While watching the L.A. Kings play the Bruins a couple times over the last few weeks I was thinking to myself that would be a great Stanley Cup Final matchup. It got me longing for playoff hockey. With the playoffs still months away, tonight we get a little taste of the playoff atmosphere. Bruins and Canadiens at the Garden, is there a sweeter thing?
Watching the B’s offensive explosion over the last few days has been fun. Even though it isn’t the same team, I still take great joy out of watching them pick apart the Philadelphia Flyers as revenge for the 2010 playoffs. They got revenge against the Islanders who had dominated the B’s in their previous two meetings. Then they got to show Tim Thomas what he’s been missing since his year off and jumpstart on retirement playing for the hopeless Panthers down in Florida. And on Saturday we get to welcome back new Oilers Captain and Boston fan favorite Andrew Ference back to town. While all that is nice, it just doesn’t compare to B’s/Habs. I’m not the only one who woke up excited for game day. Jack Edwards was up early in anticipation as well.
Sun's coming up over the Great Bay and Lamprey River as I visit my Dad in NH. and the Canadiens finally visit Boston TONIGHT! 7PM on #NESN!— Jack Edwards (@RealJackEdwards) January 30, 2014
In a rivalry as old as hockey it really gives a playoff feel to a regular season game at the tail end of January. The regular season all-time standings are in favor, or in favour I guess, of the Canadiens 346-269-103. The all-time playoff series record is also tipping the same direction with Montreal holding the advantage 24-9. Montreal has had the Bruins number in the playoffs until the 1990’s where the B’s won four straight meetings before getting beat by them in the early 2000’s three times in a row. More recently they swept the Habs in 2009 and I think we all still remember the last playoff meeting and the game 7 overtime winner from Nathan Horton in 2011.
These two teams have only met once this season back on December 5th. It ended in Montreal’s favour, and with Johnny Boychuk in a hospital. In a collision, which was deemed incidental by all involved, between Max Pacioretty and Boychuk, Boychuk face planted the end boards and went down. He stayed down for 10 minutes before being taken off the ice on a backboard and Pacioretty was given a two minute minor for boarding with no further league punishment. The Bruins at the time gave it a wrong place wrong time kind of attitude and no further retaliation was sent towards Pacioretty.
That win put Montreal on top of the Atlantic Division at the time but things have changed since then. They are now 4th in the Atlantic Division 10 points behind the Bruins and they are 4-6-0 in their last 10 games. They just beat Carolina in a 3-0 shutout but before that were in a scoring drought. They hadn’t scored more than one goal since January 18th in a 5-3 loss to Toronto. They then lost 5-1 to Pittsburgh, 4-1 to Detroit and 5-0 to Washington. Meanwhile the Bruins are 6-3-1 in their last 10 and have scored six goals in each of their last three games. Hopefully the trend from the two teams continues with Boston scoring six more tonight and Montreal scoring one or less.
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