This is the 34th meeting of the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens in the Stanley Cup playoffs and the rivalry is as strong as ever. With both teams coming out successful in the opening rounds of the 2014 playoffs, this series will bring them that much closer to Lord Stanley’s cup. Not only would it be sweet to win the round to advance, but it would that much sweeter to knock out a hated opponent.
Whether you’re a B’s fan or a Hab’s fan, you know it’s going to be a good series. The winner of this series will be the team that keeps their emotions in check. The tension will be higher then normal because of the stakes so I expect to see a lot of brawls. But the team that can rise above and not let the antagonizing get to them will be the successful one.
Montreal beat Boston three out of four times in regular season. You know who else beat the B’s a lot in the regular season? The Detroit Red Wings, and here we are now. The Bruins are familiar with turning regular season losses into playoff wins.
The Bruins also have Tuukka Rask aka the favorite to win the Vezina Trophy. In the first round, Rask stopped 146 of 152 shots (.961 save percentage). He was able to help the Bruins escape the first round of playoffs WITHOUT going to a Game 7. As Bruins fan know, not having to deal with Game 7 stress is fantastic.
The Habs are coming off of a four game round one sweep of the Tampa Bay Lightning. However they have a lot of work to do if they want that kind of suck with Boston. While they got the four straight wins, their power play was as bad as you can get. Like past Bruins special teams bad. In the four games they were 2-for-13 on the power play. For that to improve they are going to get past the Bruins penalty kill which is as good as it can get! In the five games against Detroit the PK was 18-for-20.
When it comes down to Boston is the more physical team. If they are as strong on defense as they were against Detroit they take the series. The Bruins are at their best when they are consistent and not playing the other teams game. Montreal is fast but the B’s young D-men and actually even the vets can keep up. If Patrice Bergeron (five points) and Milan Lucic (3 goals) can continue to be on their hot streak, Montreal is in trouble.
I can’t forget to mention that tonight we should expect to see Daniel Paille make his return to the lineup. Paille was cleared for contact after suffering a head injury in the final regular season home game April 12th.
Puck drops tonight at 7:30 and you can check out the game on NBCSN!
BELIEVE IN BOSTON!