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The final nail

Wednesday, 16.04.2008 / 12:10 PM / News
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The final nail
Can the Bruins pull themselves from the mat and survive beyond Game 5?
MONTREAL – Don’t look for any bruised thumbs on the Canadiens both past and present. When it comes to driving the nail into a team’s coffin, the Habs rarely miss the mark.

With a 3-1 series stranglehold in hand, the Canadiens have the chance to end the Bruins’ season on Thursday night at the Bell Centre. Thanks to a hard-fought 1-0 win in Game 4 in Boston, the Habs find themselves in position to eliminate the Bruins in a fifth game for the seventh time in their storied rivalry. Guy Carbonneau’s crew will look to carry on a tradition which began in 1945-46 when the Canadiens first bounced the B’s in five games.

In fact, over the six previous times the Habs have held a 3-1 series advantage over Boston, Montreal has yet to ever lift their foot from the Bruins’ throats, eliminating them the following game on every occasion. The last time came in 1988-89, when teammates Carbonneau and Bob Gainey sank the Bruins in Game 5 at the Forum in the second round that spring.

The B’s aren’t the only ones to have felt the Canadiens’ Game 5 wrath, with the Habs boasting a 15-5 mark against the rest of the NHL when holding a 3-1 series edge.

While they did have the best seat in the house for the Canadiens’ monumental comeback from a 3-1 series deficit against them in 2004, the Bruins have never overcome such a deficit themselves. To make matters even worse for Boston, they have a 4-16 all-time record in Game 5 when trailing 3-1 in a series.

Canadiens fans with trips booked to Beantown for Game 6 in Boston may want to start thinking up alternate weekend plans.

Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.com