Thursday, April 14, 2011

Eastern Conference Quarterfinals - Game One

For the 33rd time, the Boston Bruins and the Montreal Canadiens faced off against each other in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Now earlier this week, several ESPN NHL analysts predicted that the Bruins would be skating in June for the cup. First things first, they needed to take care of business against the Habs.

There was a comical story on the NESN website today with a clever headline, stating "The Bruins will show up for a hockey game and the Canadiens will show up for a swim meet...because they will be diving." Quite interesting, but quite true. The Bruins needed to stay disciplined and not give Montreal stupid power plays.

Very early on in the first period, Brian Gionta (MTL) hushed the TD Garden crowd by scoring a goal to give Montreal a 1-0 lead. From that point on, the period belonged to Boston. Why does it take them to conceive a goal in order to wake up? Regardless, the Bruins finished the period with more scoring chances and more hits. But they still trailed at the end of the period. Boston's forwards did a solid job, but the defense could not keep the puck in the offensive zone.

It did not take long for us to see a dive from the "swimming champions" of the NHL. P.K. Subban (MTL) sold a hooking call on David Krejci, giving Montreal a power play chance. About a minute later, Ryan White (MTL) got called for a roughing penalty. So both teams skated 4-on-4 to start the second period.

In the second period, the Bruins were making the Canadiens work for their lead. After two periods, Boston led in shots on goal (26-14) and scoring chances (14-7). Montreal goaltender Carey Price still had a solid period, but they just got all the lucky bounces and it was just the Bruins not being able to capitalize. The Bruins still trailed by one entering the third period.

The third period was very similar to the first two. Boston out played Montreal once again. It is unfortunate that a team loses a game when they clearly were the dominant team. At the end of the day, all that matters is the final score. Brian Gionta added another goal for Montreal and they take game one by a score 2-o. Carey Price made 31 saves to post another career shut out. Game two will be this Saturday night at the Garden.

Gold Star: Chris Kelly...he had a couple of blocked shots and played very well on both sides of the ice. A true veteran who knows how to play smart.

Black Star: Johnny Boychuk...although the entire defense did this tonight, he let more pucks escape the offensive zone than any other defenseman when the Bruins had scoring chances.

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