Monday, April 21, 2008

Habs & Bruins: GAME 7

Somehow, the series which everyone predicted to be over quickly and in Montreal's favor is looking as reversed as it could possibly be, with the Habs getting set to host the Bruins in game 7 of their first round series tonight at the Bell Centre (7 p.m.).

The Canadiens squandered 3 separate leads Saturday night in Boston in game 6, allowing the Bruins to tie the game at 1, 2 and 3 before having the B's jump ahead 4-3. The Habs equalized on Chris Higgins' 2nd goal of the night, but shortly after that - and very late in the 3rd, Marco Sturm potted a loose puck by Price by outwaiting him.

Game #6 was by far the most entertaining of the series, but all that should change with tonight's contest.

The Bruins are riding higher than they have been all season as they have now won back-to-back games vs. the Habs for the first time this season, needing games #13 and #14 to accomplish that feat. They will look to make it 3 in a row, with the most important victory yet to come.

The Canadiens are also looking for their most important win of the season tonight.

Looking to put an end to the stunning comeback attempt being displayed by the resillient, never-say-die Bruins, the Habs will once again have captain Saku Koivu in the lineup, as well as regulars Francis Bouillon and Mark Streit, barring some sort of unforseen event.

Montreal's ineffective powerplay CONTINUES to make headlines as this series goes on, but much of the credit must be given where it is due: the Bruins are playing the PK exceptionally well.

Alex Kovalev will have to step his game up for game 7, as will linemates Andrei Kostitsyn and Tomas Plekanec.

Andrei Markov, who has had an absoultely dismal series (highlighted by his worst performance yet in game 6), also needs to find a way to regain the confidence he had in abundance throughout the regular season. He is shying away from all physical contact, and the Bruins have picked up on it and have seized every opportunity to make his life a living hell.

The Habs have not been finishing their checks, passing crisply, or cashing in on their chances, 3 things that they had going for them on any given night during the season.

The Bruins have been doing the opposite, noteably in the hitting department, as every single Bruins skater is making sure to lay the body on the adversary.

The Bruins may welcome back Patrice Bergeron as an added offensive weapon for game 7, but it still remians unlikely. Bergeron's status would currently best be decribed as doubtful.

It will definitely be a wild one in Montreal tonight...the Habs will have to come out gunning if they wish to avoid the humility of having done to them what they did to Boston in 2004; that is, trailing the series 3 games to 1 as the #8 seed and coming back to win it 4-3 for the first time in franchise history.

A Boston win would allow them to set a record of their own; that is they would comeback to win a series that they were trailing 0-2 for the 1st time in franchise history (32 opportunities).


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