Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Habs send Bruins off to hibernation

It took a little longer than they may have liked and a few of those games were much too close for comfort, but number one finally prevailed over number eight, all be it at the end of game seven.

The Montreal Canadiens have advanced to the next round of the Quest for Stanley, convincingly sending the Boston Bruins on to the off season with a 5-0 victory at the Bell Centre.

In a must win game, Montreal finally put all of their ingredient back into the mix and provided the effort and results that their fans had been hoping for back in game five. Having expected to be holding their celebration over the weekend just past, the Canadiens fans had to settle in for what is always a nerve wracking experience, a winner take all final game, traditionally the hockey event that produces the most drama and the most unexpected happenings.

In this case it was the inability of the Bruins to carry on with their momentum, built up after coming back from a 3-1 deficit to tie the series up in Boston setting the stage for the Monday night showdown.

Instead, the Canadiens carried the play to the Bruins, playing the body hard, making smart crisp passing plays and keeping their positional game on track for sixty minutes, unlike those last few games where they were knocked off their game by the hard hitting Bruins.

Once Montreal began to score some goals it was as if a wave of relief had washed over Montreal, with the fans firmly behind them and increasing the noise with every goal, the Habs were able to feed off that energy and take the game to the Bruins.

Rookie goaltender Carey Price made amends for two consecutive five goal against nights, turning aside all 25 Boston shots to post his second play off shut out in his very young career. Price made a number of key saves early on which prevented the Bruins from clawing their way back into the game, allowing the Habs the time to build up a cushion for the victory.

For Boston, the loss will no doubt be a disappointing end to what had been a pretty impressive run in the first round, never expected to provide much of a road block to Montreal’s march to the second round. Boston will build from this season, their re-entry into the playoff groupings for which they had been absent for so long.

The Bruins instead found a few flaws in the Montreal system and exploited them for some key wins. By the time games five and six had rolled around the momentum shift had decidedly turned in the Bruins favour, Saturday’s thriller from Boston with its flurry of last period goals seemed to portend of perhaps one of the bigger upsets of the first round.

But, back in the friendly confines of the Bell Centre, with their loyal and musically inclined parishioners in the pews, the Canadiens returned to the play that has carried them through the regular season and into the playoffs.

Boston will build from this season, their re-entry into the playoff groupings for which they had been absent for so long.

For Montreal however, Game seven was their exclamation point that they, like their fans were all on the same song sheet and ready to sing a little longer into the night.

Globe and Mail--Canadiens finally put away Bruins
Globe and Mail-- Canadiens turn dread into cheer
CBC Sports-- Canadiens bounce Bruins in Game 7
National Post-- Price Delivers
Boston Globe-- Only supporting cast in the loss, but give players props
Boston Globe-- Chara feels sting, but praises effort
Boston Globe-- Iced Team
Boston Herald-- Bruins open eyes despite series loss
Boston Herald-- Bruins just not good enough
Boston Herald-- No more doubting Thomas
Montreal Gazette-- Victorious
Montreal Gazette-- Habs save best for last
Montreal Gazette-- Kostitsyns lead scoring parade
Montreal Gazette-- Madness on the streets
NHL.com-- Stats Pack

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