Habs Fever: Crashing Carey
Published Saturday, April 16, 2011 2:43PM EDT
The Boston Bruins lost their first round series first game to the Buffalo Sabres last year.
Just like this season with Carey Price being busy, Ryan Miller faced 24 shots in the middle frame last year of game one.
The complaints were the same, too, as the Bruins were chided for not getting in the dirty zones, screening the goalie, and, the real one that is verboten, crashing into the blue paint and flat-out laying a smackdown on the goalie.
Last year, the Bruins found their answer in Vladimir Sobotka as he bowled over Miller six minutes into game two. The Bruins killed the penalty for Sobotka's transgression and the series took on a completely new look as the Bruins won the series handily.
You know this year's Sobotka moment is coming soon. The Bruins are not simply going to lie down and take it. I thought they would crash Price ceaselessly in game one. They were passive and unprepared to pay the physical toll.
They will crash Price in game two and no amount of blocking out will be perfectly successful no matter how good the Habs are at it.
And when that Bruin does send Price flying and that inevitable penalty ensues, the Habs will have their most important powerplay of the series.
Montreal expects the 'Sobotka' moment. Price is certain it is coming. The refs know it is coming. Everyone in the Garden knows it is coming.
In the end, the most prepared for the moment better be those who take over after it, because if the Habs score on that powerplay that follows to change the momentum in game two, then Price may not find he is a football blocking sled for the rest of the series like Miller did exactly one year ago.
There are a million moments in a game, but this is the moment I'm looking at to decide momentum's course next. If the Habs pass this test, and Boston is discouraged to make Price a crash test dummy, and Boston cannot establish net presence, then this series swings even more in the Habs' favour.