Thanks, Montreal. Now I know what it feels like to watch the Game of Thrones intro on acid. I get that you want to jerk off before the game, everyone does. But not everyone does it in a full length mirror with Michael Bay applying the lube and John Williams conducting the London Symphony Orchestra to play “You’re the Best Around.” For the love of fuck, Kanye West thinks you have an ego problem.
If I’m ever at the Bell Centre, someone please remind me to eat a big bag of shrooms beforehand. Because I’m allergic to mushrooms and would rather go out clawing at my throat than be forced to watch 21,000 Quebecois simultaneously sploosh.
Slow start to the game, with the only early opportunity coming on a Rene Bourque partial breakaway, sign of things to come. Bruins started to dominate the possession game after a magnificent shift by the Bergeron line about 4 minutes in. All four lines started rolling and putting together good shift after good shift. The best chances came for the fourth line after Montreal’s 83rd icing call. Any kind of traffic in front of Price and the Bruins put one in the net, but he saw everything way too clearly.
About halfway through the first, the ice started to tilt back in the Habs’ direction, punctuated by a goal by noted turtleneck enthusiast Tomas Plekanec. Lucic was too concerned with putting a body on Subban, who was able to sneak the puck back to Tomas Vanek who then made a picture perfect slap pass to a wide-open Plekanec.
More defensive awareness and less blind rage from Milan, and he probably takes that puck up ice and catches Montreal on their heels. Don’t get me wrong, his physical presence is one of the most important facets of his game, but you don’t always have to use a sledgehammer to drive home a thumbtack.
Remember that old joke three years ago about the Bruins declining penalties? (Because, football, LOL) Well, the roughing call on Subban turned out to be the worst thing that could have happened. If you were to write a book about bad ideas, losing track of where PK Subban is on the ice would probably be on the first page. As time ran out on the powerplay, Dougie overcomitted to Lars Eller, allowing Subban to exit the box and sneak in the back door for an easy goal.
The second period was marked by frantic sloppy way on both ends of the ice. It seemed to be favoring the Bruins with so many 2 on 1’s I had to turn on Incognito mode. I honestly thought Söderberg and Eriksson were going to Eiffel Tower Carey Price at one point. The vaunted tandem of zero puck luck and Montreal’s Conn Smythe deserving posts combined to keep the B’s off the board.
The nightly defecation point came after an Andrej Meszaros wrist shot weaker than Howie Morenz’s leg and/or heart got blocked and sprung Dale Weise for the Habs’ third breakaway of the night, ending in the back of the net. As amazing as Tuukka was in the regular season against the breakaway, there’s only so many times you can hang him out to dry. I’m pro-actively cringing at all the internet commenters and radio callers that think Chad Johnson should start Game 4.
With the second period winding down, and the Bruins in a desperate situation, Mr. Perfect himself won a timely faceoff that Marchand fed on back to Torey Krug. The ensuing shot was headed straight for the area that Dion Phaneuf is convinced the net is, until it found the well placed stick of… who else but Patrice.
To the absolute surprise of no one, Bruins saved their best hockey for the third. For the first twelve minutes, they were attacking harder than a pack of horny dolphins tweaked out on a pufferfish high. Montreal showed their French ancestry and retreated. They must have forgotten Seidneberg is still sidelined. (We haven’t. Meszaros is the reason I drink.) You would have thought the Bruins zone was made out of soap the way the Habs were avoiding it.
After showing an insane amount of discipline throughout the game, the B’s finally took their first penalty when Söderberg took a well earned two minutes for double fisting Carey. I’m sure there was a little bit of Carl trying to rattle Price’s cage, but the reactionary outrage from Montreal was so wet and salty it could have been mistaken for one of Pierre McGuire’s tube socks.
After it seemed like the Bruins were all but out of steam, literally finding new ways to turn the puck over, Iginla played a little game of just the tip with the net empty to pull within one. Funny fact: Patrick Roy invented the strategy of pulling the goalie for the extra attacker, at least that’s what the narrative of EVERY game this year would have you believe.
It certainly seemed that the Canadiens were determined to vomit on their shirts yet again, but Eller potted an empty netter with three seconds left to secure the series lead.
– NBC game with no Pierre? I’ll take it. Rumor has it he was busy scoping out PK Subban’s neighborhood for good hiding spots.
– Bruins discipline. They came into this game getting slaughtered on the penalty kill with whistle happy officials. They did a great job of staying out of the box, Carl’s goalie interference notwithstanding, and barely giving the Montreal crowd anything they could try to buy a call out of.
– Torey Krug. Made some great plays on the puck tonight. In addition to the assist on the Bergeron goal, he made a number of good pinches to keep the puck on the attack. Also, he’s American, so yeah.
– Krejci’s offensive confidence is missing. When he’s feeling it, the puck looks like it’s doing ballet on his stick. Right now it’s dancing like the drunk aunt at your cousin’s wedding who White Zinfandels her way through the electric slide.
– Meszaros, GTFO. Bartkowski can learn to not take penalties. Mez can’t learn speed.
– That sound you heard when the collective asshole of the city of Boston clenched as one when Chara left the ice in the first. I may or may not have high-fived my TV when he came back.
– People who blame Tuukka Rask. Because he was responsible for three breakaways. Don’t listen to the radio tomorrow. Just don’t.
– Was there a single offensive zone faceoff that Claude didn’t send out the fourth line for? I love Shawn Thornton as much as the next man (unless that man is Jon), but when you’re down by two goals and Montreal ices the puck, maybe send the goal scorers out there.
– When will the bounces start going the Bruins way? They have been throwing everything at the net, owning the puck, but they’re only shooting 3.3%, drastically down from their 9.9% in the regular season, while the Habs are clicking at 12.8%, up from their season numbers of 9.0%. Neither of those trends are sustainable. The B’s will get theirs, and Montreal will come back to Earth….right?
– Has the coaching staff considered just calling every period the third? Why does it take forty minutes for the B’s to remember the position they’re in?