You have all heard of it, witnessed it, and know about it: the sacred, legendary rivalry between the Boston Bruins and the Montreal Canadiens. The players hate one another, and so do the coaches.
Both part of the original six NHL teams, their games often sell out within minutes of the tickets going on sale and feature some of hockey's toughest and loudest crowds.
Although not too many Boston fans travel to Montreal for games, hockey is their only sport in Montreal since the Expos have left. Many of them do travel to see their team play at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston.
Actually, a lot of them travel here.
Living in Boston, I've been to games where about a third of the 18,000 seats were taken by Montreal fans and boy, are they loud. It's quite interesting to see actually, and they really are die hard fans.
I do have one advantage and that is that I speak very fluent French as I was raised in Paris, France for 20 years. That gives me an edge to better understand the fans, although I would never trade my B's jersey for any other.
Boston actually had a really tough time with Montreal this year. Whether it was our slacking offense or defense, we managed to drop a total of 13 straight games to them before managing to win one in the playoffs.
Yes people, that was over a year of regular season face offs between the two teams which resulted in one-sided wins by them. Quite impressive and sad for Boston who often came close by failed to finish.
Maybe it's that Red Sox curse, which was rubbing on them.
But them came the 07-08 season playoffs, and guess who's facing who in the first round?
Boston and...drum roll...the Canadiens! What??!! You've got to be kiddin'? The first seed is the Habs?! Again? And Boston? What are they doing there?
As ESPN's NHL journalists all summed up, this series is going to be "one sided" and "very short.” Oh well...
But then something magical occurred on the ice, something that no one expected. After creating a three to one deficit in the series, Boston played even harder and tried to survive...and they did…at least for a few more games.
They won a tremendous game over in Montreal before winning game six back at home under what could have been the loudest Bruins game in history. I was there, and it was electric!
Unfortunately, just like the numerous rivalries, tired of striving to perform at a higher level, they eventually lost in the final game of the seven-game series on a score of five to nothing.
The recent change in momentum was due to end but showed that Boston was to be trampled no more by the Habs.
The Habs' new goalie, Price, who replaced the highly skilled Huet was shaky in the series and Boston found the net too many times for Montreal's comfort.
Sure they won, but taking them into seven games, in many ways, was something that Boston and its fans could be proud of. No more will they go get spanked by the Habs.
This losing streak was clearly over, and many of the toothless players are already looking for a revenge game next season.
Get the boards ready and zamboni the ice because this rivalry just grew stronger.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!