Game 7: Habs and Bruins Go to the Wire
So what edition of the Montreal Canadiens will appear tonight?
Will we seen the team that dominated their rival Boston Bruins, sweeping the regular season series and putting up a 3-1 series lead in the first round of the NHL playoffs?
Or will we see the tired and undisciplined squad that has allowed 4 third period goals in the last 2 consecutive games?
If the history books are any indication, the edge is clearly with the bleu-blanc et rouge. The Bruins are 0-20 when down 3-1 in a series and this is the first time they have forced a seventh game.
The Canadiens have never lost a series the 26 times they have been up 3-1. Canadiens leading scorer Alex Kovalev is a career 5-0 in game sevens played.
However as we have learned, streaks can end (Boston Red Sox, that lady from All My Children,,,Susan something) and the momentum factor is clearly in the favour of the visitors going into tonight's contest.
"Obviously, we have the confidence of knowing we can beat these guys, that's how I look at things," Bruins coach Claude Julien said at the team's practice facility Sunday.
The key to beating the Canadiens in this series has been shutting down their power play. Julien has his team shutting down Kovalev and company to the point of non existence this series and was even successful doing that in the final two games of the regular series too, blanking the Canadiens on six chances.
Tonight, the Canadiens have to play the game they should have played in Game 5 and go for the kill. Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau spoke to the media Sunday stating that the team had had a cushion to lose two games but lacked the urgency to close it.
"We all know the importance of this game.", Carbonneau said. "As a staff, we’ve got to get them ready to compete. There’s a limit you have to push. We did it in Games 1 and 4, and now we have to find it again. We have to play on the edge but stay focused. "
So now it becomes a best of one series. Winner goes on, loser goes golfing.
Regardless of the result, fans of neither team can be disappointed with their clubs performance this season. Neither team was expected to even make the playoffs by the paid analysts and nobody expected the Canadiens to top the Eastern Conference. This means many years for both franchises to be in playoff battles for years to come.
So here it comes Habs/Bruins fans: Game 7.......winner take all!
Pre-Game note: Neither team plans to make any roster changes as of press time despite rumours that Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron may be available.
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