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Canadiens-Bruins, Game 2: What Will it take?

BOSTON - APRIL 16:  Chuck Kobasew #12 of the Boston Bruins shoots the puck as Christopher Higgins #21 the Montreal Canadiens defends during Game One of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals of the 2009 Stanley Cup playoffs on April 16, 2009 at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Bruins defeated the Canadiens 4-2.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Rocket All HabsCorrespondent IApril 18, 2009

Posted By: Rocket
AllHabs.blogspot.com

Lineup update: Tomas Plekanec and Matt D'Agostini will be healthy scratches for game two; Yannick Weber and Sergei Kostitsyn will play.

After a good start in Game One, the Canadiens will have to improve to win game two. I expect that the Bruins will be better and Claude Julien will see to it as he was not impressed with his troops after the first game.

In the last two games in Boston, the Canadiens have shown that they are a different team than earlier in the year. They can beat the Bruins.

So, what will it take?

Defense;

It has been clear all season that Patrice Brisebois no longer has the skills to compete in the NHL.

Never was that more evident than in game one of this series. He must sit for the remainder.

Francis Bouillon is not yet 100 percent, but he may play. Bouillon is feisty and fearless and would be a good addition playing limited minutes.

Mike Komisarek was very effective in game one, but, he can't do it alone. Ryan O'Byrne could take some of the physical load from Komisarek. He can play well when paired with Roman Hamrlik.

Yannick Weber brought an instant spark to the power-play when inserted in game 81 in Boston. He held his own physically as well.

Josh Gorges must be much more disciplined than in his last two games against Boston. His recent bad penalties have been a liability.

Forwards:

Koivu's line is still carrying the offense. Bob Gainey will likely use Georges Laraque less on the first line than in game one.

Andrei Kostitsyn played well with three hits and three shots in game one. Matt D'Agostini suffers from defensive lapses in his own zone. Max Pacioretty could be an impact player in this series through his physical play and willingness to drive to the net.

Metropolit's line has been effective in their shutdown role. Chris Higgins was the Canadiens best forward in game one. Metropolit and Higgins have been outstanding penalty-killers. Dandenault is better on this line than Laraque.

The third line is one of the keys to the series.

Lapierre, Latendresse and Kostopoulos have the potential to be impact players against Boston. A series against the Bruins should be tailor-made for this line. They have been very quiet in the last two games in Boston. They must be much more physical and take the puck to the net.

Special teams:

The Canadiens will win or lose the series on the performance of their special teams. A lethal power-play is a far better deterrent to Bruin thuggery than Laraque.

The Bruins power-play was ranked forth in the league this season.

The first wave of penalty killers has been good but Lapierre and Kostopoulos must do a much better job covering the points.

Goaltending:

Carey Price was much better than Tim Thomas in game one. Expect Thomas to up his game for game two. Referees may try to clamp down on crease crashing after the Bruins ran Price all game long on Thursday night.

Intangibles:

Bruins fans were rather quiet and nervous in game one after the Canadiens tied the score. The lopsided playoff advantage for the Canadiens is a mystique that worries Bruins supporters, and perhaps players themselves.

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