Boston Bruins versus Montreal Canadiens. Just ask Star Selector regular's Mindblister and Jonny Utah who often embody the rivalry through their friendly natured chat room barbs during Hockey Night in Canada broadcasts. The teams have faced each other 169 times in the postseason with Montreal winning 102 occasions translating into 24 series victories in 32 match ups. Now, I am not one that believes that just because there is a history of winning against a certain opponent that this will automatically determine the outcome of the upcoming game. As Toronto Maple Leaf General Manager, Brian Burke, often points out players are not responsible for the performance history of an organization but rather what they have done since becoming members of their respective clubs. For that reason I am not going to concede victory to the Canadiens just because they have historically dominated the Bruins but rather offer some key factors for each team that will determine tonights outcome. Let's start with the Bruins power play or better yet lack there of. Boston has yet to register a power play goal and at times have looked completely ineffective. Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli trade deadline acquisition of Tomas Kaberle was thought to be the final piece needed for a deep playoff run. 6 games later with no goals and two assist credited to Kaberle's stat line and this trade is starting to look like a complete bust. If the Bruins have any hopes of winning tonight they will need some power play production and more of a contribution from the ex Toronto Maple Leaf.
Milan Lucic. At an imposing 6'3 and 238 lbs, with deft hands and a blistering shot Lucic has all the attributes to be the most dominating player on the ice. All that Lucic is dominating at the moment is newspaper headlines detailing his hit from behind against Habs defensemen Jaroslav Spacek and the subsequent decision of the NHL not to suspend him. Lucic has 1 assist this series and the Bruins will not win unless they get more from one of the pre-eminent power forwards in hockey.
Michael Cammalleri. Cammalleri has been far and away the most productive offensive player on the ice posting a series leading 6 goals and 3 assists. The Canadiens will need their star sniper to continue on this pace of they have any hopes of winning tonight.
This series however will come down to a which goalie outperforms the other. Both Tim Thomas and Carey Price have been either outstanding or average during various points of the last 6 games and tonights winner will come down to which star goalie will crack first. My instincts tell me that tonight will be a low scoring affair with both guys putting forth their best effort and your star selector starting five should reflect that.
Either way another chapter in the history of these original six members will be written tonight and I for one can't wait to see how it turns out. See you tonight at 7:00 pm EST.