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Road-Ice Advantage

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
BOSTON -- The Habs find themselves back in Boston for Game 5, hoping to make the most of the road-ice advantage that’s fast becoming the trend of the 2011 NHL playoffs.


With the home-team losing 21 out of the 35 postseason games that have thus far made up the 2011 playoffs, the Habs will be looking to climb back in the driver’s seat against the Bruins in Boston, as neither team has posted a win at home in their first-round series.

Gameday - Michael Cammalleri
“Maybe it’s sometimes easier to play a simpler style of hockey when you’re on the road,” mused Canadiens’ head-coach Jacques Martin following his team’s Saturday morning skate.

“The parity that exists between teams around the league in these series is huge. That’s why you see these momentum swings in games but also a lot of momentum swings in whole series. You just have to look at our series to see that – goals for, goals against, goaltending, special teams – it’s all so close.”

Veteran defenseman Hal Gill, echoed his coaches sentiments in the Habs’ dressing room at TD Garden, pointing out that while the series may have shifted over the last few games, a win Saturday night is all it takes to shift it back.

“I think the games are so tight in this series, and all around the league at this point, that momentum is something that can shift very quickly,” said the 36-year-old defenseman who will be disputing the 103rd playoff game of his career in Boston. “That’s why as a team we need to be able to manage the entire 60 minutes of hockey. You have to come out playing the same game when you have a 3-0 lead as when you’re down 3-0.”

While they’re may be no clear-cut explanation as to why the visiting team has continued to find success in the Canadiens-Bruins series, Michael Cammalleri is happy to accept the fact without asking too many questions.

“We’re in the thick of a series right now and we’re not really thinking about the psychological reasons for things, but playing on the road has been a good thing for us this series, so we’ll take it,” said Cammalleri whose seven points after four games currently tie him for second among NHL playoff point-leaders.

“We’ve had some really good periods over the course of this series and some really good games, now we’re just going to have to string them together. Both teams come up with a game plan and whichever team executes it better is going to have a better chance to win the game,” finished Cammalleri.

"It’s up to us to react at this point and we all have confidence in each other as individuals and in our team that we’ll come out and perform.”

Justin Fragapane is a writer for canadiens.com.



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