Sunday, April 19, 2009

Round 1, Game 2: Bruins 5, Canadiens 1

Ouch. So much for the theory that if the games are called tight (or at least as tight as regular season games), then the Bruins size advantage would be outweighed by the Habs' skill advantage. Turns out the Bruins have more skill than the Habs -- or at least the Habs that showed up Saturday night.

Maybe part of it was that Gainey was juggling like crazy, more than the insane idea of lining up Laraque with Koivu and Kovalev. At least he finally came to his senses and put the big line back out at the end. Making things worse was Bouillon coming in -- then promptly going out. Thank God for Mathieu Dandenault. He's switched from RW to D more than once this year, mid game, and done well enough each time. That better be good enough to resign him.

Maybe the other part was that perhaps their most talented player -- Andrei Markov -- still couldn't play. The Habs have some skill up front, one line's worth anyway. But the blue line doesn't have that kind of skill without Markov.

In today's NHL, scoring from the blueline is critical. The Bruins, Sharks and Red Wings all have it. Sure, the Habs have Schneider and Brisebois, but both are defensive liabilities. Markov is the only player that can play both ends.

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