Even when the Habs get a set of refs that seem tailor made to their makeshift lineup, they still can't pull it out. A sizable chunk of their skilled players -- Lang, Tanguay, Markov, Schneider -- can't play, due to one injury or another. That opens up space for the Habs' version of the Hansen brothers -- O'Byrne, Laraque, Stewart. And the refs misplace their whistles.
It all seems to come together for most of the first period. The Habs outhit, outmuscle and outplay the Bruins. But still they somehow manage to lose. Even without Lucic, the Bruins can play this game. They seemingly can play any game: Don Cherry style guts and glory, or Flying Frenchmen speed and skill.
The only thing that might come of this series is the opportunity for some of the youngsters to get a good dose of what playoff hockey is all about. That and maybe Bell Centre fans finding some class.