WILMINGTON, Mass. — The Boston Bruins will not have a morning skate today. Instead they’ll have a team meeting at 10:30 a.m. here at Ristuccia Arena, and then they’ll address the media, head to their respective homes and report for duty for Game 2 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series with Montreal as soon as the Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls clear out of TD Banknorth Garden.
The Bruins could use the rest after the physicality of Thursday night’s Game 1, which they pulled out, 4-2. Will there be eye gouging tonight? Probably not, but there will be plenty of more face-washes, pushes and shoves. And who knows what else we’ll see. If you’re to believe Philadelphia’s Daniel Carcillo and Calgary’s Mike Cammalleri, even a sucker punch with your glove closed on the top of your stick is a part of “playoff hockey.” Maybe Montreal blueliner Mike Komisarek will put out some “Three Stooges” tactics.
Regardless, it won’t matter what dirty tricks Montreal tries to play as long as the Bruins do what they did in Game 1 — and that’s focus just on hockey. As long as they get pucks deep, take the body within the rules and get pucks on Carey Price, life will be good. Maybe at some point Shawn Thornton or Milan Lucic will have to pound somebody’s lights out. But that will probably have to wait until the series is well in hand for the Bruins. As the Canadiens fall deeper and deeper into a hole in this series, they’re apt to get more and more desperate. As long as the only thing desperate about the Bruins is their play in pursuit of the puck in the corners and around the net, Boston will continue to dominate this series.
Series note: Boston is 35-13 all-time when they win Game 2 of a playoff series.
Player to watch: At the risk of beating this face-wash thing to death, Komisarek should be a marked man in this game. Usually a stand-up guy that’s not afraid to throw down with the likes of Lucic — which he did early in the regular season — it seemed like the All-Star blueliner was picking his battles more wisely in Game 1 and only going after guys he held a height, weight and experience edge on. Without veering away from their game plan, the Bruins will undoubtedly try to get in a loud, glass-shaking shot or two at Komisarek during their drive toward a 2-0 series lead. It’ll be interesting to see how he responds. He could just as easily be the one that gets psyched out by all the added attention his post-game antics have brought.