The NHL standings will not do justice to the statement the Boston Bruins issued by stamping a 4-1 triumph over the Montreal Canadiens. The Atlantic Division leaders augmented their lead over the third-place Habs to 14 points by cutting Montreal’s lead in the 2013-14 season series to 2-1-0.
Yet both the standings and Wednesday’s score will not do justice to the lingering questions in this matchup.
The Bruins warrant copious credit for cracking open an initial 4-0 lead and then warding off their hosts. They exceeded their archrivals’ desperation when there was ample cause for the opposite.
Remember, though, that both teams are still gelling with their additions from last week’s trade deadline. Remember that the Bruins got away with losing 40 out of 65 faceoffs, including an uncharacteristic 12-of-26 showing by Patrice Bergeron.
Remember that Montreal was utilizing its backup goaltender, Peter Budaj, while Carey Price continues to nurse an injury. Kevin Allen of USA Today wrote Wednesday that Price is “getting closer to being ready,” which likely means he will scrape the blue paint when the rivals reconvene March 24 at TD Garden.
Then again, Allen also made note of Budaj’s strong history (a 4-1-0 career record) against the Bruins. That had no bearing on this meeting.
For now, from a Boston standpoint, a win is a win, even if it was not 60 smooth minutes. The goaltender and goal-scoring committee perked up when necessary to stretch this winning streak to six games.
On that note, here are the top three storylines stemming from the latest Bruins-Habs bout.
Unless otherwise indicated, all statistics for this report were found via nhl.com