Too Much of A Good Thing?
MONTREAL--On fourteen occasions this season, the Habs and Bruins have hooked up.
Eight times in the regular season and six in the playoffs. Montreal owns an 11-3 record, but the two teams have split the last six.
Which brings us to No. 15 tonight.
Do you hear anyone, by the way, complaining that there are two many games between these teams? Do you hear any suggestions that it's boring to have two clubs meet over and over and over?
|This scene from Game 6 pretty much sums up a Bruins-Canadiens playoff series.|
Didn't think so.
Funny, really, that in a year in which the NHL felt compelled to change its schedule to produce more Eastern Conference vs. Western Conference games, a matchup between two longtime rivals that have played each other more than any other two clubs this season has managed to contain such excitement.
We'll see if the same is produced when Boston faces Nashville next season. Or Montreal entertains Phoenix.
Quite obviously, the City of Montreal is hyped to the max for tonight's game, albeit with as much nervousness as excitement as their heroes try to compose themselves after blowing a 3-1 series lead.
Montreal head coach Guy Carbonneau was asked this morning how long it will take the nervousness to go away tonight.
"About sixty minutes," he said with a smile.
Neither of these clubs is particularly experienced in such scenarios. Boston blueliner Aaron Ward was with Carolina in 2006 when they beat Edmonton in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final Montreal defenceman Mathieu Dandenault is one of the few in the Habs room with experience in a Game 7.
"The one I was in was a lot of fun," laughed Dandenault, a member of the Detroit Red Wings when they faced Patrick Roy and the Colorado Avalanche in Game 7 of the 2002 Western Conference final.
"We won 7-0 to go on to the Stanley Cup final, so it was pretty good."
The reoccuring theme in the Canadiens dressing room this morning was the need to get back to the team's skating and puck movement game.
"We've been back on our heels," said Dandenault. "We need to come out with the same attitude we had in Game 1. We didn't care who the other team was, and we just came out flying."
The key, said Dandenault, is to find that balance between being intense and relaxed.
"Everybody wants to be a Game 7 hero," he said. "But you don't go out there trying to be the Game 7 hero."