Last night was absolute chaos defensively from both teams, and now for something completely different.
The Penguins are a great team, but they're an offense oriented team with average at best defensive structure. The Canadiens got sucked into that, but can't afford to play that way against the Boston Bruins.
Boston is a highly structured team where one mistake made can mean a loss, and they have far superior goaltending to the Penguins, with Tuukka Rask in net. Unfortunately for the Habs, Michel Therrien has elected to go with Peter Budaj tonight after Carey Price had a poor game against the Penguins.
The decision is a ludicrous one, an indefensible one to be quite honest. Carey Price thrives on competition, and has a great record against the Bruins in his career, 15-8-3 with a .918 save percentage.
Budaj on the other hand, is 1-1-0 with a .885 save percentage against Boston in his career.
This is the kind of overthinking it decision that shows a coach is overreacting to a loss. And the annoying thing is that if the Canadiens do win, people will praise Therrien for the decision. It's a bad decision regardless of the results. It's a battle for first place in the Northeast Division, a battle for first place in the Eastern Conference, a battle with the Canadiens' most historic rival, and the Habs are starting a backup goalie. Insane.
The Canadiens will need to get back to the way they played against Ottawa and Toronto if they want to come out of today with 2 points.
The Bruins hottest player of late is the despicable Brad Marchand, who isn't so much playing well as he is rolling with the percentages. Marchand is shooting at 32% this season and has 11 goals.
For the Canadiens, the leader of the offense has been Max Pacioretty, who has 7 goals and 5 assists in his last 8 games.
It's the Habs and Bruins, it's the best rivalry in the NHL. Check out Stanley Cup of Chowder if you feel like watching a car crash.
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