Bruins Must Properly Control Rivalry Tempers During Playoffs


Mar 24, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins right wing Jarome Iginla (12) knocks down Montreal Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov (79) in front of Canadiens goalie Peter Budaj (30) during the third period at TD Banknorth Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Bruins-Habs: Emotions Can Get Furious

The Montreal Canadiens stopped the Boston Bruins’ 12-game winning streak dead in its tracks last night, as the Habs clung to 2-1 shootout victory sporting a 28-save effort from Peter Budaj, who was minding the net spectacularly for Montreal.

Following this most recent win over the B’s, Budaj maintains a 5-0-0 record at the TD Garden. It was clear that he was the leading man in this close-knit contest, and if a shaky Carey Price had been featured between the pipes, this game could’ve told a different tale, one that ended with a Bruins’ victory.

For that reason, one would be reluctant to give the Canadiens full team credit in this victory. The Bruins had some amazing scoring chances but just could apply the finishing touches. It was one of those games, which the Bruins fall powerless to bad luck on the offensive end and consequently direct heated tempers at individual Habs’ players.

For example, Milan Lucic toppled to the ice on an Alexei Emelin hip check. During postgame interview, the Bruins’ forward called Emelin a ‘chicken.’

"“Whether it’s fair, legal or whatever you want to call it, if he wasn’t scared, he would stand up and hit me and not go after my knees,” Lucic said. “It just shows how big of a chicken he is that he needs to go down like that to take me down. It shows what kind of player he is, and on my end, you know you’ve got to keep your guard up at all times.”"

Albeit being somewhat low, the check was fair, and chicken or not, the entire Canadiens’ crew always seems to find a way to pester the B’s.

Sometimes, it disrupts the flow of the game. The physical but controlled style of Claude Julien‘s squad may start going askew, as defenders and forwards alike start getting edgy and unfocused on the object of winning.

Every minute of the matchup breeds personal issues from one skater to another, back-and-forth, and the desire to best each other on the scoreboard tends to slip away.

That’s where the Bruins start treading tricky water. Any team that wants to help their chances of defeating the Bruins could fight for an early lead and then continuously harass them to the point of pure annoyance.

While the Canadiens didn’t take their style quite to this level, it was noticeable that they infused a smaller degree of this attitude with great hockey speed and skill. They did outplay the Bruins at times, but overall, Boston should’ve beaten Montreal based on their dynamic win-streak presentations.

So, in the playoffs, on the grounds that the B’s face Montreal, tempers and irritations have to change for the better, directing the Bruins’ skaters towards goals and stout defense.