Five Keys to the Game: Habs-Bruins Game 2
Taking the Bullet
After Game 1, anything can happen. According to statistics and probabilities, since the NHL began the best-of-seven format, the team that claims the first game of the series owns a mere 0.494 win percentage in Game 2. In all of the playoff series’ played between Montreal and Boston, the Habs have won the first game 10 times. Keeping with the numbers, the two teams have split Game 2 down the middle, with each side winning five of those outings.
Men in Stripes
The number of penalties doled out during a game usually reflects the level of intensity throughout the contest. Hostilities from last year’s playoffs carried over into the Habs’ home opener this season, with the two club’s spending a combined 54 minutes in the box on October 15. After a brief cooling period, the numbers dropped when the team’s met up again, but other than a dip on November 22, PIMs began piling up with increasing consistency throughout the regular season, with 22, 16, 33, 42 and 76 minutes given out in that time. In Game 1 of the 2009 playoffs, the referees had their whistles squirreled away for the majority of the game, giving out just 12 minutes of penalties in the first 59 minutes. One minute can make all the difference though, as tempers flared to the tune of 48 additional penalty minutes in the last 60 seconds of play.
Tried and Tested D Corps
You can’t buy experience, though compared to the Bruins, the Canadiens’ defensemen have plenty to spare. Habs’ blue-liners combine for 214 regular season games of experience against the Bruins, picking up 89 points against the B’s in that span. Patrolling the blue line in Beantown, seasoned veterans are a little harder to come by, combing for 174 career games and 52 points against Montreal. Both teams added to that total on Thursday night, with Josh Gorges adding an assist for the bleu-blanc-rouge and Boston captain Zdeno Chara tallying the game-winner in the contest.
Shauna Denis is a writer for canadiens.com
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