|Five things the Bruins must do to win Game 5 vs. Canadiens||04.22.11 at 10:55 pm ET|
The Bruins are coming off one of the more exciting victories they have had in recent memory, as they came back three times to beat the Habs in overtime on a Michael Ryder goal less than two minutes into overtime in Game 4. With the B’s having tied the series at two games apiece, they can prove that there is such thing as a home ice advantage by beating the Habs in Game 5 Saturday night. Here’s what they’ll need to do in order to grab the series lead Saturday at TD Garden.
1. Believe in momentum
Claude Julien thinks that momentum is overrated, but if the B’s can keep Game 4 fresh in their minds, they should be able to go with a full head of steam. Coming from behind the way the Bruins did at the Bell Centre is no easy task, and it was a rather embarrassing game for the Habs to lose given that they blew three leads in their own building. The B’s confidence combined with whatever the slipping Canadiens are feeling is probably a good thing for Boston.
2. Find Milan Lucic
The Bruins are still waiting for their leading goal-scorer from the regular season to pick up his first postseason point. So far, he’s been kept off the scoring sheet and has compiled a minus-2 rating. An indication that he probably isn’t working his way out of it is that he has had one or zero shots on goal in three of the four games thus far in the series. He is definitely off for some reason, but if he can get more involved in the play and show signs of life, the Boston’s top line may actually resemble a top line.
3. Pepper Carey Price early
The Bruins have had nine shots on goal or less in the first period of three of the series’ first four games. That’s no way of finding out whether they can get to Price, and it has shown. Aside from the two pucks they were able to get past Price on nine shots in the first period of Game 3, the Bruins haven’t scored on Price until the second period. Here’s a breakdown of the B’s shots on goal and goals per period in this series:
Patrice Bergeron leads the Bruins with 16 shots on goal this series.
4. Remember March 24
This series has been all about the road team thus far. The got the two goals in both Games 1 and 2 and sat back with the lead en route to big road victories. The Bruins scored a pair of first-period goals Monday and mounted a terrific comeback victory on Thursday. For whatever reason, the home team just can’t seem to win.
If the Bruins can think back to their March 24 win, they can change that trend. Johnny Boychuk scored 1:01 into the game, and the Canadiens seemed to give up at TD Garden from there, with the B’s grabbing a lopsided 7-0 win. The game was also Tim Thomas‘ lone shutout vs. the Habs, and though he’s looked fantastic at stretches during games this postseason, he has yet to dominate for 60 minutes.
5. Limit the turnovers
When the Canadiens have scored this series, it has often been because of uncharacteristic turnovers by the Bruins. It started when Tomas Kaberle put too much zip on a reverse in Game 1, and it has continued throughout the series. The B’s still have yet to play the type of game they need to, though the last half of Thursday night’s contest displayed guts like no other.
|Brad Marchand recalls how Mark Recchi helped him early on as a rookie||04.22.11 at 9:04 pm ET|
MONTREAL — The fact that Mark Recchi is highly respected in the Bruins locker room should come as no surprise to anyone. The 42-year-old has seen everything in his time in the NHL, so when he talks, people listen.
The future Hall-of-Famer did just that after the team’s loss in Game 2 to the Canadiens, telling ESPN recently that he told teammates that they could come back from the 2-0 lead the Habs held after two games. After all, Recchi and the Hurricanes won four in a row to sink the Habs back in 2006 after dropping the first two games of the quarterfinals. The rest, as they say, is history, as the Hurricanes went on to win the Stanley Cup.
Recchi’s words were heard loud and clear by teammates, and they are now halfway to their goal of taking the series after winning Games 3 and 4.
“He said something the other day in the room and everyone kind of perked up a little like, ‘Wow. If Recchi said it, than it’s true,'” linemate Brad Marchand recalled Thursday morning. “It’s great having him here. He’s such a leader. Every time he steps up, he always says the right thing at the right time. It’s great.”
For Marchand, the inspiration from Recchi hasn’t been limited to speeches given to the team. Recchi told the rookie earlier in the season to expect criticism from him.
“One day he was like, ‘I’ll get upset with you. It’s not going to be about you missing a pass, or that you should have given it to me at this [point], but playing your position, little things like that.’ He’s just so good at critiquing you and helping you grow into your game and being in certain positions, stuff like that,” Marchand said. “He was always helping me, telling me to be a certain way or in a certain place. He was really good with that with me throughout the year.”
Marchand’s rookie season was a successful one, as he totaled 21 goals and 20 assists for 41 points. Many of those points came playing on the same line as Recchi and Patrice Bergeron after beginning the season with Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton. Though Marchand didn’t always play with Recchi, the help he got from the 42-year-old seemed to come all year after No. 28 expressed an interest in tutoring the youngster.
“He was just like, ‘Listen. I want to help you, and help you out in areas where I think you could maybe do things differently,’ but he never once got upset with me about a pass or anything like that,” Marchand said. “He never got upset with me in general. He would help me out, and any little teaching point that he could help me out with, he really helped me a ton.
“Little things, how he carries himself in the room and off the ice, when to talk to the guys, when to not chirp guys, stuff like that. It’s unbelievable the amount of stuff he knows and he sees throughout the game. He’s like another coach on the ice.”
So, what is a young player thinking when one of the best to play the game begins listing how he could do better? A sensitive player might be disappointed in some, way, shape or form or take feel like they’re doing something wrong. When it comes to Recchi helping Marchand, that isn’t the case.
“You’re very grateful right away, because some guys — a lot of guys — will just sit there and let you make your mistakes,” Marchand said. “He’s that guy that will step up. He likes bringing young guys along, you can tell. The way he talks to everybody, and all the young guys, he helps them out. I was very grateful to have a guy like him teach me things that maybe other guys wouldn’t have. I learned a lot from him this year.”
Recchi’s tutelage of Marchand isn’t the first case in which he’s helped a younger player. Among the youngsters Recchi has helped along the way is Jordan Staal, whom he let live in his guest house back when Staal was a rookie in the 2006-07 season.
|Reports: Ference fined $2,500 for gesture||04.22.11 at 11:04 am ET|
According to multiple reports, Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference has been fined $2,500 by the NHL for making an obscene gesture following his second-period goal in Thursday night’s OT win over the Canadiens.
No penalty was assessed at the time, and Ference denied making the gesture when asked by reporters after the game.
‘Coach just showed me it, and it looks awful,’ Ference said . ‘I just saw it and I can assure you that’s not part of my repertoire. I don’t know if my glove got caught up. I can assure you, that’s not part of who I am or what I ever have been. So it looks awful, I admit it, I completely apologize to how it looks. You guys have covered me long enough to know that that’s not part of my repertoire.
‘I was putting my fist in the air,’ Ference added. ‘I’m sorry, it does look awful. I just saw it.’
|Michael Ryder proves Claude Julien right, plays hero in pivotal win over Canadiens||04.22.11 at 12:09 am ET|
MONTREAL — To say that Michael Ryder has been the whipping boy of Bruins fans is an understatement. The $4 million man was far from that for too long after the Bruins’ Feb. 9 win over the Canadiens. The free-agent-to-be totaled just two goals over his final 25 games, and was even a healthy scratch three times.
Since the playoffs began, fans and some media members have lobbied for Ryder to watch them from the press box in order to make room for Tyler Seguin in the lineup.
On Thursday, Ryder showed that Claude Julien‘s decision to stick with him was the right one, ending his lengthy disappearing act with a pair of goals in Game 5 against the Canadiens, including the game-winner in overtime. Julien has coached Ryder everywhere from juniors to the AHL to Montreal to Boston, so it was only fitting that Ryder prove Julien right at Bell Centre.
‘I’ve been with him for a while,’ Ryder said of Julien. ‘Just for him to give me the ice time and give me the confidence, for me, it just gives me that extra boost to show people that I can still play and still got it.’
Ryder’s big night began when he tied the game at one in the second period, beating Habs netminder Carey Price with a wrist shot after taking a pass from Tomas Kaberle. From there, the weight was finally off the struggling winger’s shoulders.
‘You always get a little frustrated when you don’t score and you don’t get that many opportunities, but it was definitely a confidence boost,’ Ryder said. ‘Hopefully now our line keeps generating stuff, helping to do whatever we can to help this team.’
He would go on to assist Chris Kelly‘s game-tying goal at 13:42 of the third period, which marked the third time in the game that the B’s came back to tie it up. They actually never led in the game until Ryder beat Price for the game-winner just 119 seconds into overtime.
‘I’m happy for Rydes,’ Shawn Thornton said of the winger. ‘A couple of guys talked about it before, he usually plays pretty well in this building,’ Shawn Thornton said of the former Canadien. ‘I’m happy his hard work paid off. Maybe some people in Boston will lay off him now. He’s a good guy.’
|Andrew Ference denies giving Canadiens fans ‘the finger’||04.21.11 at 11:02 pm ET|
MONTREAL — Following their Game 4 win over the Canadiens, Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference denied any intention of making an obscene gesture at Habs fans following his second-period goal. Following his tally, which at the time made it a 3-2 game, the veteran was caught on camera giving the middle finger to the crowd.
‘Coach just showed me it, and it looks awful,’ Ference said following the win. ‘I just saw it and I can assure you that’s not part of my repertoire. I don’t know if my glove got caught up. I can assure you, that’s not part of who I am or what I ever have been. So it looks awful, I admit it, I completely apologize to how it looks. You guys have covered me long enough to know that that’s not part of my repertoire.
‘I was putting my fist in the air,’ he added. ‘I’m sorry it does look awful. I just saw it.’
Ference can be fined up to $2,500 for the gesture.
‘Honestly, I have no idea,’ he said of whether he’ll pay for it. ‘It looks really bad, but all I can do is tell you the truth and that’s the truth.’
Coach Claude Julien said in his postgame press conference that he had not seen the play.
|Michael Ryder lifts Bruins past Canadiens in Game 4 thriller||04.21.11 at 10:04 pm ET|
MONTREAL — The Bruins grabbed a gutsy win Thursday, sinking the Canadiens, 5-4, in overtime and tying the Eastern Conference quarterfinals at two games apiece. Michael Ryder, who had three points on the night, scored the game-winner 1:59 into OT.
The Habs jumped out to a 1-0 lead 8:13 into the first period on a shot from Brent Sopel. With just over eight minutes of scoreless play, Game 4 had the most scoreless time of any so far in the series. Ryder would tie the game in the second period, though goals from Michael Cammalleri and Andrei Kostitsyn made it a 3-1 game. The B’s were able to battle back in that same period, getting goals from Andrew Ference and Patrice Bergeron to tie it at three at the end of two.
With Patrice Bergeron in the penalty box for hooking, Habs rookie defenseman P.K Subban scored to make it 4-3 early in the third. Once again, the Habs’ lead would not stick, as the Bruins would tie it on a Chris Kelly goal at 13:42 of the third, setting the stage for Ryder’s overtime heroics.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
‘¢Michael Ryder scoring after taking a pass from Tomas Kaberle? Ryder later setting up a critical goal? That’s something the Bruins had been waiting to see. While it’s been a while since either of those two have proven capable of playing to their potential (in Kaberle’s case, the argument could be made that he hasn’t proven it since joining the B’s) the thought of some of their ‘money’ players stepping up their play is something the B’s would welcome.
‘¢It was almost unbelievable the two teams were tied after Ryder’s goal, as the B’s were being handled by the Habs. Being able to tie it once may have given them a dose of resiliency, as they were able to battle through and later make up a two-goal deficit. Kelly’s goal gave tied it once again, proving that the team is capable of playing well from behind, an area that plagued them in Games 1 and 2.
‘¢The Brad Marchand – Bergeron – Mark Recchi line continues to be the lone Boston trio with a consistent pulse. Bergeron has two goals in four games, while a lucky bounce helped give Marchand an assist on the Ference goal.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
‘¢Going down a man just 32 seconds into the third period of a tied playoff game isn’t what a team is looking for, and when Subban scored on the power play with Bergeron in the box on a questionable hooking call. It was the Bruins’ only penalty of the game, but it was very costly.
‘¢Terrible sportsmanship on the part of Ference after his goal. Cameras caught him giving the middle finger to Habs fans after beating Price to make it 3-2. For a series with as much chirping and after-the-whistle activity, Ference would have aplenty opportunity to do that stuff to the guys on the ice. Ference is one of the better people in the game, so there’s no doubt he would like to have those few seconds back.
‘¢Milan Lucic needs to make a difference in this series, and it turns out his lack of presence has made a big difference. The underperforming winger was the B’s best scorer in the postseason, and his quiet playoffs continued Thursday. He did have a nice pass to set up David Krejci all alone in front of Price, but the center wasn’t able to finish.
|Both Bruins, Canadiens trying to block out Game 4 implications||04.21.11 at 2:43 pm ET|
MONTREAL ‘ There are two very different scenarios that could come of Thursday ngiht’s Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. A Canadiens win puts Montreal up, 3-1, in the series, while a Bruins victory would send the teams back to Boston tied at two games apiece.
While a win for each side would dramatically shift the series in its own way, the two teams do have one thing in common headed into a pivitol Game 4 at Bell Centre: they’re not thinking about it.
‘The implications are there. Two-2 and and 3-1 sound like very different stories,’ Habs forward Michael Cammalleri said. ‘I’ve said it all along, and I’ll say it again: It does us no good to worry about those implications. We go play as well as we can, and the results will figure themselves out.’
‘Obviously, we realize the situation being 2-2 or 3-1, but it’s all about the process and doing the right things,’ Brent Sopel said. ‘If we come out here and do the right things from the drop of the puck until the end, we’ll give ourselves an opportunity. We need to feel good about our game, and how that is either way, if the outcome comes out good or bad. It’s all about doing the right things for a complete 60, and then we’ll make that determination.
Players were saying the same thing in the Boston room after the two teams held their morning skates. If the Bruins are going to take Game 4, they’re going to do so thinking about what’s on the ice, and not what the future holds.
‘Just go out there and don’t think about anything. Just really go out there and play the game,’ David Krejci said. ‘That’s what we did the last game, so we’ve got to do the same thing.’
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