Final take on opening round

Credit to the undermanned Canadiens for giving the Bruins the fight of their lives. No Andrei Markov. No Josh Gorges. No Max Pacioretty. No David Desharnais in Games 6 and 7. A less-than-perfect James Wisniewski in Game 7.

But the Canadiens took three games to overtime and lost last night after a Nathan Horton shot hit traffic and beat Carey Price.

Some parting thoughts on Bruins-Canadiens:

* Patrice Bergeron was the team’s best player. Good in every department. Would have been a real shame had his high-sticking penalty had more serious consequences.

* Stick salute to Hal Gill and P.K. Subban for rendering the first line nearly irrelevant. Among all postseason players, Subban trailed only Zdeno Chara in TOI per game. Subban can do without the silly stuff, like his Oscar-worthy tumble after grabbing a piece of Gregory Campbell’s stick last night. Subban’s good enough that he shouldn’t need to pull that nonsense.

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* Tough job for referees and the NHL hockey operations department these days. Hard to tell what is or isn’t a legal hit. Even harder to know when a player is really hurt or pulling a sell job. This is hockey. Not soccer.

* For a player without a postseason resume, Horton twice picked the right time to be the overtime hero. Horton never came close to such heroics in Florida.

@GlobeFluto

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