Tonight, the habs face the big bad Bruins, in Boston. The Bruins are the best team in the East right now, there’s no doubt about it. They’re 10 points ahead of the Canadiens in the standings.
This is obviously a way better team than last season. Last season, the habs beat the Bruins 8 times in a row in the regular season. But in the playoffs, it was a different story. It’s obvious to me that the Bruins rid themselves of their inferiority complex towards the Habs during this first round. I think a large part of their success this season can be traced back to the spirit they found during those playoffs.
Today, the Habs come to Boston as the underdogs. This is a new situation. They’re the ones who will face the big team in front of a hostile crowd. The last time they went to Boston, it ended up as their most lopsided and embarrassing loss of the season. A 6-1 rout, during which they were also dominated physically. This is also the game where Komisarek got injured in his infamous mismatch with Lucic. That was a long overdue revenge for Boston, and prety much a nightmare for Montreal fans.
Hopefully, tonight will be different. Despite the string of injuries that hit them, the Habs overcame some of the difficulties they faced in November. The team is on a roll, and this match comes at the right moment for the habs. It will be a very tough match, and there is a lot at stake. But once again, the Canadiens played their best games against very good teams this season (well, except for this last one in Boston, of course…) A lot of players from both sides are injured (Tanguay, Price, Higgins, Koivu, Dandenault and Laraque for the Habs, Kessel, Bergeron, Sturm, and possibly Lucic for the Bruins), but that hasn’t slowed them recently. What an exciting matchup!
To get even more inspired for this game, here is, in its entirety, probably the most famous match in the history of this great rivalry, the immortal game 7 of the 1979 conference finals. Don Cherry on the bench, Habs on verge of elimination after three straight cups, plenty of future Hall of Famers, an amazing game by Gilles Gilbert, and of course the incredible finish with the famous “too many men on the ice” call… This game had everything.
Of course, for some reason, I can’t embed the video, so you’ll have to click the link. And instead, I’ll leave you with a pic of the Boston Garden, which must have been a pretty impressive place to play in as an opposing team.