|04.21.09 at 8:58 am ET|
MONTREAL, Quebec — As can happen whenever the Bruins and Canadiens meet in a heated Stanley Cup playoffs matchup, the crowd got a little overzealous in the rivalry during Monday night’s Game 3 at the Bell Centre — and actually booed the Star Spangled Banner with lust when Charles Prevost-Linton belted out to the nationalist tune prior to the hockey action.
It didn’t end up helping the Habs as the Bruins methodically pounded down the Canadiens to the tune of a 4-2 final score that puts the Black and Gold up by a commanding 3-0 lead in the series. It’s Boston’s first 3-to-zip lead in a playoff series dating back to the old days of divisional series play back in 1992.
The move was a sure sign of frustration by Habs fans that have seen it all come crashing down for their hockey organization this hockey season during a 100-year celebration. It was supposed to be a watershed year for Les Canadiennes while hosting the NHL All-Star Game and the NHL Draft in June, but instead it’s been disaster and disarray.
Instead, the fandom has been relegated to ignorant, classless displays of disrespect toward the United States’ national anthem. There’s past precedent with the Canadiens fans — and it’s gotten to the point in year’s past that Habs legend Jean Beliveau had to tape a message for the jumbotron in 2005-06 urging the teeming masses in CHC jerseys to refrain from booing during the anthems.
The cascade of boos didn’t exactly shock the American-born players or the Canadien skaters on the Bruins — many of whom can be seen mouthing the words and singing along to Rene Rancourt while he belts out the Star Spangled Banner during pregame ceremonies at the Garden — to see it go down. But it’s always something that causes the perpetual shaking of the head and wonderment as to what exactly Canadiens fans are thinking while taking the vitriol for a hated opponent and instead extending it to the anthem sung before the game.
‘I thought when Obama got elected (president) they were going to stop doing that?’ joked B’s goalie Tim Thomas in the line of the night.
Hopefully cooler, more thoughtful heads will prevail in Wednesday night’s Game 4 at the Bell Centre, but nobody is banking on it.
|04.20.09 at 8:09 pm ET|
MONTREAL, Quebec — 18:45: Axe’s shot hits Price’s mask, but the puck bounces away from the crease.
13:53: Laraque is serving no purpose on the ice. He’s missing open teammates, throwing pucks up the ice without looking. There’s no reason for him to be playing in this game. It’s time to call Bob Gainey to the carpet for this one.
9:39: Patrice Bergeron just missed a complete gift in front of the net courtesy of a Chuck Kobasew goaltender interference call. Well, maybe it was a legit call after Kobasew the Kamikaze slammed into Price and knocked him over. Maybe.
7:50: That high-powered Montreal PP attack looks pretty disorganized and sloppy right now. Their passing and spacing have been way off all night.
00:37: Chuck Kobasew beat Saku Koivu in a foot race to a loose puck and put the biscuit in the open net. That’s the final dagger in Game 3. I’d be shocked if the Habs come back from this.
The B’s take a gritty 4-2 decision in Game 3 at the Bell Centre
|04.20.09 at 7:12 pm ET|
MONTREAL, Quebec — 18:53: Kovalev missed on a good setup feed from Andrei Kostitsyn. He’s been just a tick off on a couple of really scoring opportunities.
16:43: Good save by Thomas hugging the post on a Christopher Higgins shot.
16:24: Score by Shawn “I’m not a Meat Stick” Thornton on a nifty little short side snipe right under the crossbar. Byron Bitz did a good job of controlling the puck behind the Montreal net and then finding Thornton in front.
14:44: Great faceoff play by the Habs in the offensive zone. Metropolit wins the draw back to Yannick Weber, and the young D-Man fires a low shot to the right post that Thomas didn’t get a look at.
11:03: Big pileup in front of the net. Tough guy Gregory Stewart got lucked up with Patrice Bergeron behind the net and both skaters traded forearm blows at each other’s faces. As a result, Laraque, Steward, Bergeron and Mark Stuart all end up in the box.
6:42: There hasn’t been much signature Montreal flopping and diving in this series, but it might have just started. Byron Bitz was chasing after Alex Kovalev, took a swipe at him with his stick and Kovalev went down like a ton of bricks. PP Montreal.
3:23: Post for Marc Savard on a bad angle shot from the sideboard. It rattled off the pipe and then Price flopped on top of the loose puck before Kessel could pounce.
1:32: Mark Recchi goes to the box for a hold after Kovalev does his best impersonation of Fosbury.
The B’s lead the Habs by a 3-2 score after two full periods of play in Game 3 at the Bell Centre.
|04.20.09 at 6:19 pm ET|
MONTREAL, Quebec — 18:46: The Habs, as expected, are all over the Bruins in the opening moments. Tim Thomas makes a number of saves including stop on a Saku Koivu forehand and a backhander from Alex Kovalev while thingsd were getting scrambly in front of the net,
17:10: Another good save by Thomas on Georges Laraque in front after Chrisopher Higgins threw a pick at the net from the sideboards.
16:20: First penalty once again goes to the Canadiens. Tom Kostopoulos is in the sin bin for the Habs.
The crowd is taunting Thomas with a sing-sing chant of “Thomas, Thomas, Thomas”.
The crowd has already banged around Patrice Bergeron several times in the game, and the Canadiens look like they’re targeting the B’s center.
15:00: Carey Price looks sharp tonight. Great save in front by Price on Chuck Kobasew on the rebound of a Marc Savard shot. This is the best the Montreal goaltender has looked in all three playoff games. Whatever Bob Gainey used as motivation today seems to have worked.
13:45: A P.J. Axelsson bids slides behind Price, but trickles right through the crease.
A good deal of testing shots on Thomas in the early going from the Canadiens skaters. Looks like they’re trying to make him work a bit more than the first two games.
10:22: Another move to rattle Thomas. Gregory Stewart shoved Dennis Wideman right into the netminder after the whistle.
10:02: Good stop by Price on Bitz the right post.
8:08: Goal by CHristopher Higgins. He wound up and took a blast from the left faceoff circle with Glen Metropolit acting as diving human screen in front of the net. Thomas got a piece of the puck, but it still trickled into the net.
5:05: Sharp glove save by Thomas Tomas Plekanec with Gregory Stewart rushing at him.
2:46: Snapping back-handed wrister from Alex Kovalev at the right faceoff circle. When the puck releases from his stick, it looks like it’s been shot out of a gun.
1:25: And like that, the Bell Centre is silenced. It all starts with a bad Mike Komisarek turnover in his own end that ended up on the stick of Dennis Wideman inside the blueline. Wideman snapped off a shot that looked as if it hit Phil Kessel’s raised stick in the slot, and then shot high past Price.
The Canadiens and Bruins are locked in a 1-1 tie after one full period before a frenzied home crowd in Game 3 at the Bell Centre.
|04.20.09 at 6:16 pm ET|
MONTREAL, Quebec — Carey Price in net for the Canadiens. Scratches for the Habs include Mathieu Schneider, Alex Tanguay, Patrice Brisebois, Sergei Kostitsyn, Andrei Markov, and Francis Boullion.
–Andrew Ference skated on Monday morning for the first time, but is still probably a few games away with an undisclosed injury.
–The Bell Centre crowd is absolutely bonkers to the start the game. This should be really interesting.
|04.20.09 at 9:16 am ET|
Here’s an interview with NHL head disciplinarian Colin Campbell where he’s getting his feet held to the fire during CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada. He fumbles, bumbles and stumbles his way through the interview, and sounds very defensive throughout while babbling about an “ivory tower.” While I think Milan Lucic’s actions warranted a suspension and it was a justified action, Campbell really doesn’t have a good explanation for the Mike Cammalleri incident against Martin Havlat that went without any punishment larger than a minor penalty.
Here’s Campbell vs. Ron McLean…Ding, ding.
|04.19.09 at 6:02 pm ET|
Bruins winger Milan Lucic has been suspended by the NHL for Monday’s Game 3 of the best-of-seven series after delivering a blow to the head of Canadiens forward Maxim Lapierre in the third period of Game 2 on Saturday night. Lucic was assessed a match high-sticking penalty following the hit.
The Bruins contended Lucic hit Lapierre with his glove in self-defense as Lapierre approached him in front of the Canadiens’ net, but NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell ruled that Lucic’s hit was a “reckless and forceful blow” that merited both a match penalty and a one-game suspension.
“While it is unclear whether Lucic’s glove or stick makes contact with Lapierre, what is clear is that he delivered a reckless and forceful blow to the head of his opponent,” said NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell.
It’s expected that big forward Byron Bitz will take Lucic’s spot in the lineup for Monday night’s Game 3 at the Bell Centre.
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