The Boston Bruins beat the Montreal Canadiens 8-6 in a game that will stoke the fires of two opposing forces: those who love and hate hockey’s dichotomy between brutality and beauty.
Before we get to the carnage and goal scoring frenzy, it’s important to note that this game had serious implications on the Northeast Division title race. With this win, the Bruins open up a four-point lead over the Habs and Boston also holds a game in hand.
That four-point lead might be the most important number to come from this game, but there were plenty of others. The second period included eight goals (four for Boston, four for Montreal), including seven in 6:19. That’s the fastest seven goal spree in this historic rivalry. Carey Price allowed the most goals of his career, letting eight Bruins shots pass him by.
But the game wasn’t just a bloodbath in a figurative sense, as the two sides threw enough knuckles that even Carey Price and Tim Thomas got involved. Well, sort of:
Overall, the Bruins finished the game with a staggering 85 penalty minutes while the Canadiens received 55. The contest devolved into a Slap Shot-like brawl, with some questionable fights as some Bruins seemed to take advantage of rarely fighting Canadiens.
Jacques Martin probably won’t be happy with anything that happened in this game (with the possible exception of Max Pacioretty’s two-goal game), but Boston coach Claude Julien cannot be completely satisfied either. Tim Thomas allowed six goals while finesse forward David Krejci might have put himself in danger of injury by getting involved in the final frame fight fest.
Milan Lucic scored two goals and had an assist while Michael Ryder also scored two goals in a game that provided 14 scores, none of which resulted from an empty net.
While the game had its regrettable moments, it is the kind of night one would expect from a long-time, hate-filled rivalry like the one shared between the Habs and Bruins. There still isn’t much of a gap between the two teams in the Northeast, so their final two games (March 8 and 24th) should be interesting to watch.
Something tells me the league’s office will have their eyes on those two contests, as tonight’s game got out of control.