Habs vs. Bruins in Eastern Conference semifinals

It’s official: the Canadiens will meet Boston in the Eastern Conference semifinals after the Bruins beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-2 Saturday afternoon. With the victory, the Bruins won the best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinal series in five games.

The Canadiens and Bruins met four times during the regular season with Montreal winning three times. In their last meeting on March 24 in Boston, the Canadiens won 2-1 in a shootout, ending the Bruins’ 12-game winning streak.

This marks the 34th time the Canadiens and Bruins will meet in NHL playoff history, with the Canadiens winning 24 of the previous 33 series and 102 of 170 postseason games between the teams.

“Fourth time now since 2008 that we faced them here in the playoffs; first time that it isn’t a first-round matchup,” Bruins forward Milan Lucic told reporters in Boston after the game. “So another Original Six battle that we get to be a part of, and a lot of hatred between the teams, the fans, the cities when it comes to this kind of rivalry. So we expect them to bring their best. We saw what they were able to do in the first series (against the Lightning), and like I said we’ve got to be prepared to come out and elevate our game as the playoffs move on.”

The Canadiens practised Saturday morning in Brossard and then had a chance to return home to watch the Bruins play the Red Wings in a 3 p.m. start.

Saturday marked the second straight day the Canadiens practised in Brossard following two days off. The lines were the same as they were Friday.

“It’s not so much like training camp, but it is definitely stranger than most playoffs we’ve been through,” defenceman Josh Gorges told reporters in Brossard after practice. “I think it’s a good opportunity for us to get a couple of days off; to get away from the rink. Today, there was really good energy out there. The guys were flying. You get so amped up this time of year to compete and to get out there every day, but it’s a good thing for us to get the additional rest.”

Captain Brian Gionta said that rest is a good thing for the Canadiens.

“Rest is always a good thing,” he told reporters. “You don’t get that much of it throughout the course of the season and you got to take advantage of it. It’s never a bad thing to have.”

Carey Price, who didn’t speak with the media on Friday, spoke Saturday about not being among the three finalists for the Vézina Trophy, which goes to the NHL’s top goaltender. The finalists are Tampa Bay’s Ben Bishop, Boston’s Tuukka Rask and Colorado’s Semyon Varlamov. The 30 NHL general managers vote on the award.

“The three guys that were nominated 100 per cent deserve those accolades,” Price told reporters. “Those three guys really deserve to be there and you can’t take anything away from them.”

Price added: “Every year you play, you try to play your best, but an individual award isn’t going to make or break me.”

When asked if being snubbed for the Vézina would give him extra motivation, Price said: “Water off the duck. I don’t necessarily think that I had a better season than those three guys. I think those three individuals really are deserving of that.”

The Canadiens will practise again at 11 a.m. Sunday in Brossard.

Here’s how the Habs’ lines and defence pairings looked Saturday:

Bourque-Eller -Gionta


(Gazette file photo)

Bruins win Game 5, advance to face Canadiens, NHL.com

Bruins-Canadiens to meet in 34th playoff series, NHL.com

HI/O Show: Nilan weighs in on Habs-Bruins rivalry

Something special is happening with Habs, by Gazette Sports Editor Stu Cowan

Playoff fever, Canadiens.com

Post-practice interviews (video), Canadiens.com

RDS’s Machabee celebrates 25 years on the job, by The Gazette’s Brenda Branswell

No individual trophies for Habs? by The Gazette’s Pat Hickey





  1. naweed235 says:

    I am really NOT OK with taking Bournival out of the line up. HE is exactly the type of player that we need to win this series. The kid has speed to burn and one gear to operate on.

  2. 25insight says:

    Spotted in montreal.


    sweet baby jesus.

  3. docketrocket says:

    Elliotte Friedman

    15. Pretty interesting hearing David Desharnais and Max Pacioretty talk about how much they had to adjust their games to play with Thomas Vanek. Desharnais said that when he played with Brendan Gallagher, you had to go support him when the winger got the puck in the corner. Vanek wants the opposite. “The farther we can spread teams out,” he said, “The more success we will have.” Desharnais also had to get used to carrying the puck less and driving to the net more, because Vanek likes to carry it, too.

    16. “I’ve never seen anyone make the decisions [Vanek] makes,” Pacioretty added. “He’s basically thinking, ‘What do guys think I’m going to do with the puck right now?’ and he does the opposite of it.” Pacioretty said Vanek is making him re-think how he plays the game. “One thing that really sticks out is he said to never have your stick on the ice in front of the net, because the d-man can tie it up. He’s always hanging around with his stick in the air, and instead of putting it on the ice and waiting for a tip, he kind of slaps at it when the puck comes…You get more speed on it.”

    25. The aftermath of last week’s infamous referee discussion proved one thing to me: Teams believe the crowd at the Bell Centre influences more calls than any other building in the NHL. It is undoubtedly the best home-ice advantage in the league, an intimidating place to officiate. Takes strong-minded people to work there.

  4. Mattyleg says:

    On the other page, Windsor said that Detroit lost, with the reason being: “I still think they deviated from their game plan.”

    This is precisely why we leave our lineup as is.
    Stick to the gameplan.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • scamorza says:

      Agreed change if it is not working ….would we start Budaj because of his solid record? No go with price who will help bring the first cup since 93

      come to Dorion suits where you get no….”hassoles” _ Yvon Lambert

    • adamkennelly says:


      we had a game plan and a line-up for TB and it worked great.

      that certainly doesn’t mean the game plan and line-up for Boston should be the same. In fact – makes zero sense to assume it would be and that it would work.

    • Andy and the habs says:

      I disagree. With the current line up Montreal will be running scared. And like Detroit they will deviate from their game plan trying to respond to bruins goonery. Canadiens need atleast Murray in the line up. His job is to remind Bruins they can’t take liberty on Canadiens to do anything want. Don’t forget the refs don’t call the small stuff.

      • LizardKing12 says:

        Give me a break man, if you think adding 1 player to the lineup makes the difference between running scared and super confident you are delusional. The Habs will certainly not be running scared with or without Murray. Nothing I have seen from them this season gives any indication that they are afraid of the Bruins.

        I find it rather hilarious that people always seem to think that the Bruins physicality is what gives them an edge over us. Have you not been watching the Habs vs Bruins matchups over the last decade? The Habs have won most of them by using their speed and skill to get the Bruins off their game. I can recall maybe one game where their physical play actually directly effected a win. Other than that the Bruins physicality has never really been an asset for them vs the Habs, when they do beat us it’s because they stick to playing hockey.

    • frontenac1 says:

      Detroit lost because they were Sofffff. Can’t be Soffff in the playoffs amigo,especially against the Bears! They will eat you like a Japanese Tourist.

  5. AllHailTheFlower says:

    Now this one is pretty funny…gawd, I hate Jack Edwards.


  6. IgnatiusJReilly says:

    Any predictions? I’ll go first: Bruins in 6 after 2 of the Hab’s key players (pick 2, PK, Price or Max) get injured (in hockey plays – of course).

    NO Trespassing: violators will be shot, survivors will be shot again.

  7. habsfan0 says:

    I have a hunch we’ll be seeing a lot of this during the upcoming series between Boston and the Habs.


  8. Et le but says:

    Any team aspiring to emerge from the Eastern Conference will have to take out the big, bad Bruins. The Habs are to Boston what Kryptonite is to Superman. It has always been that way….always will be.

    My prediction: Le Canadien de Montréal in 6. Go Habs Go!!!

  9. Danno says:

    Newly-renovated MSG still has the worst TV for hockey


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  10. Prop says:

    When all is said and done, this is gonna be a heckuva series to watch.


  11. Bash says:

    I thought that Rask was actually the difference against Detroit.
    Wings had some key injuries and some inexperience at that level but still could have won games 5 and 4 if Rask had not shut the door. If anything the Bwooins confirmed that speed can be a problem for them.
    Hamilton played much better than anticipated though and could be a factor unless we can derail his confidence early in the series.
    Marchand et al surprised no one with their usual antics; but we have seen all this before and should be prepared.
    Bourque, Weiss and Eller are key for us. But look for Vanek to step up in this round; he plays well in heavy traffic.
    “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” (anon)

  12. 100HABS says:

    So 80% beleive the Habs will win. I expect that the same poll question on a Bruins site would say 90% that Bruins would win?

  13. DipsyDoodler says:

    I think Hal Gill is paying today.

    Moving. Forward.

  14. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Feeling good about our upcoming encounter with the Gooins.

  15. habkin says:

    I totally agree Murray be inserted and Tinordi will get his chance. This is what depth is…icing the best possible team to win a series. If I was coach I would also say no punching during a fight that the Boston player does not take their helmet off, I strongly believe that is why Moen suffered a concussion! Just wrestle. As for the dump and chase method from the Bruins plan, Price will be key because of his skills to play the puck. We do have a way better team than 3 years ago. Montreal will win this series!

    • Price has limited puck skills. Every time he comes out, it’s a friggin’ fright fest. Like when Emelin lobbed the puck in front he went after it and was caught out of position, or when he plays the puck up the boards almost inevitably it goes to the opposing team. He just needs to stay on his skates, stay positionally in the paint and tsp trying to be a defenseman.

      I’m speechless! 20 years and counting…

      • slapshot777 says:

        He has better puck skills than Rask.

        To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.

      • Mark C says:

        Price has limited puck skills. I’ve heard it all now.

      • LizardKing12 says:

        LOL what games are you watching? Sure he isn’t perfect but a majority of the time Price plays the puck very well. Most of the times that he plays the puck he either gets it right on the stick of one of our defenders or is able to clear the zone. His ability to play the puck could be a key factor in the Bruins series. The Habs need to get the puck out of the zone as quickly as they can. If Price can speed up that process by playing the puck it will make the series more manageable.

  16. NCRhabsfan says:

    I see a huge amount of optimism in the posts/survey, but I’m having a hard time seeing the reason for it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge Habs fan but it is hard to like them in this match-up. The speed that the Wings brought that the Bruins were going to have such a hard time dealing with? Didn’t happen. They gave up six goals in 5 games. If the truth be told they should have swept the Wings. Other than for very brief periods, the Wings looked completely out-matched by the Bruins. So speed alone isn’t going to get’er done.

    The second thing is the hope that the refs will call the Boston BS. I’m not sure on what basis any reasonable person would think that will be the case. In fact, you can almost guarantee that the Bruins will get away with hundreds of instances of interference, hits behind the play, running the goalie. They did against Detroit and they will against the Habs. I will bet that the Habs end up with more PIM in the series than the Bruins even though they will not commit anywhere near as many infractions as the Bruins. NHL referees have gone into fan mode once again this season. They just have good seats to the game; when they do make a call there is a better than 50-50 chance they will get it wrong.

    Even if the Habs do get a PP, they haven’t been doing much with them over the last 30 games.

    Here’s hoping Carey is ready to pull a Ken Dryden, but I personally find it hard to be optimistic.

    • Hobie says:

      There is one big deiiference between the Wings and Habs, the Habs are WAY better!

      Markov and Kronwall cancel each other out but where’s Subban on that team? Datsuk and Zetterberg are awesome but one was hurt in that series and our 1st line of Vanek, DD and Pacioretty is probably better than theirs, even when they’re healthy.

      The Habs are deeper top to bottom than Detroit. Tougher as well. Much faster as well!

    • JUST ME says:

      Have to agree with Hobie on this one. You only name one Hab player in your whole text when the actual facts showed us in the first round that this team is much much more than just one guy, quite the opposite.

      We know what to expect from the Bruins and know that they are strong but so far the habs did not show too many weaknesses either.
      Furthermore the Wings were obviously at the end of their rope and were no match for the Bruins . At the opposite one can say that the Habs are peaking at the right time.

      Have to agree that physically it seems to be a no match second round but let`s see what speed and consistency does against that weight.

    • JF says:

      The Wings looked to me like the Habs of several years ago – lots of speed and skill, but most of them played on the perimeter. Also, their kids did not look ready for the playoffs. Nyqvist, Tatar, and Sheahan (I don’t remember seeing Jurco) were very impressive during the regular season, but had zero impact in the post-season. On top of that, the Wings’ penalty killing was atrocious.

      This Habs team is a lot better than the Wings and better than the team that lost three games to the Bruins in OT in 2011. We have more depth and a very dangerous first line, Price is better and more mature, ditto P.K., and Pacioretty, who was absent following Chara’s attempted beheading, is blossoming into a star.

      That said, we’ll have to be better than we were against Tampa. Special teams in particular will have to be better, and Price will have to find a way to prevent some of the flukey goals he gave up against the Bolts. The defence also worries me a bit, combined with the fact that the Bruins have four defencemen – Chara, Boychuk, Krug, and Hamilton – with great point shots.

  17. Stanley Cup or Bust ! says:

    Unfortunately the prevailing question is :
    Who does the nhl want to win ?

    Sad but true.

    • NCRhabsfan says:

      Bettman wants Boston. It goes without saying. He’s all about building the American end of the business. Couldn’t give a crap about Canada even though it has paid the bills all these years. No Canadian based NHL has won the SC during Bettman’s 20+ years at the helm, and no Canadian based team will win until he retires or leaves in a box.

  18. habs001 says:

    The same posters that predicted that Detroit will beat Boston are now predicting Habs to beat Boston…Hopefully they are right this time…I am suprised how some posters make it sound it will be an easy short series win…The Bruins scored 46 more goals than the Habs and gave up 27 less….The odds are the pp/pk will be pretty even…The Big advantage the Bruins have is way more potential in getting offense from their D…they scored close to double the goals the Habs D scored in the regular season…

    • WindsorHab-10 says:

      A lot of posters I believe gave Detroit a very good chance of beating Boston. I still think they deviated from their game plan & their best players were either hurt or weren’t at their best. Regular season stats don’t mean crap in the playoffs.

    • ffenliv says:

      I wouldn’t be so sure about the PP/PK being a wash. Boston’s powerplay was deadly – 35% – against Detroit, while the Habs PP continued to struggle, and the PK was only just over 70%. Those numbers have to change.

  19. Timo says:

    I am really disappointed that not a single Bruins got injured during the series against the Wings. Not one. It is demoralizing.

  20. Timo says:

    For those of you who for some unknown to me masochistic reasons watch HNIC, be prepared for Cherry to refer to Boston as “we” throughout the series.

  21. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    I was hoping for a Mtl-Bos series and my dream came true. As good as the Bruins are, they and their fans don’t like playing the Habs. The “diving” accusations have already started, trying to influence calls because they are scared of the Habs PP. If the Habs can handle the physical toll (eg. uncalled punches in the head), they will win the series. The key to the series will be the Habs transition on D from the Bruins dump-ins to out of the zone. If they can minimize the Bruins hard fore-check, they have a great chance. Emelin and Markov will be key in the series. If they play well, the Habs will win. If not, the Habs are in huge trouble.

    • Timo says:

      Boston’s special teams stats in playoffs are very impressive (granted they are against Wings) but their PP is a LOT better than Habs. Habs better find ways to start cashing in on powerplay. Maybe they need Bouillon in front of the net.

    • habs001 says:

      The Habs will have to survive the Bruin domination in the D zone..Hope i am wrong but i believe it will happen as the Habs forwards will have major issues in winning board battles once the Bruins activate their D… Also most of the Habs D will have trouble clearing the puck out of their zone

  22. DipsyDoodler says:

    The Bruins are going to dump the puck and come charging in trying to hit our D before they can get the puck out.

    I am not sure Murray is a good deterrent against this tactic.

    Moving. Forward.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Puck possession, winning puck battles in all three zones will be key. Self-evident, but still important to think of. If the Habs had an intimidating power-play, the dirty tactics would ebb, so here’s hopin’.

  23. Phil C says:

    The Bruins had an impressive regular season record. I think they benefited from being a mature and established team that has played together for a while now. Combine that with great goaltending and they can be a tough out.

    However, the playoffs are a completely different animal. All that matters is the team you put on the ice now. The Habs have improved since the end of the year, while the Bruins did not. The Bruins have also had some key injuries to Kelly and Seidenberg which have left some holes in their roster. They have been forced to play Florek up front who has some size, but would not be playing if everyone was healthy and would not crack the Habs lineup. They also have two rookies in Bartowski and Miller in their top four, while Hamilton and Krug are fairly green as well. I think their defense could be exposed by the Habs.

    Rask could be the difference, but I don’t understand why the Bruins are so feared. They are definitely beatable and that’s all you can ask for in the playoffs as anything can happen once the puck drops.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Their regular season goal differential was unbelievable, and Rask is as good as Price. Chiarelli, with a big assist from Ferguson, Burke, and Niewendyk has put together a complete team. All they lack is class.

    • Hobie says:

      With the injuries you’ve mentioned, and a healthy Habs team, plus the addition of Vanek, this series is 50/50 at worst for Montreal.

      Guaranteed the Bruins are looking at the Habs roster and seeing a healthy defence with Markov ready to go and a 1st line with Vanek and Pacioretty on it and feeling a but more nervous about things than in year’s past.

      Last time we played in the playoffs and were one goal away from eliminating them our roster was MUCH weaker.

      The Bruins know they’ve taunted and poked the Habs for years now and I believe that they have to be very concerned about this matchup. Mainly because of the new makeup of the Habs team.

      It should be a dandy. I will go bonkers if we beat them.

  24. DipsyDoodler says:

    Boone’s Liverpool seeing their title hopes slip away.

    Moving. Forward.

  25. Commandant says:

    #26 on the list is Nikita Scherbak who plays for Saskatoon in the WHL.

    Go Habs Go!


  26. Hobie says:

    Emotions aside, I picked Boston and Pittsburgh as the teams that could beat us in the east prior to round one. I like to go the betting man’s route. The favourite’s are the favourites.

    I was be a bit scarred of Philadelphia because of their second half push and the history of our recent playoff match ups against them. They have the ability to get on a roll, they’re big and physical, and seem like a team that could get the Habs back on their heels, especially in the Centre Bell.

    I thought we could take the Rangers for whatever reason. They don’t intimidate me. They don’t seem all that deep. Columbus, a little too raw and inexperienced as well.

    Tampa, with Bishop hurt and St Louis gone, I thought we’d take them in six, not four.

    NOW…that we’ve knocked off Tampa with relative ease, Boston has eliminated Detroit and the other series are going on, I think we can beat anybody and would only be the dog, in Vegas, to the Bruins. I still think we’re about a 50/50 shot against them though!

    We can beat Boston, period. The Habs are 95% healthy and aren’t missing a key player, probably for the 1st time we’ve played in the playoffs the last decade. The habs are extremely well coached, the lines looks good, we have a kick ass 1st line, the top four on defence is looking solid, and the goaltending in amazing.

    The Habs are a fine tuned machine with a game plan right now because of great management and coaching. The Bruins are ripe for the picking. I don’t think they are quite as strong as in the last several years.

    After the Bruins, we can beat anybody in the east, now that I’ve seen them play in the playoffs. Pittsburgh is not a good hockey team. We’re a step up from the winner of the Rangers and Flyers as well. The west…well, we’ll worry about that in a month from now.

    GO HABS GO!!!!!

    • JF says:

      I’m still scared of Philly. They always seem to have our number, even when their goaltending is a lot worse than it is now. But I agree with you about Pittsburgh. They’re a badly coached team. And I don’t think we match up well against the Blue Jackets (in the unlikely event of their beating the Penguins). But our record against the Rangers is good; Henrik Lundqvist seems never to have recovered from the 5-0 comeback at the Bell Centre several years ago.

    • SPATS says:

      Fear not, we are Rask’s CHryptonite. He will come undone – again

      OOH AAH HABS ON THE WARPATH – Dutchy rules!

      • Timo says:

        It’s all good on paper but Rask did beat the Habs last time around (even ever so barely) and Bruins are a much well rounded team this time around. Habs are better too than 3 years ago but I still don’t have a good feeling. All I know that it will be 2 weeks of heartache.

  27. Timo says:

    I font have a good feeling about this.

  28. third generation haber says:

    I’m perplexed….

    My feelings, before round I, were that T-Bay was the most beatable team, for us, out of the 7 playoff teams in the east. I felt that we would lose to the Rangers, Philly, Columbus, and Detroit (b-4 I realized how injured they were), but possibly beat Pitt due to the Fleury factor.

    I also felt that, alternatively, Boston could not be beaten by any of the 7 teams, except for their kryptonite; the habs.

    j.p. murray

    • CJ says:

      I pretty much saw it the same way. Tampa was, by far, the best match-up.

      We looked like All Stars against what turned out to be the worst team in the playoffs. We will need to be even better if we hope to beat Boston.

      Lastly, I do like your analogy. We are their kryptonite…..

      • third generation haber says:

        I thought T-bay would be better. Honestly, they may be worse than the leafs in-terms of their team defense. I’m guessing we had close to 15 breakaways and 20+ 2 on 1’s in the 4 games. Their goalie let in some softies, but he also had to bail them out of trouble constantly.

        I think our sweep has inflated our perceived depth level (see the poll question).

        j.p. murray

      • SPATS says:

        I spell it with the same pronunciation as Christmas…

        CHryptonite baby!

        We will be setting up in Rask’s kitchen shortly.

        OOH AAH HABS ON THE WARPATH – Dutchy rules!

    • frontenac1 says:

      Kryptonite!!! So true amigo!I like that.

  29. adamkennelly says:

    so – do you ice the same line-up that won you 4 straight against TB or do you acknowledge that you are playing a much different team in Boston and use the assets you have by replacing Bournival and Frankie w/ White and Murray – as a start.

    I know I do – Murray can deal with anyone on the Bruins and White helps cause he can deal with some of the lesser pricks (Boychuck, Campbell, Miller)…

    • JUST ME says:

      I would go with the same roster knowing that a sweep against the Bruins although a nice idea is highly unlikely. We then all know who to put in the lineup to go beef up if need be. With the depth we have we can adjust and show a different side of our team.

    • third generation haber says:

      absolutely not! Boston is a team that likes to hurt people. Since our PP isn’t scaring anyone, they will definitely aim to injure.

      Leafs kept Orr in the line-up last year and Boston behaved much better, they actually focused on hockey. We either play Murray and Tinordi, or our goal crease will be a demolition zone.

      I’m predicting Therrien will start the same line-up and will not add any toughness until someone (hopefully not Price) leaves on a stretcher.

      j.p. murray

  30. Ian Cobb says:

    Cal, you are right! enough of this stuff saying we are a small player team. Not any more!
    We are a lot bigger than a few years ago and we are as fast as any team in the league. If the hit is there against Chara and Lucy take it, but do not take yourself out of the play to give a hit. Attack the puck every second of the game by rolling 4 lines and staying out of the box, will bring the Neanderthals to their knees.!

    • 24 Cups says:

      Hi Ian – A lot of posters and Hab websites basically look at the overall average player stats for height and weight. I think that is the wrong way to look at things.

      When I look at a team, I break the roster down into four categories: players with good size, smaller players, those that punch above their weight and those that punch below their weight.

      The last two categories are obviously a matter of opinion but I think this formula gives you a truer indication of how a team performs in terms of physicality and grit.

      24.4 Cups

      • third generation haber says:

        If u are Thornton, Lucic, Chara, Campbell, or Miller, and you feel like badly injuring one of the habs, which player (from our first round roster) might cause you to think twice about doing so???

        If there is no deterrent (remember that these guys spear people in the nuts), including our woeful PP, the chances of someone laying unconscious on the ice is too high for my liking.

        T-bay did not get rough with us, Boston will!

        j.p. murray

  31. JUST ME says:

    For argument`s sake just take the time to take a look at the rosters of those two teams the last time they met in the playoffs , or simply compare with last year`s rosters. We have a totally different team and rely on much more high quality forwards. I agree though that what needs to continue and what was the key to our succes in the first round is secondary scoring and everybody`s commitment.

  32. 24 Cups says:

    The Habs don’t have any ready-made forward prospects who can step in next year so here are two unsigned Euros who might just fit the bill. Alas, they are both lightweights but….The player bios are from THN.

    The 24-year-old is a late bloomer who has a great shot and loves to use it. The only point-per-game regular in the Finnish League, a.k.a. the SM-Liiga, Keranen posted 17 goals and 52 points in 52 games. He was Ilves’ MVP and has parlayed that success into an invite for Finland’s World Championship team. A speedy and flashy player who puts defensemen on their heels and can dish the puck deftly, Keranen is also responsible defensively. At 6-foot-1 and 176 pounds, he has an NHL frame, though a few more pounds would serve him well.

    A second-round pick for St. Louis in 2007, Hjalmarsson never came to North America, but he may do it soon. The Chicago Blackhawks are apparently interested in the 25-year-old, who played on a line with Boston’s Carl Soderberg in Linkoping last season, but he’s really come into his own without his departed buddy. Hjalmarsson (no relation to Niklas) has set career highs with 27 goals and 57 points in 55 games, mixing a good hockey mind and skill with great board work and grit. Those totals tied him for third in the Swedish League.

    24.4 Cups

  33. 24 Cups says:

    I’m starting to worry that the quality (or lack thereof) of referring might be a bigger concern than the behaviour of the Bruins.

    Another prime example being the Colorado/Dallas game last night. Am I right correct to assume that with the number of games being cut in half, the quality of refs should improve during the 2nd round?

    24.4 Cups

  34. Ian Cobb says:

    Roll 4 lines at them with speed and discipline. Their tongues will be dragging on the ice from the penalty box!
    If we get past these dirty Bears, we will be bring the CUP back from the west boys and girls. Who would of thought? except for Bergevin!

  35. Maritime Ronn says:

    @ CJ

    Below you asked, ” So, why than does Markov and Emelin get more ice time than Gorges and PK?”
    Actually, there is almost no difference in total minutes played.

    You have to have a look at the 3 different parts of the game and the minutes played in each segment of:
    Even Strength-Power Play-Penalty Kill Units.

    – Subban does not play on the PK, yet he and Markov lead the Habs in Even Strength minutes played and are 1st Unit PP.
    – Gorges plays a few minutes less of Even Strength time, yet is #1 for PK minutes.

    You can see all the different times here:

    • CJ says:

      There is very little difference, this I agree with. Perhaps I’m the only one who thought Emelin struggled throughout the series. Markov was good, but not great.

      We won’t win with Markov being good for 27:00 minutes plus a night. We won’t win with Emelin being below average for 23:00 minutes plus per night.

      Again, maybe everyone else disagrees and feel that Markov and Emelin were better than PK. Personally, I don’t, but I only saw one game live and caught the others on television.

      My point is this. PK finally is finding his zone. This is the best I’ve seen him all year (games 2-4). IMO, I’d be making sure he’s on the ice every chance I get. Just my two cents….

  36. Seps says:

    I don’t think the Bruins are ignorant enough to believe that their physicality alone could win this series… I look to 2011 where we had a much softer team than now, and their current lineup is very similar to what it was back then. We took them to game 7 OT and had a good shot at winning, clearly it didn’t work in that series.

  37. Sportfan says:

    Does this mean Moen, Tinordi and/or Murray crack the lineup against the Bruins? Also when do they think the series will start? Friday, Saturday?

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!

    • Seps says:

      I’m assuming Saturday for the viewership, and where would Moen go? Remember Chucky comes in likely for Bournival, and no one else on forward can be justifiably taken out right now.

      Also I think Bouillon will start the series on a short leash, if he looks outmatched physically in goes Murray.

  38. DipsyDoodler says:

    It would have been nice if Tinordi was ready, but I don’t think we can say he didn’t get a shot. He played 22 games with Montreal.

    Moving. Forward.

  39. frontenac1 says:

    Hola Amigos! Habs vs Bruins. My dream come true. I’ve been waiting for this rematch for three years now. Habs in 6. Saludos!!

  40. Cal says:

    There’s a perception that the Habs as currently constituted are “small and fast”. I have to say that Patches, Vanek, Bourque, Eller, Prust, Weise, Bournival, Emelin, PK, Murray and Markov disagree. Many of these Habs are BIG and FAST.
    Eat that, Gooins boosters.


    • Mavid says:

      right on

      Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

    • Phil C says:

      Good point Cal. The Bruins are not as big as people think either, especially up front. Both teams have 5 forwards above 200lbs. Bruins have 9 above 190, the Habs 8. The main difference is the Habs have some small forwards, but its hard to think of DD, Gally, and Gionta as a disadvantage.

  41. CH Marshall says:

    I hope our passing game is in good shape come game time. That’s going to be key when we break out.

  42. Strummer says:

    Chara has started to show his age in the later rounds of the playoffs in the last couple of seasons.
    Especially late in the game- i.e. game 6 in last years final.

    “It’s just an opinion- I could be wrong”

  43. Lafleurguy says:

    Habs’ odds of winning the Cup has gone up to 8:1 from 22:1 before the first round. Bruins went from 5:1 to 3.5:1. We need an upset.

  44. Mavid says:

    I am thinking if we get by the B’s the possibility is very exciting..remember when we made it to the ECF..we met up with Philly a physically tough team and ran out of steam. Meeting this type of team in the second round is a good time..

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  45. CJ says:

    Some quick hits from the first round…

    Gorges and Subban combined for seven points and were a combined plus seven.

    Markov and Emelin combined for two points and were a combined minus three.

    PK, has elevated his game and is playing (arguably) his best hockey this year (game one mulligan).

    So, why than does Markov and Emelin get more ice time than Gorges and PK? IMO, Emelin was our worst defenceman during the Tampa Bay series, edging out Weaver for the dubious distinction.

    To beat Boston, PK needs to be on the ice nearly 30 minutes a night. Ryan Suter played 31:30 last night. Doughty played just under 30 minutes. Knronwall was also just under 30.

    In those instances where there is a significant drop off from 1-6, you need to adjust your ice time accordingly. Overall I think Therien is doing a good job, and the results are satisfying thus far, but I certainly hope he’s not late to recognize those adjustments that could be the difference between winning the series or golfing in mid May.

    I have very few criticisms of the coach. I love how he trusts the fourth line and rolls the guys that are contributing. However, I do think he defers too much to JJ on defence. I’m simply saying it could be an issue going forward. Just my two cents…..

    • Cal says:

      The difference in the Tampa-Habs series was the Habs secondary scoring. Worrying over the Markov-Emelin pairing- who will play against the Lucy-Krejci-Iginla line- is a legitimate concern. The forwards arrayed against that line, likely Pleks, Prust and Gally with does of Eller, Bourque and Gionta, will go a long way towards negating their offense.
      Frankly, I am not worried about who PK and Gorges line up against. I am not terribly worried by Boston. The Habs drive them around the bend. They will lose their cool. It will cost the Gooins the series in 6 games.

      • CJ says:

        Good morning Cal. I agree, our depth and balanced scoring is what carried us to the series win. This will need to continue. We will need to be better on the speciality teams and in goal.

        Boston scares the heck out of me. I hate them, but I respect the roster, top to bottom, and recognize that us winning would be a major upset. If not for the storied history and rivalry, there really wouldn’t be much of a chance.

        • Phil C says:

          How do you explain the 3-1 record against them in the regular season if Boston is so much better? Matchups matter and this may be a matchup problem for the Bruins.

          • CJ says:

            Detroit had the same record (advantage). It means nothing.

            What scares me more than anything is the way the game is played/officiated. This favours the Bruins. I’ve watched a lot of playoff hockey and things are simply viewed through a different lens. The announcers even say, the refs are letting them play.

            Make no mistake, outside of the Canadiens fanbase, not many will be giving Montreal a chance in this series. Just the way I like it….

          • boing007 says:

            When the announcers say that the refs are letting them play that means that clutching, grabbing, hooking, sticks up the arse, ad nauseum, are going unpunished. The sky’s the limit! Of course, pucks over the glass are never ignored.

            Richard R

        • Paz says:

          I don’t know why you feel that way.

          Price matches up very well against Rask. Price looks in the mirror and sees gold; he sees himself as a champion. That is huge for his confidence and the biggest reason why Bergevin added Vanek.

          Subban, Markov, Emelin, Gorges, is a very solid top 4. Chara is not the player he was 3 years ago, and the Bruins defencemen as a group are not a star studded cast by any means. They play great team defence using their forwards on the backcheck and in the defensive zone.

          Forwards? The addition of Vanek and the resurgence of Eller and Bourque makes this a much tighter competition for sure.

          Penalty kill? Both teams are excellent

          Power play? We suck! Big problem

          Coaching? Advantage Boston

          I see it as a 6 or 7 game series. I think we can win.

          • CJ says:

            I think we can win too. I’ve gone on record as saying Montreal in six. That however hinges on a number of variables, notably goaltending.

            I have confidence in Price, but he has to find a way to keep pucks out of the net. Too many pucks got by him during the Tampa series. Sure, they might not all have been his fault, but the playoffs are very unforgiving. He needs to drop the monkey from his back and win this series.

            I wonder if there is anything to the fact that Budaj beat the Bruins this year, on the road? Price was 1-0 and was great in the process, but it was Budaj who got the wins on the road.

            Anyway, none of that matters now. IMO, we have assembled a great group of forwards who are essentially equal to or maybe even better than the Bruins. Boston is much better on defence, 1-6 and Rask has proven he can win in the playoffs. The overtime win against the Bolts was huge for Price as it broke a string of OT losses.

            I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds…..

        • frontenac1 says:

          Hola CJ! Don’t be worried amigo. The Bruins are worried. The Habs are the one team they did not want to meet in the playoffs. Habs in 6. Saludos!

          • CJ says:

            I agree that we are the only team in the East who can beat them in a seven game series Front. As the underdogs, the pressure will be squarely on Boston to perform to expectations. They are serious Cup contenders, while not many would be suggesting that Montreal fits that mold – yet….

    • Phil C says:

      PK leads the team in even strength ice time. The only reason Markov gets more total ice time is because of PK duty. Playing Subban on the PK would get you closer to Doughty and Suter numbers, but I don’t think it would have a huge impact on the Habs’ performance. There is something to be said for keeping PK fresh for the PP and 5-on-5.

      With the playoffs being a war of attrition, there is also something to be said for spreading out the ice time, especially when your third pairing has been getting the job done.

      • CJ says:

        I get that. There needs to be a way to get PK on the ice more often. It’s one thing against Tampa. Boston is a whole lot better though. Honestly, aside from Stamkos who was likely only at 75-85%, Tampa was not a great team. Further, Lindback was below average.

  46. Lafleurguy says:

    And the fun begins:
    shvennordbloom1113 hours ago
    B’s in 6
    Reply 5 replies
    JayDeeMTL12 hours ago
    nice google translate bud, idiot
    Reply 4 replies
    shvennordbloom1111 hours ago
    Je n’utilise pas le Google, putain! J’ai étudié le Français a l’université. Belle langue. Les Bruins sont le meilleur équipe ici, certainement. Je respecte les Habitants–pas les diveurs–mais je pense les Bruins vont gagné.
    Reply 3 replies
    Randy Forget8 hours ago
    équipe is feminine. une équipe.
    So “la meilleur équipe” get your 40 thousand dollars back.

  47. Captain aHab says:

    Count me in amongst the folks who wanted the Habs to play Boston….Might as well find out now how well we stack up as if we do go on, we’ll only face more of the same from the West.

    I think the Habs will take it in 7.

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

  48. 416erHabsFan says:

    I am really hoping that Gallagher will shine during the series with the Bruins. We need him to keep in Rask’s kitchen and bite the ankles of Chara and hopefully keep them off their game. With Chara on the PP most nights I don’t see how we can’t play Murray. I think that he maybe the only Defense man able to move the guy.

  49. Maritime Ronn says:

    Good morning

    This is going to be a great series.
    The overall winner of 1 on 1 battles will have a good chance to move on.

    The Boston strategy is quite clear.
    From the Boston Herald

    ” The strategy of hard hits against defensemen on the forecheck is twofold: first, to separate the player and the puck.
    he secondary effect is cumulative:
    Knowing they’re going to get clobbered every time they go back for a puck has a psychological impact on battered defensemen.

    Recall Vancouver’s Christian Ehrhoff and Alex Edler looking more than a little gun-shy in the 2011 Stanley Cup finals.

    The more you bang bodies, hopefully the more it taxes people a little bit,” the Bruins’ Shawn Thornton said in Detroit the other day. “First and foremost, it’s to trade puck possession, to get the puck back.
    *** But second, in the long term, a long series, maybe it wears people down.”
    Somehow, the Habs are going to have to find a way/strategy to protect Gorges, Bouillon, and Weaver.
    Something tells me it won’t be long in the series before we see Murray and Tinordi


    • CJ says:

      Good morning Ronn.

      And therein lies my only criticism of Therien; we should have promoted one of Beaulieu or Tinordi and stuck with him all season. We will not win with our existing defence. They proved capable against the Bolts, but this is going to be very, very different.

      I don’t disagree with those who say you need to stick with a winning lineup. I don’t disagree that we can’t win a physical contest, but guys like Weaver, Gorges and Frankie are going to get hammered.

      • JUST ME says:

        CJ it was not Therrien`s decision whether to play or graduate permanently one of the two kids. In his post-mortem resume of the season Bergevin said that they were almost there having played around 120 games in the AHL. He seems to find very important to take the time necessary in the minors as organizations like Chicago and Detroit do with most of their rookies. Cannot say i disagree with him.

        That being said, i politely have a different view than yours about their stints with the Habs. Both were not ready enough for prime time and made mistakeS that they must not do and understand that they have to take the time to correct them and be mature enough to work hard on what could be a difference maker on whether they make a long haul or not in this league.

        • CJ says:

          Fair points Just.

          Better to be over ripe than underdeveloped. I can’t disagree with that.

          It will only be an issue if there are injuries or the game dictates changes and we don’t have guys ready, or as seasoned as they could be. Personally I thought Beaulieu, more so than Tinordi, showed major improvement. IMO, he was one of our best defenceman prior to the Olympic break. When he last played, against the Blackhawks, he had a very good game, with few bobbles. I thought Tinordi made mistakes, but I also see the fans placing a spotlight on him so everything is magnified. Tinordi touches the puck more in one game than Gorges does in a week, so naturally there is more opportunity to find fault. Every defenceman makes mistakes, we just seem to focus on the kids. If Tinordi made the mistakes that Weaver made in game one, he would be burned on this forum. Weaver however, was given a pass.

          I look forward to seeing them both next season. In the interim, I want to beat Boston and could really care less who plays, so long as they deliver the desired outcome. If that’s Weaver and Frankie, trust me when I say I couldn’t be happier. It’s the crest on the chest, not the name on the back. I’m satisfied in saying the future is bright, but right now, it’s all about the present.

          Again, I thank you for sharing.

          Cheers, CJ

    • Phil C says:

      The Bruinas tried that against the Blackhawks in the finals and it did not work for them even though Chicago’s defensemen were not big. But because Chicago had a group of mobile puck-moving defensemen they were able to neutralize the forecheck. Montreal has good puck movers too, so I don’t think a forechecking strategy alone will work for the Bruins.

  50. docketrocket says:

    Hard to believe Babcock lost. His players must have let him down.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      A lesser coach would have lost in 4 straight.

      Moving. Forward.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Boston was the better, deeper team in every area of the ice.
      They had some 4th line and Dman injuries that were easily replaced with their solid depth.

      Rask was outstanding in the 5 games.
      .961 SP. 1.16 GAA
      He never gave up more than 2 goals in any game and his lowest SP for any game was .939

  51. wildwilly says:

    My wonder is whether the Habs will ice a small, fast team (e.g. Briere, Weaver, Boullion, Bourneval) or a team that is slower but able to fight (e.g. White, Murray, Tinordi, Parros).

    Which would you choose? Which do you think Therrien will choose?

  52. Marc10 says:

    It should be a good series. The key will be to shut down Lucic, Bergeron and the Rat. Do that and our chances are decent. If Rask is his usual self against Les Habitants, Les Boys will be cruising.

    Detroit’s kids weren’t ready for prime time. I think our more experienced roster is. In any event, we’ll find out soon enough. GHG

  53. RoofDaddy says:

    Beasts of the East are definitely not the Lightning

    The only way the Habs stand a chance is if Price plays out of his mind because Rask is on a completely different level.

    Habs will probably get a win but that’s it

    Bruins in 5 – and it won’t even be close

  54. naweed235 says:

    A must watch to get the hate Brewing!

  55. WindsorHab-10 says:

    This is what worries me about playing the Gooins from Boston.


  56. Un Canadien errant says:

    Moderators, administrators: I don’t come on HIO to get in flame wars and name-call, or be told I’m a dumbass in FULLCAPS. If I wanted that action I’d get on TSN’s boards, or a Boston site.

    This forum is usually well-behaved and well-spoken, that’s why I spend an inordinate amount of time here. There have been periods though, such as over Christmas when a few new members came on and screeched at french coach whose and idiots their clueless firem them now!!!!!!, with poor grammar and no punctuation, and the tone of the discussion was abysmal. I felt no desire to be on here.

    So please, do your job, curate the site, and bounce the Boston trolls who are only beginning to infect our community, but will only build in numbers and aggression. It’s pretty easy to see those who are signing up just to ‘instigate’ and ‘set a tone’, they’re going to play like their team, and drag this into the gutter.

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


    • Clay says:

      It just shows that they’re scared to play us….they will go away soon. Hopefully depressed.

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

    • JUST ME says:

      Agree with UCE on this one . When you can see chaos coming,you must act and do what you can to prevent it.
      We all know about the relationship between the 2 groups of fans and how it can turn ugly and disrespectfull in a flash.

      Would you rather do nothing and close your eyes on comments from a guy that will be gone in 2 weeks or lose a guy that is here all year long ?

      Unfortunately i do not think that there is such a thing as moderation on this blog unless you use foul language wich a machine can block automatically. I have seen quite a few regulars or not lose their marbles this season and be banned only after the damage was done. This is playoff time and calls for different rules.

  57. Timo says:

    Avs tie it with the empty net. What a great game. Parentaeu… the home boy.

  58. Timo says:

    Refs won’t call a spear but snow shower is a no-no. What a joke this league is.

  59. Colex says:

    I know Murray was signed as a depth guy,I love the guy even with his limited capabilities, He played all these types of games. I think he is irreplaceable vs Boston. GO HABS GO!!

    • Timo says:

      I am also thinking that Tinordi may surprise. I know UkraineHab doesn’t think that, but perhaps if Tiny go some valuable tips from Bouillon he could make a difference in the playoffs. Baptism by fire like with Subban few years back.

  60. on2ndthought says:

    Detroit missed Fiddler(?) and Filpula all year and especially against Bos. Speed and skill. Babcock willed them into the playoffs, but they didn’t have the forward depth to make up for Zetterberg and Datsyuk not being 100%. Detroit may need a couple of down years to re-build. They need size and skill on the back end. On the other hand, they may have another gem or two in the system.

    This series will come down to which team keeps its poise: us, in the face of their toughness and cheap tactics; or them, in the face of our speed and pressure. Can’t wait!

    “a cannonading drive”

  61. IgnatiusJReilly says:

    I just want to say this should be a great series. Looking forward to it. These 2 teams are both good teams and playing well right now. I do think the Bruins will (and probably should) goon it up a bit at the start just to set the tone and to get the Hab’s players looking over their shoulders. Hopefully no one gets seriously injured*.

    What this will come down to? The refs and the goaltenders. If Price is on and Rask is on the Bruins win in 6 or 7. If Rask is off then the Habs will take it in 6 or 7. Provided the refs put their whistles away and let the players take care of business of course!

    NO Trespassing: violators will be shot, survivors will be shot again.

    • on2ndthought says:

      right; by put their whistles away you mean let the guins hack and slash, then call the Habs when Boston dives. typical

      “a cannonading drive”

      • IgnatiusJReilly says:

        No. No ticky-tacky calls is all. Call the blatant stuff, but it’s playoff hockey so let them play. All teams embellish, but the B’s seem to do less than others.

        NO Trespassing: violators will be shot, survivors will be shot again.

  62. Butterface says:

    I am sure Murray will be in and Boullion will be out. Murray’s instructions will be to engage Lucic and Chara without taking a penalty unless it is offsetting. Clear the crease of the big bodies on the PK. Keep it simple.

    I am sure Gally will be instructed to drive Chara crazy around Rask. Make Chara lose his mind.

    I am sure Pleks line will draw the Krejci line.

    If MT does not play Murray, then I am not sure what the tactic will be when Chara goes to the front of the net on a Boston PP.

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

  63. hitgurl says:

    Why is there a loser from Boston on here?

  64. hitgurl says:

    Ryan ‘you said butt’ Garbutt was fined 1500 bucks for a spear. Wow the league is tough on crime. He earned that much skating back to the bench. The NHL disgusts me.

  65. hitgurl says:

    The Habs should play Murray the first game and tell him to aim to hurt. That’s what the Bruins do – all of them. We need someone to do that. And Murray is capable and expendable.

  66. Rugger says:

    I was forced to watch the Bs-detroit game today. I was not impressed at all. The B’s were extremely poor at handling the Red Wings speed. If the Red Wings could connect with their passes and shoot at anything other than the big B on Rask’s chest they could have scored several more goals. It seemed like most times the Red Wings blew past the D, they would then make a crappy pass. I saw a grand total of one Red Wing going to the net, other than that Rask had great views of the shots. As for the B’s scoring – no physical presence by Detroit in their own end. If the Habs play with the intensity of the first series (and with a sharper Price) the Bruins won’t know what hit them.

  67. Caesar is along for the ride for 25 says:

    I know the Bs are favored to win.I know they are considered the best team in the NHL right now. Iknow they haver a Selke candidate a Vezina candidate and possibly an adams candidate. I’m not worried at all. We have Price max Vanek and Gally. PK Murray Pleks and Marky. I don’t think it will be a sweep either way.I’m thinking Habs in 6 –
    gm 1 Habs
    gm 2 Bs
    gm3 Habs
    gm 4 Habs
    gm 5 Bs
    gm 6 Habs and shut out -Price

  68. Butterface says:


    Just past the three minute mark I smiled….

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

  69. DipsyDoodler says:

    Any team that doesn’t make use of the league’s leniency towards deliberate attempts to injure is being foolish.

    Minny and Chicago came back in their series after injuring key opponents.

    Stoll just sucker punched Vlasic in the side of the head. Stoll gets 2min, Vlasic leaves the game.

    Moving. Forward.

  70. Danno says:

    Will somebody from the Habs do a readjustment to Lucic’s “equipment”?


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  71. ClutchNGrab says:

    Before losing to the Bruins, most coaches will have at least one news conference when they say their team has not played their style and need to come back to it. Guess what? that doesn’t bring them a win. The Bruins thrives when the opponent plays possum, the only way to win against them is to get under their skin, make them realize they can get hit …and score goals.

  72. Hobie says:

    Oh my, the Kings and Sharks had a few fights in this series, Habs and Lightening, Sens and Habs last year, Pens and flyers always fight…

    I thought there was no fighting in the playoffs?

    At least the Blues and Hawks are playing nice lol!

    • Willy the bum says:

      Without at least one fight in a series, there may be more of head shots, knee breaks, and nut spears.

      The Habs have to watch out for anything that value injury, for that they really have to play smart and not getting into goon mode. Leave that to the Bruins, who can receive as many penalties as they could to make a difference in this series.

  73. BigB says:

    You know, as a Habs fan I absolutely hate the bucking fruins. I might even dare say, I don’t hate anything as much as I hate that team…and of course most their fans.
    On FB today, this is what I saw a now-former “friend” post on her wall: “Bring on those French losers” – I had no idea she was a bucking fruins fan!!!!
    They have a good team, I admit, but truly a classless bunch of idiots form the majority of their fan base….and we all know about the players.
    Please someone tell me that I need to stop this blinding hatred I have for them. Please!!!!!!!!

    Habs forever!

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