It’s late in a Montreal-Boston series, which means we’re doing a preview for the rest of the bout against the evil Frenchies.
There is no doubt whatsoever that Matt Fraser will be the 3rd line left wing for at least the next few games, with the game that he and the rest of the line played Thursday night. The line will create matchup problems for Montreal because of the last change that the Bruins have with the series going back to Boston, and the team might need them to do that if the 1st line keeps getting shut down.
Maybe the greatest thing that happened to the Bruins in Game 4, besides Fraser’s OT goal of course, is that Douglas Murray was actually not a traffic cone, which is an amazing compliment for him. That means that he’s in tonight, and the Habs don’t have the last change to protect him. I’m giddy. Look for Claude to exploit the matchup of Murray and Weaver with any one of the three lines that he can use in that spot.
The B’s have been doing a great job staying out of the box, and they’ll have to keep doing it. I don’t think that they’ll lose their discipline tonight. They stayed in line in Game 4 despite it being another frustrating game, didn’t give Subban many PP chances, and it worked out well — and that was in front of the annoying Montreal crowd that always turns the refs into home cookers. The B’s are smart. They’ll stay disciplined tonight, too.
That means that it’ll be a 5 on 5 game, and that’s what the Bruins want. They controlled both Games 1 and 2 at home, and they have the last change back again, and they are playing more disciplined than they did in the first two at home. I’m feeling pretty confident tonight.
Expect the 1st line to finally break out tonight. The Habs will see just how good the B’s 3rd line can be, and that’ll open up some easy matchups (Hi, Douglas!) for the top line to finally do what they do. And Tuukka seems to be back on his game, so that’s a good sign.