Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs Blog at CBC,
And then there was one.
One game nobody believed would ever happen. One game where this extraordinary Boston Bruins hockey season orchestrated by head coach Claude Julien can maybe continue into the second round of the NHL playoffs.
One game where the Montreal Canadiens’ “dream season,” as it was described by coach Guy Carbonneau, can come to a crashing, devastating halt.
That game will come Monday night at the Bell Centre, as the Canadiens and Bruins will play an improbable Game 7 in this series that has featured just about anything anyone can want out of playoff hockey.
How does that game grab you (NHL box score) hockey fans?
Six goals in the 3rd, five in a little over 7 minutes!
Bruins force a game 7 against Montreal with a 5-4 victory.
And for all of those supposed fans that can’t find Versus, you lost out, big time!
added 10:09pm, from Kevin Mio at Habs Inside/Out,
For their first time in their history, the Boston Bruins have forced a Game 7 after trailing a series 3-1 after the defeated the Canadiens 5-4 in Game 6 on Saturday night in Boston.
For the second straight game, the Bruins have scored five goals against the Canadiens and rookie goaltender Carey Price.
from Mike Boone of the Montreal Gazette,
Passover begins on the 15th day of the first month of the ancient Hebrew calendar. Back in the day when the Canadiens routinely either won the Cup or advanced deep into the playoffs, the celebratory Passover meal often would coincide with a playoff game. With an 8 p.m. start, however, and a seder supervisor who knew how to read through the ritual prayers at a fairly brisk clip, you could usually catch most of the second and all of the third periods. But when the puck drops at 7 this evening, Passover celebrants will be just warming up.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
If the Montreal Canadiens are so sure rookie netminder Carey Price will rebound from his Game 5 gaffe in Saturday’s Game 6 in Boston, why did the team keep him from the media Friday? Only in the NHL can one of the bright young stars of the game be shielded from the cruel pokings and proddings of the media the day before a big game. We’re not even talking morning skate here—we’re talking a full day and a half before the actual contest. But no, there was precious (and now presumably fragile) Price being kept under wraps.
more and 4 more items titled, “Five Things We Learned Friday Night”...
from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,
I believe Guy Carbonneau when he says he has no hesitation coming back with Price, that he’s confident the 20-year-old will find his game again.
On his part, Price told reporters after the game: “I won’t think about it again after I leave this dressing room.”
Hmph! It could be Price is strong enough to block it from his mind, which would be the right thing to do, but you can be sure Boston fans will be reminding him about the meltdown tonight.
Want more Canadiens coverage? Check out Habs Inside/Out...
from the Worcester Telegram & Gazette,
While everyone else is enjoying balmy temperatures near 80 degrees, the Bruins are trying to prolong their winter and force that seventh and deciding game on Monday up in the Great White North. To do so, they’ll have to weather what is expected to be another frenzied start by a raw-meat-eating Montreal team that’s averaging an incredible 35.6 hits a game (to Boston’s 29.0).
“We know they’re going to come hard,” said center Glen Metropolit, who potted the game-winner in Thursday night’s stunning 5-1 rout of the Canadiens at the Bell Centre.
“We’ve got to have a better first (period) than we did (Thursday) night. The first five minutes set the tone.”
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Boxers who take a lot of body shots lose their legs first. Likewise, the Habs haven’t been the same skating team in the past two games that they were in the regular season and at the start of this series, which means gradually the competition has become more familiar and comfortable for the Bruins.
In turn, the Montreal power play has slowed as well, leading to the frustration expressed by Markov in Game 5.
Can the Habs fix it? Well, the return of Koivu might help, and Guy Carbonneau could shuffle his lines a bit, or even insert speedy Mikhael Grabovski. Without injured defenceman Mark Streit, the Habs are missing an underrated, smart and mobile blueliner.
Puck movement can replace lost team speed, but it requires confidence and cohesiveness, both of which seem to have gone missing from the Montreal attack.
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
There is a possibility that the Montreal Canadiens could have captain Saku Koivu back in the lineup on Saturday.
How strong the possibility is will be determined after the morning skate, prior to the sixth game of the first-round series Saturday.
Koivu has missed the past three weeks with a fractured bone in his left foot. But he skated for the third day in a row and will determine whether he is fit after skating with his teammates in the morning.
“He skated today and he felt better,” Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau said. “He pushed it a little harder. He’ll skate again tomorrow and then see.”
From Jason Magder at The Gazette,
Jean-Pierre Masse was beaten and kicked in the face several times about 10:20 p.m. after Game 4 of the NHL playoffs in which the Boston Bruins lost 1-0 to the Montreal Canadiens. The incident happened on Causeway St. outside the TD Banknorth Garden, minutes after the game had ended.
Witnesses said Masse, 28, was wearing a red Canadiens jersey as he was walking by a group of about 20 Bruins fans.
“They began yelling things like, ‘Go home, you French (expletive)’ - things like that,” Hugo Contant told the Herald.
more… on what is certainly an isolated incident, but a disturbing one.
from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,
In a perfect world, the applause would have started with a little more than two minutes left in Game 5, which most people expected would be the end of the quarterfinal playoff series between these teams.
Everyone on their feet. White towels waving wildly. More than 21,000 mouths open, the noise getting louder and louder, and soon there would no longer have been a crowd in the Bell Centre, but a thunder engulfing it.
How sweet it would have been. No more than five games - and why not, eh? The Canadiens had finished 10 points ahead of the Bruins during the regular season. They had erased them 4-1 in the first game of this series and won the second game in overtime. Five games. No more.
Boston 5, Canadiens 1.
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