Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports
The Montreal Canadiens played their best game of the season – maybe their best game in a few years – and forced a seventh game against the Boston Bruins after a 4-0 win at the Bell Centre in game six.
Every player had a good game for the Canadiens. If I were to single out everyone, it would be a very long post. Every player did something that sticks out in my head as successful. From Brandon Prust and Dale Weise doing their best Bash Brothers impression to David Desharnais saving a goal. It was a total team effort in every sense of the word.
Carey Price was also perfect as he recorded his first shutout of the 2014 playoffs. Max Pacioretty had two points and finally scored and Thomas Vanek had another two goal game, but at least this one was in a winning effort. Brendan Gallagher could have had two of his own. The entire team was fast and pushed hard.
Nathan Beaulieu didn’t have to do anything special to be better than Douglas Murray, but he did anyways. His flip pass to Pacioretty was Vanek-like and he never looked like a player who hadn’t played in several weeks. It was refreshing to see him step up in the play a couple of times as well.
Momentum rarely carries over in the playoffs as only Boston won two in a row in games four and five. However, if Montreal can play like they did yesterday and throw the Bruins off their game, they have a very good chance of winning game seven.
If nothing else, when you have Price you have a chance to win and you have to think all of the pressure is on Boston right now. Montreal wasn’t expected to win the series, and now are in the seventh game. They are looking to take the atmosphere out of the Garden.
Aside from a three minute shift, the Canadiens went back and forth with the Bruins and actually led the physical play. They took advantage of their bounces and made sure one bounce for Boston wouldn’t swing the game.
Last night’s game showed just how good the Canadiens could be. It shows what Beaulieu could have brought to the lineup and (hopefully) what he will be trusted to bring next season. The Canadiens survived their first elimination game. Now they have to do the same thing tomorrow night in hostile territory.