|04.16.11 at 9:47 pm ET|
By DJ Bean and Scott McLaughlin
If the Bruins weren’t feeling the pressure before Game 2 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals, they should be now. A 3-1 loss to the Canadiens gives the Habs a 2-0 series lead and means the Bruins suddenly have to show they can win at the Bell Centre.
Playing without Zdeno Chara (dehydration), the B’s saw the Habs jump out to a 2-0 lead in the game’s first 2:20. Michael Cammallari put a rebound off a James Wisniewski shot past Tim Thomas 43 seconds into the game, while Mathieu Darche struck on the power play shortly after.
The Bruins did get on the board in the second period with a Patrice Bergeron tally that injected some life into the building, but after two games the B’s have been able to put just one puck past Carey Price through two games.
The Bruins played a more physical game than they did Thursday night, but were reckless at times. After a no-show from the top line in Game 1 and not enough of what Claude Julien wanted in the first two period, Claude Julien broke up the Milan Lucic – David Krejci – Nathan Horton trio by sending Horton to the third line in favor of Rich Peverley.
The B’s will play Game 3 in Montreal on Monday night. They need to get a win at the Bell Centre (where they went 0-2-1 in the regular season) either Monday or Thursday to bring the series back to Boston for a fifth game.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– For much of the game, the Bruins’ puck-movement appeared to be that of strangers in a pickup game. They repeatedly made passes that were either off the mark, intended for a player who wasn’t looking or easily intercepted by a Canadien. Boston looked particularly shaky in its own end, as the defensemen struggled to retrieve pucks in the corners and start clean breakouts. Montreal’s second goal came as the direct result of a bad Andrew Ference pass behind the net.
– Speaking of passes — and hindsight is 20/20 — but maybe the B’s should have passed on the Tomas Kaberle deal. Aside from a shot hitting the post on the power play in the second period, there was nothing encouraging about Kaberle’s night, and that’s been a pretty common occurrence. He had issues keeping the puck in the offensive zone on routine plays, but the icing on the cake came when Krejci and P.K. Subban were getting rough behind the net in the first period. With Price out of his net, Krejci sent the puck back to the point. Before any whistles were blown of Kaberle knew the play was dead, he actually passed the puck to Johnny Boychuk with a clean look (if he looked) at an empty net.
In Kaberle’s defense, he looked much better on the the power play when Subban went off for tripping Daniel Paille in the third period. Still, you really have to wonder whether the B’s will re-sign him for the money he commands after such a bad run.
– This was not Thomas’ most impressive showing. Though he came up with a big stop on a Tomas Plekanec on a second-period breakaway, the goals from Cammalleri and Weber came as the result of big rebounds. Further evidence that having the best goaltender in the playoffs doesn’t guarantee success. Thomas is human, as is Price, though the latter has two wins.
– Bad night for Dennis Seidenberg. The 29-year-old was a minus-2 on the night, while his interference penalty at 2:14 of the first gave the Habs the power play on which Darche scored.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– For at least the middle portion of the second period, the Bruins did a better job going to the net and making things difficult for Price. That culminated in their first goal of the series when Bergeron charged down the middle and tipped home a centering pass from Brad Marchand. For the next few minutes, the Bruins got traffic in front, battled for position and weren’t afraid to jam away at rebounds and harass the Montreal netminder. Had the Bruins played like that for the whole game, it might be a different story heading to Montreal for Game 3.
– Shane Hnidy fighting Wisniewski in the second period following the Habs defenseman’s charging call was brilliant. At that point in the game, Hnidy had played 2:58 to Wisniewski’s 10:00. The Bruins will send their reserve blueliner to the box any day of the week if it means a top-four defenseman on the other team is doing the same.
|04.16.11 at 7:07 pm ET|
In a surprise development, Zdeno Chara will not play in Game 2 of the Eastern Confence quarterfinals Saturday after being hospitalized with dehydration a night earlier. Shane Hnidy is in the lineup in his place.
Bruins coach Claude Julien had said Saturday morning that he expects captain Zdeno Chara to be in the lineup for Game 2.
“Until our medical staff tells us he can’t go, he’s in tonight,” Julien said.
Chara led all Bruins skaters with 25:06 of ice time on Thursday, totalling five shots on goal in the team’s 2-0 loss to the Canadiens.
|04.16.11 at 6:28 pm ET|
Join DJ Bean, Mike Petraglia, Matt Kalman and a cast of characters as the B’s take on the Habs in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
|04.16.11 at 6:22 pm ET|
According to a report in the Providence Journal, Rob Murray will not return as coach of the Providence Bruins next season. He has reportedly been offered a scouting job with the Bruins.
Murray led the Bruins to a combined 117-103 record as coach of the P-Bruins. They did not make the playoffs in either of the last two seasons.
|04.16.11 at 3:37 pm ET|
The Bruins certainly don’t want to fall down two games to the Canadiens as they hit the road for Montreal Sunday, but they still haven’t strayed from their calm, optimistic view on what they face. One would think they might be facing pressure, but Shawn Thornton doesn’t see it that way.
“I think pressure is five kids and no job,” he said. “This is just a game. This is fun.”
The Bruins were blanked by Carey Price in Game 1, as they got 20 shots blocked and saw their top line produce just one shot on goal through the first two periods.
“There’s always pressure,” Milan Lucic said. “Game 1 was a big game, and Game 2 is an even bigger game. They’re going about it the same way we are. It’s a big game for us. We want to get ourselves a split here at home, and we’re going to do everything we can to have the preparation and focus to get the result that we want.
“For myself, I obviously played just OK last game,” he later added. “For myself, I’m definitely going to do whatever I can to raise my game to another level and see what happens.”
|04.16.11 at 12:50 pm ET|
Where would we be without twitter? The Montreal Gazette’s Dave Stubbs tweeted Saturday that Michael Cammalleri had an interesting take on Zdeno Chara‘s dehydration when talking to TSN after the team’s morning skate. Asked about Chara, Cammalleri reportedly said, “I’m no MD, so I’m not going to be like Mark Recchi and diagnose the other team.”
Cammalleri was obviously taking a shot at Recchi’s suggestion last month that the Canadiens exaggerated Max Pacioretty‘s head injury following his hit from Chara on March 8.
|04.16.11 at 12:40 pm ET|
Zdeno Chara is expected to play in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals Saturday night, but even if the dehydrated defenseman doesn’t dress, Canadiens coach Jacques Martin said the Habs won’t be altering their approach.
“It doesn’t change any of our preparation,” Martin said. “We don’t control the opposition. I think we prepare to play the Bruins. We know they’re going to come out hard. They’re a good team and they’ve had an outstanding season. We’ve got to be prepared to weather the storm.”