Turnabout is fair play, at least that's how the expression goes.
With all the momentum after winning the first two games in Boston, the Habs had the Bruins on the mat, bloodied and confused.
But they let the Bruins off of the mat and now, suddenly, Boston has all the momentum heading back to Boston for Game 5 after a dramatic 5-4 OT win in Montreal with who else but Michael Ryder scoring the overtime winner 2 minutes in.
The Habs led in each period but couldn't put the Bruins on fire.
Actually there were two games in one last night. The first saw the Canadiens completely dominate the Bruins in every facet of the game. Brent Sopel gave the Habs a 1-0 lead and if it weren't for some nice stops by Timmy Thomas it could've been easily 3-0.
The Canadiens picked up where they left off in the 2nd period but it was the Bruins who scored, when Michael Ryder was left completely alone and had the time to use his great shot to pick the top corner on Price.
But the Habs turned on the heat once again with goals by Cammellari and Kostitsyn 55 seconds apart to take a commanding 3-1 lead. Show over right? Or so we thought.
Boston coach Claude Julien called an effective time out to settle down his troops and it worked. The Bruins came back with 2 more goals of their own to tie the game at 3 before the period was out. And the Bruins took over from that point on.
But of course they still had time to show their true colours when Andrew Ference flipped the bird to the Montreal crowd after scoring Boston's 2nd goal. Classy... and uncalled for. And something for the Habs to rally around. Nice Andrew, nice. According to the rules, he could have been kicked out of the game. He can also get fined or suspended. He'll probably get fined, but the league has yet to review the incident.
But early in the 3rd, the Habs grabbed the lead again with nice wrist shot from P.K. Subban giving the Habs a 4-3 lead, which looked like it might be enough. Price made a terrific save on Johnny Boychuk at the goalmouth, but later in the period Chris Kelly scored with a little more than 6 minutes remaining.
Then a bad line change by Subban opened the door for the Bruins, creating a 3-on-1. The shot went wide, but a fortunate bounce for the Bruins put the puck right onto Marchand's stick, who found Ryder alone in the slot to put it past a helpless Price.
Now, the Bruins are in the driver's seat, seemingly heading home with their mojos back after completing the improbable. Maybe the Habs should take a quick stop in Lake Placid themselves???
Ultimately the Habs need to look at the positives as they prepare for Game 5.
Yes, they let this one slide through their fingers and if they ultimately lose the series, they will look at this game as the turning point. But they know they can win in Boston, they know they can beat the Bruins, they won the season series, they aren't intimidated by Thomas and they're not down in the series. Now it becomes a best of three and if you asked the team before the start of the series if they would have taken being tied going into Boston for Game 5, I'm confident they would have been okay with that.
After the game although the Habs were down, in the locker room they didn't sound as if they were defeated, but resolute. This is a good sign. The team has a lot of bounce back and hopefully they can dust themselves off and get up from the mat, just like the Bruins did. Kudos to the Bruins for not quitting last night and finding a way to pull it out.
Montreal vs. Boston in the playoffs. It really doesn't get any better than this eh???
ELSEWHERE AROUND THE LEAGUE
Uh oh, not again!? The Chicago Blackhawks are showing why they are the defending Stanley Cup champs. Down 3-0 to the Vancouver Canucks, the Hawks shmeared the Canucks at home then marched into Vancouver last night and whooped the 'Nucks 5-0. Not another Canucks choke!? Game 6 in Chicago tomorrow night, gonna be a good one.
Sharks bite Kings: So often we see this in the playoffs. A team has the advantage in a game, to only fall to a bitter defeat, and then the rest is history. So the Kings