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Monday, March 24, 2014

Pregame Preview: Canadiens at Bruins (Game #73)

Habs Vs Bruins 
Match Up:

The Canadiens (39-26-7) are in Boston Monday night to face the Bruins (49-17-5) after disposing of another Original Six rival the game before. The game starts at 7:30 and can be seen on RDS and TSN.

This is the fourth and final match between the Habs and Bruins. The Habs have earned a pair of regulation victories already this season over the Bruins, but dropped their last match 4-1 at the Bell Centre. Thomas Vanek picked up his first point as a Hab in that game, while Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand each had 2 points for the Bruins.

What to Watch:

Brian Gionta had a goal and an assist against the Leafs on Saturday, his sixth multi-point game of the season. Rene Bourque also had a goal and an assist against Toronto, he directed a season high 6 shots on goal after sitting out as a healthy scratch the previous five games.

The Bruins have won 12 straight and clinched a playoff spot in the process. Despite the fact that Boston is second overall in terms of goals per game, they don't have a single player amongst the top-20 point producers, although with 28 goals, Jarome Iginla is 16th in that department.

What's at Stake:

If the Canadiens have any hope left to catch the Bruins (they don't), then they need to win Monday's game. Boston is 18 points ahead of the Habs, and the Canadiens have just 10 games, or 20 possible points, remaining. A more likely target for the Habs would be the Tampa Bay Lightning, second in the Atlantic. Tampa has a game in hand and a 1-point lead over the Canadiens but the two teams will meet up once more this season.

Who's Out:

Lars Eller (lower body) left Saturday's game in the second period and did not return, he is listed as day-to-day. Josh Gorges (hand) and Brandon Prust (lower body) are on injured reserve.

The Bruins are missing defensemen Dennis Seidenberg (knee) and Adam McQuaid (groin).

What Else:

The Bruins have won 12 straight and picked up 25 of a possible 28 points since returning from the Olympic break. Boston's longest win streak is 14 games, a mark set over 80 years ago during the 1929-30 season. The 92-93 Pittsburgh Penguins hold the record for the longest winning streak, at 17 games, followed by the 81-82 Islanders at 15. Boston's 14-game streak is the third longest in league history.

The Question Mark:

We want to hear from you: What would it take to eliminate the Bruins in the Playoffs and is there an Eastern conference team that can do it?

Make your voice heard by leaving a comment or sending us a tweet with the #MTLHockey hashtag on Twitter.

Be sure to tune into the Montreal Hockey Talk Pregame Show an hour before the puck drop and the Post Game Show 5 minutes after the final siren. Join the live conversation by using the #MTLHockey hashtag on Twitter.

4 comments:

Starting Peter Budaj is an interesting call. I almost seems like Michel Therrien is content with letting whatever happens happen here and try to take the easy 2-points tomorrow starting Price against Buffalo. Interesting strategy, especially when players like Desharnais and publicly noting how they consider this an important matchup heading into the playoffs.

Benching Weaver, playing Murray with Subban and starting Budaj sounds like a recipe for disaster and typical Therrien logic. But just watch us pull off the victory as always seems to be the case.

Budaj has won his last 2 starts in Boston plus he has had some time off. I think it puts Budaj in a good spot tonight as strange as that may seem. I am good with his start tonight. The Bruins can be and will be beat. I think they will be tired club come the second round of the playoffs against the winner with momentum. bruins are getting old in key positions and the toll of last years playoff games will make them very vunerable.

I CAN HEAR A PIN DROP IN BRUIN LAND AND IT FEELS SO GOOD PEOPLE SICK SO THEY DONT HAVE TO FACE ME HABS FOR LIFE!!!!!!!!

I'll admit, I was skeptical about the message Therrien was giving the team by starting Budaj. But they came out and fought and prevailed. And he didn't bench Weaver afterall, thankfully. Weaver was a force last night. I'm glad we won, but we better not sleepwalk in Buffalo. Last night means nothing if we lose tonight.

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