We all know about the comeback that took place Saturday afternoon at TD Garden where the Boston Bruins scored four unanswered goals in the third period. The place was at “Garden Level” on the noise-meter on the jumbotron. Well, when the Black and Gold take the ice tomorrow night in Montreal at the Bell Centre, the sold out crowd will be just as loud, but this time rooting for the Canadiens.
The B’s went 1-1 at the Bell Centre this season. Their last game played there was a 4-1 beat down win where Tuukka Rask turned away 36 of 37 shots he faced. If there are a few keys to Game 3, it’s simple: Keep composure, set the tone early and don’t allow the crowd to dictate the game.
Head Coach Claude Julien knows staying out of the box in the first two games for his team have been a problem not to mention his team falling behind early, but he reassured fans that his team never gets rattled and they will be ready for the challenges that are presented at the Bell Centre Tuesday and Thursday night.
“At the end of the day, we’ve just got to go out there and play our game,” Julien said Monday afternoon before his team departed for Montreal. “It’s important for us not to think that way. It’s important for us to think about what we need to do to win and not let those kind of distractions get in our heads.”
Many aspects of the game will be different playing at the Bell Centre, but the B’s have played there numerous times over the years and forward David Krejci knows the team will be ready to go for puck drop tomorrow night.
“It is a tough place to play, but many of us have been there a couple of times in the playoffs and we know what to expect,” Krejci said. “We know what we are getting ourselves into and we need to be ready to go. In Montreal the rink is a little bit bigger, but you go out there and as a player you just try to focus on your game and put away what is going on around you.”
Rask knows Game 3 is a big one as well, because it’s the next one and understands the Bell Centre will be electric, but like his teammates, Tuukka blocks it out and focuses on the game plan.
“I try to not pay too much attention to that,” Rask said. “I try to play our game and I know for sure they will not cheer for us so that’s all I’ll say.”
Paille stressed that the B’s love playing in a playoff atmosphere especially at the Bell Centre, but wants to try and take the crowd out of it early.
While the Black and Gold feed off the crowd and stick to their game plan, the team must stay out of the penalty box because as we saw in Games 1 and 2, the B’s have been a nearly dominant 5-on-5 team. While their power-play has yet to get going, their penalty kill has been uncharacteristic. So by playing smart hockey, the B’s can turn up the heat on the Canadiens in their own building.
Dougie Hamilton did admit the team has been talking a little too much after the whistle and getting in too much trouble and that has to change.
“Probably in trouble in the first place, but I think because we’re the ones getting all the penalties, but I think it’s kind of frustrating a bit,” Hamilton said. “But the same way you’re into the game and it’s just emotions, so we just have to be careful of getting those penalties.”
While many people believe the team is up and arms about how the series is going, Hamilton knows it’s a seven game series and things will tend to change in their favor if their game plan is executed.
“Not really frustrating,” Hamilton said after Game 2. “I don’t think it’s too frustrating of a game. I think we just, we can’t really score and kind in the box a little bit, but I don’t think we can really be frustrated by it. I think we’re outplaying them and out chancing them and things like that, so it’s kind of just about getting our chances and scoring them while staying I guess composed and not overly frustrated.”
Yes, the B’s have scored seven goals in the third period and had two great comebacks in the first two games of this series, but building a lead and holding on to it in Game 3 would be ideal. By tuning out the crowd, sticking to their game plan, staying out of the box and keeping their composure, the B’s tend to be a dominant team through and through no matter where they play. It seems like a lot, but this is a team that won the Presidents’ Trophy during the regular season. They have faced adversity in many different ways. It’s one thing to talk about staying out of the penalty box and tuning out the crowd, but the B’s must go out there and execute in Game 3 if they want to take control of the series.
If Claude Julien’s record in Game 3’s as Head Coach of the B’s are any indication (14-1-0) of the result Tuesday night, the B’s will be in great shape.