Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Boston Bruins

Gritty Habs Hit Hard at Home

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
Montreal -- The Montreal Canadiens employed many of their traditional characteristics in their 4-1 victory over the Boston Bruins Thursday night. Those traits would be speed, guile, skill and more speed.

As a result they out shot Boston 32-18 en route to their four goals.

But there was an extra attribute, which probably had more to do with the CH's win in Game One than anything else, and is usually associated with Boston's Lunchpail AC. That would be grit and it was clear from the first drop of the puck that the Habs brought extra sandpaper to the Bell Centre.

As a result, they out hit the Bruins 37 to 25 and put the Black & Gold in a one game  hole in this best of seven series.

"I don't think we played well," said B's head coach Claude Julien. "That was the bottom line.

"Their physicality was a testament to how much they wanted to win the first game."

There was an air of missed opportunity in the B's locker room.

"We all know that we can play better," said Bruins captain Zdeno Chara. "There were mistakes that we are aware of."

When asked if he were surprised that the Canadiens were so tenacious in their checking, Chara, a defenseman, said, "No, not really. This is playoff hockey."

One reporter queried Boston goalie Tim Thomas about the "bounces' that seemed to go in Montreal's favor.

"You get the bounces if you are doing the work to get the bounces," said Thomas. "And I think they work very hard against us and we have to match their intensity and their urgency.

"And you have to give them credit for making good plays, too."

Forward P.J. Axelsson had another theory.

"I don't think we shot the puck enough," said the Swede. "[When behind] you just have to keep playing and chip away.

"We got one back…[but] we made too many mistakes in our own end."

Center Marc Savard, who worked very hard this past week to try to return to the B's lineup after being hurt by these Habs in the teams' last engagement, was also disappointed in the result.

"That wasn't the story we were looking for," said Savard. "We missed our assignments and you can't have that in the playoffs.

"They played hard…and we have to be ready for Game Two."

Defenseman Dennis Wideman did not sound panicked, but said adjustments have to be made.

"They came out physical," he said. "And we could have done a better job of finishing our hits.

"When you have a chance to finish, you have to finish.
"But you can't be running all over the place to try and take them out," said Wideman.

Coach Julien said that the Bruins had to come back on Saturday and be better defensively.

"We got dragged out of position and got caught running around," he explained. "They are a real skillful team and…they make you pay for it."

"And we're a better team than that."
View More