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Habs & Bruins: Eastern Conference Quarter Final

  • 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.

    Anything’s possible.

  1. #1 tonyfromnb says:
    April 14, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    Very nice read, and I agree, anything is possible.

    I can’t tell you how many of my b’s buddies didn’t want this matchup in the first round, they may say publically bring on the Habs, but privately, no way.

    Too much bad history, 71, 79, 02 & 04….too many crying nights in my youth :)

    This game is never played on paper, and this series is no different. I say this one goes to 7th Heaven, and the b’s have the hammer.

    To me it plays out like this:
    Price steals one, Chara blows one, and a role player, maybe Kostopoulos scores one in OT…all b’s wins are by a wide margin, including the 7th game.

    Good Luck Habs fans…this is the only reason I still follow hockey.

    Tony from NB.

  2. #2 Mats Naslund says:
    April 15, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    I’m as big a homer as the next guy, but I have to say going into the series the Habs just don’t match up well against the Bruins. I’m not overly concerned with the top line, but given that the Plex, Kostitsyn, D’Agostini line have been in hibernation for all of recent memory, I do not like our chances. Boston can key in on one line to shut us down, and as we all saw last game, Boston rolls three lines that can score. I’m sure the Lapierre line will give everything they have, and the fourth line will do their best to shut the B’s down, but the 2nd line combined with our defensive injuries are making it very hard to predict a positive outcome for the Canadiens. We’re small on defense at the best of times. Right now we’re small and wounded and that is a scary combination when you’re up against a team of crashers and bangers like the Bruins.

    Its playoff time, and I wouldn’t be ok with writing all of this if I didn’t mention that an upset is not out of the realm of possibilities when talking about Habs-Bruins series, but that thought will only take you so far. Price will need to stand on his head. The second line will need to find a way to contribute. The defense will have to play smart, mistake-free hockey. The only problem being that considering the year we’ve had, to expect all, if not any, of those things to happen is being wishful.

    Good luck to the Bruins. I’ll be watching the series from Boston with my sound on mute so I don’t have to hear the tripe that is a NESN hockey broadcast. I’m hoping for a quiet and anxious city after game one… or should I say wishing?

  3. #3 Joseph says:
    April 15, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    I think that people tend to look at history too much when it comes to a matchup like this. Yes, the Habs have had the Bruins’ number for quite some time. But things inevitably change. If they didn’t, the Yankees would win the World Series ad nauseum, Brasil the World Cup. Speaking of which…

    One might say that Argentina has a pretty good soccer team. But when that team plays against Brasil it loses its confidence, plays scared, and ultimately loses the game. Understandable as Brasil is Brasil. But signs of the tide turning are certainly there, and even Brasil, despite its plethora of talent and high expectations, has faultered as of late. This story is not at all unlike that of the Habs and Bruins. The Bruins have the team to get the job done this season and they know it. The Habs, on the other hand, don’t appear to have much of anything going in their favour.

    We shall see what unfolds soon enough.

  4. #4 habknot says:
    April 15, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    This is a beautiful time of ‘IF’s. My brain says “Habs Beware”, but my guts are thinking “I know both these teams at their best, and if the best Habs team shows up it will squeak by the best Bruins team; I just don’t think the best Bruins team will show up.” Going with my guts [and my heart]: Habs in 5!!!!!!!

  5. #5 Senet1 says:
    April 15, 2009 at 10:17 pm

    Well Joseph, all signs show that you are correct and that the Bruins will take us out in five maybe six possibly four. But as a habs fan I have to believe that our team came together last Thursday night for the first time all year. Yes we lost that game but we won something more than a point. He won confidence in our capabilities, confidence in our goaltending and confidence that we can get into Boston’s head and put pressure on them to prove they are the better team. If our power play continues to be successful then I think we have a shot. So as a habs fan I believe.

  6. Habs played an awesome game tonight even though they lost. They showed passion and drive. If they stay focused and do what they are supposed to do, they will surprise everyone and finish on top!
    They had a rough season from administration to coaches to players’ issues, they must continue to pull together as a team. They can do it – no doubts.

  7. #7 lucicbergeronchara says:
    April 16, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    Senet as a B’s fan even I knew that Bruins had to win that game outright two points to none.I Don’t think Boston wanted to play Montreal in playoffs again-Rangers would have been a change..that said, definitely Bruins won the “battle” last Thursday but Canadiens won the “war.” Game 2 should be off the hook, we’ll see if Bruins can keep their composure. D’Agostini-you guys got a good one there-he scares me..

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