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Five Keys to the Game: Habs-Bruins #4

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
Difficult, yes; impossible, no
While trailing the Bruins three games to none isn’t the position the Canadiens were hoping to find themselves in heading into Game 4, digging themselves out of the 0-and-3 hole isn’t unprecedented.  Two teams in NHL history have managed to come back from such a deficit to clinch a postseason series, beginning with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1942, followed by the New York Islanders more than thirty years later, in 1975.  If the Habs pull off the comeback, they will also become the first team in league history to do so in the first round of the playoffs. 

Grind it out
Anyone who still believes that the Bruins are the grittier team in the match-up can rest assured that so far in the series, it has been the Habs – not the B’s – laying out their opponents at every opportunity.  Montreal has punished their Beantown counterparts with a combined 92 hits throughout the first three games, compared to a mere 62 distributed by the Black and Gold. 
Calmer heads prevail
Spring is in the air in Montreal and with it has come a more zen-like approach to the series from both benches.  Game 3 at the Bell Centre on Monday featured a combined series-low 16 penalty minutes dished out between the two teams, with eight of those minutes stemming from the same altercation in the first twenty minutes.  Monday was also the first game in the series that saw the Bruins parading to the box more often than the Habs. 

Luck of the draw
So far in the series, the Canadiens own a 45.5% faceoff win percentage, but that number is headed in the right direction for the home team.  Tomas Plekanec put on a clinic in the circle on Monday night, winning 67% of his draws in Game 3, trailed closely by captain Saku Koivu, who won 64% of his faceoffs in the contest.

The 1,000,000th Visitor

After the game on Wednesday night, the Bell Centre will have officially welcomed 1,021,104 fans through its gates this season.  Throughout the 2008-09 campaign, the Canadiens have enjoyed home ice advantage with a capacity crowd for every preseason, regular season and postseason game.

Shauna Denis is a writer for

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