|04.18.11 at 1:34 pm ET|
MONTREAL — The Bell Centre is going to be roaring for Monday night’s Game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. Given that the Habs have taken the first two games of the series against the rival Bruins, the crowd noise should be plenty loud, and that’s without factoring in the possibility of Montreal villain Zdeno Chara playing.
If things get as loud as they’re expected to, it could actually impact the game in how players communicate with one another. Unable to hear over all the hoopla, calling to teammates suddenly becomes a much more of an intended yell.
“That happens a lot during a game,” Habs forward Michael Cammalleri said after the Canadiens’ morning skate. “I guess it will happen more often if they’re cheering or boring more often when someone’s on the ice. Even if you get a rush chance, everyone gets excited and on their feet. Sometimes you can’t hear a guy and things of that nature because the fans get loud. Players are pretty used to that kind of thing.”
The Bruins are at enough of a disadvantage playing in the Bell Centre down two games to none, so the crowd noise seems to be the least of their concerns. Either way, they know it’s there.
“If you’re close enough — and you may have to talk a little louder than normal — but normally it’s not too bad, but it definitely is a loud atmosphere,” B’s defenseman Adam McQuaid said Monday. “When you’re down on the ice, you just kind of have to speak over it.”
McQuaid has never played in Montreal in the postseason, but did admit that he “can only imagine what it will be like tonight.”
If Chara plays, he can expect perhaps the heftiest booing of his career, as long as Habs fans can top some of their personal bests. Should he be in the lineup Monday, the crowd will get its first crack at the Boston captain since he was ejected for shoving forward Max Pacioretty into a stanchion on March 8. Much like the rest of the crowd noise, the B’s will have to block out any pointed jeers as well.
“That doesn’t matter,” Claude Julien said of the reception Chara would get if he plays. “I think what matters to us right now is what is at stake in this game. No matter what happens, you have to play through those things. We’re all aware of that and guys are professional enough.
“I don’t know if there is a rink Zdeno doesn’t get booed in, certainly not because of what happened, but because of the realization of the impact he has on the game and the difference he can make in game situations. He’s a big man, he’s a strong guy that we rely on a lot and he’s a big part of our team. I think other buildings realize that.”
|04.18.11 at 1:05 pm ET|
MONTREAL — Habs forward Andrei Kostitsyn, who missed Game 2 with a foot injury, was on the ice for the Canadiens’ morning skate in anticipation of Monday’s Game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
Jeff Halpern missed Saturday’s 3-1 Habs win with a lower-body injury, but also took the ice. Following the skate, Montreal coach Jacques Martin told the media that both Kostitsyn and Halpern are game-time decisions.
|04.18.11 at 12:48 pm ET|
MONTREAL — Rookie forward Tyler Seguin wants “more than anything” to be in the Bruins lineup, but it appears that his time in the postseason has still yet to come. Seguin was sporting a black jersey (signifying either a defenseman or a scratch) in the team’s morning skate, and stayed out on the ice a little longer than the regulars.
Seguin was a healthy scratch for the first two games of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. The former OHL star is clearly champing at the bit to get in the lineup, but as long as he isn’t, he is saying the right things.
“Right now I’m just supporting the team, supporting whatever decisions are made if I’m not playing,” Seguin said almost robotically after Monday’s morning said. “If I’m playing, I’m going to be ready. If I’m not playing, I’ve got to do other things to help with the team, whether it’s getting the boys relaxed right now in the pre-game skate, just little things like that, and however I can contribute.”
|04.18.11 at 12:40 pm ET|
MONTREAL — Defenseman Zdeno Chara was on the ice as the Bruins held their morning skate in anticipation of Monday night’s Game 3 vs. the Canadiens. Chara did not play in Game 2 due to an illness that included dehydration. He was not available to the media after the skate and his status for Game 3 remains unknown, though coach Claude Julien said he has “absolutely” seen improvements from the captain.
“As we speak right now, it’s looking good, but I can’t stand here right now and say he’s a definite in,” Julien said.
Chara played a team-high 25:06 in Thursday night’s 2-0 loss in Game 1. He played in the first 81 games of the regular season before sitting out the finale vs. the Devils for the sake of rest.
|04.17.11 at 11:51 pm ET|
For the second time since the summer, the Bruins have inked a 6-foot-1 teenager from Brampton, Ontario named Tyler. The team announced Sunday that they have signed 2009 sixth-rounder Tyler Randell to an entry-level deal.
Randell, 19, played in the oHL from 2007 until this past season. In 2010-11, is second season with the Kitchener Rangers, the winger scored a career-high 20 goals. His 32 points and 160 penalty minutes were also personal bests.
|04.17.11 at 2:51 pm ET|
The Bruins know they were a good road team in the regular season. They strung together that perfect 6-0-0 road trip beginning back on Feb. 17, and their 53 road points were good for fifth in the NHL over the 82-game campaign.
After dropping the first two games of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals to the Canadiens at TD Garden, they had better hope that they can play Monday night’s Game 3 and Thursday’s Game 4 like they did in many of the regular-season’s road games. The only problem is that while they have been fantastic in many buildings, the Bell Centre is most certainly not one of them.
The B’s took a 4-3 loss to the Habs on Dec. 16, and in their second meeting in Montreal, they blew a 2-0 lead in the final 2:22 en route to taking an embarrassing 3-2 loss in overtime on Jan. 8. While the March 8 game in Bell Centre was ugly enough as a result of the Max Pacioretty/Zdeno Chara mess, the B’s play in a 4-1 loss wasn’t much prettier. With the Habs winning all three games of their meetings at the Bell Centre, they could conceivably be licking their chops at the prospect of sweeping the B’s in front of their home crowd. They’re not thinking about it, but the Bruins are thinking about finding a way to turn into the team that grabbed 24 road wins.
“That’s hopefully something that can help us get back in the series, and that’s going to be up to us to have that same approach as we’ve had most of the year on the road,” Claude Julien said Sunday. “We’ve been a good road team, we’ve done the things better, and for some reason on the road you seem to want to keep your game a little simpler than you do at home. That’s something that’s going to have to happen. Keep it simple, but keep it efficient and maybe if we do that we’ll make less mistakes.”
|04.17.11 at 1:53 pm ET|
The Bruins did not hold practice on Sunday following their Game 2 loss to the Canadiens. The B’s will travel to Montreal down two games to none, and speaking at TD Garden Sunday, forward Milan Lucic did not sugar-coat the team’s situation.
“It’s no secret now’¦ We’re in trouble right now and we need to find a way to rally and get our heads around it,” Lucic said. “Everyone needs to step up and play the way we know we can.”
The Bruins have not been able to score the first or second goal in either game, playing from behind for 116:23 of the 120 minutes the teams have played in thus far in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
“It all starts with a good start. That’s what our focus is going to be on, is getting out there and trying to establish that first goal, trying to establish a good first shift,” the 22-year-old said. “That’s what’s lacked in the first two games, especially the last game.
“You give up a goal in the first 43 seconds, you’re not giving yourself a good chance to win when you’re doing that. We need everyone to step up and rise to the occasion to have a good start going into Game 3.”
A year ago, the sixth-seeded Bruins were able to upset the No. 3 Sabres in the first round. Once favored to eliminate the Habs, the B’s will need a pretty big comeback in order to avoid missing the conference semifinals for the first time in three years. To even bring the series back to Boston for a fifth game, the B’s will need to beat the Canadiens at the Bell Centre, an arena in which they lost all three of their meetings in the regular season.
“We’re definitely the underdogs for the rest of the series, but we’re not thinking about that at all,” Lucic said. “We’re just thinking about what we need to do to get ourselves back in this series.”
The Habs have cashed in on turnovers and converted them into goals. Lucic is among a handful of B’s who have seen blunders with the puck result in Montreal tallies, and he knows that if they are going to right the ship, they had better do it soon.
“The main thing is, we’re fighting the puck, and it’s almost like we’re shooting ourselves in the foot,” he said. “That’s the most upsetting part, but we need to put that aside and we need to put our rally caps on and figure something out quick, because we’re definitely running out of time.”
The B’s and Canadiens will play Game 3 in Montreal on Monday night.