The Bruins have finally figured out how to beat the hated Canadiens. It's a simple formula: check, slash and fight on every single play.
The Bruins can play the finesse game with the best of them. Slick passes, flying wingers and beautiful wrist shots are no problem. This type of game just doesn't seem to suit the boys though. This year's Bruins have no lack of skill.
They play so much better when things are nasty. The extra facewash, the scrums, the constant hits and whacks behind the play, the chirping at the other bench...something primal and mean comes out of the boys when they get the hate going early.
This was unleashed in all of its glory wednesday night. The boys showed that they have gelled into one cohesive unit. We've seen it before against Atlanta and Dallas. I don't think there is another team in the NHL than can stand with the Bruins when they play like this.
In what became an instant classic (I hate that term, but it's applicable), the Bruins finally decided that they were tired of losing to the Habs. The game was playoff-like in its intensity and was back and forth all night. The Bruins simply pounded them into submission. A game against the Habs like this has been coming for a long time and finally, FINALLY, they beat them.
-My preseason prediction for Marchand would have looked something like this: he'll play 10 to 13 minutes a night on the 3rd and 4th lines, he'll get some PK time because of his skating, he'll be a valuable grinder and get 8 to 10 goals with about 10 assists. And I would be wrong. Many props to both the staff of the P-Bruins as well as Julien and his crew for turning this kid into an offensive threat and rewarding him for his efforts. He now has 16 goals and counting. He'll finish with 20+ and should be a staple on the Bruins for years to come.
-I could tell right from the start that Looch was feeling squirrely and was going to have a big game. He should look at film and realize, once again, that when he plays physical, he gets so much more room. Hope he keeps it up.
-I was heartened to see the clip that NESN put together regarding Ference. Brick mentioned that "the kid is game" and constantly stands up for teammates. All of the clips showed this. Ference is catching a rash of shit for his comments on Paille's hit, but words are one thing and actions are another. He has shown time and time again this year that he'll be the first one in to stand up for a fellow Bruin and what more can you ask for?
-I'm still smiling over all the uppercuts Johnny Upchuk fed that Hab. I'm sure his arm is tired.
-I've read a few articles stating that the game against the Bruins highlighted the obvious lack of gritty guys currently on the Habs. They've gone the small and skilled route for the most part, and the other night's game showed why this can be a bad idea. More than half of the Bruins roster will willingly drop the gloves and the other half will do it when needed. That's saying something. Anaheim did it like that a few years ago and they won the Cup. Lesson? I think so.
Red Wings come to town tonight. The boys had a day off and should be rested. I'm thinking Tuukka might get the start. Of course even a 4-0 win would seem like a letdown after the game the other night, but it's a good problem to have.