The Canadiens and Bruins will lock horns for game 1 tonight in the Bell Centre and both teams will be looking to get in the minds of their counterpart. A Canadiens win would surely demoralize an already fragile Bruins team, but if the Bruins were to win their first game over the Canadiens in over a year (11 games), a seed of doubt could be planted in the back of their heads.
Alex Kovalev will more than likely be wearing the captain’s “C” to start the series as Saku Koivu still may be out another week according to a statement by Habs bench boss Guy Carbonneau.
“The progress is what it should have been,” coach Guy Carbonneau said of the injury. “Usually a bone needs two to three weeks.
“It’s two weeks now. We still need to wait.”
But not all injury news should be bad as Mike Komisarek should play his first game since leaving in the opening minutes of a March 20th contest with these very same Bruins.
“I feel pretty good – strong and confident.” said Komisarek. “I’ll give feedback to the doctor and then we’ll make a decision from there.”
Boston expects to have Marc Savard back in the line up after he missed the final games of the season with a back injury. Savard was cross-checked by Steve Begin March 22nd, something Savard and the Bruins surely have not forgotten.
Carey Price and Tim Thomas will both be making their NHL playoff debuts. Price is 5-0 life time against the Bruins and he has posted a 2.16 GAA and .932 S% in those games. Thomas on the other hand while is 4-12-1 against the Habs with a 3.24 GAA and a .901 S%. Thomas has allowed 24 goals to the Canadiens this season.
Montreal being the youngest team in the 2008 playoffs will have a plethora of guys making their debuts, both Kostitsyn brothers, Maxim Lapierre, Guillaume Latendresse, Ryan O’Byrne and depending on the line up decisions Gregory Stewart and Mikhail Grabovski.
On an interesting note the Canadiens all checked into a Montreal hotel yesterday after a team meal. Guy Carbonneau must have come up with this when thinking of his 1986 run to the cup with Jean Perron as his head coach. In 86 Perron checked the Habs into a South Shore hotel which a few of the players compared to the famous San Francisco prison Alcatraz. This year’s version of the team has responded a little more positively.
Don’t forget 7pm puck drop tonight, the game can be caught on RDS (HD), CBC (HD), NESN (HD), or on the radio in Montreal at CJAD 800 (AM) or in Boston at WBZ 1030 (AM)
Enjoy the game.