Can't really blame the Habs last night for coming up on the short end of a 2-1 double OT loss to in Game 5 to the Bruins last night. The game could've gone either way. That's playoff hockey folks.
For the first time in the series it's my opinion at least the Bruins played and dictated -- for the most part -- their style of game. The limited offensive chances, they pressured the Habs' zone, they cycled the puck well and they got two dirty goals when it counted.
The Habs for their part played a solid, reactionary game evoking tons of patience and discipline. And it was the Habs who had the better of the scoring chances in the game. Unfortunately, they couldn't put them home. Thomas made some great stops when he had to, and when he wasn't there his teammates bailed him out. Michael Ryder seems to have decided he wants to be a difference maker in the series and though he didn't score last night, he was effective and saved a goal in regulation off of the stick of Tomas Plekanec when Thomas was dead and gone.
And the same thing happened in OT, when Mike Cammellari had a wide open cage only to have his shot hit Chara's rear then Bergeron's skate and away from the net.
It was just one of those nights for the Habs, unfortunately.
Yes, the bounces weren't going the Canadiens' way last night. That's the way it goes, you win some you lose some. Last night, what the Canadiens didn't do, aside from burying their chances, was bail their goalie out when he needed it. Boston's two goals were the result of poor to weak coverage in front of the Habs' net. First Brad Marchand was left alone when Plekanec turned the other way and found himself with an open net from a fluky broken stick shot by Bergeron that hit off of a skate and right to Marchand.
Then the game winning goal was the result of Roman Hamrlik losing his battle with Horton out front, who then just kicked the puck to his stick to put it into the open side.
A bit earlier, Gionta had a chance to end the game on a 2-on-1 with Travis Moen, but he put it back into Thomas rather than pick the far side and Thomas made a great save. But Gionta would have beaten him had his shot been in the right spot.
Really, Montreal had a strong outing with an excellent effort. To a man the team played very well. Lars Eller and David Desharnais had excellent outings, as did Jeff Halpern who tied the game up late. Tom Pyatt and Ryan White also played well, along with Darche, Gionta, Plekanec and Kostitsyn. Cammellari had a few nice scoring chances and James Wisniewski came back after being injured earlier in the game. Subban was Subban. Carey Price turned aside 49 shots and did whatever he could do to bring his team the win. Unfortunately, they couldn't squeeze another one past Thomas -- who was definitely on his game last night.
Kudos to the Bruins, but kudos also to the Habs. Someone had to win and someone had to lose. Both teams played well. It was an exciting, heart-thumping game. The Habs could have won last night. Unfortunately they didn't.
Another thing I think the Habs can do better is getting the puck through when they're on a rush. Too many times their speed and forward thrust has been in vain when someone -- like Gomez -- pulls up to fire a shot towards the net in the hopes that the two other forwards who have already skated towards the goal, might be able to get the puck or rebound. But almost every time, the shot was blocked or poorly executed. Not to blame Gomez solely because a few other forwards are guilty of this, but Gomez would admit he didn't have his A game last night.
So since the opening two games of the series, the Habs lost a game they almost came back to win, lost a game they should have won after letting it slide through their fingers, then lost a game in double OT which could have gone either way.
Dem's the breaks.
Now it's up to the Habs to show some serious resolve and moxie and go home and win what might possibly be their last home game of the season. Let's hope the team forces the issue like they did last year and bring home a win to take it to seven games. Then anything is possible. As fans, we deserve this in the least. It's been a very entertaining series to date.
Game 6 is set for this Tuesday in Montreal.
LET'S HOPE FOR THE BEST!!!
PS: Andrew Ference was fined $2500 for his gesture to the crowd the other night in Montreal. Pretty much what I thought. He couldn't even admit to it, claiming it was a fist pump gone wrong. What a joke. This is the kind of true character the Bruins possess as a whole. Always leads to losing one way or the other.