Game 1 Defeat Doesn’t Shock Bruins
While Habs fans were busy celebrating their somewhat surprising victory over the Bruins in Game 1, and Bruins fans were desperately trying to push memories of Boston collapses from the past from entering their mind, the Boston Bruins themselves weren’t surprised one bit.
And why should they be?
The Bruins lost four games to the Canadiens this season and were well aware of what sort of competition lay ahead of them in this series.
Shame on them for showing up with such a lack of fight in Game 1.
They knew it was the playoffs and who their opponents were, yet still many of their major components simply looked ineffective and out of place on Thursday night.
Kaberle, Seidenberg, Lucic, Horton, Bergeron and Thomas had little to no impact on the game and their no-shows played right into the Canadiens favor.
That said, the Canadiens fans celebrations were well merited as the shutdown play and timely goals, although a testament to their style and a staple of their success, were the perfect way for the Habs to start the series.
Carey Price put the ball in Tim Thomas’ court with his play on Thursday, a ball the veteran feebly dropped only 2:45 into Game 1.
Brian Gionta’s two goals were proof as to why he was chosen as the captain of the team but also shed light, once again, into how much of a big game player he is.
Scott Gomez and Tomas Plekanec followed suit and their collective calm were catalysts in helping Montreal keep their cool under plenty of Boston pressure.
The result of the Game 1 shutout by the Canadiens is that the Habs have staked themselves to the series lead and have neutralized home ice advantage.
The downside is that Game 2 is going to be an even more ferocious beast.
As I mentioned off the start, the Bruins weren’t surprised that the Habs showed up and stifled their potent offense. They’ve had it happen to them many times before during this past regular season so they are going to be more than prepared to respond in Game 2.
The biggest challenge will truly be in replicating the victory from Game 1.
There’s no chance it will be courtesy of another performance like that of the series opener, but that’s ok.
Truthfully, as stifled as the Habs excitement should be, the confidence should be sky high. Of course, keep it in check, but with a series lead and the inherent knowledge of how to beat a very aggressive and talented Bruins team, not to mention the fact that they’re in their heads as Boston has yet to score a goal, are solid building blocks for the Canadiens to build on.
There is also the fact that, although we all know that Boston can provide a much more spirited and dangerous game from their offense, so too can Montreal.
The win was a great start, and a huge confidence builder, but there’s plenty of work to be done.
It’s hard to say Game 2 will hold more pressure than Game 1, especially since the Canadiens won the first one, yet the truth’s that if Montreal can walk away from Boston with two wins, not only will they have taken a slice out of the Bruins playoff hopes for 2011, but they’ll also have a realistic chance of coming out of the first round.