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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Playoff Preview: Canadiens at Bruins (Round 2, Game 1)

HabsBruins
Match-Up:

The Canadiens, fresh off of 9 days of rest, are in Boston on Thursday to kick off the second round of the NHL Playoffs. The game starts at 7:30 and airs on CBC and RDS.

Both the Habs and the Bruins are coming off 4 straight playoff wins, but the Canadiens went a perfect 4-for-4 in their series against the Lightning while the Bruins dropped Game 1 to the Red Wings before winning out. The Canadiens had the advantage for the season series between these teams with a 3-1-0 record. The Bruins earned just 3 points in 4 games against the Habs this year.

What to Watch:

The Canadiens were led offensively by PK Subban, Brendan Gallagher and Lars Eller in the first round, each picking up 5 points in 4 games. Gallagher is tied with Rene Bourque with 3 goals to lead the team in that department. Carey Price gave up 4 goals in Game 1 against the Lightning, he then went on to allow just 6 over the next 3 games.

Torey Krug got off to a good start in his second taste of playoff action. The 23-year-old defenseman had a goal and 4 assists against the Wings, giving him 11 playoff points in 20 games. Tuukka Rask heads into the second round with a playoff best 1.16 goals against average and .961 save percentage.

What's at Stake:

If the Canadiens can take one of  the first two games in Boston, they'll return to Montreal with home-ice advantage in hand. Game 1 is also an opportunity for the Habs to get in Tuukka Rask's head. The Vezina-nominated goalie has won just 3 games in 16 lifetime starts against the Canadiens. Rask went 1-2-1 against the Habs this year despite posting a 1.91 goals against average and a .932 save percentage.

Who's Out:

The Habs are still missing Alex Galchenyuk (knee) who could potentially return in this series.

The Bruins have been playing without Dennis Seidenberg (lower body) and Daniel Paille (upper body), but both could return this round. Adam McQuaid (quadriceps) is not expected to return anytime soon.

What Else:

The Canadiens and Bruins face-off in the playoffs for an NHL-most 34th time, making them far and away the most familiar of rivals in the league. The Canadiens already hold 24 series victories to their credit but Boston has won the last two playoff meetings. The Canadiens have won 7 of their 24 Stanley Cups by beating the Bruins in the Finals, winning every Stanley Cup Final series these teams have played against each other.

The Question Mark:

Give us your Round 2 predictions, who wins, how many games, who is the series MVP and Little Bear?

Let us know what you think, leave a comment or send us a tweet using 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.

2 comments:

This series is going to be fantastic!!

Physical, nasty, dirty. Media mashups afterwards from the coaches. Everything you expect from a Habs/Bruins series.

Montreal in 7. Boom!
Carey Price is the MVP of the series.
Brendan Gallagher continues to be the answer to Brad Marchand. Earns Little Bear.

Bring on Boston!

Montreal wins in 6 Thomas Vanek is the MVP and make Bergevin a genius. The little bear is of course Brendan Gallagher with his contagious smile!!!!!

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