Welcome to the new Feature here on Murph On Ice – What to Watch! Every Friday I will bring you a key match-up to keep on the radar for your weekend hockey viewing.
On this first posting I have to go with the Bruins at Canadiens on Saturday night as my pick. It’s the most bitter rivalry in the NHL, and after Thursday’s game between the teams in Boston, this return tilt Saturday should be a beauty. On a side note you may want to keep an eye on Brad Marchand and P.K. Subban – just in case they didn’t get enough of each other Thursday!
Keys to victory for the Bruins:
– Captain’s Concentration: Zdeno Chara will hear plenty from the crowd, and be asked over and over by the Montreal media about the Max Pacioretty incident. The big captain will have to tune this out and be totally removed from the media frenzy to lead the Bruins to a win on hostile ice.
– Bury the Biscuit: The Bruins have not been scoring – averaging a measly 2.11 goals per game. A stat that has them ranked 26th overall in this category. If they want to win in Montreal they need an explosion of goals to get going on the right track.
– Discipline, Discipline: The B’s can’t get sucked into stupid emotional penalties in this one. Much like Chara having to be removed, his team might have to turn the other cheek and not get involved in silly scrums after the whistle. If they can stay out of the box and focused, then they have a chance to win.
Keys to victory for the Canadiens:
– The Price is Right: It seems so far for the Habs that as Carey Price goes, so goes their fortunes. He was very good Wednesday in a 21-save win over the Flyers, and impressive again Thursday with 29 saves against Boston. If he plays well Saturday, the Bruins will have their work cut out for them.
– Home Sweet Home: The Habs need to tighten up on home ice and use their cosy confines to their advantage. With only 1 win in 6 attempts at home thus far, Montreal will have to start winning at the Bell Centre now.
– Man Up: The Habs have not been great on the powerplay. If they want to win Saturday, they will have to take advantage of any PP’s the Bruins concede. Montreal is ranked 27th in the league with a 10.3% powerplay.
Enjoy this one Saturday! It should be a good clash. Post any comments or observations you have about the ‘What to Watch‘ match-up in the ‘Mailbag‘ section, and I will gladly respond! Have a great NHL weekend.
You can follow Murph on Twitter @MurphOnIce