Playing (and watching) hockey in Montreal for some is almost a relgious experience they say, such is the history of the team and the ghosts of the past that forever mark playoff time in the city.
Thursday night mass was once again on, with a playoff baptism for two goaltenders, Confirmation for two brothers and what appears to be just be the early sermons in the mass for the departed for the Bruins.
The Canadiens used their speed, scoring touch and a surprising amount of physical play to quickly notch up win number nine so far in the 2008-09 hockey calendar year, a 4-1 victory that picks the team up where they left off at the end of the regular season.
With crushing body checks and a scoring blitz from the Kostitsyn brothers, Montreal rarely gave the Bruins a chance to catch their breath let alone contemplate an attack of their own. Carey Price appearing in his now much publicized first NHL playoff game, turned aside seventeen shots with little apparent difficulty to help contribute to the Habs control of the night.
The Kostitsyn's threatened to make the game a rout less than two minutes into the game as
Sergei punched in a rebound thirty eight seconds into the game for an early 1-0 lead, the crowd had not even come down from that exhileration when brother Andrei put the Canadiens ahead for good one minute later.
The Bruins didn't seem prepared for the physical play of Montreal, with Zdeno Chara feeling the brunt of the habs checking game, which took away the ice he normally controls on sheer size along.
And it seems as goes Chara, so go the Bruins, who couldn't seem to take the pressure off their captain by taking the play back to the Canadiens. Montreal left the ice to the traditional serenade of that na, na, na, na goodbye song, a tune which it would seem won't be a bother for Boston much longer, but one which will become a frequent companion for Montreal as these playoffs continue.
Montreal Gazette-- Hard-hitting Habs wanted game more than Bruins
Montreal Gazette-- Habs dominate Game 1 of playoffs with 4-1 win over Bruins
National Post-- CANADIENS CRUISE
Globe and Mail-- Montreal's Band of Brothers
TSN.ca-- Even Strength Offence sinks Bruins
CBC.ca-- Bruins no match for Habs in game one
Boston Herald-- Loud, rude awakening for Thomas
Boston Herald-- Black et Bleu
Boston Globe-- Canadiens take Game 1 against Bruins
Boston Globe-- Some Habs, some Hab-nots
NHL.com-- Stats Pack