There is no sense dwelling too long on the loss the Canadiens experienced at the hands of the Bruins last night. The Bruins clearly had a game plan to try to intimidate the Canadiens. From the opening face off Bruins players took runs at the defense which forced turnovers, and got the crowd into the game early. Two quick goals meant that the Bruins could focus more on their physical game than scoring goals, and by the time Montreal tied the game at 2-2, the nature of the game was set. Boston players focused their energy on PK Subban who frankly had no shot at avoiding danger last night. He continually faced slashes and dirty play in an attempt to “goat” him into retaliating and eventually fighting. Frankly I was unimpressed at so called tough guys like Lucic focusing on Subban. There is no way Tyler Seguin would have faced the same kind of treatment from another team – yet because of media sensationalism – PK had a target on him all night. Marchand said after the game that his motivation was the hit that PK laid on him last game – which is a funny notion – that PK should have to answer with fists for a clean hit that Marchand skated directly into.
Still, far more troublesome than a few fights was the play of Scott Gomez last evening. Sure you can say that AK46 and Eller both had less than stellar games, but if you look back at the first 5 goals – 4 of them were as a result of Gomez not backchecking. There are times when I am a Gomez supporter. When he is on – he is a dangerous weapon. When he is off – he is a $7 million liability.
Tonight is gut check time. Last night was an anomaly. 8-6 between the Habs and Bruins is not the norm. Trying to draw conclusions from last nights game other than the Bruins are tougher and the Habs are quicker would be foolish. Frankly, the Bruins size hasn’t helped them a whole lot in the recent past. Their winning % over the past two seasons now stands at .200. That number doesn’t scare me one bit., and the tactics employed last night wouldn’t ever fly in a playoff game. Bruins fans will no doubt disagree – but last nights victory was shallow in the grand scheme of things, other than the 4 points that now separate the two teams in the standings.
Tonight the Habs welcome the Islanders who are reeling with goaltender injuries. Tonight is an opportunity to flex some muscle and get back to playing hockey. The Islanders are under-dogs but are not to be taken lightly. If Montreal tries to play the same type of defense that we saw last night – we’re in trouble.
Go Habs Go!!