Friday, April 18, 2008

Game #1-5: Bruins Dome

A few goals and a few Habs mistakes will make other Habs fans take notice of the Bruins for the first time in over a year. The fact is, some of the players in this done have been here since game 1.

Dome hockey team
They're going into the last minute with these 6 against the Montreal Canadiens (and they're attached to the ice, so they're not coming off)...


Marc Savard
– before the breakout (or the collapse if you choose to see it that way), I thought Marc Savard was the best forward on the Bruins. He was pivotal in terms of turning the tide. He set up a few chances on the PP for the Bruins before they figured out how to shoot straight. Every time Krejci's name came up (with largely overblown praise from RDS), it was through some clever play Savard had made

Phil Kessel
– you have to give credit to this young man – the Bruins were flailing without a goalscorer, he put himself forward as an answer, he delivered. The goal he scored on the PP was completely of his own making. Not only that, it was a gamebreaker. I think Lucic, Murray and Krejci could have 50 more chances and not scored. Kessel outclassed them as goalmen with ease. If the Bruins do lose this series, will the Boston fans question Julien's hard-headedness when it came to Kessel? If I cared for the Bruins, i would

Marco Sturm
– on what must have been his 10th short-handed breakaway of the series, Sturm scored. Albeit the goal was scored on a petulant and disinterested Price, but a goal nonetheless. Sturm was rewarded for constant play over all the games and basically for being a fast mofo. It's easy to see why he led the Bruins in goals, but also apparent why he doesn't lead the league.

I'd like give him credit for killing the Habs penalties, but I don't really call passive box hockey (the Habs are responsible for their own futility there)


Zdeno Chara
- a fixture here. In fact, he would have been out, but for the turnaround (collapse). He was flagging in the second, making bad passes, even letting Kovalev through. IN the third, however, he played a big role in the surge. His goal was the straw that broke the camel's back

Dennis Wideman
- a split from Chara was just what the doctor ordered for Wideman. He played a good game as a puck-carrying defenceman, which greatly aided the Bruins to maintain the amount of possession they did. A question for the Canadiens, though: as good as Wideman is, might it be worth challenging him once in a while?


Tim Thomas
- no significant challenges for Thomas, but you can't fault him for that. he was the goalie during the game and so he is the goalie here, not much explanation beyond that, really. Two of the real Habs chances he actually let right by, so he's not unbeatable or anything. More shots like Kovalev's on the PP will go a long way to getting Auld another dome appearance. I want the Habs to play so well Manny Fernandez gets a chance in here, though

Though the Canadiens set the tempo early, by letting the Bruins take control in the second and hold the puck more, any fan could see what was at risk. I'll tell you that no bruins were underlined in my notes until the second. By the end of the game, there were choices to be made for the dome for the first time, really, this series. So, let's be honest the bruins are still beatable, they were even ready to be beat last night. I think a little more keying on Savard and Sturm and a lot less on Lucic will go a long way to making those 2-1 wins possible again. If Carbonneau wants to get dangerous, he could even try taking advantage of a slow defence corps by letting his skating players play.

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