Nope, can’t hear you: Milan Lucic ignores the chirping of Georges Laraque in Saturday’s game. (AP Photo)
The first-place Bruins are enjoying a well-deserved day off today. They will get back to work tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. at Ristuccia Arena as they prepare for Wednesday’s road match against Buffalo.
With no media availability today, we’ll roll out another version of Likes & Dislikes coming off last night’s 3-2 shootout win over Montreal:
- How Claude Julien continues to make all the right calls. Julien goes back with Tim Thomas instead of Manny Fernandez. Thomas responds by stopping all but two shots during regulation and slams the door during the shootout. Julien instructs Milan Lucic (first-line wing) not to fight Georges Laraque (fourth-line wing). Then when he notices Laraque is doing too good of a job of getting in the youngster’s ear, Julien puts Lucic on the fourth line with Stephane Yelle and Shawn Thornton. Lucic responds by potting the game-tying goal.
- Lucic’s discipline. Laraque must have been using every verbal technique possible to convince Lucic to drop ’em last night. To the Canadiens, Lucic might come away looking like a coward. But because he listened to his coach, who instructed him not to fight, Lucic stays out of the box, scores the equalizer, and comes away with two points.
- The growing confidence of David Krejci. In back-to-back nights, Krejci slowed down the play while stickhandling in the offensive zone before creating a goal, which is becoming his trademark move. It takes a lot of poise and confidence for a young player to pull off such a maneuver, and Krejci is feeling good about himself right now.
- How Guy Carbonneau failed to call off Laraque. After it became clear that Lucic wasn’t going to drop the gloves, Carbonneau should have told Laraque to back off. The belief around the league, including in the Boston room, is that Laraque is a standup tough guy who doesn’t try cheap stuff. Laraque showed that last night, but Carbonneau could have given his heavyweight a break by the fourth time Lucic declined to fight.
- How Boston followers have forgotten the roles that Mike O’Connell and Jeff Gorton played in building this first-place team. We’ll take a look at this in a post later today.
- The absence of Mike Komisarek from last night’s game. The big D-man adds another layer of surliness to the Boston-Montreal rivalry. You hate to see good players get hurt.