Five Keys to the Game: Habs-Bruins #2
Follow the Leader: Canadiens’ captain Brian Gionta led the charge in the Habs' first playoff game, potting the only two goals of the night for the second two-goal game of his playoff career. Over the course of his nine postseasons in the NHL, the teams Gionta happens to be playing for at the time have posted a record of eight wins and only three losses when Gio finishes his night with at least two points.
Anything to declare?: “Yes, two wins, thank you!” If the Canadiens can touch down in Dorval after Saturday night’s game with two wins in their carry-on luggage, it would mark the 72nd time in the history of the NHL that a team has stolen the first two games of a playoff series on enemy ice. In 54 of those 72 occasions, that same team has been the one smiling when the clubs close out their series with the traditional handshakes at center ice.
You’ll be seeing a lot of me: Even if Game 1 against the Bruins only marked P.K. Subban’s second foray into the postseason, it’s not hard to see that the young defenseman has Jacques Martin’s full confidence on his side. In the Habs’ first playoff game of 2011, the Canadiens’ No. 76 spent a remarkable 27:07 battling the Bruins on the ice. With the exception of the Kings-Sharks and Rangers-Capitals games that both went into overtime, Subban stands as the third most used player in a first game, passed only by the likes of the Hawks’ Duncan Keith and the Penguins’ Kris Letang.
Keep your head up: While it might still be hard to say just how Ryan White will fare in the playoffs after only his first game against the Bruins, one thing is for sure: he certainly makes the most of the time given to him. In only 7:51 of ice time, White still managed to throw a game-high seven hits – putting him at about a hit per minute – likely causing Boston squad to hope that Jacques Martin decide to add to the young forward's work load.
Alexandre Harvey is a writer for canadiens.com. Translated by Justin Fragapane.
Saving the day
The Numbers Game - April 14, 2011
Put on your Game Face