McKenzie: Canadiens are going from 'hunter' to 'hunted'

Bob McKenzie
5/14/2010 9:11:14 AM
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Some thoughts from the NHL on TSN panel on Thursday night:

As we move on to the third round of the NHL playoffs, the Montreal Canadiens very well could be favourites now in their upcoming series. I think at the very least, you can say that they're going from the "hunter" to the "hunted".

When you look at what's left in the Eastern Conference, the best offensive player is Michael Cammalleri, and teams will be game-planning how they're going to stop him. The best goaltender is Jaro Halak, and teams will be game-planning how they're going to stop him.

Montreal was as good as they were against Washington and Pittsburgh because they were able to game-plan and strategize and use the strength of the Capitals and the Penguins to their advantage.

The Penguins were not able to attack through the neutral zone with speed, and on those occasions where you did see Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin go back and try and pick up the puck the and try and bring it through, the Canadiens would just step up and take their ice away from them.

It was almost like the Penguins and the Capitals were so stubborn because they had skill, they had talent, and they just were relying on that - they didn't game-plan.

So whether it's Philadelphia or whether it's Boston in the next round, both of those teams, I think, are going to take a much different approach to how they play the game against Montreal.

TSN Turning Point

There is a lot of pressure on the Boston Bruins heading into Game 7. There always seems to be one defining moment in a series where it can go one way or the other and you sense that at that moment.

In Game 4 of the Kings-Canucks first-round series, Roberto Luongo stopped Alexander Frolov on a breakaway and the Canucks were able to come back and win that game. That was a key turning point in that series.

In the second round for Vancouver, it was Patrick Sharp who scored a shorthanded goal in Game 2 to tie the game and keyed a comeback for the Chiacgo Blackhawks. That was bad news for the Canucks.

In Game 3 of the Bruins-Flyers series, Mike Richards stepped up and unloaded on David Krejci, breaking his wrist. In Game 4, Simon Gagne came back and scored the overtime winner.

I think the absence of Krejci for the series and the ability of Gagne to come back and give the Flyers some balance was the turning point and how a 3-0 series is suddenly tied 3-3.

Bob McKenzie


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