The good news for the Bruins (28-18-7) is that they won’t see the Canadiens (34-15-3) again this regular season after the Habs swept the four-game regular season series against the B’s with a 3-1 victory on Sunday at TD Garden. Of course, Montreal will still be giving Boston nightmares for the next few months regardless as another playoff showdown seems inevitable. Before hitting the road for a five-game road trip (Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, St. Louis and Chicago) that lasts almost two full weeks, Boston hosts Dallas (24-21-8) on Tuesday (7 p.m., NESN) at the Garden.
The only other time these teams met this season, on Jan. 20, the Bruins won, 3-1, in Dallas.
The Canadiens have proven to have the perfect blueprint to beat the Bruins (with speed, power plays and solid goaltending) but the Stars are the type of one-dimensional team that Boston typically owns. The Stars have scored 167 goals this season (second-most in the Western Conference) but they have allowed 172 (third-most in the West). Boston looks like a safe bet to make the playoffs but it is still only in eighth-place, while Dallas is in 11th place in the West, five points behind eighth-place Calgary. It’s why Tuesday’s game is so important to both clubs. They need every point that they can get.
Bruins head coach Claude Julien called Sunday’s performance vs. Montreal “not good enough.”
“We lost too many battles, we pushed game on them in spurts but we couldn’t sustain it,” Julien said. “We certainly didn’t make (Carey) Price’s night hard. Our best players need to be our best players and they weren’t. We have a tendency to shoot ourselves in our foot against Montreal.”
Of course for as long as Tyler Seguin plays for Dallas, these matchups will have extra meaning. The former No. 2 overall pick of the Bruins is currently tied for the league lead with 29 goals and 30 assists. Loui Eriksson (12 goals, 19 assists) and Reilly Smith (10 goals, 17 assists) are each having decent seasons but the debate over which team got the better end of that trade ended a long time ago. It really has to kill the Bruins’ front office to see Seguin doing so well in Dallas because he is exactly what they are lacking: a speedy winger that can score goals. Yes, Boston’s system is much more disciplined than Dallas,’ but when you have a player that talented it is hard to believe that you would give up on him that quickly.