Game 3 : Habs vs Bruins
With a 3-1 win in Boston this past weekend, the Montreal Canadiens head back home for game 3 with a 2-0 lead in the series. I think we can all agree, we weren't expecting the Canadiens to be blown apart in Boston, but at the same time, I don't think anyone expected the Habs to walk away with 2 wins. It's really starting feel a lot like last year. The city is a buzz and the analysts are beginning to second guess their pre-post season predictions. Are the Habs going to sweep the Boston Bruins? Is that possible? Let's take a look what's in store for game 3.
Tonight marks the first post season home game for the Habs in 2011 and you can be certain that the fans are going to be giving it to the Bruins hard. This will be the first time the Habs host the Bruins at the Bell Center since the Max Pacioretty incident. Could we have asked for better revenge? Don't forget about Chara's absence from game 2. I'm starting to think either the hockey god's are getting involved, or that Pacioretty wasn't in Boston just to support his team.
First off, by no means is Boston out of this series. With a win tonight they can easily turn the momentum around. It's going to take Montreal a ton of discipline, focus and hard work to ensure a 3-0 lead over the 3rd seeded Boston Bruins. The Habs for sure have some advantages going into this game, but nothing that guarantees them anything. Of course, 21 000 fans booing the Bruins every time they touch the puck isn't going to hurt our chances.
Zdeno Chara is still considered a game time decision. Claude Julien has kept his lips pretty tight as far as his line up is concerned. It's been speculated that perhaps Tukka Rask will make an appearance tonight, as well as rookie Tyler Seguin. Seguin would give the team a bit of a different dynamic, adding speed up the center. At this point you can expect Boston to be trying anything.
The Habs' success depends on which Boston Bruins team shows up tonight. If the Bruins handle this game like they did the two others; simply trying to counter the Habs game plan, instead of sticking to their own, I think the Bruins will find themselves on the short end of things once again. Can the Bruins revert back to their style? It's not going to be easy. But I will say this. If the Bruins come out with a game plan of their own, instead of just avoiding getting caught in ours, they will be more successful then they were in Boston. If they have a hope, they need to forget about the match up and just take this like they would any other regular season game. Gritty forecheck, throw some bodies around, and hope that the referees let some calls slide. If not, I think it's clear that Montreal is in their heads, and it's going to take some lucky bounces to slow us down.
Carey Price will be in nets for the Habs tonight, while Thomas is probable. Like I mentioned, Rask's name has come up here and there, however, Thomas can hardly be blamed for anything that happened in the first two games. Habs roster remains the same, while Boston's Chara is still up in the air.
Although my head is saying Boston still has a chance, my heart is saying the Habs are going to win tonight and close the series on Thursday with a sweep. I'm going to predict a 3-2 win for the Habs. Leave your predictions in the comments below.
Game starts at 7:30pm and is being aired on RDS and CBC.