So the Montreal Canadiens wound up winning their first-round playoff series, but let’s face it: Other than the seventh game Monday night, when they eviscerated Boston 5-0, they weren’t really all that impressive against the Bruins.
And if they don’t sharpen up in the second round, they won’t advance.
“We didn’t play our style until (the seventh game),” acknowledged Montreal star Alexei Kovalev. “We have to be better.”
Especially on the power play. The Canadiens led the NHL in power-play efficiency during the regular season but, against the Bruins, they were a mere 3-for-33.
>> And you can’t help but wonder which Carey Price you’ll see in the second round.
The rookie netminder allowed 10 goals in the fifth and sixth games against Boston but was stellar in blocking 25 shots Monday night.
“Carey’s 20,” teammate Tomas Plekanec said, “but he has the poise of a 40-year-old. I know a lot of goalies who wouldn’t have been able to bounce back the way Carey did (in the seventh game). I guess he was just brought up right.”
Price is the son of the chief of B.C.’s Ulkatcho First Nation.
>> Plekanec on playing with brothers Andrei and Sergei Kostitsyn: “They have a way of finding each other. They talk to each other and then it seems they find a way to do something on the ice. Sometimes, I think they don’t need me out there…”
>> Ottawa Senators centre Jason Spezza has been elected as one of five players on the NHL’s competition committee. The five will replace a group that included Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla. Edmonton Oilers general manager Kevin Lowe also will be on the new committee.
>> In the CFL, Calgary will be identified today as the site of the 2009 Grey Cup game … League executives, incidentally, are starting to openly worry about what’s happening in Toronto, where the NFL’s Buffalo Bills are set to play a handful of games at the Rogers Centre during the next five seasons. “What happens to the league if the Argonauts fade away?” asked Rob Pletch, chairman of the Saskatchewan Roughriders. “What happens to our TV contract and sponsorships?”
In three-plus decades as a columnist and broadcaster, Marty York has built a network of solid contacts and a renowned reputation for his hard-hitting, groundbreaking style. The tradition continues in Metro Sports.