With Mike Komisarek in the lineup, the Bruins will want to keep their heads up along the boards.
MONTREAL - It's been said that rules were made to be broken. In hockey, it seems that a home-and-home series was made to be split. With an important pair of games against the Bruins on this week's schedule, the Canadiens have every intention of bucking that trend.
While that's the plan, it certainly won't be easy. The home-and-home is the 80th of its kind between Montreal and Boston and only 23 times has a team successfully pulled off the sweep. That's the bad news. The good news is the Canadiens hold the edge, having won both contests 17 times to the Bruins' six, with the last sweep coming in 1981-82. Bob Berry's squad posted back-to-back victories of 5-1 and 5-2 over Gerry Cheevers' crew.
"We have to focus on what we need to do to win that first one," said Mike Komisarek. "Once that one is in the bank then we can get greedy and think about the second game in Boston."
The 6-foot-4, 242-pound defenseman, who leads all blueliners with 225 hits, couldn't have said it any better. In the last six home-and-home series between the two Original Six clubs, Boston has won the opener each time.
"It might be a cliché Reversal of fortune, but really you have to take it one game at a time," noted Mike Johnson. "These home-and-home series are a part of the game but sometimes it's tough to get the sweep because the teams make adjustments between the two games."
The Canadiens have proven just that, going 4-0-2 in the second meeting.
Guy Carbonneau's troop will aim to distance themselves from the 12th place Bruins on Tuesday night and leave their division rivals seven points behind.
"It's really tight right now. You have to prepare for each game as if it's the last one of the season," said Steve Begin. "The home-and-home doesn't make a difference. We could have five games in a row against the same team, but we're still in a situation where we have to win every game."
Heather Engel is a writer for canadiens.com