Lots of shots. A few sterling chances. No goals.
Decent defensive performance. A few miscues. A seeing-eye puck ends up in the net.
Yes, the above description is as appropriate for tonight's game as it is for describing last spring's playoff series vs. the Habs: No offense, no bounces, no luck, no results.
The Habs got goals from Andrei Markov and Tomas Plekanec, while Carey Price turned aside 33 Bruin shots to give Montreal a 2-0 win over the Bruins at the Garden. The win is Montreal's fifth in a row over the Bruins.
"You know, you almost need a perfect game, and you need a bounce here or there," said Claude Julien after the game. "Their first goal, that puck had eyes and went through a bunch of people and just inside the corner. So we could have used that break."
Break or no break, the Bruins did themselves few favors. Decent scoring chances were passed up in favor of fancy plays. Pucks went well-wide of the net. Traffic in front of Carey Price was light. Simply put, the Bruins didn't do enough to generate offense, instead seeming perfectly content to just sit and wait for a break to come their way.
"We didn’t put enough pucks on net and get some net-front presence," said Julien plainly. "We tried in the third to rectify that and did a little bit better, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough and the goaltender was standing tall for them."
Not doing enough to get pucks on net and traffic in front will make scoring difficult against an average team, but makes it nearly impossible against a structured Montreal club.
"They’re a stingy team," said Patrice Bergeron of the Habs. "They’re a team that plays well in their own zone and they have good depth defensively...when Price is going to see the puck, he’s going to make the save, so definitely got to do a better job in front of him."
The Bruins now find themselves in a similar spot: frustrated after a game with the Canadiens, with that frustration causing even more problems.
"I think we’re trying to pick corners sometimes from some tough angles...and pucks are going over the net," said Julien. "We’re probably better off just to throw those right at the goalie’s pads and then battle around there."
Matt Fraser echoed his coach's sentiments, saying the Bruins need to play a more basic game.
"We have to keep things that much more simple," he said. "Chipping pucks in and chipping pucks out and limiting the mistakes."
Things don't get any easier for the Bruins, who will play Pittsburgh on Monday and head to the west coast in early December. Still, Julien is remaining positive.
"Our guys have got a great attitude...and that’s why they deserve a lot of credit," said Julien. " I think it’s important for us as a coaching staff to...really stay positive and upbeat and all that stuff."