The Boston Bruins refused to panic.
As they arrived at the Bell Centre for Game 3 of their playoff series against the Montreal Canadiens Monday after two straight losses at home, the Bruins decided they weren’t going to change anything at all.
Oh, sure big Zdeno Chara returned after missing Game 2 Saturday with dehydration, but coach Claude Julien refused to make all the changes that the Boston media was demanding the last 48 hours.
Tim Thomas stayed in the net ahead of Tuukka Rask. Rookie Tyler Seguin, a healthy scratch in the playoffs, wasn’t dressed for any of the forwards. The status quo remained. The Bruins went to war with their team.
“It’s (been) our execution,” Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli told CBC’s Elliotte Friedman before the game. “I know the guys want to win and I know they’re a little nervous. They gotta get through that and over that.”
You gotta give the Bruins credit for sticking with what got them there, we’ll find out soon enough if it’s time for them to hit the panic button.
THINGS I THINK I THINK
The NHL opted not to suspend Vancouver’s Raffi Torres for his hit on Chicago’s Brent Seabrook Sunday. That’s fine, I guess. But, shouldn’t Torres have been given a couple of games just for stupidity? He just returned from a four-game suspension for a hit on Jordan Eberle late in the season and then pulls this move. “It’s more of an indictment of a player with a past history than an indictment on the hit,” said TSN’s Aaron Ward. “In the circumstances a player needs to keep his head, figure out where he’s at and protect yourself.” I guess so ... Campbell could be busy Tuesday. Pittsburgh’s Chris Kunitz should get a game for his elbow to the head of Tampa’s Simon Gagne. It was brutal and couldn’t have been more deliberate. Kunitz is likely headed for a telephone hearing. Just for good measure, Tampa’s Steve Downie nailed Ben Lovejoy. “You know this guy has a propensity for stupidity,” said Ward. It was being compared to Downie’s hit on Dean McAmmond in the pre-season that caused a 20-game suspension, but Downie won’t get anything ... Philly C Jeff Carter broke a nine-game playoff scoring slump against the Sabres when picked up his first goal of the post-season at 4:42 of the first. That took the crowd out of the game briefly.
OFF THE GLASS
You can forget the myth that there’s no fighting in the playoffs. Boston’s Andrew Ference and Montreal’s Benoit Pouliot dropped the gloves in the first. According to hockeyfights.com, that was the sixth bout in this first round. Players are still willing to drop the gloves to send a message ... The Penguins don’t have any worries without injured C Sidney Crosby. Aaron Asham, who gave the club a 2-0 lead in the first period in Game 3, scored his second of the series at 6:31 of the first. That had Tampa coach Guy Boucher taking a timeout to get the boys settled down ... Chara returned to the scene of the crime for the first time since he slammed Max Pacioretty into the stanchion on March 8th. It wasn’t going to bother Chara that he was booed every time he touched the puck. “Pretty much everywhere in the Northeast he gets booed and here he gets booed loud,” said Chiarelli. “I don’t think it will wear on him. He’s a mentally strong person. He’ll be able to handle it.”
AROUND THE BOARDS
Not sure why Game 3 of the Penguins/Lightning series was only available on CHEX in Peterborough. My guess: CBC analyst Greg Millen is from there ... The Flyers treatment of G Sergei Bobrovsky is mystifying. No, he didn’t look good allowing three goals on seven shots Saturday, but he could have at least been in uniform. Bobrovsky didn’t have a locker stall and Michael Leighton dressed as the backup to Brian Boucher. “Talk about taking a guys confidence away,” said former Sabres winger Matt Barnaby, an ESPN analyst, in an email to Snapshots. “I think its brutal. He’s been your guy all year. Have him back up.” Boucher made 35 stops in 4-2 win so he’ll have to go the rest of the way ... The Bruins started the game with a “too many men on the ice” penalty when Chara jumped the board. Was pretty sure coach Claude Julien wouldn’t pull a Don Cherry, jump up on the boards and start bowing on the bench.
LAST MINUTE OF PLAY
Is it me or does anybody else find it hard to take Flames GM Jay Feaster seriously as long as he has that “acting” title attached to his name? How is he allowed to hire and fire when he hasn’t been totally hired himself? ... It doesn’t matter where you are in Canada, you have to admire the hockey atmosphere in Montreal in the playoffs. The scene outside the Bell Centre is wild and the appearance of Jean Beliveau in the pre-game ceremony was brilliant. “You can’t beat it,” said CBC’s Ron MacLean.