Part of blogging is getting to debate and share with your readers and fellow bloggers. Habs bloggers until now, but I thought it was time to reach out to those blogging our rivals.
It's back to the old days now, both Boston and ourselves managing to put NHL teams together. I know it's early yet, but it looks like both the Habs and the Bruins could be in the playoffs by the end of the season.
The Bruins have had a pretty good start this season, but have lost a few games of late. If you could point to a turning point in their young campaign, it would be the game against the Habs a few weeks ago. Now that's something to be proud of Habs fans.
For me, this is our premiere rivalry. We have a long history with the Bruins. but more importantly, we have a recent history, with playoff battle royales and eliminations on either side. While Toronto fans want to be our biggest rivals, they just spent too much time in the Campbell Conference during my childhood means I won't relinquish the Bruins place in my heart so easily.
In any case, let's hear what Russ, a great Bruins blogger, at The Bruins Report has to say about his team, our team and tonight's game:
I think the biggest key issue in Montreal's favor is their speed up front. Boston's D has been better lately, but are still somewhat slow. You're looking at a situation where the D is anchored by the #1 in Chara, then has a bunch of #4 - #6 defensemen plugging in the rest of the roster slots. They're big, and can hit (Ward, Alberts, Stuart) but have had issues going up against teams that have solid speed up front.
One other key issue right now in Boston is scoring - with Bergeron out (potentially for the season) all the lines have been juggled and so far it seems that Chuck Kobasew is one of the few that've kept their game. Kessel's also come on strong as well.
If the B's defense can help contain Montreal's speed, that'll go a long way to keeping the Habs from scoring another 6 goals :-) Tim Thomas has been great in the net this season and is pretty much a lock to be starting against Montreal [NOTE: Since Russ sent this through a certain rookie phenom (and Leaf castoff) named Tuukka Rask looks a possibility in net to go head-to-head with Price]. I'd look to someone like Savard or Murray (hopefully) to have a strong game and help spark the B's up front, and I think Kessel will be strong all season long.
As I said in my weekly review, the Bruins are neither as good as their start, or as bad as their game against us. Judging by Russ' conservative assessment and his leaving the door open to the possibility of a Habs win, I have a feeling he feels the same way. I also have to agree with Russ about speed. The Canadiens main asset vs. the Bruins is their speed. The Canadiens are built for speed, the Bruins are not. If we play the game at pace, they shouldn't beat us most nights.
I think the game will be a real treat for fans of goaltending if the two most heralded goaltending prospects in the world at the moment play head-to-head. Tuukka Rask (from Price's draft year) has played some strong hockey down in Providence, and can apparently rival Price in talent and temperament. Should be fun.