The Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins will meet in the first round of the playoffs starting on Thursday April 10th, 2008.
With a record of 47-25-10 the Habs accumulated 104 points in the regular season with a point percentage of .634. The team wasn’t plagued with major injuries and unlike last season, their playoff fate wasn't determined in their last game of the season.
The team’s veterans, surrounded with young stars, finally delivered what has been promised for so long. At the end of last night’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the fans gave the team a much deserved standing ovation.
The Bruins ended their regular season with a record of 41-29-12. With 94 points in the season, they have a .573 point percentage. The Bruins are 0-8 against the Habs this season. Without a win against the Habs during the regular season, Boston needs to be mentally prepared to play against Montreal, especially at the Bell Centre where there’s a lot of energy.
Both teams will have players without any post-season experience, and understandably some of them will be a little nervous. Habs veterans like Kovalev, Markov and Koivu need to be at their best and keep the young players focused. Chara, Savard and Murray need to do the same for the Boston Bruins.
Who will Claude Julien be able to trust in nets? Tim Thomas had a rough time against the Canadiens this season, but he does have a GAA of 2.44 and .921 save percentage compared to Alex Auld’s 2.68 GAA and .907 save percentage. Thomas lost 6 games against the Habs this season. If he’s the starting goaltender he’ll need to prove to Julien and his teammates that he’s the one who’ll take them in the next round.
The Habs don’t have the goalie debate. Carey Price will be the go-to guy for Guy Carbonneau. Time and time again he has demonstrated his ability to thrive under the pressure. He won his 5 starts against Boston and his GAA this season is 2.56.
A good season can be eradicated in a bad post-season and a mediocre season can be wiped out with a stellar post-season. The fans of both teams can expect a good series. Will Montreal continue their winning streak against Boston? Or will the Bruins come out fighting harder than ever?