MONTREAL- After six long months of work, the Canadiens can finally see the light at the end of the playoff tunnel. Now with 82 games under their belts, the Habs have just one more night’s sleep to wait before unleashing their hostilities against the awaiting Bruins.
No stranger to the big dance, Patrice Brisebois is always ready to two-step when the “Spring Fling” finally arrives each April. Entering the postseason for the 11th time in his career, the veteran blue-liner looks to suit up for his 98th playoff game this Thursday in Boston with the same gusto he had during his 1991-92 debut.
“For sure I’m happy that Bob has enough confidence in me to put me in the lineup for Game 1,” offered Brisebois. “I always say you can’t buy experience. I just want to help out when I can on the power play, help calm down some of the younger guys and maybe even chip in with some big goal.”
Last year’s favorite may have become this season’s underdog, but the Canadiens aren’t about to start stressing about writing their own Cinderella story this spring.
“In the playoffs, anything can happen,” explained Alex Kovalev, who has made it to at least the second round in all but one of the nine postseason appearances he has made. “How many times have we played Boston in the last couple of years? And what were the results of those games? We just have to put up a better fight now than we did in the regular season.”
His coach would rather not be heading into the series wearing the “underdog” label, but for another reason altogether.
“I prefer playing the role of ‘underrated favorites’,” indicated Gainey. “If that were the case, it would mean we wouldn’t have had the kind of regular season we did.”
Regardless, the Habs-Bruins playoff storyline is a familiar one for the Hall-of-Famer, as the two Original Six franchises are set to face off in the postseason for a seventh time in NHL history.
“You can’t be considered a good playoff team unless you play against other good teams,” explained the five-time Stanley Cup champion. “That’s what makes this rivalry so rich. In spring 2009, we have players on our side who were playing for them last year and they have players in their dressing room who were with us in 2008. It’s a similar story but with a new chapter that will be written with different actors this time around.” Shauna Denis is a writer for canadiens.comRead also:Underdog, shmunderdog Nothing newPlayoff Central