Game 4 : Habs vs Bruins
The Montreal Canadiens have their hands full tonight. The Bruins are back in this series.
After losing two games in a row in Beantown, the big bad B's are back at the Bell Center for round two. With each game played, the storyline gets more and more interesting. Has momentum swung? If you asked me that question after last game's first period I would have said yes. However, after watching the remainder of the game I think it's safe to say that the Habs, despite the loss, still walked out of game 3 with momentum and the mental edge it takes to win a seven game series.
For more on game 3 and the series so far, check out George Prax's most recent post.
Let's take a closer look and see what it will take for the Habs to win game 4.
First and foremost, the Habs need to shake their first period jitters. They need to stay on the ball and shut the bruins down throughout the first ten minutes. Slow the game down, control the puck, and avoid turnovers. It's been almost 40 minutes since the Bruins have scored a goal and the Habs need to stretch that number as long as they can. Road game rules; quick shifts, nothing fancy, short passes. If the Habs manage to have a better first period than they did in game 3, I think the 21,000 fans will have a lot more to cheer about come time for the first siren.
Patrice Bergeron. Even though Boston has only scored 4 times in 3 games, Bergeron has points on three of those four goals. Not to mention his ability in the faceoof circle.
For the Habs, Mike Cammalleri and Tomas Plekanec are playing incredible hockey. Every time Plekanec touches the puck, he's got Habs fans on the edge of their seats. He's got a fire under his ass, and he's looking to score on every shift.
Carey Price has been the Habs' best player. Night after night, he's giving 110%. He's got the ability to forget about goals against. Despite his fumble early in last game's second period, Carey is the heart and soul of the Montreal Canadiens post season success.
Tim Thomas had two shaky games in Boston but has since then redeemed himself. Perhaps letting in a softy in game 3 on Plekanec's spin-o-rama, Thomas shut the door when the pressure was on. He won game 3 for Boston, keeping his cool late in the third period.
Thomas and Price will obviously get the starts tonight. Benoit Pouliot is apparently in Jacques Martin's dog house and will be watching the game from the Press Box. Halpern returns to the Habs lineup and makes his 2011 post season debut.
What happens if Boston wins?
Game starts at 7:00pm and is being aired on RDS, Versus, and CBC.