With all due respect to Jack, it was the Bruins who have needed a wake-up call for much of this series.
After two lackluster performances at the TD Garden, the B's finally showed some life north of the border. They took their first lead of the series in the early stages of Game 3 and managed to hang on for the victory.
A 4-2 win does not mean the Bruins are completely back on their feet, but it means they aren't on the verge of being down and out. A win at the Bell Centre on Thursday night evens up the series and regains home-ice advantage for Boston.
You may have breathed a sigh of relief on Monday night after the win, but there are still plenty of reasons to be concerned heading into Game 4.
- The Canadiens outplayed the Bruins in the third period, outshooting Boston 15-6. Somehow, despite losing the first two games, the B's took their collective foot off the accelerator and allowed the Habs — as well as the Bell Centre crowd — to get back into it.
- Tim Thomas was the best, and most valuable, player on the ice over the last 10 minutes of the game. As his team began to break down in front of him, Thomas made save after save. That said, the Canadiens might not have been back in it at all if not for two weak five-hole goals. Thomas has shown signs of brilliance, but has given up too many soft goals this series. Thursday night, he'll have to continue to play like he did in the final minutes of Game 2 if the Bruins are going to even things up.
- The power play continues to be ineffective. After going 0-for-4 on the man advantage on Monday night the B's are now 0-for-11 in the series. They're one of only two teams in the Stanley Cup playoffs without a power-play goal. Tomas Kaberle was brought to Boston to work his incredible passing skills into the power-play unit, yet the group has not clicked since he was added to the roster.
- While the Bruins picked up their physical intensity on Monday (at least in the first two periods), they have still not made life tough enough for the Canadiens. Yes, there is always the chance that the Habs will go into full World Cup flop mode, but the Bruins have to play tougher physically if they hope to impose their will in this series.
If you're a Bruins fan, you certainly feel better this week compared to last, but trailing 2-1 with Game 4 on the road is not an ideal place to be. A loss Thursday would put this team right back where it was after two home losses.
The Canadiens' penchant for diving has not been a factor in this series — not yet at least. It's the Bruins who flopped in their first two games at home, and they're not all the way back up yet. After being outplayed in seven of the nine periods we've seen in this series so far, the calls of "get up!" coming from Boston are fans telling this team to play like the unit that won the Northeast Division this season.