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Doing the goalie shuffle

Thursday, 20.03.2008 / 9:22 AM / News
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Doing the goalie shuffle
Ron Tugnutt, Scott Gordon, Sergei Mylnikov, Mario Brunetta and Greg Millen all lost to the Canadiens back in 1989-1990.
MONTREAL -- When a certain team has your number, it has your number. Sometimes, no matter what goalie gets tossed into the fray, your fate is already sealed.

Since the end of the lockout, the Canadiens have had their way with the Boston Bruins, winning 12 of 16 games heading into this season. In efforts to remedy the situation, new Bruins coach Claude Julien has called upon no less than four goalies in vain. Regardless of who has been between the pipes for the Bruins in six games against Montreal, the result has been the same. Manny Fernandez, Alex Auld, and Tuukka Rask were all losers to the Habs this season, with Tim Thomas even living the nightmare three times.

This year marks the first time in almost two decades the Canadiens have beaten four different netminders from one team in a single season. If Julien is looking for any advice on how to solve the Habs, one man he shouldn’t contact is his former NHL coach, Michel Bergeron.

Behind the Nordiques’ bench in 1989-90, Bergeron had all the trouble in the world trying to beat the Habs. Like the rest of the NHL that year, the Canadiens feasted on the lowly Nordiques, who would go on to notch a league-worst 12 wins and 31 points on the season. Montreal won seven of eight tilts with their provincial rivals, outscoring them 46-24. Only Greg Millen managed to beat Pat Burns’ squad in one of three attempts while his fellow Nordiques goalies were not as successful. Ron Tugnutt was downed twice by Montreal with Mario Brunetta, Scott Gordon and Sergei Mylnikov each losing once to the Canadiens.

That season, all of Quebec’s “puck-stoppers” put up a goals-against average above 4.50 versus the Habs, including Mylnikov’s gawdy 18.00 average. The Bruins can take comfort in the fact that their weakest link against the Canadiens is Alex Auld, whose GAA is a mere 12.00.

Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.com