What Can the Bruins Expect from the Canadiens?


Oct 16, 2014; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Boston Bruins forward Seth Griffith (53) checks Montreal Canadiens defenseman Tom Gilbert (77) during the third period at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Perhaps the most anticipated game of the week has been the meeting between two life-long rivals, the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens. While it can be speculated that the Bruins were more focused on facing their rivals than the Leafs last night, tonight is prime time to turn things around.

Last night the Bruins sported some new-look lines in desperation to ignite some sort of spark. While it is unknown if those lines remain in tact for tonight’s meeting against Montreal, it is likely that some changes will be made. For starters, we will likely see Alexander Khokhlachev in the line up tonight, after being called up this morning by the team.

New Defense

“He’s a great player all around. Hopefully, he’s going to help us move forward with the power play, and move forward in everything else.”-Andrej Markov

The Montreal Canadiens have recently made some adjustments to their roster, adding some defensive depth of their own as they traded away Travis Moen to the Dallas Stars to gain Sergei Gonchar. Gonchar brings veteran presence and a powerful presence to the Canadiens defense. He’s got a hefty blast from the blue line and isn’t afraid to use his body to block shots. The Canadiens are especially anxious to use him on their struggling power play unit;

“The move [to acquire Gonchar] shouldn’t surprise anyone because we’ve struggled a little bit on the power play. He’s a great player for it. He’s a great player all around. Hopefully, he’s going to help us move forward with the power play, and move forward in everything else.”-Andrej Markov told the media Wednesday.

Gonchar is a leader in all aspects and he has the numbers to show for it. Through 1,256 games he’s tallied 219 goals and 798 points, placing him among leading defensemen in the league. 423 of those points, stemming from when his team was on the man advantage. His presence on the Canadiens power play unit will certainly not go unnoticed and is something that the Bruins need to be prepared for.

Shots! Shots! Shots!

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The Bruins need to go into tonight’s game ready to blast the puck at the net and drill Price with shot after shot on goal. Over their last three games the Canadiens have only allowed three goals against them. Carey Price has been in net for two of those games and is expected to get his third consecutive start. If the Bruins are able to keep their offensive game in tact and use their balanced attack with a good rotation of the puck, they should be able to find ways past Price and get on the board.

Emotional Break Down

The Montreal Canadiens are a team that has always been able to get under the Bruins skin, namely, Milan Lucic. The last time these two teams met up, Lucic was fined $5,000 for his gestures towards some Montreal fans while taking a place in the penalty box. Nonetheless, this is a team that has always found a way to expose the worst of an otherwise composed Bruins team. The Bruins are going to need to keep their emotions in check, despite all of the hype that naturally ensues and keep their goal in mind, playing a collective, consistent hockey game.