Chris Stevenson, Special to Postmedia Network


The Canadiens celebrate Max Pacioretty's (67) goal against Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask (40) during second period playoff action in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinal in Boston on Wednesday, May 14, 2014. (Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports)

Canadiens earn some respect with Game 7 victory over Bruins

There wasn't much left of Daniel Briere's voice. The veteran Montreal Canadiens forward had been turned into a cheerleader, sitting on the Canadiens bench for most of the third period of their Game 7 victory over the Boston Bruins, cooling his heels despite having set up the crucial first goal two minutes into the game.

Canadiens forward Lars Eller (81) celebrates his first period goal against the Bruins with teammates Brian Gionta (21), Rene Bourque (17), Mike Weaver (43) and Nathan Beaulieu (40) during Game 6 of their playoff series in Montreal on Monday, May 12, 2014. (Ben Pelosse/QMI Agency)

Canadiens dominate Bruins, force Game 7 in Boston

After prolonged stretches of exposed nerves, unexpected turns, body blows, resurrections and usual post-whistle silliness, there is no question the Atlantic Division final deserves a Game 7.

Boston Bruins winger Matt Fraser pokes the puck past Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price during Game 4 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series at the Bell Centre in Montreal, May 8, 2014. (PIERRE-PAUL POULIN/QMI Agency)

Bruins callup Matt Fraser knots up series against Canadiens

As the personality of a series takes shape, grows from game to game, the really good ones have two teams adapting and changing, emphasizing their strengths while working at squeezing the areas where the opponents live and breathe.

Montreal Canadiens left wing Rene Bourque (17) controls the puck while defended by Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Ondrej Palat (18) at Tampa Bay Times Forum earlier this season. (Jeff Griffith-USA TODAY Sports)

Coaching could tip Habs-Lightning in Tampa's favour

The Early Word: The Lightning took the season series in which the Habs scored only one goal in each of the games (the Canadiens’ lone win came in a 2-1 shootout victory). This could come down to the Habs being disciplined and being able to control Tampa’s Steven Stamkos and the Bolts’ power play (the Canadiens have the fifth-ranked penalty kill thi

Montreal Canadiens defenceman Douglas Murray (6), captain Brian Gionta (21) and forward Rene Bourque (17) react during a break in the action against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. (John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports)

Canadiens trending up heading into NHL playoffs

When the gleaming metallic doors beneath the red Montreal Canadiens logo slid silently open after a 5-0 loss to the Washington Capitals on Jan. 25, all 20 players were sitting in their stalls, ordered by management to face the inquisition after a lifeless loss that threatened to derail the Habs’ season.