Second NHL Playoff Round Pits Bruins Against Canadiens
By Khurram Aziz
In a much awaited standoff, the Boston Bruins will face the Montreal Canadiens in the second round of playoff games-a match which TopBettingReviews.com is following as part of its Stanley Cup coverage.
The odds-makers are favoring the team from Boston on most counts. The tight defense that carried the Bruins into the playoffs was even better throughout the first round of games.
The Bruins had the second-fewest number of goals scored against them in the regular season. They froze the Detroit Red Wings at just six goals over five games during the opening round of games.
The Montreal Canadiens are sure to offer up a tougher challenge, evidenced by the sweep they mastered against the Tampa Bay Lightening in their best-of-seven series to advance to round two.
"I want to be always strong defensively and take care of my zone before I jump up and help the offense," said Zdeno Chara, Bruins defenseman, who won the Norris Trophy in 2008-09 and was nominated Monday.
Boasting a 6 foot 9 frame and a long reach, Chara poses problems for any forward that comes before him. Should they get past him, waiting in the ranks is Tukka Rask, who ranks second in save percentages; and in scoring goals, ranks fourth against the average.
Both the Bruins and Canadiens are meeting for a record 34th time in an NHL playoff. During the regular season, they played each other four times, with Boston losing to Montreal three times.
Montreal's strongpoint is speed, but the Bruins boast fast skaters, as well. General Manager Peter Chiarelli and Coach Claude Julien are waiting to quiet cries of Boston being a slow team once the new series of games begins.
Chiarelli says, "That is a stereotype. I understand when you bring it up in the context of the Wings and now the Canadiens because they're both fast teams (but) it's about closing gaps more quickly. It's about establishing a forecheck and leaning on guys. It's about our special teams."
Besides, most professionals know that hockey depends more on depth of the team and how everyone contributes in their own way. Fast skaters don't win the Stanley Cup. Strong teams do.
"There's no individual awards that don't go without the help of all your teammates," said defenseman Patrice Bergeron, he won the Selke Trophy in 2011-2012 and has been nominated for the third straight season. "I have other things on my mind right now, which is the playoffs."
Khurram Aziz is a freelance writer and entrepreneur with over 10 years' experience in publishing. Please feel free to add him on Twitter @khurramaziz1981. Read more stories by Khurram Aziz.
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