What will the Bruins need to do to beat the Canadiens?
Test Carey Price early and often
Price has been very streaky this year. The Bruins need to challenge him and rattle his confidence early in this series.
Bring their hardhats
The Canadiens don’t like to play the physical brand of hockey that the Bruins play. I think this series is going to go the distance. It is important to wear a team down physically in a long series.
Keep their composure
The Habs have some players that like to agitate and get under your skin. The Bruins can’t lose their cool and take dumb retaliatory penalties.
Win the first 2 at home
The Bell Centre in April is not an easy place to play. If the Bruins can win 2 at home to put the Habs back on their heals heading to Montreal, they will be in good shape.
If all else fails, they can always resort to these options:
- Bribe a TSA official to plant drugs, weapons, and prohibited livestock in the Habs’ luggage before they go through customs.
- Have Michael Ryder show them some of Boston’s local waterholes. Ryan O’Byrne’s turtling prowess might come in handy if they stop by The Penalty Box or Sullivan’s Tap.
- Hire some kid with no future to chant “Ole, Ole, Ole” repeatedly outside their hotel in the middle of the night.
- Have Boston PD devise a sting operation to bait members of the Canadiens with unattended handbags.
What will need to happen for the Canadiens to win?
In order for the Canadiens to win this series they will need to find a time machine and bring back Patrick Roy and Rocket Richard in their prime. You don’t win playoff series by cowering in fear.
In all seriousness, I think the Bruins will win the series in 7 games. Whenever these two teams meet in the playoffs, you can throw the standings out the windows. It will not be the cake walk that some B’s fans are predicting.
Looch’s wrecking ball style of play certainly endears him to the balcony dwellers at The Garden.
Some B’s fans have referred to Tim Thomas as a folk hero for his unexpected rise from minor league nomad to Vezina candidate. I think Timmy’s stock in The Hub has risen even further after the way he went after Sean Avery last Saturday. If Thomas can beat the Habs in a playoff series, he will never have to pay for a drink in this town again.
Wardo has become a fan favorite largely due to his witty and insightful weekly interviews on Toucher & Rich, a popular morning drive radio show on WBCN in Boston.
The Bruins' Goat-to-Be
Bashing Manny Fernandez has become Boston’s new favorite pastime. It seems like years ago that I wrote “The New England Hockey scene hasn’t seen a goaltending tandem like this since Bob and Walt Tenor” in my Cycle Like the Sedins Hockey Orphan post. Chances are that Manny will not see any ice time in this series unless god forbid Thomas gets hurt (knock on wood). If Fernandez does play, he could easily be the goat.
This is Boston, so anyone is eligible to be the goat. The slightest miscue could label you as a goat for the rest of your life. Just ask Bill Buckner or Glen Wesley.
Boston-Montreal is storyline enough, but there are plenty of secondary storylines in this one:
- Plenty of bad blood carried over from last game
- Bruins have dominated the Canadiens this year
- Rematch of last year’s exciting 7 game opening round series
- Michael Ryder playing against his former team
- Claude Julien coaching against the man that fired him
- Lots of playoff history between the 2 teams
- Habs trying to salvage a disappointing season during their 100 year celebration
- The long history of the Habs’ success vs. the B’s in the playoffs
- The Cities are separated by about 300 miles and the Habs fans travel well