BOSTON (CBS) – Arpon Basu from LNH.com joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Adam Jones Show Monday night to discuss the Bruins-Canadiens series from a Montreal perspective.
There’s nothing weird about a tied series heading into Game 3, but it’s been a strange first two games to say the least.
It took the Bruins mounting an improbable third period comeback in Game 2 to even the thing up, following a Game 1 in which the B’s could have easily won after controlling the pace of play, leading in faceoffs and outhitting and outshooting Montreal.
Arpon weighed in on the series that, so far anyway, has been hard to put a finger on:
“The Canadiens are trying to convince themselves that they did well for getting the split [in Boston], but the reality of the situation is they were 10 minutes away from being up in the series 2-0. If you look at those two games, the play five-on-five was totally carried by the Bruins in the first game, which was the only game the Canadiens won. The Canadiens did better in Game 2, and I think the Bruins would admit that for 50 minutes in Game 2 they were not themselves and didn’t play particularly well — yet won.
“So pretty much in both games the team that played better lost. I think overall if you look at the two games Montreal has done most of its damage on the power play. Five-on-five you’ve got to think the Bruins have carried the play for the most part, so if the Bruins can stay out of the penalty box that’ll probably serve them well.
“It’s kind of a mental game for the Canadiens. They’re trying to tell themselves — from the last guy on the bench to the head coach down to the backup goalie — they’re saying, ‘Well we went there to get the split and we did that. We have home ice. Everything’s all hunky-dory.’ But really, human nature tells you you were 10 minutes away from having a stranglehold on the series. That’s gotta be at the back of their minds.”