Winter Classic Rivalry Heats Up With Boston Bruins Win


The Boston Bruins haven’t had much luck against their oldest NHL rivals. The B’s had lost seven straight games against the Montreal Canadiens, making the rivalry look very one-sided. Last night’s match up against the Habs looked like more of the same early, with the B’s putting only seven shots on net in the first two periods. The Bruins surged back in the third though, putting in three straight goals to beat Montreal at the Bell Centre.

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Last night’s game didn’t have the usual level of hatred the teams have for each other. There weren’t any of the cheap theatrics that the teams’ fan bases accuse each other of doing. The only time the Bruins-Habs hatred seemed to flare up was near the end of the first period where Brad Marchand and P.K. Subban found themselves in the box for matching slashing penalties.

“It’s a good win for us. After they scored [their first goal], we were maybe kind of stunned by it,” said Zdeno Chara about the Bruins’ play. “It took us half of the game to get it going, and move ourselves the way we should have. I think that from the midpoint of the game we were skating better, fore-checking better and making better passes and plays.

“So it was nice to get rewarded with that shorthanded goal, and pretty shortly after that we got another one.”

That win will certainly raise the profile of the Winter Classic. Last nights’ game proves that the Bruins can beat the Canadiens on any given night. It should also silence some of the critics who believe that Tuukka Rask is incapable of beating the Habs. From the coach on down, the team was excited about the win.

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  • “There is a long history [between the two teams], but we haven’t had a ton of luck against them lately. They pretty well had their way with us for a year-and-a-half at least. So it was nice for us to get this win tonight,” said Claude Julien. “We were close the last time we were in this building, and this time, I guess, we got some breaks in the third period that allowed us to score some goals.

    “It was a big win for us, and not just the game itself. We see where we are in the standings, and it’s a continuous battle for those top three spots [in the Atlantic Division].”

    The Bruins are currently in fourth in the Atlantic Division, two points behind the Ottawa Senators and Detroit Red Wings. They’re only eight points behind Montreal (who earned their first three game losing streak of the season, courtesy of the Bruins). The B’s are now seventh in the East, with a slim one point lead over Pittsburgh and the Devils.

    Still, this Winter Classic should be even more contentious than the last one the Bruins participated in back in 2010. (Where former Bruin Shawn Thornton became the first Bruin to fight in a Winter Classic) After embarrassing the Habs at home, the Canadiens will certainly come into Foxboro looking for payback.  The Bruins, flush from their most recent win will certainly want to extend their streak against the Habs.