Solving the Habs
What's the issue? We can play any team and give them a solid game except the Habs. Why? Here is why.
The Habs are a weird team, in a good way. They don't have an Ovechkin or Crosby good player. Hell, they don't even have a true all-star. They have a rookie goaltender who should be good, but he is inexperienced. Their best player is arguably Alex Kovalev. But, they have depth. They don't drop off in skill after 1 line. Anyone can score, and they all play a similar style.
The Habs are a bad matchup. They are all speedy nd can outskate the Bruins. How many times you see a Hab blow by a Bruin with a 10 foot headstart? A lot. The Habs are just much faster.
The Bruins injuries. I hate to use it as an excuse, but it is. When guys like Reich, Thornton and Nokelainen are getting 10+ minutes a night, something is wrong. The Bruins lack depth. They are without Bergeron, Kobasew, 2 top forwards, Savard isn't 100%. Fernandez is out. So on...
The Bruins can't score. This it a major issue. The Bruins can't score. They score around 2 goals a game. The Habs? More like 3 or 4. You aren't going to get goals without shooting and making plays. Too many times I see the Bruins dump it in, and with a fast team like the Habs, that will not work. They need to make more plays coming into the zone. Kessel did that and they scored. Also, they need more cycling in the offensive zone. The Habs cycle like nuts which creates confusion for the D and opens players up. The Bruins are very lame in the o-zone.
Defensively, the Habs have 3 major plays. They don't dump it in. A winger will streak down a wing side into the offensive zone. He will then stop on a dime, give it to the trailer, usually Markov or Streit, and then they will unload a slapper or wrister while the other 3 or 4 guys will just attack the net and hit in a rebound. The 2nd play is similar where the winger goes down the wing, but this time he will keep going behind the net and dish out front and then the entire Habs team will be there. The 3rd play is more of a PP. They cycle the puck, the D running around, they do a backdoor type play. The winger, usually Kovalev, will walk into the circle, and then a winger or center like Kostityn will sneak in the other wing and hit a one timer.
To stop this, the Bruins need to either play a zone defense type scheme to counter the cycling the Habs do or step it back in the neutral zone because the Habs blow by the 1-2-2 formation.
Whatever the issue is, it needs to be fixed.