Here now, a look at the men who comprise the lines that will make it happen for both teams. Hopefully, just one team.
The big ones : This is a Kovalev vs. Savard matchup, with the best forward on each team determined to will their squad into the second round. If the last game in Boston was any indication it was Kovy who took a page out of the Savardian Spinarama Book. Savard is the most underrated player in the league. He can do it alone. But can he carry the load on his injured back? The Habs have 4 balanced lines that can all provide scoring and toughness. Glen Murray was once a Habs killer, and will again try to take on that role. Has age slowed him down to a point of irrelevance? Never tempt fate. Leading goal scorer Marco Sturm may want to replace Murray as the Harpooner of Habs. In the end, after a wonderful season, the stage is set for a Kovalev show of brilliance.
Oh, look at the little ones: Little Tits should enjoy the room to skate in this series. The Bruins do like to apply a tight defensive chokehold on their opponent but this has not figured prominently in any of the teams’ matchups this year. The Bruins are not the Devils, so let’s ease up a bit on this billing. Will Grabovski play a game? While he take the flight to Boston if he doesn’t? “No coach, I don’t fly coach”. Pleks is a few hours away from elevating his status to legitimate star in this league if he can produce in the playoffs in his first experience as the team’s number 1 center.
The seasoned veterans: Smolinski, Bégin. Think Mike Keane. Think a player who turns on the jets in the playoffs and provides all the leadership required to motivate and inspire. All eyes are on these two to lead the way, and pummel through intense battles across the ice.
Virgin pleasures: Kessel is fairly new to this and can explode into stardom with an inspired performance against Boston's arch rivals. Milan Lucic can pound his way into the hearts of Bostonians if he starts to use his size adequately. Latendresse, Lapierre, Grabs, The Big Tits, The Smaller Ones, Rhino, all huge contributors to this team, with a combined 0 minutes of NHL playoff experience. Like Pleks, Big Tits can now draw incredible attention to himself by demonstrating to the rest of the league what we in Montreal already know: we've got a special one here. Back off Kevin Lowe. Forget logic folks, think 86, please for the love of God, think 86. Is Mike Lalor around?
Aching all over: Saks and the broken foot deserve the Beckham treatment Becks received before the 2002 World Cup in Japan and Korea, where the Queen had blessed his metatarsal. Can someone please ask Stephen Harper to hit a church or something? If the Habs take a 2-0 lead in the series, forget about Captain K for this round. That would be great news. If the team delivers brain cramps galore, he’ll play, broken foot, blind spot in his eye and all. And he’ll probably play amazingly well. That’s Saku and that’s why we love him, with all the heterosexual man love we can muster. Savard is not playing at 100%, then again neither is anyone after 6 months of pounding professional hockey. If Patrice Bergeron returns then it’s on team management’s head because Boston would be taking a Huge risk. How good will he be in the intensity of the playoffs after a full year off? What about the risk of re-injury amidst these furious playoff battles? Stay home Patrice…both of you.