On Monday morning, Montreal Canadiens' right winger Dale Weise told
reporters that he and the rest of his Habs teammates were pulling for
the Boston Bruins to beat the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday night, hoping
that they extended the league's longest winning streak of the season to
twelve in a row.
It wasn't because he's a Bruins' fan.
"We were checking the score the other night against Phoenix, and Phoenix was up going into the third period and we were kinda hoping that Boston would come back and win so we could get the chance to knock them off," Weise panned.
Bruins' Kevan Miller sent Habs' Travis Moen to the room for repairs
That turned out well, didn't it?
visiting Canadiens rode the super-human effort of netminder Peter Budaj
to get to free hockey, and Alex Galchenyuk potted the lone shootout
goal as the hated Habs snapped the National Hockey league's longest
winning streak of the season, knocking off the Bruins' 2-1 in a game
that took three hours to complete.
Alexei Emelin scored
the lone regulation goal for the Canadiens and centerman Patrice Bergeron was the only Bruin to solve Budaj, who stopped 29 of the 30
attempts by the Bruins while Boston goalie Tuukka Rask was nearly as
stingy, stoning 22 of 23 Habs' offerings.
None of the
players participating in the Bruins' rivalry with the Canadiens needed
any extra motivation for Monday night's grudge match at TD Garden in
downtown Boston, but the prospect of taking away a winning streak from
the Bruins that has captivated the world of hockey brought an edge to
the Canadiens' effort - even if the Bruins refused to acknowledge the
Weise laid down the gauntlet by
letting the cat out of the bag to reporters on Monday morning, but paid a
heavy price for his words - Bruins' defenseman Kevan Miller riding the
rouge forward into the end boards less than five minutes into play, hard
enough to make him kiss the ice for a a second or two, and when Weise's linemate Travis Moen came to his teammate's defense, Miller fed him a
Both Weise and Moen were escorted to
the room for treatment and Miller headed to the bin, and the latest
chapter in the storied rivalry had it's lead - the rookie Miller
adding his name to the already well documented lore of the Original Six
struggle by taking out two Canadiens in one play.
that lead was written a couple of minutes earlier, just over a minute
into the game when defenseman Alexei Emelin went low on Milan Lucic at
the center line that sent him cartwheeling, the momentum from his full
head of steam guiding him into the bin side dashers...
before Lucic could gain his feet, Bruins' captain Zdeno Chara had
become involved, shoving Emelin's face into the ice to take a roughing
penalty - Lucic skating back to the bench chirping at Emelin about how
he had just awakened the beast.
Indeed, the beast had
been awakened, and he was pissed - but he looked more and more frustrated as time wore on,
never really getting into any kind of offensive rhythm - the 16
penalties lending themselves to some choppy play, listless an-advantages and the aforementioned
protracted game time.
Emelin managed to temporarily stave off the
beast with a power play goal on the cross-checking penalty Miller took
for planting Weise, his drive from the high point redirected
inadvertently by the heel of Bruins' centerman Chris Kelly's stick and
hitting the net top shelf over Rask's glove for a 1-0 lead...
lead that the Canadiens managed to hold on to into the third period by
playing a safe brand of hockey - clogging the middle of the ice and
directing everything to wings, a ploy that seemed to enrage the beast as
frustration set in, the Bruins preoccupied with their inability to
center the puck into the slot to get scoring chances - settling for long
range sniper jobs that rarely found Budaj.
turned early in the third period, however, just after the Bruins
suffered through a horrific man-advantage in which the pesky Mike Weaver
disrupted just about every pass the Bruins' tried to make - Weaver
tried to play a puck along end boards when Lucic sized him up and
smashed him into the glass, ragdolling Weaver and bringing the sellout
crowd to it's feet and some focus back to the Bruins.
signature freight train hit from Lucic served a dual purpose - to punish
Weaver for being such a pain in butt and for a blind-side hit he had
laid on Merlot line winger Daniel Paille in the middle frame.
the Bruins were the aggressors and started willing their way through
the Montreal defense, but past them was Budaj, who continued to stop any
puck shot his way - that is until Bergeron managed to set up shop in
the high slot and deflect a Dougie Hamilton rocket through his five hole
with five and a half minutes left in regulation to forge a one-all
...but neither team could find twine in the
final moments of the third nor in overtime, the game coming down to a
shootout, with Budaj stoning Bergeron, Jarome Iginla, Brad Marchand and
David Krejci in succession, while Rask turned away efforts by Thomas
Vanek, David Desharnias and David Briere before Galchenyuk's game winner
four frames in.
So, the streak is over - that 12-game
elephant in the room that the Bruins would have you believe never
existed - missing out on the Baker's Dozen with the shootout loss, and now only able to claim going thirteen games, spanning
three-and-a-half weeks, without a regulation loss.
Somehow that just doesn't have the same ring to it.