Our Red White and Blue Heroes are hard to gauge: while it’s impossible to fault a team after sweeping their round, it’s also hard to know how much to make out of beating a young, inexperienced team missing its number one tender. More, we received a healthy dose of hometown reffing and fortunate bounces. But these variables seemed to emanate from our squad’s mojo, a by-product of our swag, itself a by-product of consistent, stable team play. We are a unified group who believes, and we seem to be making our own luck more than having it handed to us. We need to continue this momentum.
So ignore round one. We’re playing the Bruins, a cup contender that defeated Detroit in 5, with a core group that last year managed to beat the seemingly-indomitable Maple Leafs.
We need Gallagher to beat up Lucic, Subban’s punishing slap shot and ass-first body check, Pacioretty and Gionta to score clutch goals against Tushy Rash. Hopefully Markov will eclipse his previous high by remaining healthy for five minutes.
Between us and glory is a team of highly skilled barbarians. Milan Lucic is the bully of the century, an insatiably bloodthirsty one-man military. Around him, nobody’s testicles are safe. Also, he is good at playing actual hockey. Threat 1B is Zdeno Chara. A lot of people don’t know this but his parents were carnival freaks, and in addition to passing on to Zdeno superhuman strength and size, he’s gifted with the ability to hammer nails into his nose. So he is absolutely immune from succumbing to intimidation, responding to futile attempts the way I do to Leslie Nielsen movies. His reach covers blue line to blue line, making it as proportionally outsized as his nose.
Even Don Cherry would say that, despite being French, Bergeron is tough. Last year he competed in playoffs despite a broken upper and lower body. He is the best faceoff man in the league, by far a more essential component in victory than outscoring opponents to hear analysts talk about it. Krejci elevates his play when necessary, and is as enthusiastic about violence as his colleagues. You could compare Marchand to a real rat if only the sewer produced a creature so talented at diving.
If the entire Bruins team went to jail (which would happen if the law applied to them) they would immediately run the cell block, and would certainly be the ones on the giving end of jail’s notorious funny business, subduing comparably effete people like serial killers. For our heroes to win, we must score goals while skating very quickly away from them. Motivation to move will be abundant, arising from the desire to score, live, and not be treated like fresh fish.
Hence my prediction, Habs in 4.