Price's message to Habs has sunk in
The Montreal Canadiens were much less laid back in practice today than they were before Game 3. Carey Price called out his teammates for their lax attitude after the 3-2 loss on Monday night but after day off, the message seems to have sunk in.
The 'light moments' were very few among players who want to get a win on their home ice before going back to Boston.
"I think guys want to get back at it and prove ourselves again. That's the whole thing is you get a chance to prove yourselves again," said Habs' defenceman Hal Gill.
The Montreal Canadiens also want to prove that they can win regardless of what team scores first. They won the first two games by getting on the scoreboard early and maintaining the lead. Boston won game three by doing the same thing. Montreal defenceman Brent Sopel believes it's always an advantage to score first but he doesn't want the team to be condemned to winning under those conditions.
"If they get the first goal it's all about doing the right things from the drop of the puck to the last buzzer."
Benoit Pouliot was the odd man out at today's practice. He was called for charging Boston's Johnny Boychuck in Game 3 but avoided further discipline. Pouliot also got into a fight over the matter with the Bruins's Andrew Ference and was called for a five minute major for his actions. Montreal coach Jacques Martin would not confirm his presence in Game 4.
Montreal also had some welcome injury news. Jeff Halpern was skating with the team in a full contact practice. Martin wouldn't say whether Halpern would be in the lineup for Game 4. Halpern has been battling a lower-body injury in the second half of the season but hopes to play his first playoff game for Montreal at home.
"It's been three weeks," Halpern says. "I've been able to skate for more than that. You know, it's a lot of time. Hopefully, I know it won't be comfortable from the first play but hopefully it'll be a quick adjustment."
The Boston Bruins also had some injury news to report on. Centre Chris Kelly went back to Boston after Game 3 to have a facial injury checked out. Kelly is expected to join the team in Montreal tonight and be ready for Game 4.
"There might be a fracture there, but nothing that would prevent him from playing" said coach Claude Julien.
Kelly was injured when he was pushed from behind by Montreal's Scott Gomez into the goal post in the first period. Kelly continued to play even scored an empty-net goal but returned to Boston as a precaution.
The Bruins are in Lake Placid, New York, enjoying the last day of their stay at the Olympic Centre. They left Montreal after game 3 and return tonight. The Bruins worked on the power play in their practice. They have yet to score with the man advantage, despite 11 chances in the series so far.
"It hasn't scored, and again we need to get this thing going a little better. But also understand that in the playoffs, PKs seem to be trumping the power plays," Julien said. "And that's in most of the playoff games that we've seen as well and we've done a pretty good job against Montreal."
The power play has been a sore spot for the Bruins. At the end of the regular season they ranked 20th in the league for goals scored with the man advantage.
They plan on using their physical presence better in Game 4 to slow down the speedy Montreal team to wear them out.
With a win in Montreal, the Bruins don't feel as if they have the upper hand yet in this series, however.
"It's one game but Montreal is going to come back and obviously be ready for us. It's in their building so we're going to make sure we're ready for that and that we carry over what happened last game," said centre Patrice Bergeron.