Bruins lack that killer instinct

DON BRENNAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:05 PM ET

MONTREAL - They had four chances to finish the Flyers last spring, and they just couldn’t do it.

And now they’ve let their foot off the throat of the Habs.

These (not so much) Killer B’s are in trouble, if Mike Cammalleri’s pre-Game 6 feelings mean anything.

“When I saw the back-to-backs, I liked it,” Cammalleri, who would later put on a first star performance in leading the Habs to a 2-1 victory Tuesday that brings the series back to Boston for a seventh and deciding game Wednesday, had said in the morning. “You win tonight and it can happen quick, within 24 hours you’re back in their building, ready to roll. And now they’re like, ‘now it’s slipping away.’ Now they’re the ones that don’t want to let it slip away.”

Yes, for a team that has just snapped a three game losing streak, the Habs are talking like they’re in the drivers seat. And given the Bruins recent history, they just might be right.

“I don’t know what the stats are, but I think if you win Game 6 ...” Cammalleri felt. “I like the back to back for us right now. At this situation. For sure.”

STARTS AND STOPS: Spotted before the game at a bread-breaking table with his old friend (from Senators days) Peter Chiarelli was Dr. Max Offenberger, a sports psychologist who has been employed by different teams in the past. By the four minute mark of the first Tim Thomas could have used a visit with good ole Dr. Max. The usually unflappable Bruins netminder must have been pushed into a state of flap by all that “Thom-mas” chanting, the way he turned an easy Scott Gomez wrist shot into what should have been the first goal of the game, by Brian Gionta. The only guy who didn’t see that the puck was loose at least a foot away from Thomas might have been Kevin Pollock, the ref who blew the whistle too soon. The fans had every right to go as stupid as they did .... For Pollock and the fellow red arm band wearer Chris Lee, the night didn’t get a whole lot better. The second most controversial call of the was the ejection of Milan Lucic for his planting Jaroslav Spacek face into the glass early into the second. There’s been worse hits that haven’t been penalized in this playoff season ... Yes, Spacek was bleeding, and almost needed to be carried to the dressing room, but if that had anything to do with why Lucic was tossed, well, Pollock and Lee should have felt shame when the Habs defenceman somehow managed to drag himself out of the infirmary and return to action a few minutes later ... Had to laugh at the warning given fans for throwing things on the ice. First, the refs wouldn’t dare giving the Habs a minor penalty for such behaviour, or else there would have been another Richard Riot in Montreal. Secondly, telling fans to text or call a number to report someone who is tossing stuff on the ice seems like such a waste of breath. Someone does that and next thing you know they’d be thrown over boards.

BETWEEN PERIODS: Chiarelli’s trade of a second round pick to get Chris Kelly is looking pretty shrewd now. Brought in as a checking, third line centre, Kelly’s assist on Dennis Seidenberg’s second period goal was his fifth point of the series, leaving him second in team scoring behind Patrice Bergeron. The personable Toronto native has also become a media darling of the first round set, attracting almost as large of a daily scrum as Mike Cammalleri does in the Habs room. On the morning of Game 6, the former Senator was saying how playing in a Canadian (or U.S.-equivalent) hockey market makes guys better players. “You need to show up and play every night,” said Kelly. “You can’t take a night off. You take a night off and people are going to notice.” And you’re going to get ripped in the papers? “And rightfully so,” said Kelly, who joked that Bryan Murray was rewarded by Eugene Melnyk for trading him. “(It was like) get this contract off the books and you’ve got an extension,” said Kelly, who makes $2.1 million.

THIS AND THAT: The Habs missed the injured David Desharnais in Game 6. Maybe not as much as Claude Julien would have you believe, but they missed him. “He’s had a good series, played well for them,” Julien said of the speedy, 5-foot-7, 177-pound forward in the morning. “You talk about Martin St. Louis, he’s such a good player. He’s got good speed and good talent. He doesn’t have the pedigree and he doesn’t have the experience, but he certainly has the making of a guy like that.” Desharnais, who had eight goals and 14 assists in 43 games during the regular season, has just one assist in five playoff games. The only time he should be mentioned in the same breath as St. Louis right now is in a discussion about the vertically challenged ... Julien did catch himself while falling into a trap a little later on. “It is what it is,” he said. “Cliche No. 2.”. More like it’s at the top of the most uttered list ... Ever wonder what it’s like to be a Canadien standing in the tunnel at Bell Centre, hearing the crowd noise and waiting for the team to be called on to the ice to start the game? “Every time you go out for one of these games you feel like you could climb Mount Everest,” said Cammalleri “That first lap around is the fastest you ever skated in your life. It’s an amazing shot of adrenalin. Anybody that’s had a big adrenalin shot, for whatever reason, it feels like that every time you come out. Especially in the playoffs here in Montreal.” Now you know.

THINGS I THINK I THUNK: Hal Gill didn’t figure Zdeno Chara’s tires needed any more pumping. When asked about Chara being named one of the Norris Trophy finalists, the big Habs blueliner was a shrug shy of total indifference. “He’s a good defenceman,” said Gill. “He’s got good numbers.” Thanks Hal ... Biggest game of your life tonight, Lars Eller? “(Wednesday’s) will be even bigger,” the Hab centre said after the morning skate. “It’s going to be fun. These are the games you live for.” Eller’s night looked like it would be short-lived when he was rammed into the boards by Adam McQuaid. However, he came back to play through what looked to be a banged up shoulder ... Habs fans were anticipating the first win of the playoffs at Bell Centre by their heroes with 13 minutes left in the third. That was the first singing of their Ole-Ole soccer song this series ... Nobody booed Andrew Ference when he touched the puck. You would have thunk ...Thomas reverted to form with some huge saves throughout the game. But Carey Price had to be even better, and he was.

PARTING SHOTS: First it was a Rush concert, then Lady Gaga. Twice this series there was an extra day between games because the Bell Centre was previously booked. Didn’t the owners think the Habs would make the playoffs?


Videos

Photos