4.26.2011

Playoff Game of the Night (Pt. I)


2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs
Game 6: Boston Bruins vs. Montreal Canadiens @ Bell Centre
1-2 Final; Series tied 3-3

After earning the first home-team win of the series, the Boston Bruins looked to seal the series in Montreal. Carey Price, on the other hand, has something else in mind. No way will the Canadiens give up in Game 6. There will be a Game 7 and the Habs will continue on another series into Round 2 if they had their way.

But the French-Canadian team will have some adversary against them. James Wisniewski and David Desharnais will be out and Paul Mara will be in with Yannick Weber playing forward.

Will the Canadiens feed off of the chants of the faithful fans? Will Montreal see another day of post-season hockey in 2011?

Not even two minutes into game, the Bruins took Lars Eller along the boards and the Dane went down awkwardly and stayed down for a bit of time. The young centre laboured getting back up and to the bench clear to everyone's eyes. Yet the referees refused to call the play dead or to call anything on play! To add on to the frustration of Montreal, the whistle was blown moments later when Tim Thomas "had control of the puck." The puck was CLEARLY not in Thomas's control! The puck was blatantly trickling by Thomas's pads when the whistle was blown and if the ref was in PROPER POSITION then maybe he would've seen that Thomas was no where NEAR having control of that puck! Brian Gionta banking it in should've counted as a goal.

But Montreal fans are not to be totally disappointed in this game. Unlike the last couple of games, the Canadiens looked better defensively, offensively, and just all-around! It was a collective effort in both ends of the ice from the Bleu, Blanc, et Rouge and the only thing that was stopping them was the terrible reffing. That was all to change.

Finally getting the calls their way, the Habs fortunately end up on the 5-on-3 nearly 9 minutes into the game, after the Bruins took an accidental bench-minor. On the two-man-advantage, Michael Cammalleri scored the first of the game from his favourite spot on the ice. That shot that Hab fans have become so familiar with, that spot where he can always be found, and the familiar sound of the horn going off - that's how Cammy does it!

Coming back from the dressing rooms after the first intermission, Dennis Seidenberg opened the scoring for the Bruins and for the middle period at just 48 seconds in! Boston held the puck in the offensive zone with some solid [enough] puck-handling. After dancing around in the zone, a shot was finally taken, but steered away by Carey Price's stick. The puck fluttered to behind the net and who else but the German defenceman picked up the puck and did a partial wrap-around that fed the puck through the pads of Price.

And then the ice tilted at 4:37. Starting a Montreal break-out, Jaroslav Spacek handled the puck in the neutral zone along the boards. Seeing only numbers, Milan Lucic took his body and brough Spacek HARD into the boards. The hit was high, right into the board, from behind, and Spacek had no clue; Lucic only saw his number and nothing else. Clear in every perspective, the hit was a 5-minute major at the least and Lucic earned a toss out of the game. Is there a suspension in the near future for the gritty Boston forward?

If the major penalty wasn't enough, the Habs earned a 5-on-3 powerplay at 4:53 thanks to Patrice Bergeron clearing the puck straight into the players' bench. On the 5-on-3, Brian Gionta avenged his goal that was taken away by the referees. Scott Gomez took a shot on the advantage, but his shot was steered away by Thomas, but no one accounted for Gionta to pick up the rebound in the blue paint and bury it into the mesh! That's what a captain does: digging to score no matter how bleak the hope looks.

Game 6 was just a better game by the Canadiens in general. Carey Price has been, again, Montreal's best player, but this time he wasn't the only one. The rest of the Montreal bench was behind Price tonight, helping him out in defence and also scoring the goals that needed to be scored. They were responsible defensively and no poor reffing at the beginning of the game could keep them down. Boston outshot them, but Price had an answer. And the fans played true to their role. The crowd was never silent, the energy never disappeared, and Montreal faithful became the 7th-man on the ice (that didn't count to a bench minor). Game 7, HERE WE COME! See y'all tomorrow!

3 stars:
(1) Michael Cammalleri
(2) Carey Price
(3) Brian Gionta



























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