By Shane Darrow on March 24, 2014
The Boston Bruins entered Monday night's game against the Montreal Canadiens on a 12-game winning streak, and even though they were dominant throughout most of the game, the Canadiens went on to win in a shootout. Here are five things we learned from the Canadiens' 2-1 victory.
Anyone who watched this game had to see that these two teams still hate each other and continue to up their physicality whenever they find themselves on the ice against one another. There was a fight within the first five minutes of the game that set the tone, and every loose puck along the boards was met with a big hit. With the playoffs approaching, the rivalry seems as intense as ever.
Earlier in his career, Travis Moen probably would have fared a little better; but at 31 years old, his toughest days are behind him. Moen never returned after being knocked down twice by Kevan Miller in a first-period scrap. Without any fighters dressed for the Canadiens on Monday night, Moen stepped up which is commendable, but Montreal can't afford any injuries heading into the season's final stretch.
The Bruins dominated most of the game, but when things aren't going their way, they need to learn to better control their emotions. The Canadiens' first goal came after a retaliation penalty, and Johnny Boychuk attacked P.K. Subban in the second period after a simple bump along the sidewall. I'm all for passionate hockey, but the Bruins can't continuously take bad penalties and let their emotions get the best of them.
On the other side of the spectrum, we have Alexei Emelin. This game was extremely physical, but Emelin needs to find a way to toughen up as the playoffs approach. It's one thing to draw penalties, and another to blatantly dive. Replays showed that Milan Lucic didn't touch Emelin, but you would have thought he was shot by the way he reacted.
We aren't just learning this after Monday night's game, but now that the Bruins' 12-game winning streak has come to an end, it's clear that they're the favorite in the East. Even in a losing effort, the Bruins showed how dominant they have become. The Canadiens are going to make the playoffs if they don't collapse, but they surely didn't look like a playoff team against Boston. It wasn't Montreal being that bad -- it was Boston being that good.
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