On paper , the edge goes to the Bruins with their top offensive players scoring more points than the Habs ‘ equivalents. Goaltending ? Again the edge is in Boston’ s favor as Tim Thomas possesses a more diminutive average than Montreal’ s Carey Price. Defensively , the pair of Northeast teams are about even with both squads boasting high powered performers such as Chara and Kaberle for Boston while Montreal is able to toss James Wisniewski and P. K Subban onto the frozen surface of an NHL rink.
In reality and far removed from the inkjet produced stats that are readily dispatched to the waiting hands of journalists and bloggers across North America – the Habs hold a edge over their long standing rivals.
Les Canadiens have won three out of four meetings thus far and have managed eight wins in the last nine times the two teams have met. Tonight , the Habs also own home ice advantage – a fact that will come in handy as Montreal attempts to exact some revenge from the final time the teams met. That game was in Boston and the home team punched their way to an 8 – 6 victory , resorting to ‘ thuggery ‘ in order to subdue the speedier Habitants.
It is a tactic that Boston has utilized over and over since their final Stanley Cup in 1971. That tactic may work one out of four matches against the Habs or whatever team Boston may happen to play – yet in a playoff series , that ‘plan ‘ leaves the players in the penalty box and exhausted. It is no coincidence that the Bruins have not won the Stanley Cup since the greatest player in NHl history plied his craft in the ancient Boston G ‘ ah ‘ den.
Perhaps Babe Ruth not only placed a curse on the Red Sox , he may have also did a Nostrodameus impersonation and directed a post – 1972 hex on the team. Most historians and pundits would argue that Don Cherry is the man responsible for the Bruins’ foibles. Since the famous too many men on the ice penalty that the Cherry – led charges endured in the 1979 semi – final game against the Habs that led to not only a Boston defeat but an eventual Stanley Cup win for Nos Glorieux , the team South of the Charles River has yet to sip from La Coupe .
They have arrived at Stanley ‘s doorstep only to be scurried away by the ghosts of Cherry past. Somehow , Cherry and their former GM Harry Sinden managed to wake the spirits of Habs long gone. It appears that whether it was a spit on one of the players’ photos by Cherry or Sinden kicking a Forum garbage can – whatever it was , it instilled a bugle – a wakeup call to all the ghosts to rise up each and every time the Habs require a bit of ‘ help ‘.
Tonight at 7 : 30 pm , rue LaGauchetiere has replaced Ste. Catherine Street as the site of another chapter of the long saga that is Montreal and Boston.
Ce soir , les phantomes on connait bien la situation qui arrive le dernier fois les deux equipes ont joue hockey a Boston. Les phantomes connait bien l ‘ adresse de le Centre Bell.( Tonight – the ghosts are well aware of what happened when the two teams squared off in Boston. They also know the address of the Bell Center very well).
The ghosts will sit on the bench. They ‘ ll be prepared to enter a match for the umpteenth time against their longest and most storied rivals – the Boston Bruins.
The only question is whether a Montreal team hot off a three game road winning streak will need them.