2011 NHL Playoffs: Montreal Canadiens-Boston Bruins Analysis After Game 2

Jason HitelmanCorrespondent IApril 16, 2011

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 16:  Mike Cammalleri #13 of the Montreal Canadiens wraps around the net as Tim Thomas #30 of the Boston Bruins defends in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden on April 16, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Now I'm really confused. If the Montreal Canadiens played a perfect road game in Game 1, what would you call their performance tonight?

Once again, the Habs' defense stifled the Bruins. Tim Thomas was far from spectacular. He was a rebound machine, the most costly being the one that ended up on Michael Cammalleri's stick 43 seconds into the game.

The Canadiens never looked back and the Bruins, once again, seemed not to have their heads in the game.

They were unable to beat Carey Price but once in 35 shots, a pretty pass from Brad Marchand cashed in by Patrice Bergeron.

Call it a blip: the Canadiens limited the Bruins' scoring opportunities from then on and Price, well, he played just as he has this entire season. I hate to sound like a broken record, but it's hard to ignore the truth.

Granted, Boston was without their best skater, Zdeno Chara, who was out after being hospitalized for dehydration. On that note, need I go down the laundry list of Habs injuries?

With Andrei Kostitsyn out of the game, Yannick Weber was inserted into the Canadiens' lineup. The result? A goal and a solid shutdown game as a forward on a line with Lars Eller and Tom Pyatt.

The Bs are visibly frustrated and I'm not sure how they could salvage this series. It's clear to everyone watching that, for some reason or another, the Bruins' heads are out of the game.

So what's next?

The Bruins are in dire need for a shakeup, but what could they do to become effective?

Is it too early to pull the plug on Tim Thomas, the lock for the Vezina Trophy?

Assuming Chara is back for Game 3, I'd have to say that it is. Thomas has earned the chance to win a game for the Bruins; he is not the reason they've lost the first two games of this series.

However, much like the rest of his team, Thomas has been shaky at the Bell Centre.

The Habs must keep their foot on the gas. They will, of course, have a huge advantage playing in front of their fans in Montreal.

Needless to say, if there was ever any pressure on the Canadiens, it's gone. They've proven, up to this point, at least, that last season's run in the postseason was no fluke.

This team was built for the playoffs. Perhaps they aren't Stanley Cup contenders, but they've certainly shown their worth against a team that is supposed to be just that.


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