Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail (Saturday edition),
Statistics compiled by John Dellapina at NHL.com argue that the winner of Game 2 has a remarkable 381-150 record in the playoffs, a winning percentage of .718. Game 1 winners haven’t had quite the success, though the winning percentage there is still an impressive .691.
Game 2 victors who rebounded from a Game 1 defeat have gone on to a 127-113 record (.529). So if you only win one of the two opening matches, the odds are better if you can take the second….
“We’ve got to find a way to break the game open,” says Christopher Higgins, who scored one of the two Montreal goals last Thursday. Kovalev had the second.
How they do this is the question. The Canadiens played admirably, but it wasn’t enough. They checked hard, but Higgins would argue not hard enough.
“Don’t let ‘em breathe when they get the puck,” is his solution for fore-checking the deep and physical Boston defence led by Norris Trophy candidate Zdeno Chara.
from the CP via TSN,
Komisarek was amused with Chiarelli’s assertion that his actions may have warranted a suspension.
“That’s a bit of a ridiculous statement,” Komisarek said. “I don’t know if the kid has gentle skin or what.
“It’s playoff hockey, but I’ve never been like Larry, Moe and Curly and tried to poke someone’s eye out.”
Kostopoulos insists he wasn’t head-hunting when his elbow came up on Hunwick.
“We got a little frustrated and we let it show,” he said. “We were just trying to finish our hits.”
more and watch some of the action at the end of the game below (French language)...
Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe tells us so.
from Damian Cox at ESPN,
This time, the pressure is all on the Bruins, and if they don’t treat the Canadiens like so much snow to be brushed off their skates, well, it will be the 2009 Eastern Conference champions who will suddenly appear more vulnerable than imposing.
Even the Bruins seem to understand that anything short of an impressive performance against the Habs will make them seem weaker.
“They’re going to have absolutely nothing to lose,” said Boston coach Claude Julien, who once coached the Canadiens and understands the emotional underpinnings of this rivalry. “We’ve got a lot to gain. We’ve got to make sure we don’t disappoint.”
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,
Turning the other cheek in a playoff series usually occurs when your head swivels from a punch in the chops.
But that may well be one of huge keys for the Canadiens if they’re to upset the Bruins in their NHL quarterfinal series, beginning tomorrow night in Boston.
The ice at TD Banknorth Garden will still be wet when Mike Komisarek learns this, his photo probably pinned on a dartboard in the Bruins dressing room.
The Canadiens defenceman got a generous taste of Boston leather last Thursday, his face massaged by the gauntlets of Milan Lucic and used as a speed bag by Zdeno Chara in a boxing match that earned the Bruins captain a double minor for roughing, a great non-call in a game teeming with them.
from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,
Few hockey savants picked the Boston Bruins to bestride the Eastern Conference and emerge as a Stanley Cup contender.
A playoff team, yes, but this?
The seeds, planted in an exhausting seven-game playoff defeat against the Montreal Canadiens, germinated over the summer and sprouted to mad-science proportions once the NHL season began.
“I think it all goes back to that series last year,” all-star Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas said. “We’d had an up-and-down year, but showed we could go up against a top team and not give an inch. That’s when we came together as a team.”
A healthy dollop of the Bruins success is owed to a breakout, Vezina-calibre year by Thomas, who leads the NHL in save percentage and goals-against average.
continued plus more NHL talk…
from John Bishop of BostonBruins.com,
Despite his CHC pedigree, there’s no doubt that most members of the Boston Bruins organization would agree that compliments from Bob Gainey go a long way.
After the B’s 5-4 overtime victory over his Montreal Canadiens, Gainey, Montreal’s general manager and head coach, dolled out several puck bags full of respect for the Black & Gold
“It was a great game,” said Gainey. “I think, you have to give the Bruins credit—they came to play.
“They wanted to play hard. They brought all their tools with them. They were emotional. They were desperate and they’re a good team. They are in first place for a reason,” he said.
However, he was right about another thing: his Habs are not going to quit.
And, clearly, now that le bleu, blanc et rouge are in the playoffs, the standings simply don’t matter.
continued and check out the highlights of the game below…
from Barry M. Bloom of MLB.com,
The National Hockey League’s now famous “Winter Classic” could be staged at Fenway Park this coming New Year’s Day, although a decision hasn’t been made by the league to play the annual outdoor game there yet, an NHL spokesman said on Thursday.
“We’re looking at Fenway,” Frank Brown, the NHL’s group vice president of public relations, said in a telephone conversation about the 97-year-old home of the Red Sox. “But we’re looking at a variety of options.”
from Gayle Fee and Laura Raposa of the Boston Herald,
Don’t breathe a word of this. Because nobody’s supposed to know. But the Boston Bruins [team stats] will host the NHL’s Winter Classic outdoor hockey game against an unnamed opponent Jan. 1 at Fenway Park!
Our spies on Lansdowne Street say the League has given its blessing to a 2010 New Year’s Day game in the Hub of Hockey, choosing Boston over New York and Philadelphia.
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