There's no better feeling than being up 3-1 in a series.
Then again, there's no worse or desperate feeling than being down 3-1 in a series.
It's just a fact of playoff hockey and a reality for both Montreal and Boston heading into Game 5 at the Bell Centre tonight. After three consecutive tight-checking, one-goal games, the Canadiens have the advantage and look to close out the series on home ice.
Despite the pressure to get this far in the series, the mood in the Montreal dressing room has been loose and relaxed. Lately, rookie goaltender Carey Price has been learning how to play the guitar to relax before games.
"I'm still not getting any better at it," he said with a grin. "It's all about co-ordination and I'm not co-ordinated in my fingers. I'm co-ordinated in my limbs."
Yet, when faced with questions on his performance and the still adamant questions about his play compared to Montreal great Patrick Roy, Price responded, "I will never compare myself to Patrick, ever. Even when my career is over.
"He's him and I'm me. Two totally different people."
Calm, relaxed, and focused is a good state of mind for a goaltender to be in. Coach Guy Carbonneau is not surprised by his young goaltender's play so far either.
"Look around the league. (Sidney) Crosby, (Evgeni) Malkin, (Alexander) Ovechkin - they're (around) 20 years old and they're playing unbelievably," Carbonneau said. "That's the way the NHL is right now. It's a young kid's game. They don't want to wait 10 years to show what they can do. They want to do it now."
Sources have reported that Saku Koivu skated on his own before a team practice yesterday afternoon after undergoing more x-rays on his foot. Francis Bouillon is looking better and better and may be ready for Round 2 if the Canadiens win Game 5. If the series with Boston goes 6 or even 7, Bouillon may be back by then.
On needing to finish the series, gritty forward Steve Begin had this to say, “It takes four games to win a series, and we’re missing one,” Bégin said. “We know they’re going to be ready.They don’t want to lose here, especially after last night. They’ll play harder.”
Game 5 is tonight at the Bell Centre in Montreal. Game time is 7 PM ET and can be seen on RDS and CBC.