It was an exciting game in Montreal this past weekend as the Boston Bruins were in town. A game with big playoff implications as both the Canadiens and Bruins are fighting to stay alive in seventh and eighth spot respectively in the Eastern Conference.
Prior to puck drop on Saturday, seven 2010 Olympians were honoured by the Canadiens, including Montreal Canadiens trainer Pierre Gervais, Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron, women's hockey team members Kim St-Pierre, Charline Labonte, Catherine Ward, Caroline Ouellette and flag-bearer Clara Hughes.
Once again it was an electric atmosphere in the Bell Centre as it is every Saturday night and we had lots of fun stories to tell at the rink!
Thanks to Mike Cammalleri for being willing to do an interview during the game. Cammalleri has been skating and is hoping to be back March 20th versus Toronto, which will give an added boost to the Habs lineup. Marc Andre Bergeron may also join him at that time as well, which will help the offensive on the backend.
The interesting question for the Canadiens will be who gets sent down to Hamilton upon their return as both players are needed for their power play capabilities and offensive prowess. The obvious choice for the short straw would seem to be Tom Pyatt, but next choice may be a bit more difficult as it could be Sergei Kostitsyn or Mathieu Darche, both who have played well.
MATT COOKE VS. BRUINS
I had the opportunity to speak with Shawn Thornton after the pre-game skate on Saturday morning about his thoughts on the hit that Matt Cooke put on Marc Savard.
Like all the Bruins players he felt that the hit warranted a suspension, but the most frustrating thing for him was that no one on the ice responded to the hit and took Cooke on. Thornton did not see another shift for the rest of the game after the hit and therefore was unable to respond himself, plus it was in the last five minutes of the game. He said, "If it was going to happen it had to happen immediately after the hit."
Patrice Bergeron was the only Bruins player to at least say something to Cooke, but he came off the bench to speak to the referee and it probably wasn't smart for him to engage Cooke, especially after coming off the bench.
The lack of response was dealt with internally during a meeting with GM Peter Chiarelli, but also by Thornton with some of his teammates who apologized for not responding in some manner.
Thornton also suggested to me that nothing probably will happen between the Bruins and Cooke on Thursday during the rematch between Boston and Pittsburgh because of all the attention that game will receive - and more importantly the Bruins' focus will be on getting the two points.
MOORE HELPING THE HABS
Montreal's general manager Pierre Gauthier was criticized for not doing more at the trade deadline, but the one move he did make picking up Dominic Moore from Florida has been very valuable indeed. The "Moore Factor" has really helped to establish a presence on the third line for the Canadiens.
Since his debut on Feb. 12 in Philadelphia the third line of him, Sergei Kostitsyn and Travis Moen have provided steady play at both ends of the rink. The three combined have scored 18 points in the nine games (as of Sunday) since Moore has joined the team.
LOW SCORING BRUINS
The Bruins continue to struggle to score. The fact is they remain the lowest scoring team in the NHL. Even though Brian Burke continues to take flack for giving away first-round picks for Phil Kessel, Kessel has more goals than any Bruins player despite playing a shortened season.
HIT ON LUCIC
I also thought that Greg Millen and Guy Carbonneau had a great idea after Milan Lucic received a hit to the head from Andrei Kostitsyn in the second period. Lucic immediately responded and went after Kostitsyn. Both players received a minor penalty, but the elder Kostitsyn should have got the extra two minutes as the hit was when Lucic was in a bit of a vulnerable position.
A veteran referee perhaps would have ignored the roughing play by Lucic or gave Kostitsyn the extra two minutes for what was a hit the game is trying to get rid of. Even members of the Montreal staff thought the Kostitsyn hit was bad and is exactly what the league is trying to address.
The Boston and Montreal rivalry never gets old!
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