Normally, if you allow Boston to score three goals, you're not going to win. They feature the single best defensive forward, blueliner, and netminder in the league, with everyone else taking their cues from a style designed to strangle and frustrate. That style worked just as it was supposed to last night, the Bruins tallying 98 shot attempts to the Habs' 58. What made the outcome different, in Montreal's 4-3 double-OT win, was between the pipes.
Tuukka Rask did not mince words when asked about his performance."When you suck you suck," he said, and more than that:
He didn't suck and wasn't shit, but he wasn't Carey Price.
"It was a battle," Price said of his 48-save game. Afterwards, the Bruins players seemed oddly determined to deny Price credit, as if loathe to pump the tires of the opposing guy in a series that's probably going to come down to goaltending.
"We had a lot of opportunities, a lot of pucks lying around him and we didn't do a great job of making sure our sticks were heavy around their net. Their defensemen were picking our guys up and it was a little too easy for him."
"We'd love to score on every shot and every chance, but some days they make a great save or you just miss your spot or you don't elevate it, so I didn't think anything like that. We get those same chances and on any other night we'd have a bunch."
Patrice Bergeron, sort of absurdly after a game with 51 shots on goal:
"We didn't have enough chances."
Oh, they had chances. Maybe not all ideal (47 additional Boston shot attempts were blocked by skaters or sent wide), but you make do with what you've got. And, Price, the reigning Olympic gold medalist, was on point. The Bruins aren't complaining about their shot quality if Price doesn't make stops like this, on David Krejci in the first overtime.
"You've got to find a way to win when a guy stands on his head like that," P.K. Subban said. A common sentiment that maybe carries a little more weight when it's coming from the winning goalscorer.
On the offensive zone faceoff immediately after Matt Bartkowski headed to the box for holding, Subban lifted a picture-perfect slapshot over Rask's shoulder. Rask was screened by Brendan Gallagher and two Bruins, including the massive Zdeno Chara, and went the wrong way for it—it was the sort of quality shot that Boston couldn't manufacture enough of on the other end.
Before Game 1, Karl Subban bought a shirt outside TD Garden that read "Canadien Dive Team." On the back, his son's jersey number. There wasn't much diving going on last night, but Boston fans found plenty of reasons to boo the younger Subban anyway.