I’m not sure there’s another team in pro sports that gets up for an opponent quite the Montreal Canadiens do for the Boston Bruins. Whatever the decade or whatever the standings look like or whoever is wearing the bleu, blanc et rouge, there’s something about the black-and-gold spoked-B that makes the Habs raise their game.
Last night was no exception, as the Canadiens had way more jump than the Bs from the outset, were once again much quicker, and staked out a 2-0 lead less than 15 minutes into the game. Dougie Hamilton halved the Habs’ lead just over a minute later. But Montreal effectively put the game away with a pair of goals halfway through the second to win 4-1 in their first visit to Boston this season. In doing so, they ended Bs streaks of three straight six-goal games and six straight games with at least a point.
Though the Bs put 35 shots on Peter “Flanders” Budaj, it certainly didn’t seem that way, as they failed to muster any real sustained pressure. The win gave the goalie a 4-0 record in Boston, giving up just five goals in those games. Down the other end, Claude pulled Tuukka after he gave up his third goal on 18 shots. Chad Johnson gave up one goal on 15 shots and probably deserves the start tomorrow at home versus Edmonton.
Even with the dud last night, the Bs still went 8-4-1 in January, allowing them to maintain their grip on first place in the Atlantic, though Tampa is still nipping at their heels. Yeah, it was a shit game for the Bs. But the good thing is, they can forget all about it with a win over Edmonton in a little over 24 hours.
A few more buds for your Super Bowl weekend bowl…
*Since the last blog, the Bs signed defenseman Kevan Miller to a one-way, two-year deal with an AAV of $800K. That’s a nice price for the Bs to lock up a tough, stay-at-home D-man. But it’s gonna be interesting to see what the Bs do either at the deadline or the off-season given the plethora of NHL-caliber defenseman on the organizational depth chart.
*Congrats to former Bruin Marco Sturm who officially retired this week. The always smiling, affable German came over in the Joe Thornton thievery/trade and was the lone player Peter Chiarelli when cleaning up Mike O’Connell’s mess. He was a solid, top-6 player that was well-regarded by teammates and media alike. But after shredding his knee, he just wasn’t the same player and bounced around after his Boston stop. Still, he had a nice little career for himself.
*What morons were chanting “Tho-mas” at the game on Tuesday night at the guy who delivered a Stanley Cup to Boston? Probably the same ones who booed Adam Vinatieri when he returned to the area. Some people are just such shitheads.
*The Phoenix Coyotes will be known as the Arizona Coyotes starting next year. Yup, that should fix all that ails the franchise.
*I don’t get all these folks bitching about having ‘too many’ outdoor games. These games are going to be played anyways so who cares if they’re played outside at Yankee Stadium instead of indoors at MSG? What difference does is make to viewers at home? The NHL is going to draw over 300K fans and reap millions. Players love it. Fans attending love it. A lot of people who wouldn’t otherwise be getting any work in the dead of winter got a chance to make some money. So why are so many being so cunty about it? Because people just like to bitch about anything.