Bruins

Who wins tonight? Who knows?

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Who wins tonight? Who knows?

By Mary Paoletti
CSNNE.com

Today's number is seven. As in, Game 7.

Expectations in Boston aren't high. History shows the Bruins don't win Game 7's; they've lost three in the last three years. They haven't won one since 1994 (against the Canadiens in Boston).

But those are stats. They can either terrify or comfort, depending entirely on how they're presented.

For example:

Tuesday night, a TV station showed a graphic saying the Canadiens have indeed lost Game 3's before -- four times, in fact. But the station didn't mention the fact the Bruins have never rallied from a 2-0 series deficit. And they've had 26 chances to do it.

It's the eighth Game 7 between these Original Six rivals in this maxed-out series, the most in sports history, and the Canadiens have won five of the first seven. But since 1991, it's even: They've each won two.

The Canadiens as a road underdog during this 2010-11 season? 19-16. The Bruins when playing back-to-back days? 9-5.

I tried to figure out how these statistics intersect for about five seconds before I started hearing that "Mad World" song from Donnie Darko. That freaked me out, so I quit it.

I get tired of the numbers.

The Bruins beat Montreal in the conference semis in 1988. That meant something. At the time, it was a glorious break from Canadian hockey tyranny in Boston. It was wasn't the first time -- they had won in 1929 and 1943 -- but the '88 series was Boston's first playoff win over Montreal in 45 years. It served as a new wave. Since then, the Bruins are 6-4 against the Canadiens in the playoffs. Before that? 2-20.

So, that 6-4 record for recent history gives Boston holds the advantage, right? Or do the Bruins surrender it because of the three-straight Game 7 playoff ousters? Does Montreal have the edge, then? Must be, because the Canadiens have that 5-2 Game 7 advantage. Then again, the teams are even since 1991.

It's hard to digest.

You know what numbers I'm thinking about (besides Boston being 0-19 on the power play)? 50, for 50 percent odds. Though I am terrified of math, I once learned that two teams have a 5050 shot at winning a series when they are tied.

(Really. Forget Vegas. Gambling odds shown don't represent true chances that the event will occur, but the amounts books will pay out to winners. Think about it. If the numbers that are constantly thrown at us could predict who will win a playoff series, we wouldn't be watching, We'd be gambling. And we'd be earning more money for less work than Dan Ellis.)

Interesting to think this war is suspended in the middle of the battlefield.

Especially considering the implications Game 7's have for the people involved. They are nightmares for coaches who are expected to win them -- or who shouldn't even let their teams get there in the first place -- but keep losing. And Game 7's will haunt players who keep hitting them again and again, not like a speed bump, but a spike strip.

Who will win tonight? I have no idea. But neither does anybody else.

Mary Paoletti can be reached at mpaoletti@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Mary on Twitter at http:twitter.comMary_Paoletti

Morning Skate: Habs' Pacioretty blames himself

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Morning Skate: Habs' Pacioretty blames himself

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while watching the Montreal Canadiens crash and burn in the Atlantic Division.  

*Max Pacioretty is certainly falling on his sword up in Montreal calling himself “the worst one on the ice” as the Habs really struggle to get going this season.

*Brad Marchand was on the Twitter machine after Thursday night’s win and having some fun with what his video game controller probably looks like when he plays hockey.

*Pro Hockey Talk has the details of the Erik Gudbranson boarding hit on Frank Vatrano from last night that looks like it’s going to get the Vancouver D-man suspended.

*Oliver Ekman-Larsson is still adjusting to the changes that are taking place with the Arizona Coyotes as they struggle in the desert.

*The Maple Leafs are looking and acting like contenders early on up in Toronto, and that would be a very good thing for the NHL.

*For something completely different: The Backstreet Boys are going country? Now I’ve definitely seen it all.

 

Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid’s leg is broken, will have surgery Monday

Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid’s leg is broken, will have surgery Monday

BRIGHTON, Mass – Another serious injury has hit the Bruins in the first few weeks of the season.

Adam McQuaid’s right leg is broken, he'll have surgery Monday and he’ll miss some significant time after he blocked a shot that knocked him out of the Thursday night victory over the Vancouver Canucks. The rugged, stay-at-home defenseman took multiple pucks of in successive games off his leg in the past two games against the Golden Knights and the Canucks.

MORE BRUINS:

Bruins GM Don Sweeney, in a Bruins statement released after practice Friday, said McQuaid sustained a broken right fibula and is scheduled to have surgery on Monday at Mass. General Hospital. He is expected to miss approximately eight weeks.

It’s a tough blow for McQuaid, 31, after he was able to play 77 games last season before missing the playoffs with an injury and has consistently battled injuries in his career while playing a hard-nosed, fearless brand of hockey.

“Adam [McQuaid] is seeing the doctors as we speak, so there will be an announcement about him,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said earlier Friday at practice. “With Bergie [Patrice Bergeron] it’s a maintenance day where we felt it would be better after 20 minutes of ice to let it rest, and the same with [David] Krejci. Miller is a maintenance day as well. He got whacked, but he should be fine as well. We’ll have a better idea in the morning, but we expect all of the [maintenance players] to play.”

Bergeron, David Krejci and Kevan Miller were all missing from practice on Friday morning at Warrior Ice Arena, but it was maintenance days for all as they’re expected to be back in the lineup on Saturday against the Buffalo Sabres. 

Tuukka Rask is out indefinitely while in the concussion protocol after his practice collision earlier this week, but the good news is that Bruins goaltender was up and around at the practice facility on Friday rather than at home convalescing in a dark room.

Here are the line combos and D-pairings for the Black and Gold with a few bodies missing from practice:

Marchand-Schaller-Bjork

DeBrusk-White-Pastrnak

Agostino-Nash-Backes

Beleskey-Kuraly-Vatrano

 
Chara-Carlo

Krug-McAvoy

Postma

 
Khudobin

McIntyre