B's, Habs failing to feed off home ice
The mountain is still very much there for the Bruins, it’s just a little less steep heading into Game 4.
After digging themselves a 2-0 hole against the Canadiens in their own building, the Bruins managed to cut the lead in half by delivering a 4-2 win at the Bell Centre in Montreal on Monday night.
While they're still trailing, there's still plenty of reason to feel good about the B's. After all, the Bell Centre is one of the most difficult places to play for an opposing team and the Bruins managed to fend off the Habs in the third frame.
"It’s the way the game goes," said defenseman Andrew Ference. "Nobody’s ever going to be perfect. There’s always going to be turnovers and mistakes. It’s just minimizing. I think we did a decent job. But we didn’t play that much better. We played just solid, I think."
My thoughts exactly. The Bruins played better than the Canadiens and that’s all they need to do. The B’s are the better team in the series, they just didn’t quite display that until Monday night.
Perhaps home ice — as it was all regular season long — is the wrong place for Boston to earn a victory. The city of Montreal forces the Bruins out of their comfort zone but the atmosphere is apparently working for the B's, not against them. Perhaps the Black and Gold can play the rest of the series north of the border?
Even the Canadiens players will admit the struggles of not being too comfortable at home.
"I think it’s just human nature," said Montreal defenseman Hal Gill, after his team lost on Monday. "You come back home and you sleep in your own bed and you feel comfortable. It’s something everyone is aware of. You try not to let it happen, and it does happen. You get comfortable and you try to do things [on the ice] that you shouldn’t do."
Whatever happened to home cooking and the advantage of playing in front of your hometown fans? Did the B’s and Habs not get that message? If this is the case, we'll continue to witness a thrilling series.
However, don’t think for a minute that the hated Habs aren’t going to come out raging on Thursday night, the way they did late in the second period and into the entire third of Monday night’s Game 3.
"We could have easily started doing little individual stuff, but we just said, 'hey, let’s make a game of it,'" said Montreal forward Scott Gomez. "We stuck with the game plan and good things happened. We just couldn’t get it by [Tim] Thomas. Give them credit. But we’ll come back strong the next game. It’s a good series."
There you have it: straight from the horse’s mouth. The Canadiens will not sit back, and the Bruins need to have the same start they did Monday, only this time they need to preserve it better.
Montreal cut Boston's 3-0 lead to a single goal and then proceeded to pour on the pressure and put the B's on their heels. A solid 60-minute effort will be needed in Game 4 if Boston wants to tie the series and head back home.
"It’s pretty obvious that the starts are important in this series," said coach Claude Julien on Tuesday.
"They play well with the lead," Gregory Campbell added. "Our focus is on getting that first goal. If we happen to not get that first goal, we have to find a way to break them down."