I've been hearing a lot about how the B's should put Kessel into the lineup. But I'm with Julien on this one. Here are Kessl's plus-minus stats for the regular season games against the Habs this season:
-2, -1, -2, -2, 0, -1, -2, -1 = -11
Not only has he not done well defensively against the Habs but he hasn't scored on them either. If those numbers tipped toward the positive at the end of the season I'd think seriously about putting him in the lineup, but that's not the case. Sitting out is probably good for his "character" anyhow.
A couple of other thoughts going into tonight: I expect Julien to change things up with new line combinations. And if they can just get the power play going, that alone could tip this game in their favor.
Unfortunately the last game was probably the best possible outcome for the Habs. They didn't do anything to wake the sleeping bear; they didn't make it angry nor did they embarrass it. Unfortunately, my prediction is that the sleeping bear will not awaken tonight... unless something huge happens.