The Second Round Series Must Watch: Bruins vs. Canadiens
This is going to be the case in this year's second round when the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens meet in the postseason for a league-record 34th time. With the way each team made quick work of the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, respectively, these clubs were destined to meet when it mattered most this season.
While there will be other intriguing match-ups to watch when it comes to the next round, it is going to be tough to beat the one between the Bruins and Canadiens. For starters, the goaltending in this series has the potential to be phenomenal.
For the Bruins, Vezina Trophy nominee Tuukka Rask has been lights out. Rask finished the team's first round series at 4-1 with a 1.16 goals against average, a .961 save percentage and one shutout.
In between the pipes, Rask is playing big while also playing with a lot of confidence. Against the Red Wings, he did a great job of controlling his rebounds, putting himself in position to stop first, second, and third shots and also came up with the big save when his team needed it the most.
At the other end of the ice, Canadiens' masked man Carey Price also got the job done for his hockey club in their sweep of the Lightning. In four games, Price had a 2.33 goals against average and a .904 save percentage.
While those numbers are not as good as Rask's, one would expect Price to have his 'A game against the Bruins. He only started one game against the Bruins this year, but because it's a big series and because of the way Price has learned to play on the big stage, Price could end up being just as good, if not better than Rask in this series.
Secondly, this series has the potential to go the distance. That is how close these two clubs are.
The Bruins may have been the best team in the league this season, but the Canadiens gave them a lot of trouble this year. The Bruins went 1-2-1 against the Habs this year and averaged 1.75 goals for per game and allowed an average of 2.25 goals per game.
Every season, it seems that these two teams match-up well and the season series's usually end up reflecting that. With a best of seven series staring at each club, do not be surprised if this one gets decided in a Game 7.
This series is also going to feature a lot of physical play. When these two teams go at it, it is a constant war on the ice and with each club playing for a chance to get one step closer to a Cup, the games will be that more physical.
The Bruins were a physical team all season long. With guys like Zdeno Chara, Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand, Shawn Thornton, and Gregory Campbell, the Bruins will forecheck hard, battle along the board and throw their weight around.