The Boston Bruins rivalry with the Montreal Canadiens has been going on for nearly a century. In the last few years, that rivalry has cooled. On Monday night, that rivalry heated up as the Bruins beat the Canadiens at the Bell Centre, 2-1.
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The Boston Bruins got their first win of the season against the Montreal Canadiens on Monday night, beating the Habs 2-1 at the Bell Centre. It was a solid victory for the Bruins, and a great night for all the fans of the Black and Gold. The Montreal Canadiens have only lost at the Bell Centre three times this year, and it must be exceptionally galling to have a loss handed to them but their most ancient rival.
“It was definitely a great game of hockey,” said Patrice Bergeron of the Bruins performance Monday night. “The intensity, the energy and the physicality was there. This building is always fun to play in.”
The game started out as an amazing hockey duel between two of the best goaltenders in the league; Carey Price and Tuukka Rask. Both teams poured on the firepower, but both Rask and Price were outstanding in the crease.
The game found its snarl soon after though. Canadiens defenseman (and classic cheap-shot artist) Alexei Emelin slammed David Pastrnak into the side boards as he attempted to enter Montreal’s zone. A few moments later, Torey Krug plowed into Andrew Shaw at center ice. Both Emelin and Krug’s hit were legal, but it brought anger to the game quickly.
“I haven’t seen it,” said Torey Krug of the replay of his hit on Shaw. “I just went to grab the puck and thought he was going to hit me, so I just lowered the shoulder. I was just going for the puck, and I assumed that Andrew Shaw was going to hit me. That’s about it. I saw him and I knew who it was, and I just assumed he was going to play the body because he’s a physical player.”
“I think you saw a lot of hitting tonight, and a lot of borderline hits,” said Julien postgame. “It’s kind of something that we haven’t seen from these two teams for a while. The fans seemed to love it, so we’ll just make sure we just stay within the rules and continue to create some exciting games between the two teams.”
While the Habs were happy with the state of the officiating. Five penalties were assessed against the Bruins (and at least two were questionable), they certainly weren’t happy with the hit on Shaw. Habs coach Michel Therrien offered his comments after the game.
“I thought Shawsy was in a vulnerable position, and he got hit to the head,” offered the Canadiens head coach on Krug’s hit. “I don’t like the hit.”
Emelin’s hit on Pastrnak and Krug’s hit on Shaw certainly sparked the snarl between the two teams.
The rivalry between the Bruins and Canadiens is as old as the league itself. It’s rivalry brings forth visceral reactions from both players and fans. While it’s great to see a Bruins win, it’s even better to see the old animosities raise their heads again.