Hot Bruins return to Montreal

Bergeron

The Bruins return to the Bell Centre Monday, which is where they last lost a game on Oct. 29. Since then, they’ve reeled off eight straight victories — their longest streak in two years. They won 10 straight in the 2008-09 season. They have climbed to seventh in the East, one point ahead of the Canadiens. Boston has played two fewer games.

Six of the B’s eight wins came in Boston, but not their dominant 6-0 victory over the Islanders on Saturday — the same Islanders who beat the Habs a few days earlier. That was only the Bruins fifth road game of the season (they’re 3-2). They played 13 of their first 17 at home and now their schedule gets a bit road-heavy. The win on Long Island was the first game in a stretch in which Boston plays 12 of 19 on the road.

Like the Rangers, whose seven-game streak was snapped by the Canadiens on Saturday, Boston’s opposition during their streak has not come from the strongest clubs in the NHL. The Bruins defeated the Islanders (twice), Columbus, Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton, New Jersey and Buffalo.

But unlike the Rangers, who did not overwhelm their foes during their streak, Boston has frequently played dominant hockey. They outscored these eight teams by a combined 44-13 and only two of the games were close, a one goal win over the Devils (on a late goal by Benoit Pouliot) and a shootout win over the Blue Jackets.

And as the 6-2 victory over the Sabres demonstrated (as if the world needed a demonstration), they are back to being the physically punishing team they were last spring.

After losing the home-and-home to the Habs which dropped them to the bottom of the East, Claude Julien and his staff went to work on the mental side of the game, doing lots of video work to rebuild the team’s psyche, shaking off the short offseason and the Cup hangover, telling they all was not lost and reminding them how to be a team that was hard to play against.

“The mental part of our game just wasn’t there,” Julien said after last Saturday’s win. “The players in practice, the execution wasn’t there and it wasn’t out of laziness, it was just mentally, we hadn’t cut the cord yet. Somehow we had to find a way to get these guys to understand the urgency.”

It seems to have worked, at least for these eight games. It translated into better skating and execution, and the Bruins forecheck — which was not effective prior to the streak — has been revived. That could pose a challenge to the young Montreal defence corps, although they did quite well not allowing the Rangers to get a forecheck going at all on Saturday.

Some of the Bruins who were sleepwalking at the season’s start have awakened. Nathan Horton has eight points in his last six games. Brad Marchand has eight points in his last five. On the blue line, Zdeno Chara has 10 points during the streak and Joe Corvo has six points in the last six game.

Corvo is also a plus-12 during the streak, while Chris Kelly is a plus-9 and Gregory Campbell is a plus-7. All were minus players before it.

Milan Lucic got hot when the streak started with seven points in the first four games, but he’s got only one point in the last four.

The best Bruins skaters the last time they faced the Habs — Tyler Seguin and Patrice Bergeron — have been consistently good all season. Bergeron has 12 points in his last 12 games.

Seguin has only one point in his last three games, but he’s still their top scorer with 11 goals and 21 points, which is 12th in the NHL. His plus-17 is second in the NHL and Kelly (plus-13), Marchand (plus-12), Chara (plus-12) and Bergeron (plus-11) are all in the top 10.

The Bruins are the best faceoff team in the league, winning 54.9 percent of their draws. Bergeron is at a remarkable 58.7 percent, David Krejci is at 55.3 percent.

The B’s goaltenders, Tim Thomas and Tuukka Rask, have been strong during this streak, of course, but with the dominance by Boston on the scoreboard, they haven’t had to steal too many of these games. Thomas was stellar against the Devils, especially in the first two periods; Rask was very good against Columbus, especially in overtime. Thomas will likely get the start on Monday.

Here’s how the Bruins should line up for the teams’ third meeting of the season.

Milan Lucic, David Krejci, Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, Tyler Seguin
Benoit Pouliot, Chris Kelly, Rich Peverley,
Daniel Paille, Gregory Campbell, Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara, Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg, Joe Corvo
Andrew Ference, Adam McQuaid

Tim Thomas
Tuukka Rask

28 Comments

  1. HabsfaninMA says:

    The favoritism shown to Boston has been unbelievable. I can’t recall seeing a Stanley Cup champion getting the schedule to start that season that the Bruins have received. 14 of the first 17 at home?? No back-to-back games until game 21? Is it any wonder they have won 8 straight with that schedule?

    Combine that with the fact that the Bruins are not punished for ANYTHING, and you have some pretty blantant bias against the Goons. The great Bruins “fans” can talk all they want about opposing fans whining, but in reality, most Bruins fans are bandwagon jumpers and are not true hockey fans. They know nothing about hockey beyond their team. Trust me, I know since I was born and bred in Boston. Plus, the Bruins fands get all their info from the WORST broadcaster in sports – Jack Edwards.

    The only good news is that other teams around the league are seeing what the Goons are getting away with (Chara hit, middle finger, water bottle, running Miller, etc.). Hopefully, no team will show them any respect. They certainly don’t deserve any.

    Go Habs Go!

  2. habfan01 says:

    Decisions, decisions… Habs vs Bruins on one channel. Pats on the other. Better get fresh batteries for the remote.

  3. The Pickle says:

    Im not one for conspiracy theories, but never have I seen such a widespread outcry of favoritism in sports than with the Bruins. I won’t go so far as to say they were handed a guaranteed cup, but the double standard is plainly obvious. Add to that the fact that there is documented proof that Campbell tampers in favour of his son and you have a pretty tainted cup win.

  4. Habitforming says:

    One way to stop guys running players all night?
    “Drop low just before the hit…. it doesn’t take long for them to learn” – Billy Smith

  5. Thomas Le Fan says:

    The best revenge is victory.

    • MasterHab says:

      I have grown weary of people who say “Victory is the best revenge”. It isn’t.
      Revenge is the best revenge. The Habs should try it some time.

      • Thomas Le Fan says:

        Tired? You are getting very sleepy. Victory, however, is the best revenge. It’s hard to believe you think losing but having someone beating up on Chara would actually make you feel better. I know you’d like both but then … the victory part would still be the sweetest part and the part that lingers longest.

  6. Habfan10912 says:

    I wonder what kind of a “hockey play” we’ll see from the goons tonight? Of course there will me no suspension forthcoming.

    • Julie H says:

      I was thinking the same thing! I expect a decapitation attempt within the first 10 minutes. Why make the goons responsible when they’re the only team being given favoritism?

      Shanny “did you mean to *insert vicious/intentional career ending hockey play here*?”
      Bruin Goon “well of course not! Have you seen my record? I’m a stand-up guy, never been suspended in my career oh and don’t forget I donate money to charity”
      Shanny “that’s what I thought. No suspension for you”

      People keep saying a player will have to die before the rules of the game are changed to keep us small teams safe. I’d say the Bruins would have to have one of their own mowed down and his career ended and…oh wait, that already happened didn’t it? Stupid goons.

      ♪Your cares and troubles are gone. There’ll be no more from now on. From now on happy days are here again, the skies above are so clear again. So let’s sing a song of cheer again. Happy times, happy nights, happy days are here again♪

      • 123456 says:

        hey, lets not bring down shanny in all this – after all – THE NEXT TIME a goalie gets run like miller did there WILL BE a suspension. how can a guy keep his job when he says such stuff.

      • Cam_1 says:

        Chara incident 0 games. Ference finger incident 0 games. Horton water bottle incident in TB (no contact with fans) 0 games. Marchand repeated sucker punches on Sedin 0 games. Lucic incident on Miller 0 games. For a grand total of 0 games in suspension to the Bettman Bruins.

        I would rather be a team that stands alone, even if it means finishing in last and earning everything they get. Then to be a team associated with Gary Bettman and savoring the obvious league authority favortism resulting in a stanley. Have your stanley cup. Who cares.

        If somone said to me today, hey all your Habs have to do is join the dark side Bettman and they will win the cup. I would say no thank you, no tainted stanley cups for the Habs. We stand alone, if we can not do it on our own, we don’t want it.

        Go Habs Go ! A true team fighting league wide hate and still getting it done. A real team.

        Boston Bullies AKA Bettman Bruins lol > lol your defending stanely cup champs, riding side by side with Bettman and Campbell…ha ha ha…smart tactic Jacobs..it worked. You suck !!!

    • terrier92 says:

      Boston season ticketholder

      “keep your freinds close but your enimies closer”

      Go Bruins

      • Cam_1 says:

        Season ticket holder of the Bettman Bruins eh ? Do you sit next to Satan himself ?

      • TINMAN17 says:

        From one Bostonian to another, it’s called spell-check. Just remember, you don’t want to “fri” your friend in the “end”. “enimies”, just remember your ENEMIES may need an “enema”.

        Born and Bred in Enemy Territory (Boston).

  7. nickster13 says:

    I sincerely hope the fans all give Ference the collective 1 finger salute!

  8. The Cat says:

    I think this’ll be a very physical tilt tonight by Boston. Montreal’ll want to continue their climb, but Boston -after many straight wins- wont be urgent about the 2 points.

    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  9. Marc10 says:

    Ah HIO… Back to baiting us with shots of those piss-stained jerseys on our beloved site. It was bad enough last year that you used every opportunity to bait us with pictures of the Horton goal.

    Shame. Shame.

    All we need is 60 minutes of hockey from the lads and we’ll be alright – the key being neutralising Kreiji and Bergie. Do that and you’re in biz. Go Habs Go!

  10. G-Man says:

    IS THIS THE CAPS SECTION?

  11. habsgod says:

    I HOPE WE BEAT THE BRUINS AND SNAP THEIR STREAK AS WELL,AND SEND A MESSAGE TO THE REST OF THE TEAMS IN OUR DIVISION THAT WE’RE GETTING HEALHTIER AND WE’RE COMING AND WE’RE GOING TO BE A FACTOR .

  12. Gerry_j6j says:

    NOT JUST THE TEAM BUT THE CITY AND PEOPLE AS WELL

  13. Gerry_j6j says:

    I HATE BOSTON

    • Cam_1 says:

      Not so much the people of the city. Only makes sense people from Boston will support Boston. But for Canadian born/ based Bruin fans…puke-a-maniacs !!! You got 7 awesome Canadian teams to choose from and you choose Boston as your favorite team. Traitors are us !!! Canadian based Bettman Bruin fans = PUKE-A-MANIACS !!!!

      • ffenliv says:

        Not that I want to support the Bruins, but I have number of east-coast relatives who grew up as Bs fans because that was the team they got on the radio, straight up from New England.

        Who would you cheer for? A team you can’t see on TV, or hear on the radio, or ever really learn about, or a team you can listen to live?

        Now, for modern-day folks who get really any game they want online, on the tube, or on the radio, and they still choose the Bruins? No excuses!

        • Cam_1 says:

          I am actually from the east coast. Halifax to be exact, and I can attest to the fact there are alot of B fans in Halifax and for god damn it I hate it. I grew up either watching the Leafs on CBC english and the Habs on CBC french back when they used to televise lots a Hockey games. I guess I am not older older generation because there was TV in my childhood years and I chose to become a Habs fan. Make no mistake about it, my top 7 favorite teams in the league would be the Canadian teams. I would even go for the Leafs if they were the last Canadian team standing in the play offs for example. So if we are talking way back when..before TV…where radio was only source ..then yes I guess it would make sense there are B fans along the east coast. ..but still for life of me..I still don’t understand it god damn it lol They are the B’s.


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