Before you read on you should know that this isn’t a post defending the Canadiens. I feel like some assbag is going to read this be then be like “Holy shit I can’t believe this guy is a Bruins fan he’s probably a Habs fan in disguise – blah blah blah” My point here is to kill some stupid fucking narrative that is spreading throughout the NHL like wildfire.
When anyone and everyone brings up the Canadiens, what is the first thing they talk about?
Damn straight – those diving, turtling bitch ass mother fuckers from up north. The narrative lately seems to be, in this order:
– Power plays
So let’s compare and contrast the Bruins and the Canadiens in both power play time, opportunities and efficiency. The biggest lie people will tell you is that the Canadiens get “favored” at home when they talk about penalties.
“Oh the game is in the Bell Centre so the Habs are going to get a million penalties.”
Eh, not so. In the regular season Montreal ranks 16th overall with power play opportunities (PPO going forward) at home. 16th! They’re not even close to the league leader (San Jose at 162, Montreal at 140) and while Boston sits in last place (112 – seriously). But here’s the thing – even with those 140 PPO’s, Montreal is 19th in home power play goals (PPGs) this season with 24. Boston is 21st with 23.
The difference doesn’t lie in the opportunities people, the difference lies in the efficiency. Montreal has sucked on the power play in the Bell Centre in the regular season. They converting their power plays at a 17.1% clip. That’s good for 18th.
Boston? Well at home they’re sitting pretty at 8th overall with a 20% success rate.
Not too shabby.
The real worry should be when Montreal comes to the Garden. Montreal is ranked 4th overall in PPO at 139. The leader had only five more PPO on the road than Montreal (Washington at 143). Montreal scored 24 power play goals on the road – a success rate of 17.3%. Again, good for 16th overall.
Boston? 28th in road PPO (118), 7th in road PPG (27) and 6th in road PP% (22.9).
So do you see where all of this is going?
Bruins fans and media shouldn’t be worried about Montreal’s power play – it should be the other way around. The Bruins are the one strolling into the second round with one of the best power play in the NHL both regular season (3rd – 21.7%) and the playoffs (35%). Montreal’s power play was 19th in the regular season (17.2%) and 9th out of 16 in the playoffs (15.4%).
Now you can say “Well that’s because Boston has played more games in the playoffs” and you’d be correct, but if we look at the amount of PPO per game for each team, they’re relatively the same. Boston has had 16 PPO in 5 games which equates to 3.2 PPO per game. Montreal has had 13 PPO in 4 games which comes out to 3.25 PPO per game. Even the total power play time is similar: Montreal at 21:34 and Boston at 20:52 in the playoffs with a one game difference.
Even in the regular season, Montreal wasn’t lights out against Boston on the power play. This year Montreal had 17 PPO against the Bruins which was good for second (Buffalo was first with 20), but they only converted two of those. Yeah – two fucking power play goals against Boston this season, which is good for an 11% success rate.
Boston was actually worse vs Montreal – converting 1 of 13 chances.
So I don’t really believe that Montreal’s power play is going to be super effective against Boston nor do I believe that the Canadiens “home cooking” is going to effect this series. Does some weird shit happen in Montreal and not get called?
But I think that’s more on the officiating being absolute shit then it is where the game is being played.
All I’m saying is don’t buy into the penalty bullshit. Montreal doesn’t seem to get the home cooking that we like to play up, at least this year.