USA TODAY Sports
P.K. Subban takes a hit.
The Boston Bruins are a big, physical team. Through two games in this series, they have thrown 90 hits on the Montreal Canadiens.
The majority of these have been directed at the Canadiens' defenders, most of whom aren't very big. The defense has done a good job so far of getting the puck out while taking a hit, but it's fair to wonder how long that will last.
If the Bruins continue to punish the undersized Montreal defense, and they surely will, it is entirely possible that it affects the series.
The defense might start to think a little too much about the incoming hit, which could lead to a giveaway and then a crucial goal. It hasn't happened yet, but it seems like it's only a matter of time.
Head coach Michel Therrien seems to be thinking the same way.
According to Arpon Basu of NHL.com, big Douglas Murray was skating with Mike Weaver on the third-defensive pairing at practice on Monday. The 6'3", 240-pound Murray, who hasn't played yet in the playoffs, was taking the place of the 5'8" Francis Bouillon.
Therrien would not comment on possible changes for Tuesday, but Murray for Bouillon seems likely.
Murray is a better fit to handle the big Boston forwards. He'll also help slow down the Bruins by dishing out a few hits of his own.
He's also a good shot-blocker, having blocked 115 in just 53 regular-season games. That will come in handy, as the Bruins will continue to throw pucks at the net when given the opportunity.
The Bruins have exerted a physical toll on the Canadiens defense so far in Round 2, and it will continue to be a big part of their game plan moving forward. Montreal's ability to deal with the hits could be a key factor for the remainder of the series.