BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston Bruins were completely outplayed by the Canadiens in Monday night’s Game 6 in Montreal, and now head home for a second chance to close out their fiercest rivals in a Game 7 on Wednesday.
Boston had numerous mistakes on the ice, with two of them directly leading to Montreal goals, and they didn’t bury any of their opportunities on the way to the 4-0 loss. It was another poor night for Boston’s top line of David Krejci-Milan Lucic-Jarome Iginla, and Boston’s usually reliable and energetic fourth line played poorly as well.
98.5 The Sports Hub’s Bruins radio analyst Bob Beers joined Toucher & Rich on Tuesday morning, and said Montreal simply wanted the win more than the Bruins.
“Montreal’s level of desperation was better than the Bruins. They deserved to win that game,” he said. “You can look at bounces or lack of finish by Boston in certain situations. But the desperation level for Montreal was where it needed to be. They played the way they needed to win a game and continue the series, and the Bruins didn’t match it.”
Beers was asked about a potential change on Boston’s “Merlot” line for Game 7, but said the Bruins should stick with the Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton-Daniel Paille combination that has brought them success in the past.
“I’d stick with that line. I don’t think Jordan Caron coming in will give you more than what that line is capable of giving you right now. You stick with the veteran leadership, especially for Game 7. There are a number of things that need to improve for the Bruins, and fourth line play and their play is further down that list,” said Beers. “It’s up to this group, which has been through a lot together over the last handful of years. Usually they’re able to overcome.”
Montreal got an early goal off of a Kevan Miller turnover on Monday, putting Boston in an early 1-0 hole. Scoring first has made a difference in the series, and while Beers would like to see Boston jump out early on Wednesday, he said scoring first doesn’t guarantee a victory.
“We’re down to the final eight teams and you have teams that know how to lock things down defensively, for the most part. At the same time, last round scoring first meant nothing — there were teams coming back from two-goal deficits all over the playoffs. There is no real way to explain it, I guess just a trend,” he said.
“I like the Bruins playing with the lead, but it doesn’t guarantee anything,” said Beers. “When you give up a gift goal early in the game, fans are into it and Montreal believes in themselves. You give them life and it changes a lot of things in the game, but it doesn’t guarantee anything.”
“It’s a key for Game 7, but I don’t see it as something that absolutely, positively has to happen,” he added. “I want to see them have a good start and have the desperation where it needs to be.”