Par for the course: Bruins defensemen Torey Krug and Dougie Hamilton say that after two games of their Eastern Conference semifinals series with the Canadiens, they’ve got netminder Carey Price all figured out.
After staging a 5-3 comeback victory over Michel Therrien’s troops in Game 2 on Saturday afternoon, the young rearguards explained that they’ve notice Price dropping down low to battle screens that are obstructing his view of the puck. That, according to Krug and Hamilton, has left the three-time All-Star vulnerable to shots in the upper parts of the net, which is exactly where the Bruins scored on Price time and again in the latter stages of the third period over the weekend.
RAW: Carey Price
After backstopping the Canadiens to five straight playoff victories before the Game 2 defeat, however, the 26-year-old netminder isn’t taking that so-called “expert analysis” to heart.
“I’ve seen a lot of scouting reports on lots of goalies throughout the league, and that’s pretty much the scouting report on everybody. It’s the same for Tuukka [Rask]. It’s the same for me. It’s the same for Ben Bishop. It’s the same for Corey Crawford. It’s a pretty irrelevant comment,” offered Price, who boasts a 5-1 record and a 2.54 GAA in six outings during the 2014 playoffs.
For his part, Therrien isn’t surprised the Bruins are pulling out all the stops to try to distract the Canadiens heading into Tuesday night’s tilt in Montreal. The veteran bench boss expected Boston to pick fights both on the ice and in the media from the moment these two archrivals were confirmed as second round opponents.
“It’s something we’ve seen time and again repeated in the past. In the Stanley Cup Finals, we heard a lot of talk about Crawford and goals being scored on his glove side. It’s a part of the Bruins’ strategy,” mentioned Therrien. “Then, you have the comments from Claude [Julien] and their efforts to try and influence the way the referees are calling the game. That’s always been the Boston Bruins’ style and it won’t change. Does it influence my players? It doesn’t look like it, and it certainly doesn’t affect me.”
Patience is a virtue: During Monday’s practice in Brossard, Michel Therrien made several changes to his lines that may (or may not) be put into action come Tuesday night against the Bruins. One of those changes involved Ryan White centering a line with Dale Weise and Travis Moen. While Therrien indicated that he would not reveal his lineup prior to game day, White is excited at the prospect of possibly suiting up for Game 3.
“I came to the rink like any other day, ready to work. My name happened to be on the sheet today. We’ll see how it is Tuesday,” offered White, who hasn’t yet seen postseason action thus far this year. “You want to go to war with your teammates and be a part of it. I hope to get that opportunity on Tuesday night.”
Having taken in every game since the start of the Habs’ playoff run, the Brandon, MB native has paid very close attention to everything that has transpired on the ice. Watching from afar, however, hasn’t been easy for White, who admits that he learns best when on active duty, battling with his teammates.
“To tell you the truth, I don’t like watching games. I just want to play,” confided White, who registered one goal in three games during the 2013 playoffs. “It’s hard to say what I saw differently from up there. I’ve just been waiting for my chance to play. The fire burns inside me and I’m ready to go.”
Good to be back: Two weeks have passed since the Bell Centre faithful last had the opportunity to cheer on the Canadiens on home turf. Fortunately, the wait is almost over. In just over 24 hours, fans will pack the building for what should be another high-octane tilt between two long-standing archrivals.
Michel Therrien insists the atmosphere inside the Bell Centre come springtime can only help the Canadiens’ cause over the course of what is expected to be a long and taxing series.
“Like Boston’s fans, our fans are very, very passionate about their team. That’s why we’ve had success at home, the fact that we play in front of our fans. They can make the building that much more intimidating for our opponent. It’s a source of motivation for the home team,” explained Therrien, whose squad will look to remain undefeated on home ice during the 2014 playoffs on Tuesday night.
“We’re excited to play at home. There’s no better place to play playoff hockey than the Bell Centre,” added Therrien. “I am doing my best to ensure that we remain focused on good things. We’re looking forward to a good game in a charged up building. It will be great to be a part of that. I expect the guys to be excited.”
Matt Cudzinowski is a writer for canadiens.com.
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