rask’s interview regarding the PK goal, while he admits he should have slapped his stick on ice more or louder, he certainly seems okay to say it was mistakes made by his teammates. Now I don’t dispute this, but isn’t that where a goalie usually should keep quiet or say he should have made the save etc…..

    Just seemed like a statement we would never hear from Price.

    • JohnBellyful says:

      Price chills, Rask freezes.

    • Storman says:

      I agree but he does not name Hamilton by name,, and I am sure the Bruins were none too happy with youngsters like Hamilton and Krug calling out there thoughts on how to beat Price,, in a way Rask sort of giving Hamilton another lesson.

  33. Storman says:

    Pierre McGuire LMFAO this just heard on TSN1050,,
    Couple of Mcguire spit out my coffeeesque statements.

    I communicate often with PK Subban

    and the topper OMFFFFGOD he actually said this
    Teemu Selanne is an awesome husband

  34. JohnBellyful says:

    Good morning? It’s a GREAT morning. Always is after a win over the Bruins.
    Was surprised to read this interesting stat in today’s Star http://www.thestar.com/sports/hockey/2014/05/06/subban_price_answer_bell_for_canadiens_in_game_3.html:

    “Boston thinks Montreal is getting all the breaks; Montreal thinks Boston is getting all the breaks. That must mean the refs are doing it right. That said, the Bruins might have been worried about the Game 3 referees: Tim Peel and Chris Rooney. In the regular season in games reffed by Peel, Boston was 4-3. With Rooney, Boston went 3-3. No biggie there. But both gave more minors to the road team (by 20 per cent and 14 per cent, respectively) and Montreal’s record was 3-0 with Peel, 6-1 with Rooney. By this point of the season, players have an understanding of the refs’ tendencies.”

    Hmmm, maybe Peel’s a good ref after all.*
    And I really like that Rooney fellow.

    *Then again, it could be Montreal’s 3-0 in spite of Peel.

  35. Lafleurguy says:

    Duck Thoughts:
    Lucic is a compulsive spearer.
    Ole chanting was soon followed by Bruins’ second goal.
    Two tip-ins were high-skill plays. Agree with Phil they made the score closer than it should have been.
    Then again, Iginla’s second post of the series, and Bruins’ fifth was the loudest Bell clang this season.

  36. JUST ME says:

    So if it basically came down to this, what are the most likely odds ? The Habs beating Rask in 2 of the next 4 games or the Bruins beating Price in 3 of the next 4 ?

    I know that this is the simple way to look at it but still cannot help but be more that confident for the future since those 2 guys are key to their club`s successes. Biggest game of the year tomorrow !

  37. jeffhabfan says:

    Awesome Win from the boys Last night.GO HABS GO.

  38. HabinBurlington says:

    Non Hockey related, but Kevin Durant’s speech for winning NBA MVP award was very heartwarming. To hear an athlete genuinely thanking his Mother and proclaiming her to be the MVP was a very nice thing to watch.

    Kudos to you Mr. Durant!

  39. Old Bald Bird says:

    Because it’s the way I roll, I still predict a Bears victory, but I am extremely pleased with the way the boys are hanging in there. The culture of this club has changed. PK has been awesome. He needs to go to a higher league.

    • chesterfiled says:

      Have a different outcome with my prediction if the 7 comes in to play. PK has to stay with the CH and not leave to play with the Titans

  40. francbiss says:

    It’s not Boston avoiding penalties, it’s the refs not calling them. Lucic and Marchand are 2 cheap shot artists and Chara is holding Habs skaters like the Cartier Bridge at rush hour.

    • Habfan17 says:

      Yes, did you see the clip on CBC last night during the game showing all the slashes Marchand was giving out? There were also a few other cheap shots shown. He is very dirty, but what makes me really
      despise him, is his blatant lies, calling out other players for being dirty while portraying himself as an angel. I would not have as much distain for him if he would be honest and say, ” I am a dirty little turd” Then when he points out that someone else is dirty, I could put up with it, if it is true!


    • zephyr says:

      bingo. holding was not called last nite. while the reffing was poor, it was at least not negligent. that series against Ottawa last yr was the worst I’ve seen.

  41. Mike Boone
    May 7, 2014 at 7:09 am
    Can you imagine having P.K. AND McDonagh? Giving away that stud Dman was Gainey’s biggest gaffe.

    This team would look so different right now had that Gomez deal not been done. One, there’s mostly likely we do not make the playoffs in 2010. 2, our draft pick in 2010 just may have been a top 5 pick (Hall, Segiun?) 3. Our draft pick in 2011 could have been another top 5 pick (Hopkins, Landeskog, Huberdeau). 4. Just maybe by that time the organization is in such a free fall, they trade Carey Price, and we get another top five pick in 2011 (and we still get Galchenyuk) but have Halak in goal, so the losing continues (we don’t know).

    So interesting how it all turned out. I love it!

    Shane Oliver
    A Little fun during the Intermission
    Brandon Predators

  42. UKRAINIANhab says:

    Good read. I loved the strategy to get Vanek off Chara. Pleks and Vanek played well together.

  43. Maritime Ronn says:

    Julien on the Subban goal…
    ” I thought our lack of awareness cost us,’’ said Julien.
    To use a favored Julien phrase, what a complete load of crap.

    That had little to do with awareness, and everything to do with the brutal choice of a 2nd PP Unit.

    How come the media isn’t calling Julien out?

    While it may be fine to START a power play with 4 forwards and 1 Defenceman, you NEVER finish a power play with 4 forwards and 1 Dman – and an inexperienced one at that, for the exact reason on how the Subban goal was scored.

    The Play:
    With a little under a minute left in the Subban penalty, Julien decides to put the following players on the ice:
    Reilly Smith-Eriksson-Soderberg-Bergeron-Hamilton.
    4 forwards – 1 Dman.

    Time on Ice Report:

    The same are on the ice when the Subban penalty expires.
    The 1 Dman left – that being Hamilton. (who Pierre McGuire called the next Larry Robinson – too funny)

    With Eller skating up the ice, Hamilton makes a Bozo play from the other side and goes after Eller, leaving Subban a clear path to the net and a lost Patrice Bergeron looking on.

    No, Coach Julien.
    That wasn’t about a lack of awareness.
    That was ALL about you and some awful player choices.

  44. HankHardball says:

    To a man, these Habs have bought into the team concept. They’re all about finding a way to win. Whatever it takes.

    With each game in this series the Habs have played better. To the point where I don’t think the Bruins can beat them on home ice right now.

  45. Habfan10912 says:

    Good morning all! Very happy today in HIO land I assume? Some thoughts.

    – Bournaval should not sit out another game. A very good performance last night as is his usual.

    – PK is the best player on the ice in this series. Not even close. What a wonderful athlete.

    – Weaver and Weise may have been underwhelming at the time but they have been HUGE in Montreal’s playoff performance. Great job by Bergevin.

    – Murray Lots of talk last night about his speed or lack thereof. I think playing at home Murray’s minutes can be best managed. There were times last night where size mattered and it was vital to have him in there. MT has to be careful with his matchups though.

    – The goon coach sending Sonny boy Campbell and Thorton out there with 2 seconds remaining was just another reason to despise this team. They are the most classless team I’ve seen since the Flyers of the 70’s. This goes way beyond their style of play. Utterly disgusting.

    – Last and not least a personal contention. I know its symbolic. I understand it can hold different meaning for different people and cultures but I was so happy at the Bell Centre crowds respect for the US Anthem last night. Great job folks! Class!

  46. Cal says:

    MT has shown what he can do when he has the horses, eh?
    Despite all Habs fans’ hypertension levels, the Habs dominated for about 2/3rds of the game, getting better as it went on. Only 2 spectacular puck in-the-air deflections got by Price, who was doing his best sponge impression. The thing that impressed me most about Price’s play last night was the way he stood tall until he had to make a move. This gave the Gooins no net to shoot at.
    Lucic’s crossbar was equaled by Vanek’s.
    PK was nothing short of amazing. He led the team last night and is showing that, come playoff time, he is Montreal’s new general. If PK is a Corvette, Murray is a destroyer. In 12.5 minutes, he played a smash mouth game. Those saying he can’t get the puck out of his end should take a look at the forward line doing a piss poor job of moving the puck out. That 2 minute sequence when the Habs were bottled up is all on the forwards, not Murray and Weaver. And what can you say about the Dream Weaver. Rescued from Florida, he has shown nothing but heart, grit and a determination to win at all costs.
    All in all, it was a great team effort that sealed this win. Weise with the winner? I must be drunk…with anticipation for the next game.


  47. Phil C says:

    If that win does not convince you that the Habs are for real, I don’t know what it would take. Not only were they able to get a lead quickly again, they gave Boston almost nothing in the third period, giving up 7 shots. The final score flattered the Bruins last night. The Bruins will have to make some serious adjustments or this thing is over in 5.

    Kudos to the coach, all his moves worked last night. I like the presence of Murray as well, even if he gets pinned in his end at times. One of the things Boston were really good at is breaking out with speed through the neutral zone. Murray’s well timed pinches and the threat of the big hit like he did on Bergeron definitely slowed down the Bruins a little bit. Every little advantage adds up. I also think he will get better the more he plays as it is tough to come out of the pressbox and into the pace of playoff hockey.

    And how about Plekanec in the faceoff dot against the best in the league? He cleanly won several key defensive zone face offs. This makes me think his faceoff stats do not reflect his skill.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Habs have to try and forget they are up 2-1 and play game 4 like a Game 7. To lose game 4 gives all momentum back to Boston and turns it into a best of 3 series with 2 games in Beantown.

      I realize cliche filled comments by me, but Game 4 is as big or bigger than last night.

      Was great to see the Habs outplay the B’s for 60 minutes. And while Krug and Hamilton may think they are in Price’s head, not one Bruin skater beat Price on a clean shot, 2 great deflections were all that beat him.

  48. BJ says:

    Well as many of you I’m glad to have survived the third period. If I’m MT at this point I pull out old videos of J.C. Tremblay and I have PK show the forwards and D’s hop to flip the puck up towards centre ice. And then I keep Markov and Gallagher on for an extra 15 minutes as they seem the most guilty of icings. With having this new skill mastered it will allow me to set aside the nitro for the third period.

  49. rhino514 says:

    Weaver is an astounding +16 in 24 games with the habs.
    Does he deserve perhaps more than 12 minutes per game, given our relative lack of depth on D?
    Also, is it just me or does Markov seem to be quasi-invisible (tired?) in this postseason so far?

    Without even one of Weaver, Weise, or Vanek, the habs would be down 3 games to nil in this series.
    In fact, given the closeness of the games with Tampa, they may well not have gotten out of that series. At least one of these 3 guys has pulled off something big in each game so far.
    With Weaver it is not quite so apparent, but he´s made some blocks so far which I´m pretty sure would have led to goals.

    It is truly astounding what Marc Bergevin pulled off as far as personnel moves, starting with the Diaz trade. We wouldn´t be here if it weren´t for him. We may not have even made the playoffs, if you al remember the funk the team was in after teh Olympic break.
    He deserves an enormous amount of credit.

    • BJ says:

      I think Markov is simply inching towards safety, and rightly so. He has not yet been burned by pinching in.

    • Phil C says:

      I haven’t heard anyone complain about Weaver’s lack of size for a while either. Some players play bigger than their stats and Weaver is certainly one of them. I love the experience the Habs have on the Blueline right now.

  50. Mavid says:

    PK..thats all

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  51. chesterfiled says:

    Fun game to watch. Have a feeling MT will reinsert Bouillon, but with Tinordi. Will be fine. 10 more wins!

  52. HankHardball says:

    Kudos to Bell Center fans for picking up the Habs when the Bruins applied some pressure.

    Now I fully expect the Habs and home ice advantage to take control of the series with a win in game 4.

    Then I double dog gone dare the Bruins & Rask to beat Price 3 games in a row.

    The winner of game 4 wins this series. And I like our chances, baby!

  53. rhino514 says:

    Observations so far:

    The guy I am happiest for this postseason: Lars Eller, by a mile.
    His season was so bad there were even whispers of a trade at the deadline.
    How about the way he pulled over the defender to his side to give PK just enough room for the breakaway?
    I think Lars plays well and is productive and threatening when there is depth in the lineup and he isn´t counted on to produce goals. This is why the addition of Vanek, or, more likely, another twenty plus goal scorer, this summer (even if we have to overpay via free agency or by trade), is important to this team.
    Though I am confident they will sign someone, we are still a solid D away from being a monster team. It becomes abundantly clear when we are not able to hold leads against elite teams, and is why my head says Bruins in 7 (habs will win the next game and then lose 3)
    Question; if we had kept McDonagh, would Subban have been given the chance to develop and take the starring role which has been vouchsafed for him?
    An interesting thought, methinks.

  54. HabinBurlington says:

    Compare Price’s reaction with his skate on Soderberg (after goalie interference) to that of Krug when PK in crease. Storman mentions below, but watching the replay I’m not so sure it’s accidental.

  55. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Difference between class & jackass?

    Lars Eller with the empty netter & no celebration. Just a business like approach.

    Milan Lucic with the empty netter in game 2, pounding his chest like a friggin idiot & forgetting all about his cousin Karma.

    • Slackman says:

      yeah I noticed that too. Even Martin Biron though Lucic’s over-the-top celebration was uncalled for. I mean he deked…. nobody. He beat…. nobody. Does he think he’s extra skilled or something for scoring on nobody?

      “When the going get’s weird, the weird turn pro”

  56. Ghab says:

    Hey Boone, a nice job in selling? The guy put both arms in Carey’s neck.

    • Butterface says:

      Yup… I thought it was a bad call, but as I looked over and over he did not need to double fist Carey in the face….it was a penalty and one that needed to be called. There would have been blood in the coming shifts if not. The Bruins deserved more penalties than 1.

      If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…..

      • chesterfiled says:

        Watched it on the CBC and could not believe I was hearing Healy call it a proper penalty, but also Sodderberg a dumb-dumb for taking it

  57. jon514 says:

    So… Is there a single person that still thinks it would be a good idea for the habs to keep Vanek over PK?

  58. Un Canadien errant says:

    I imagine Jeremy Jacobs in the owner’s box, planning the Bruins’ strategy for Game 4.

    Because, what do you know, when the Bruins stick to hockey rather than sacrileges onto the human dignity, we can handle them. Jarome Iginla is still slow, their rookie defencemen can be pressured, Zdeno Chara is not all that useful when he’s not crosschecking in the corners with impunity. The Bruins made it close at the end, but the Canadiens controlled this game and won it handily, adding an empty-netter for a final score of 4-2.

    Midas Therrien channeled his former self, deciding that “on n’a pas l’temps d’niaiser” (meaning, “we don’t have time to mess around”), as he’d famously said before Game 2 of the shortened season last year, as an explanation for scratching Lars Eller after what he felt was a listless outing in the very first game.

    In this case, he felt he’d seen enough of the #1 line’s ineffectiveness during the playoffs, and sat down with them this morning and announced that he was making a change in the lines, reuniting Brendan Gallagher with David Desharnais and Max Pacioretty, and giving Thomas Vanek another shot at playing with Tomas Plekanec. He explained to the press corps after the game that he also wanted to give his lines a spark, having a player who can bring “energy” to each line.

    And again, what the Coach touched turned to gold. The David Desharnais line didn’t contribute, but they didn’t seem lethargic. Max used his speed to constantly threaten the Bruins, their defencemen were scrambling to contain him all game. Meanwhile, Thomas Vanek made a beautiful pass to set up the Canadiens’ first goal midway through the first, and for the rest of the game constantly attacked the Bruins zone, taking shots and making passes. This was a big improvement over the first two games, in which he was invisible for vast stretches.

    The tinkering didn’t end there. Michel Therrien scratched an ineffective, probably ailing Brandon Prust, and returned Travis Moen to the lineup. Travis was steady-eddie, although he was lowlighted on Gaston Therrien’s post-game analysis on RDS for blowing a defensive backchecking assignment that almost led to a Bruins goal. He more than made up for it in my mind with a thunderous bodycheck of Jarome Iginla at the end of the game.

    The final adjustment was sitting out Francis Bouillon and plugging in designated mastodon Douglas Murray. The coach explained that the decision was not due to dissatisfaction with Cube’s play, but rather just an opportunity to add toughness and size to the lineup. Having the last change probably made the head coach more comfortable with that move, giving him control of when and against who he’d be on the ice against.

    Douglas played well, using his size to throw a few hits. He was very effective in the offensive zone when he’d move up from the blue line to counter a Bruins winger and prevent zone clears. The thought occurred to me that if it’s a choice of supporting the attack or chugging back to defend, Douglas will probably be more at ease with the former, and one of the forwards can probably do just as well as he’d do if he was beaten on his gamble.

    Another way I noticed the team tailoring their play to when Douglas was on the ice was Carey Price, freezing every puck that came his way, to reset, as opposed to when Andrei or Josh or P.K. is around, and he feels comfortable sending the puck their way to launch the counter-attack. Douglas is willing but sometimes unable to clear the zone with ease, so it makes sense for Carey to play it safe when he’s around. In return, he can feel secure that he won’t get scrummed when the big Swede is around.

    Dale Weise is unrecognizable when compared to his stint as a Canuck. With his former team, Dale would often show stone hands, creating opportunities with his size and speed on the forecheck, but failing to cash them in routinely, he’d make you wince, agonize about what could be if he was just a touch more lucky. Well he’s already scored an overtime winner against Tampa, and tonight he used his skating to get clear on a breakaway, thanks to a nifty pass from Daniel Brière, and scored a big goal on Tuukka Rask. He added an assist for good measure.

    P.K. showed some confidence verging on hubris when he declared to RDS’ Chantal Machabée in a brief board-side interview in the pre-game warmup that he “was only getting started”, when she asked him about his strong play so far in the series. It’s not arrogance if you can back it up though, and he did, picking up another two points and catching Brent Seabrook for the scoring lead for defencemen in the playoffs.

    P.K.’s goal was a thing of beauty, started by the penalty kill duo of Dale Weise and Lars Eller. As Lars skated the puck into the neutral zone, he noticed P.K. about to jump on the ice from the penalty box. Lars kept to the opposite side of the ice, showing the Bruins the puck, hypnotizing them with it, before hitting a wide-open P.K. with a beautiful pass that hit him in stride. P.K. then showed off his confidence, attacking Tuukka Rask with a couple of fakes and dekes that undressed him, and having a gaping net to deposit the puck in as a result.

    Mr. Rask is not playing badly, per se, his performance isn’t lindbackian, but he doesn’t seem settled, confident. He’s not getting blown out, but he’s not making the big save that his team would need. The Antichambre boys think he looks nervous, whereas Carey exudes calm, and that both teams are picking up on that.

    The Canadiens played with fire a little bit, despite being exhorted by the coaches to ‘keep pushing’, to not let off the gas pedal late in the third. The Bruins narrowed the deficit to one goal on a Jarome Iginla deflection of a shot from the point, with an extra attacker on the ice and their net empty.

    The thing is, that sequence started in the Bruins zone, when the Canadiens forwards were buzzing around the net. Unfortunately, eventually the puck slid lazily towards the blue line, and I couldn’t see a Canadiens defenceman there to blast it at the net, but I kept waiting for one to appear in the frame. Maybe they’ve just changed I thought. And another couple of seconds went by, with no blueliners coming in, the Bruins corralled the puck and took it into the Canadiens’ end and eventually scored. I guess the boys had already dropped back into the neutral zone, to defend, but all it meant was an easy defensive zone clear by the Bruins, and a waltz into our zone.

    So it’s a hard lesson to learn, that the Bruins are poor in their own zone, when they’re on their heels they scramble and their coverage breaks down, but when they get into our end, and they’re desperate for a goal, they’re big and tough and dangerous, especially in the third period as we’ve already seen. So let’s not play rope-a-dope with them, let’s not try to collapse around our goal like Custer at the Little Big Horn, let’s keep the puck in theirs and seeing just how rattled Mr. Rask can get.

    In my natural pessimism, I predicted a Bruins series win, aided by the myopic refereeing and the SmashUp Derby hockey that is preferred by the league in the playoffs. I said that if the Canadiens played well, they might push it to six games.

    Well, the Canadiens did play well tonight, the Bruins didn’t seriously try to disembowel or decapitate anyone, and now the best result Boston can hope for is a series win in 6 games. I’ll enjoy it for now, but my natural pessimism will start to gnaw at me soon, making me fear what abysmal level the Bruins will stoop to in Game 4.

    My sources are unreliable, but their info is fascinating.–Woody Paige


    • Michael says:

      Can you please post the unabridged version?

    • Marc10 says:

      The Bruins will have to do something. PK is killing them. Price is cool as a cucumber… and scoring threats are popping up on virtually every line MT puts together.

      Thornton looked like an imbecile pulling his goon shtick at our Captain with no time left on the clock. I noticed Murray and Weaver were there to keep the cretin in line.

      That was a painful loss for Boston. They nearly had momentum… And now they can’t lose the next one. You can feel the Canadiens surging. Eller, Bourque, Weise, Bourni, Vanek, Pleky, Gally… They’re coming in waves now. Moen, Murray and PK laid some big hits on tonight. Even St Chara got a nasty slash from Bournival…

      I’m not counting my chickens yet, but it’s nice to see this Habs team of ours skip a few steps in their rebuild plan and put a display of speed and skill on the ‘President’s Trophy Winners’. An impressive display of character and poise. Gotta hand it to this crew… I’m shocked and awed!


  59. CH Marshall says:

    Sorry boys and girls.. let’s not take ANYTHING for granted. The Bruins aren’t dead yet.

  60. Rad says:

    I am not too concerned about Bruin “aggression” in the next game. They know they can’t take penalties against a potent Habs power play. They will try and outhit the Habs, something they did not do tonight, but if they cross the line, this series will be over in 5.

    • donmarco says:

      They’ve tried that many times before and fallen flat on their faces. With the PP revived, if they goon it up it will be 3-1. Plays right into the Habs hands.

    • johnnylarue says:

      I agree. Bruins will only go full-goon if they have a comfortable lead on the scoreboard. Otherwise they’ll keep to their standard behind-the-scenes stick-work and completely ineffective (and increasingly ineffective) schoolyard head games.

      If they start taking asinine penalties, they’re dead.

    • Marc10 says:

      We’ll be fine at home. In Boston, it’s a different animal. The refs will be intimidated for the wrong reasons. Last changes and match ups being what they are on the road, you have to manage when Crankshaft is on. Otherwise, I never had a problem with the big man. Against Boston, he’s just the ticket to perform some elective chiro adjustments to the guys brave enough to skate near Price.

  61. D Mex says:

    Ugh – had to leave the house with less than 3 minutes to play and Habs leading 3-1. By the time I got into the car, it was 3-2 and probably just as well I wasn’t reading posts here.

    TSN 690 broadcast on XM, it was great to hear that Moen hammered Iginla with the game winding down and then, after the empty-netter by Eller, even better to hear Momesso declare that Julien’s line selection on the final faceoff ” really p!sses me off. ”

    I am convinced Habs are capable of eliminating the Bs in this round. Not saying it will be easy, only that it’s do-able. Looking forward to the CH Express re-broadcast … 😀

    ALWAYS Habs –
    D Mex

  62. johnnylarue says:

    Re: White in for Brière (from below)

    Whitey would play with a chip on his shoulder for sure… but I really haven’t seen him play physical much this season, and there’s always a worry with him that he’ll go too far at the worst possible moment.

    So far, I’m not seeing the Bruins getting away with the kind of crap they unleashed on the Canucks in 2011. They really are a different team now–take out Ferrence, Horton, and McQuaid and the a-hole quotient takes a major hit. I’m just not sure how much more muscle we even need agains these ass-hats, to be honest.

    I say let’s just score a bunch more goals on their head-case of a goalie and move on.

  63. donmarco says:

    “Stuck” in Vegas at a trade show, but managed to convince a waitress at the Encore to put on the game for the last two periods. To think how close we would have been to a 3-0 lead is maddening but the Bruins looked completely lost. It is so pleasurable to watch the Habs playing the way they are, even Bruins fans at the next table had to admit their team has been completely outplayed. Will still be here for Game 4. Too bad there’s no number 76 in roulette.

  64. Timo says:

    First, let me say that when Habs bring their skating game, Bruins are not even in the same league.

    Murray makes other players on the team play bigger. Therrien is a moron for going with his midget geriatric show Bouillon until Habs lost. Murray is needed in the lineup, especially for the next game. Boone is right – Bruins will be hitting everything in sight.

    And this team needs to skate skate skate for full 60 minutes.

    I was hoping that Subban’s hit was going to wake Vanek up, but not really. He looks like he picks his spots and that seems to work for him. At least he didn’t make any glaring defensive errors.

    And last, but not least, Habs need to be a whole lot better getting out of their zone. Again, too much time spent trying to move the puck out, especially in the first.

    Sigh. Thursday won’t be easy.

    • Mr. Biter says:

      Timo, Vanek, had a perfect pass assist on the 1st goal and a bit lower would have lowered the blood pressure of many on this site. He`s payed to get points.

      Mr. Biter
      No Guts No Glory

    • Da Hema says:

      I was laughing about your comment the Habs need to get a “whole lot better getting out of their zone.” You are right, but it was mostly Murray who was responsible for that! But in my opinion, as was noted in numerous posts below, what Murray brings in terms of toughness and meanness more than offsets his defensive liabilities. The Habs play ten pounds heavier with him on the ice. I am sure Scotty Bowman would have preferred to have played anyone but Gilles Lupien when he coached the Habs, but Lupien kept other teams — especially Boston and Philadelphia — more honest. The good thing is Bowman understood that, and hopefully Therrien does too with respect to Murray.

    • CH Marshall says:

      Was watching game with my buddy and his dad, and dad was saying the same thing: ZONE CLEARANCES. Still the, we won. Thank gawd

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Timo, when you say that Michel Therrien is a moron, it kind of blows back on you. If you can’t appreciate the job the coaching staff is doing juggling their lines and adjusting the roster, just to continue your tiresome shtick, it doesn’t show much mental acuity or agility on your part.

      Evaluate the facts. They’re all around you. Give the man his due. He’s taken a roster you and me didn’t hold out much hope for to a 100 point season, and another series lead against the dreaded Bruins, everyone’s shoo-in for the Stanley Cup finals from the East.

      He could have been all doom and gloom after Game 2, but Monday during his presser he did his standup comic act, playing it loose and unconcerned, he defused what could have been a tight team, and they came out ready to play today.

      • Slackman says:

        You hit the nail right on the head. Timo’s posts are getting predictable and desperate. He types (slowly, index fingers only, one letter at a time) Bouillon and Therrien, over and over and over and over. Now he seems to be going after Vanek (which is ridiculous because he’s playing well; He had the primary assist on Plekanec’ goal and his furious backcheck stopped a 2-on-1 early on.)

        Timo’s just an attention seeking idiot who, when faced with a logical rebuttal, turns into a coward, responding only to those who didn’t call him out.

        “When the going get’s weird, the weird turn pro”

  65. Garbo says:

    Hey advanced stats weenies, take a look at this: Murray is the boss.

    Try watching the game instead of the scoresheet

  66. rogieshan says:

    It may be wise for Therrien to sacrifice a little offense (Briere) for some added beef (Prust or White) on Thursday just to counter the extra heat the Bruins will be bringing.

    I totally agree re: Murray. I thought the Bruins were less aggressive at driving to the crease whenever he was on the ice. Have to give the man some love for coming in and contributing after sitting for three weeks.

    • Da Hema says:

      Prust should not play another game now. There is clearly something quite wrong with him physically, despite what Therrien says. Prust can’t even take a routine pass without it flying off his blade. I agree White should play next game. I appreciate Briere helped set Weise free to score, but frankly Briere’s contributions are approaching nill now. Briere out, White in. With Murray, Moen, and White, the Habs can play a physical game against the Bruins — a game paradoxically they don’t like playing. The Bruins like to play dirty, but dirty isn’t tough. It is amazing how the Bruins are just like high school bullies — if you hit back they withdraw.

      • Timo says:

        Agree… White in for game 4. I don’t subscribe to that “you don’t change the winning roster” BS. That theory brought Habs game 2.

        You make adjustment when/as necessary and having a bit more muscle and grit for the next game is necessary.

    • johnnylarue says:

      Regarding Brière: he managed to find the scoreboard again with less than 7 minutes of ice time, with a crucial assist on the goal which became the game winner.

      I thought the Habs acquitted themselves more than respectably in the physicality department tonight. Subbing in a (somewhat rusty) White–who doesn’t seem to fight much anymore–would be taking a significant downgrade in the skill department (the Habs’ strength) in order to engage in an arms race they could never hope to win against the Bruins.

      The lineup looked pretty darned solid tonight, even with the occasional prolonged adventure in the D-zone. It’s an obvious trade-off, but I think Murray’s bone-smushing potential and shot-blocking more than make up for his inability to manipulate the puck in any meaningful way.

  67. Da Hema says:

    I understand those who swear by Corsi believe Murray is one of the worst defencemen in the NHL — and I don’t need Corsi to see that Murray frequently struggles in his end — but what so-called advanced statistical analysis does not reveal is that when Murray plays, the Habs are 10 pounds heavier and the Bruins are 10 pounds lighter. Stick that in your Corsi and smoke it!

    I also must say kudos to Mr. Moen. It appears to me he is in a rather foul mood with respect to the Bruins. I am glad he is using the Kevan Miller fight — one that he lost because Miller just came on the ice and Moen had finished a long shift — for some payback. To Mr. Iginla: if your going to play for the Bruins, expect to get hit for your teammate’s transgressions.

    • rogieshan says:

      My thoughts exactly. Murray’s game is perfectly suited against a team like the Bruins.

      I didn’t like how the play-by-play crew on HNIC were dissing him on air tonight.

      • Da Hema says:

        Murray got better as the game progressed. The first period for Murray was pretty bad — he was clearly rusty. But Murray must be in there just for what he did with three seconds left in the game: Thornton was looking to hurt someone, but all he did was yap once he saw Murray was on the ice. Thornton would never fight Murray. Murray would knock him into tomorrow — and Thornton knows it too.

        • D Mex says:

          Agree, hippo. Thing is, Murray is pretty much alone to face the gang of nimrods Julien has frothing at the mouth.

          Murray is money against an opponent – any opponent – that he can work along the boards, and this alone is enough for me to want him back next season. He doesn’t have to play every game, but having him in the fold is important for the team, especially the younger players. MB just needs to find another big piece to help him carry the load against the kind of BS we’ll be seeing in game 4.

          ALWAYS Habs –
          D Mex

  68. Storman says:

    The more i see Krug’s skate to PK’s mid section cutting his jersey,, the more I dis like it,, only he knows what he was thinking but looked dangerous and very careless too me.

  69. Say Ash says:

    Loved the Reno/Gionta fist pump.

  70. Storman says:

    Carey Price did a nice job of selling,, Really ? you may want to watch that penalty again Booney,,no selling necessary,,

    • Clay says:


      ☞ “The deepest sin of the human mind is to believe things without evidence” ~ Aldous Huxley ☜

    • Butterface says:


      Now concerning the first penalty. I really thought Smith sold it.

      If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…..

  71. vlhorowitz says:



    Ça sent la coupe!!! GHG!

  72. Habitant in Surrey says:

    ‘For those of us from Boston, it was Bizarro World. I mean, aren’t the Canadiens supposed to be the flopping, entitled cry babies? Aren’t our guys supposed to be the strong, silent, manly bunch?

    Face it, Subban-haters. This has been the P. K. playoff series thus far. He has been everywhere. He has been the nemesis and the newsmaker. He has been chippy and worthy. He has been a force of nature. The Bruins have had no answer.’

    Dan Shaughnessy, The Boston Globe

    • ebk says:

      The Bruins, their fans and the reporters that cover the team are hilarious in their hypocrisy. They whine little babies and actually believe they play an honorable style of hockey. Any team with Marchand and Lucic on it are far from honorable. Lucic speared Emelin in the gonads again(or damn close) and Marchand should be called for a penalty every time he’s on the ice. If you want to play a big tough style of hockey, don’t cry every time one of your players gets hit.

      Julien whining works, however, as the Bruins got exactly the style of refereeing they need to win. They just couldn’t get it done.

      Game 4 will be huge!!!!

    • Mondou6 says:

      Shaughnessy is a troll. His only shtick is to be a contrarian and write stuff to enrage the locals. He has no real opinions, just a sh-t stirrer.

  73. TheCanadianDagger says:

    What a game by all! Punctuated with Moen pasting Iggy, who I used to love. Now he is just a whiner.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.