A matinee affair between the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens means a shorter turnaround time between their double overtime game on Thursday night and Game 2 this afternoon. Just over 36 hours from P.K. Subban‘s goal until the opening face off.
Here are a few things that I am looking for from this game that may swing it one way or the other.
The Montreal Canadiens have not won an afternoon/early start game this season. They have experience with it having the Super Bowl matinees every year. I was thinking that Game 1 would be even more important for the Canadiens because it would be harder to have the split if they needed to win this afternoon game. Once again, the start becomes important as it usually does when you’re playing a playoff game on the road.
The worst line for the Canadiens in Game 1 was their supposed first line of Max Pacioretty, David Desharnais and Thomas Vanek. They were called out by their coach during the game when Vanek was moved off the line. They were called out by their coach after the game and yesterday. The players responded by saying all of the right things. They are all very good players and have been around for a long time. They know what makes them successful. I expect them to be a lot better in Game 2. For Montreal’s sake, they better be.
Possession, Possession, Possession
The Canadiens cannot rely on Carey Price to steal every game of this series. He is capable of doing it, sure. But when Boston is so good, they need to provide a lot more support. It’s a good position to be in when you’re leading a series and know you can play better. However, it’s another thing to actually play better. Before Game 1, I was just hoping I would see the Canadiens play the same way they did against Tampa Bay. They didn’t. However, it takes four wins to win the series and there’s still a lot of time.
I was surprised that the game was as clean as it was on Thursday. Yes there were penalties but they were holding, tripping. Aside from Brad Marchand and Lars Eller at the end of the third period, there weren’t any penalties for stuff after the whistle. I’d expect that to change as players get more frustrated with each other but if the Canadiens power play does what it did in Game 1, the Bruins need to stay out of the penalty box.