Thursday, October 27, 2011

Game Nine: Home-And-Home With The Habs Part 1

It is not officially Bruins season until the first meeting with their rival occurs. It's not even a debate when I say that the Bruins-Canadiens rivalry is the greatest rivalry in sports. Tonight was the first meeting of the season between the two teams.

Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty was in action for Montreal tonight, signifying the first time that he played against the Bruins since suffering the "devastating hit" from Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara. You know that the government officials and police in Montreal are still unsure whether or not to bring criminal charges against Big Z? My god this issue was dead and buried months ago, at least that is what we all thought. Even Pacioretty went on record saying that he hopes Chara is not charged with criminal actions. That was straight from the horse's mouth.

Bruins forward Benoit Pouliot played against his former team for the first time in this game. The former first round draft pick has had a disappointing career thus far. Hopefully wearing the black and gold will get him going in the right direction. As far as him crossing over enemy lines, Pouliot said that he is glad that he is "on the right side of the rivalry." Take that Montreal.

One last side note, defenseman Adam McQuaid made his return to the lineup after missing the last four games with a neck injury.

Now we can get to the game. The first period was controlled by Boston as they had multiple great scoring chances. They did a great job of drawing penalties. Just one second into a Boston power play, Patrice Bergeron deflected the puck on the ensuing face-off right into the goal. Towards the end of the period, Milan Lucic got reacquainted with old friend P.K. Subban by roughing him up a little bit. Good friends show tough love right?

The second period definitely got interesting. Erik Cole tied the game up for the Canadiens after deflecting a shot by Jaroslav Spacek past Tim Thomas for the goal. The rest of the period consisted of Thomas and Canadiens goaltender Carey Price making great saves robbing clear scoring chances. Questionable calls against Boston negated two potential power plays.

We also got to see Brad Marchand hook up with Subban in a fight. It ended up taking three tries, but the referees finally let them go. The first two times the referees stepped in before they got going and gave them each minor penalties (holding for the first time and delay of game for the second time). Marchand did his job whether he won or lost the fight. Subban is one of Montreal's better defensemen. Getting him off the ice for nine minutes due to penalties was huge.

The third period saw an injection of energy by Boston's fourth line of Gregory Campbell, Daniel Paille, and Shawn Thornton. Campbell, who left the game briefly in the second period due to being cut with a skate on his leg, also got some time with David Krejci and Nathan Horton. Despite the line up change, the Bruins could not get anything going. Montreal took the lead after a goal by Tomas Plekanec. Boston fell to Montreal by a score of 2-1.

The Bruins fall to last place in the Northeast Division and last place in the Eastern Conference with a 3-6-0 record and six points. Wow. They will play the second game of the home-and-home series against the Canadiens on Saturday night.

Gold Star: Tim Thomas: (33 saves on 35 shots, 2 goals allowed, .943 save percentage)

Black Star: Joe Corvo...Not the best game for the veteran defenseman. He had a couple of broken sticks, which is not a big deal. It happens. But choosing to go for another stick instead of trying to stay in the play could have been costly.

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