Game 1 was actually pretty even. Boston ended up winning and they deserved to win, but for much of the game, the Habs were neck and neck with the best team in the conference. The first period was very physical, with both teams coming out strong. Boston was the better team scoring the first 2 of the game and ending the period with a 2-1 lead and a 15-9 shot advantage. The second period goes to the Habs, who took Boston out of their comfort zone by forcing them into turnovers and bad decision making offensively. Kovalev scored the lone goal on a wicked slap shot, which, by the way, I’ve watched several times and I still can’t seem to see the puck. The 3rd period was all Boston. That’s not entirely fair, because it was fairly even until Josh Gorges’ mistake. After that, it was game over.
Score: Bruins 4 – Habs 2 (Bruins lead series 1-0)
Habs MVP: Carey Price; 35 saves on 38 shots, not much else he could have done in this one.
Magic Number: 13:12; that’s how many minutes Georges Laraque played at even strength. That’s more 5 on 5 time than Lapierre, Metropolit, Kostopoulos, Plekanec, Higgins, Tanguay, Kostitsyn, Latendresse and D’Agostini. I understand there’s a gameplan but isn’t that a bit much?
‘Throw in the Towel’ Moment: The horrendous penalty taken by Josh Gorges gave the Bruins the game. Obviously there are other factors, but that was pure selfishness on his part.
Song Dedication: “Won’t Get Fooled Again” by The Who to Josh Gorges; who better not be fooled again into taking a stupid penalty at a pivotal moment in the playoffs.
What went right?
The Habs top players (Kovalev, Koivu) were good.
Chris Higgins had an excellent game.
Carey Price did what he could.
Habs were 37 for 71 on faceoffs.
Canadiens outhit Boston 31 to 23
What went wrong?
Distribution of ice time is beyond comprehension.
Habs were almost too focused on playing physical and got away from their game.
39 shots against needs to be addressed.
The defense was mediocre at best. Brisebois and Schenider showed signs of aging.
Second line was non-existent, and needs to be better.
Game 2 is Saturday. Habs need to be more disciplined in their own zone to take away scoring chances and they need to focus on playing their game. It’s important to be physical, but at the same time, let the skill guys focus on a skill game. It also couldn't hurt to get Markov back. It isn't clear what his status is, but he is skating and could return for game 3 in Montreal. I’m predicting a Habs win on Saturday, I’ll call a 2-1 Habs win.
GO HABS GO!
About the Author
Written by Corey Krakower
I am the Director of NHL Content & Habs writer for ProSportsBlogging.com; I have spent 8 seasons behind the bench as a minor hockey coach; and I am the future GM of the Montreal Canadiens (according to my mom). I spend my days managing the Harrow Sports brand in my hometown of Montreal and I moonlight as a Hockey Advisor for Pi Athlete Management. Most importantly, I'll throw anyone under the bus for a laugh.