The Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins met for yet another epic series, just one of many in their proud history, as the two teams needed overtime in Game Seven to determine the victor. After Canadiens forward P.K. Subban tied the game with two minutes remaining, it was Bruins forward Nathan Horton scoring his second overtime winner of the series as the Bruins advanced.
In my conference previews, I said the following about this series:
The Canadiens have Carey Price, who is no slouch in goal, but is certainly a level below elite. The only question for the Bruins – as has been since the absence of Marc Savard -- is who will score the goals for them. Still, with their superior size and defensive prowess, the Bruins should be able to shut down the Canadiens’ speed attack.
Bruins in 6
For the first couple games of this series, the Canadiens lured Boston into a trap, forcing them to play a faster game that negated the Bruins defensive advantage. But the Bruins size took control of the series, and they found just enough scoring to win.
What Happened To Montreal?
They played their equal, and lost. The Canadiens depend on taking early leads and holding onto them with a tight defensive scheme. So does Boston. These two teams have very similar strategies to win games, and the Bruins were just a bit better over a seven game series. With 23 year old goalie Carey Price enjoying a breakout playoffs (where he was at least as good as veteran Tim Thomas), the future is very bright in Montreal. They'll be back next season.
What Have We Learned About Boston?
They'll go as far as Tim Thomas can take them. Without Marc Savard in the lineup, the Bruins will survive if their games end up 2-1 or 1-0. When your top scoring forwards in the playoffs are Chris Kelly, and Nathan Horton, you aren't going to win a lot of high scoring games. The Bruins need Patrice Bergeron to step up against the Flyers in a big way if they want to win that series.
We didn't really learn anything about Boston in this series against Montreal. They are the same defense-first team that played throughout the regular season. If they get great goaltending from Thomas, they win. If not, they lose. It's a simple formula.