I understand the Canadiens are going to play the Bruins and Milan Lucic three more times this season, and I know watching a 20-year-old kid run roughshod all over your team and knock out a top-pair defenceman for at least six weeks stings.
But still, shouldn't Guy Carbonneau's focus be elsewhere, other than making sure Georges Laraque is on the ice shadowing and harassing Lucic? Is the most important thing not winning the game, and if you can get retribution on Lucic in the process it's a bonus?
I felt the Habs were ready to play this game and showed a lot of jump in the first, but lost some of that momentum when they came out of the period in a scoreless draw. But it's hard to score when you have your enforcer playing on your top line running around after a 20-year-old kid begging him to fight.
"I tried everything," Laraque said of the constant dialogue he had with Lucic.
I thought the drama the whole Laraque and Lucic subplot brought to the game was very entertaining, but it wasn't necessarily constructive for a team with a fragile psyche right now who needed a win to erase that 6-1 embarrassment in Boston on Nov 13.
But Carbonneau was still pretty pleased with his little sideshow.
"I think it had an effect on Lucic, I don’t think he was as involved as he was in Boston," Carbo said after the game. "There's more games to come, we'll see how he keeps playing. But he was a lot quieter tonight than he was in Boston."
Really? How exactly is one quiet when he scores a goal and forces you to completely alter your lines and game plan just to get him off his game? To me, that's not quiet. That's pretty darn loud.
Bruins coach Claude Julien was miffed after the game, and he expressed it in a typically deadpan Julien way.
"I betcha Milan never thought he was that good that he'd have a shadow on him," Julien said, clearly annoyed. "I don't know if it's ever happened in his career but it's pretty simple. We've got a good hockey player, he's 20 years old, a first line player, it's as simple as that. Do you think we're going to send him against probably the toughest guy in the league? I know Georges Laraque was doing that because he was told to. Georges is not that type of guy. He respects the young kids, he knows what it's all about. There was no way it was going to happen. (Shawn) Thornton was there, ready for Georges, that never happened either. My tough guy was ready for their tough guy and it's as simple as that. I told him not to fight so if you guys are wondering, it was me."
Well, that sums it up quite nicely, I think, except he forgot to add that he won the game, and the hex the Habs had on the Bruins appears to be slowly shifting the other way.
The Canadiens face the Isles on Monday night and then have games in Detroit and Washington, two tough ones where the team's - and the coach's - focus had better be on winning the game and scoring goals.
With nine goals in their last six games now, you would think having that as a focus wouldn't be a problem.