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PHT Morning Skate: Bruins ready to fight back vs. Habs tonight

May 8, 2014, 8:08 AM EDT

Brendan Gallagher Brendan Gallagher

The Pittsburgh Penguins once again cleanly beat the Rangers to push New York to the brink of elimination. While the Rangers try to figure out how they can turn the tide, we have two more playoff games ahead of us tonight.

Game 4: Boston Bruins vs. Montreal Canadiens [Montreal leads series 2-1] (7:30 p.m. ET — NBCSN)

Boston scored seven goals in the third periods of their first two games versus Montreal. The Canadiens would not permit any late game heroics on Tuesday.

The Bruins were held to just seven shots on goal in the final 20 minutes and while Jarome Iginla did scored with 2:16 minutes remaining, Montreal still went on to earn a 4-2 victory.

Goaltender Tuukka Rask lamented after the game that the Bruins “made stupid mistakes” while coach Claude Julien felt their start wasn’t good enough to give them a chance to win.

The silver lining is that help might be on the way for the Bruins. Defenseman Dennis Seidenberg feels good enough to return from a torn ACL, although that doesn’t necessarily mean that he will play soon. As upbeat as he is, he reportedly hasn’t been cleared for contact yet.

On the other side, the Canadiens were angry that Milan Lucic appeared to spear defenseman Alexei Emelin.

Lucic and Emelin have a long-standing rivalry, so we’ll have to see if that battle escalates as we get deeper into the series.

Game 3: Anaheim Ducks vs. Los Angeles Kings [Los Angeles leads series 2-0] (10:00 p.m. ET — NBCSN)

The Kings have won six straight games, but they want to avoid getting too comfortable. After all, they know better than most just how quickly a series can turn.

“Coming home having that 2-0 lead, you want to have that killer instinct too, and that right attitude, that right mind-set to win in front of your own fans,” Kings forward Jarret Stoll told the Los Angeles Times.

The Ducks are going into this contest with a similar attitude and it obviously shouldn’t be hard for them to view this as a must-win game. In order for Anaheim to turn this series around though, the team needs to find a way to beat Jonathan Quick. So far the Kings goaltender has turned aside 69 of 72 shots.

“He’s seeing a lot of pucks. We need to get in his eyes, get in his head a bit,” forward Patrick Maroon said. “We need to crash and bang, go to the net. We need all 20 of us. It’s what we’ve been doing all year.”

If they fail to do that tonight, the Ducks will have no recourse but to try and give the Kings a taste of their own medicine by overcoming a 3-0 series deficit.

  1. muckleflugga - May 8, 2014 at 9:20 AM

    a sense of unease has been creeping-over les canadiens’ locker room after a bell centre rink rat reported he had seen milan lucic painting his sticks so they look like thermometers …?

    more later

    • 7mantel - May 8, 2014 at 9:29 AM

      LOL ! How do kids think this sh!t up?

    • infectorman - May 8, 2014 at 10:33 AM

      Weak, even by your obscure, disconnected ramblings.
      Come on Fugly, you can do better than that.

      The sense of unease is that Montreal has been whistlin by the graveyard all series long. Reckoning toniTe

  2. joey4id - May 8, 2014 at 9:36 AM

    “It’s just awareness, the sharpness of our guys,” Julien said. “You look at the goals, it’s a lack of awareness, guys are left alone, guys behind our ‘D’ and those kind of things. It is correctable, but we need to be sharper.”

    Someone tell Hamilton that when an opposing player is about to come out of the penalty box he shouldn’t shift to the opposite side of the ice. That rookie mistake led to Subban’s breakaway goal.

    The Bruins have to be better than they were last game. Rask, and Chara are being outplayed by Price, and Subban. The KIL was ineffective, and the Bruins’ PK was below expectations. The speed of the Habs gave the Bruins all sorts of problems. Habs moved the puck too quickly in their zone for the Bruins forecheck to be effective. Best for the Bruins to stay out of the box, and find a way to shut down PK.

    • dropthepuckeh - May 8, 2014 at 10:47 AM

      Agreed on all of the above and I would add that the Bruins need to stop being afraid to hit. They are playing a timid brand of hockey which has never been their style. Flame away but Bruins see results when they are hitting. Montreal delivered several huge clean hits on Tuesday and usually the Bruins are dominating in that area. Big hits force turnovers and if the Bruins can stop hitting the post, turnovers bring goals.

    • pepper2011 - May 8, 2014 at 10:49 AM

      That’s on Rask and or the Bench. They need to let him know.

      I don’t get the speed of the Habs things. They are not outshooting them. they have had a few breakaways, but it’s not odd man rushes that is killing them.

      The Bruins are creating more chances, they just aren’t burying them.

      Weise- not speed, a turnover. Bourque – not speed a turnover, Subban – awareness and Shots from point. Speed has not been an issue at all.

      I am not saying the guys listed above aren’t fast; I am saying speed hasn’t had anything to do with the series. Turnovers and lack of execution.

      • joey4id - May 8, 2014 at 10:57 AM

        “It’s just awareness, the sharpness of our guys,” Julien said. “You look at the goals, it’s a lack of awareness, guys are left alone, guys behind our ‘D’ and those kind of things. It is correctable, but we need to be sharper.”

        Every player on the ice has to be aware of the game situation, clock, who’s on the ice with him, against him…. etc…. Hamilton failed. You don’t see guys like Bergeron make those types of mistakes.

        Lucic & line has been ineffective on the forecheck because the Habs d are fast and very mobile (except for Murray) . Speed is not only a factor for the offensive players.

      • pepper2011 - May 8, 2014 at 11:35 AM

        Bergeron is Bergeron. Also not a D-man. It was partially his fault, but 99/100 the goalie and bench are tapping the sticks.

        The Habs D are not fast and mobile at all. They are the slowest part of their team. Subban is Subban; elite, but Markov is not fast, Weaver is not fast, Murray might be the slowest guy in the league, Bouillion is slow, Gorges is average speed (good dman) and Emelin is average speed to slightly above.

      • joey4id - May 8, 2014 at 12:06 PM

        Bergeron is Bergeron. Also not a D-man. You missed the point. The point is about awareness and making the smart play at the right time, and taking risks when it’s appropriate. I call it hockey IQ, which Bergeron has and would not make dumb and costly mistakes at crucial times like Hamilton did in that play. Go ahead and blame the bench and the goalie. Ultimately, as a professional playing hockey at an elite level since you are kid, you are responsible for your own awareness.

  3. theskinsman - May 8, 2014 at 10:06 AM

    Impossible for the Bruins to stay out of the box playing in Montreal. What they need to do is play bruins hockey, and check the Habs as hard and as often as possible. It’s clear the habs are faster, so take the body and make everyone who touches the puck pay for it. If they don’t get slowed down a bit, this series is over.

    • joey4id - May 8, 2014 at 10:21 AM

      There in lies the problem. You’ve got to catch them to hit them.

      • shaundre93 - May 8, 2014 at 10:25 AM

        Sadly, Joey is right 😦 I think what they need is to score first. I think that if for ONCE the b’s could be the one to initiate the play and put the habs on their heels, not vice versa, the B’s could take em off their game and really put a pounding on em. We’ve seen what happens when Mtl gets off their game in this series, and its not pretty. Fortunately for them they’ve had two goal leads every time its happened

      • hockey412 - May 8, 2014 at 11:18 AM

        And if you miss, you’re screwed.

      • joey4id - May 8, 2014 at 11:23 AM

        Totally. It appears to be an uphill climb for the Bruins. PK, like Therrien said, is a gamer. He’s brought his game up by a few more notches. Coach J has to find a way to contain him. Do you smell a BIG BIG contract for Subban is in the making?

      • hockey412 - May 8, 2014 at 12:01 PM

        I’d be willing to bet it’s at 8M or above. In retrospect they may have screwed themselves with that “bridge contract” (though I agreed with them).

      • joey4id - May 8, 2014 at 12:08 PM

        8m or above sounds right. Habs need a new captain next year, and Subban should get an A.

  4. montrealbbr - May 8, 2014 at 10:07 AM

    The Bruins are a fraud team that is not built for playoff hockey like Montreal is. This series has proven that if you are able to shut down their top line then they crumble. I expect Montreal to come out flying tonight and put their boots on the necks of the baby bears. I am already thinking about how next round will go with Pittsburgh!

    • shaundre93 - May 8, 2014 at 10:21 AM

      So what do you call the last three seasons? Whens the last time the Habs made the finals, let alone twice in three years (btw when they got bounced by Wsh, in game 7 ot, after 7 one goal games, they were without their best and most clutch scorer Horton. Food for thought). Whens the last time the habs won a cup? If you wanna talk about fraud teams, look no further than your “legendary” blue blanc et rouge. Cant win without monopolizing Quebec amatuer hockey

    • nhstateline - May 8, 2014 at 10:23 AM

      Crumble ? The Habs are up 2-1. They won both games by one goal and one of them was in ot. that’s not exactly crumbling. Instead of saying bad stuff about the Bruins, why not praise your own team ? They’ve been the better team through three games except for that, well, crumble in the third period last saturday. And you should have great stuff to say about your GM who did a really nice job of putting a team together that could beat the Bruins while Peter Chiaelli did really nothing in season to make the Bruins better.

      • nhstateline - May 8, 2014 at 10:24 AM

        sorry forgot about the empty netter at the end the other night. Either way, all three of these games have been competitive. Montreal has played well and played more committed. The Bruins need to play better but invest more too.

      • shaundre93 - May 8, 2014 at 10:30 AM

        Well that’s kinda unfair to PC. What exactly was he supposed to change on the best team in the regular season? Their was no way to replace Seids without selling the farm. Bart and Mez have done as well as any other minor deadline pickup would have. I was very happy with the lack of trades. I agree with the rest though

      • nhstateline - May 8, 2014 at 12:03 PM

        Vanek for a fourth round pick ? What the Flyers gave up for MacDonald ? I think the Bruins could have swung those deals asset wise.I forget what the Habs gave up for Weise but it wasn’t all that much either. In season, the Habs management team did a better job no matter how this series, that I don’t think is over yet, comes out. The real constrain on Chiarelli is what it always is: his management of the salary cap. Second, I thought the admission that the Bruins aren’t using advanced analytics in this day and age was kind of mind blowing but he said they really don’t do that.

      • shaundre93 - May 8, 2014 at 6:15 PM

        MacDonald is essentially the same as Bart and Mez, maybe a little better, not missing out on a ton there. Vanek is a fun thought, but it was a 2nd and Collberg, which would equate to the B’s moving Fraser or Khokolachev and a 2nd. Not worth moving those assets for a player who doesn’t fit the system real well and would either play 3rd line or push Iggy/Marchand to the 3rd line

    • joey4id - May 8, 2014 at 10:27 AM

      You too must muck out horse stalls for a living because you are clearly very good at shoveling the s**t.

    • dropthepuckeh - May 8, 2014 at 10:51 AM

      If the Bruins aren’t built for the playoffs then how would you describe the Habs? What is it one CF in 20 years? You’d think the Bruins were down 3-0 with the talk on here.

      As for the Bruins top line, I assume you are referring to the Krejci line but for big parts of the season the Bergeron line was the effective top line. One bright spot from the previous game was watching the Bruins 3rd line dominate the 3rd defensive sloth pairing from Montreal. Expect a goal from them tonight habsman.

  5. joey4id - May 8, 2014 at 10:29 AM

    B’s have held the lead in this series for a little over 11 minutes, and the Habs have done so for 110 minutes. Scary stat if you’re a B’s fan.

    • shaundre93 - May 8, 2014 at 10:33 AM

      That’s really bad but I don’t believe it to be indicative of the play. Its just that the Habs have struck early and forced the B’s to play catchup. Its been a very evenly played series

      • joey4id - May 8, 2014 at 10:50 AM

        Montreal led in the the shot blocking category last game. Joe Haggerty wrote ” Montreal defensemen blocked 22 shots in Game 3 alone at the Bell Centre, and had more blocks than the entire Bruins roster”

    • dropthepuckeh - May 8, 2014 at 10:53 AM

      Blocked shots have been insane from Montreal. 30 in game 2 I believe. Weaver has been a one man blocking machine. Too little movement from the Bruin’s D at the point and stupid shot selection for the most part.

  6. erbaker67 - May 8, 2014 at 12:20 PM

    Weaver might have been the most underrated pickup of the year.

    • joey4id - May 8, 2014 at 12:41 PM

      Give credit where credit is due. He’s made good additions since the start of the year.

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