Can the 8th seed bruised and battered Montreal Canadiens upset the 1st seed Boston Bruins?
Everything on paper suggests that, no they cannot.
Somehow this seems familiar. 2002, the Habs were supposed to bow out quickly to the 1st seeded Bruins Somehow they managed to come back from a 3-1 deficit and upset them on home ice.
2004 no different, the 7th seed expected again to be already polishing their golf clubs took out the highly acclaimed Bruins once again.
The Habs have owned the Bruins historically in the playoffs. So surely last season the Habs having beat the Bruins 8 straight in the regular season and an even longer unbeaten streak dating back to the season prior – were expected to sweep the Bruins effortlessly.
The series went 7.
Even though the ’02 Bruins and ’04 Bruins looked good on paper & placed high, they had weaknesses and vulnerabilities. They looked as if they could be upset.
This edition of the Bruins doesn’t have that feel. Starting with Claude Julien who must relish the opportunity to beat the man who fired him, head to head.
Julien’s Bruins are big, skilled, mean and deep. With last year’s playoff experience in their pocket. Tim Thomas perhaps the only question mark. Although another ‘impressive’ regular season, Thomas is not proven in the playoffs and his style will never fully be trusted.
That being said, the Canadiens without Andrei Markov are not the same team. Not even close. If he is not ready to play, and all signs point to him not playing (at least not starting) – the Canadiens will need a miracle or major turn of events to upset the Bruins.
Without Markov, without any secondary scoring – Carey Price needs to be a hero to give the Canadiens a chance.