The Canadiens keep beating themselves

Bruce Bennett

Everyone is tripping over themselves giving Boston credit for being up 3-2 against Montreal, but in the last two games, it was the Canadiens beating themselves, rather than Boston outplaying them.

The Montreal Canadiens have a very good roster, if you play the best players available. The Boston Bruins do too. In a vacuum, the rosters are very similar, close to equal. As teams, they're not.

Boston deploys their players better, plays more of their better players (due in part to the injury to Adam McQuaid, who sucks), and runs a far superior system to the Canadiens both offensive and defensively.

Yet, even with that, the Canadiens had a 2-1 series lead, and outplayed the Bruins severely in game four, with one exception, while Douglas Murray was on the ice. The difference in the level of play was so egregious, so obvious, anyone with any remote level of hockey knowledge could recognize it, yet here was Michel Therrien, praising Murray and tossing him in against Boston in Boston.

It should come to no one's surprise that Murray was once again a disaster, unable to keep up with Loui Eriksson, he lost his man and caused the Bruins' first goal. Although he had several brutal moments during the game, but only the first goal can be laid at his feet.

Even Murray's mistakes though, aren't really on Murray. Douglas Murray isn't choosing to play Douglas Murray against the Bruins, Michel Therrien and J.J. Daigneault are, and that's the problem.

If you know going in that you're the inferior team, why on earth would you give yourself a further handicap? It doesn't make sense if you know what you're doing, and the longer Therrien coaches, the less it looks like he does.

The series isn't quite over

The margin of error to win a series against a superior team is so thin, you really can't afford to waste opportunities, and the Canadiens have wasted huge ones in both game two and game four. But the series isn't over yet, and they have cause for hope, if changes are made.

P.K. Subban has been the best player in the entire league in the second round of the playoffs, nevermind just this series. Game five was his worst game of the series by far, and he still managed to score a goal, outbattle Milan Lucic, and drive the Bruins so crazy that they were spraying water in his face from the bench.

In spite of racial slurs, death threats, and constant chintzy cheap shots, Subban has been an unstoppable force. Even with the gap in play between the two teams, Subban has the ability to single handedly win a game. The problem is that he's unlikely to do it twice, and that's what needs to happen unless others wake up.

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