If you’re thinking that this post is the exact opposite of my last post, you’re right. But we try to cover all the bases here at Get The Duckboats Ready. (Note: The fact that spellcheck doesn’t recognize the word “duckboats” [or “spellcheck” for that matter] is blasphemy. Screw whoever created it. Probably a Habs fan.) While losing Game 1 at home definitely worries a lot of Bruins fans, as does the speed of the Canadiens or the Frenchies’ regular season record vs. the B’s, I think a lot of people would be surprised by just how confident Bruins fans are feeling even after that heartbreak of a loss Thursday night. Is the confidence fair?
After all, we have to look past the stats for a matchup like this. For the past 2 year, the Bruins have been a clearly better team than the Habs, but the Habs figure out how to get it done head-to-head. Matchups matter here. So does the fact that the Canadiens know how to get under the Bruins skin, and just because the B’s stayed disciplined in Game 1 doesn’t mean that they will later in the series, especially if they’re in an 0-2 hole in the Bell Centre. Game 1 seemed to be a perfect example of why Bruins fans should actually be more worried than they actually are about this series — they outplayed the Habs, but the Habs stole it. Now what happens if they two teams play anything close to evenly?
Overall, though, I don’t think the confidence is misplaced, despite the fact that I probably scared you with that last paragraph. There’s a rule in hockey analysis in 2014, and it goes something like this: When you have 66.3% of the corsi events in a game, you’re probably gonna win. I know, ESPN level hockey analysis. But that’s what the Bruins did in Game 1, and it’s a great sign going forward. Yes, I am slightly worried about their penalty kill, but let’s not think that this is automatically 2011 all over again. Remember, both Bruins power plays looked awesome, and they almost scored 473 times. Two long shots from PK Subban found the back of the net, and that won’t always happen, no matter how good he is. The special teams advantage should even out, and Tuukka Rask should return to being a better goalie than Carey Price, which was not the case Thursday night. The B’s possession advantage should regress a little bit to the mean, but they’re still the better team in that department.
The focus for this series is the same as it always was. If the B’s stay disciplined, they should win. Hockey is random, but being able so say “should win” is the best we can do. Go B’s. Tuukka with the shutout today.