FINAL | Game 47, Home Game 25 | Saturday January 20, 2018 
Bell Centre, Montreal, QC.

CANADIENS
Montreal

teamlogo_canadiens

1-4

BRUINS
Boston

(Photo by Graham Hughes, Canadian Press)

Lineup

Forward lines and defense pairings 

Pacioretty – Byron – Hudon
Lehkonen – Plekanec – Gallagher
Galchenyuk – Drouin – Deslauriers
De La Rose – Froese – L. Shaw

Alzner – Petry
Benn – Jerabek
Mete – Schlemko

Goaltenders

Price
Niemi

Scratches

Daniel Carr, Joe Morrow

Injuries

Ales Hemsky – concussion, Shea Weber – lower-body, Phillip Danault – concussion, Andrew Shaw – lower-body

Game Report 

The Canadiens gave it a valiant effort and for a period they were on even footing with the visitors. But there was a nagging feeling that the Bruins were poised to strike. Good teams are like that.

And Boston did just that. Taking advantage of an icing by the Canadiens fourth line, the Bruins iced their top line, one of the best in the NHL. The Habs were no match for Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pasternak, surrendering the winning goal to Torey Krug.

“We know that we have to contain that top line in order to beat that team. They rely heavily on them. They had a lot of opportunities to produce and any time a line is feeling it like that. All three guys were in positions to score tonight and they made us pay.” — Max Pacioretty

Boston has an excellent team who just manage to be on a roll, with points in 16 straight (12-0-4) after tonight. They have a solid core of veterans who are complemented by talented, highly-skilled young players. And they are motivated and well-coached.

The Bruins were going nowhere last February when Boston general manager Don Sweeney fired head coach Claude Julien. Following a 6-5 loss on home ice to the Toronto Maple Leafs, Sweeney dropped the hammer fearing that the Bruins playoff chances were quickly slipping away. Since Bruce Cassidy took over behind the bench, the Bruins have had a record of 44-18-9.

Julien was fired by Boston for many of the same problems that are plaguing the Canadiens this season. Julien was a god send for Marc Bergevin ticking some of the right boxes. But in the most important characteristic, being a good match for the talent on the roster, Julien isn’t even close.

Joe Morrow and Nicolas Deslauriers are the two players who have publicly spoken about having the coach’s confidence this season.

We have expressed this thought since the pre-season: the current roster of the Montreal Canadiens is not good enough. And that’s on Bergevin. But Julien has only exacerbated some poor personnel choices and is not getting the best out of the players he has.

Once again the Canadiens blueline was shredded by the Bruins forecheck and cycle game. David Schlemko, Jamie Benn were the worst culprits. But Victor Mete and Jeff Petry also struggled at times.

Up front, there were some flashes of good play involving Max Pacioretty and Paul Byron. But they were the only line to consistently offer scoring opportunities. Alex Galchenyuk and Jonathan Drouin were wasted with Nicolas Deslauriers.

Meanwhile, the two top lines for the Bruins were a threat most every time they were on the ice.

At this point, the Bruins – Canadiens rivalry is not what it once was with two teams headed quickly in opposite directions.

~~~

▲  Max Pacioretty, Paul Byron

▼  David Schlemko, Jeff Petry, Jordie Benn, Jonathan Drouin, Victor Mete

 Statistics 
CANADIENS   BRUINS
25 Shots 31
38% Face-offs 61%
0-for-1 Power Play 0-for-3
6 Penalty Minutes 2
43 Hits 32
43 Corsi For 61
 Scoring
 FINAL 1 2 3 OT SO T
 Canadiens (19-21-6) 0 1 0 1
 Bruins (26-10-8) 0 2 2 4
Scorers Goalies
  • MTL: Pacioretty (15)
  • BOS: Pastrnak (19), Krug (7), Pastrnak (20), Nash (6)
  • MTL: Price (L) 13-16-4
  • BOS: Rask (W) 17-8-4
 NHL Three Stars

NHL3stars
  1. David Pastrnak  BOS
  2. Torey Krug  BOS
  3. Max Pacioretty  BOS

 Video Highlights 
 Post-game Press Conference
Claude Julien

  • “We’re not good enough. I thought the first game here (a 4-3 loss last Saturday), we should have won it. We had some great chances. The second game to me was a write-off. We did not show up in Boston, so it’s hard to evaluate your team because we didn’t show up. Tonight, we’re there, but we’re not good enough.”
  • “We were playing two games in two nights and they’re a little fresher than we are but right now, they’re one of the hottest, if not the hottest team in the league.We don’t match up with them right now, but maybe with Shea Weber back and a couple of things here and there, maybe we have a better chance.”

Max Pacioretty

  • “We know that we have to contain that top line in order to beat that team. They rely heavily on them. They had a lot of opportunities to produce and any time a line is feeling it like that. All three guys were in positions to score tonight and they made us pay.”

Karl Alzner

  • “I think that line’s probably the best all-around line at both ends of the ice. (They have) high-end skill, but also very defensively responsible. It’s not just in their D-zone, but from the top of our circles to the red line they pressure hard and they make it tough for you to really generate anything. I think they’re probably one of the best if not the best all-around lines in the NHL.”

Quotes courtesy of NHL.com

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