Boucher: A clash of styles in favor of Canadians

Philippe Boucher played 17 seasons in the NHL, recording 94 goals and 300 points in 748 games. The native defender of Saint-Apollinaire has notably had two seasons of 40 points and more. He appeared in the All-Star Game in 2007, in addition to lifting the Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins in his last NHL season in 2009. First-round pick (13th overall) for the Buffalo Sabers in 1991, he was successively carried the colors of the Sabers, the Kings of Los Angeles, the Stars of Dallas and the Penguins. At the end of his playing career, he held management positions with the Rimouski Oceanic, the Quebec Remparts and the Drummondville Voltigeurs in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). Philippe has agreed to collaborate with the team to deal with various current hockey topics.

If I was shaken in my convictions a week ago, I’m not surprised three games later that the semi-final between the Montreal Canadiens and the Vegas Golden Knights is tied 2-2. My prediction of the Canadiens in 6 holds up.

As I said before the series, I was eager to see what the clash of styles would give between a team from the East and their opponents from the West.

For example: would Eric Staal’s trio be too slow? We have the answer. This trio never ceases to impress. Corey perry, which is part of it with Joel armia, was possibly the Canadiens’ best forward on Sunday.

READ ALSO : Bob’s blog, June 21 | A matter of time for Gallagher | Marchessault in search of solutions

Another question that stuck in my head: Could the Canadiens’ defenders contain the fast Golden Knights forwards?

Here too, we have a positive response. Does anyone still find the big guys in the ‘top 4’ slow? We don’t hear about it anymore, as was the case in the regular season. You can find them slow for a few games during the season, but they’re the type of big defenseman tailored for the playoffs.

It is a very tough ‘top-4’ to face. The return to the game of Jeff petry stabilized the group. We saw the difference in his absence in Game 1.

The one that impresses me greatly is Joel edmundson. He is always well positioned in his territory, uses his stick wonderfully and he is involved in all three zones. He gives big hockey to the Canadiens.

The observation we make after four games is that the shock is not unfavorable to the Canadians and we will see another close game on Tuesday. They played well in the first two games in Las Vegas. They aren’t intimidated by the 18,000 fans at T-Mobile Arena. Imagine, if the Canadiens had to be in a position to get their pass for the Final two days later at the Bell Center, on Midsummer Day in Quebec. It would be a party in town.

On Sunday, the Canadiens came close to giving themselves a 3-1 lead in the series. I really liked their performance. With a little more opportunism, they would have won. One goal behind after two periods, the Golden Knights raised the alert. Now it’s up to them to do it.

The Golden Knights will surely come back with Robin lehner in front of the net. The decision to replace Marc-André Fleury was a bold one. She was shocking because we Quebeckers have a special attachment to Marc-André. We have known him for a long time and we love him very much. But the Golden Knights also love Lehner and we’ve seen why.

A reason had been found to send Lehner into the fray in Game 1 of the previous series against the Colorado Avalanche. It was said that Marc-André needed a rest. The Golden Knights had a beating with Lehner and we came back with Fleury. Coach Peter DeBoer did not hesitate to bring him back because he has the chance to bet on two excellent goalies.

Teams talk about depth on offense and defense, but the Golden Knights also have depth in net. We are not used to that in Montreal, with Carey Price.

DeBoer felt it was time to make a change, and Lehner made his coach look really good.

Back at home, DeBoer will undoubtedly try to exploit the inexperience of his counterpart Luke Richardson, making the most of the advantage he will have of making the changes last.

Richardson did a good job in the two games presented at the Bell Center, replacing Dominique Ducharme.

This series does not lack intrigue anyway. We are no longer surprised by anything since the start of the pandemic, with all that is happening unexpectedly. Ducharme’s positive COVID-19 test result only adds to the heap.

* Interview by Robert Laflamme, senior journalist

Laisser un commentaire