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Preview; Bruins host Habs in pivotal game for Northeast supremacy

March 24, 2011

This one should be interesting. As if the battle for first in the Northeast Division wasn’t enough to make this a marquee game, add in the recent revival of the Chara hit and we’ve got ourselves one of the most hyped Bruins regular season games in years when the Bruins host the Canadiens tonight. The game will also be a likely preview of first round action if the seeds hold, which is pretty likely.

In case you missed it, Mark Recchi said that he felt that the Canadiens organization embellished Max Pacioretty‘s injuries in an attempt to get Zdeno Chara the maximum suspension. This rekindled the flame in Montreal, throwing fans into uproar again and calling the attention of NHL fans and management league-wide. Many fans misconstrued Recchi’s comments as him saying that Pacioretty faked the injury entirely when in fact he simply stated that the Canadiens overestimated the severity of Pacioretty’s concussion by calling it a severe concussion. Which is true. Bruins fans have seen severe concussions and know what players are not capable of for months after those concussions. Marc Savard was depressed and locked in a dark room for months afterwards, Patrice Bergeron was much of the same.

Pacioretty’s recovery time indicates that the concussion isn’t as bad as it was first believed. That’s all Recchi really said in the interview. The C4 vertebrae is serious of course, but many reports indicate that Pacioretty may be able to play in the playoffs. Basically, the injury wasn’t as bad as the hit and the result looked. It seems that Montreal fans think the injury was as bad as the hit looked and that Pacioretty just recovered with superhuman-like quickness.

Anyways, on to the game. The Bruins are coming off of a bounce back 4-1 victory over the surging New Jersey Devils on Tuesday. The Habs are coming off of a 2-0 loss to the Sabres. The Habs did manage an 8-1 win over the Wild the game before however. The Bruins are three points up on the Canadiens with two games in hand. If the Bruins win tonight it would be pretty tough for the Canadiens to top the Bruins by the end of the regular season. The two teams will most likely meet in the first round unless the Rangers turn it on down the stretch. That’s not exactly good for the Bruins who have managed just one win against the Canadiens this season and have lost 9 of the last 11 against the Canadiens in the regular season.

It’ll be interesting to see how or if the Canadiens attempt to respond to Chara, Recchi, or anyone else. They don’t exactly have the makeup to come out swinging, and probably don’t have the desire to play such a way. The NHL has warned both teams already about unnecessary violence in tonight’s game. Clearly, they don’t want another donnybrook to erupt tonight. Another huge factor for the game will be the officiating. If the game does get chippy and it becomes a penalty party that could be a huge detriment to the home team who has had terrible struggles on the power-play lately.

Some players to watch out for tonight are Brian Gionta and Milan Lucic. Gionta has killed the Bruins all season long, scoring five goals and one assist in five games against Boston this season while being a force on the power-play. Lucic has four goals and two assists against the Habs this year. Tim Thomas and Carey Price are two of the best goalies in the league this year so don’t expect many cheap goals tonight.

I’ll be going to the game tonight 🙂 (free tickets, baby) so I won’t have a game story tonight. 😦

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