The Montreal Canadiens aren’t going to have it easy as the constant back-and-forth between them and the Boston Bruins could determine their fate in April.
Of all the takes to have for the remainder of the season, this won’t change for the Montreal Canadiens. The Boston Bruins have been a historic rival for the Habs, and they’ll be the team’s greatest enemy until the final puck drop of the regular season.
Montreal’s latest pair of wins propelled them to third place in the Atlantic Division with a possible first-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Their regular season games have been interesting over the years, but the two teams haven’t met in the post-season in over 30 years. Facing off when the games are the most important will be a good way to rekindle that fire. Additionally, it could turn out to be a more beneficial matchup then what the Habs may face if they remain in a wild-card spot.
Finishing in the first of the two would have the Montreal Canadiens take on the New York Islanders if the playoffs were to start now. However, that isn’t set in stone, and it may end up being the Washington Capitals or Pittsburgh Penguins they’d face in the first-round. It looks even less desirable if they’re pushed to the second wild-card spot and have Tampa Bay in front of them.
The Habs have faced and beaten the Lightning in the playoffs in the past but this year is different. If there were ever a season where Tampa was going for a Stanley Cup, it would be this one.
Anything can happen in the playoffs though. Montreal has had their fair share of upsets when they went in as the underdog. But that’s all up to chance at the end of the day.
The Montreal Canadiens, unfortunately, got pushed back down to a wild-card spot with the Bruins getting a point against the New York Rangers. Boston had a 3-1 lead heading into the third but allowed the Rangers to score twice over a three-minute span to force overtime.
3-on-3 didn’t solve anything leading to the polarizing shootout which saw Tony DeAngelo walk away as the team’s hero. Goaltender Alexander Georgiev deserves some credit as well with the shootout went all the way to the seventh round, and his save on David Krejci clinched the extra point for the New York Rangers.
From a Habs fan’s perspective, (half) thank you New York. They’d get the full sentiment if they were able to score again in the third period and end it in regulation. Boson getting that one point tied them at 66 but they win the tiebreaker and the spot in the top three with more overtime losses (8 vs. 6).
It’s going to be frustrating, but the Montreal Canadiens will have to get used to this. It also makes steering clear from any long slumps essential. Boston and Montreal are neck and neck where a losing streak can make one clear space ahead of the other.
Thursday’s game against the Winnipeg Jets is an opportunity to break free of the tie while Montreal can send a strong message to the Leafs on Saturday.
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The bright side is there’s no longer any worry from the teams underneath. Buffalo and Carolina have the second wild-card spot to focus on. The Montreal Canadiens should only have their sights set on what’s ahead while remaining mindful of the Boston Bruins. It figures they’d be the ones to get in the way but that’s what will make the final 28 games that more interesting.