With recent details coming out about the 2016 Winter Classic I thought it would be interesting to talk about the Bruins and their much hated rival, the Montreal Canadians. As many know, these two teams will be playing one another on New Year’s Day at Gillette Stadium, and believe me the place will be rocking.
The Bruins and the Canadians have one of the most storied rivalries in sports history, and their hatred for one another runs deep. These two teams have a long and hallowed history with many legendary clashes over the years with many different players. However, the one constant has always been the Bruin’s rough and rumble style versus the Canadian’s finesse and skill.
What makes this rivalry truly great is how the cities echo their teams. Boston is the blue collar, hardworking town, while Montreal is the more snobby, stuck up, prissy, wussbags, losers… sorry, it’s just that I hate them so much. You get the idea.
The Canadians have and always will be, the anti-Bruins, but what bothers me so much about them is their recent success over the B’s in the past few years. First they bounce us in the second round of the playoffs in 2014, then they dominate the eastern conference in the following season. And you know what the worst part is, they’re only getting better.
They have young talent in guys like Galchenyuk and Eller, and solid stars with Pacioretty and Subban. (Booooo). They have very few holes on their team and they mesh well with one another. They’ve made me take a look at the Bruins and now I wonder, after all the moves and all of the signings that the Bruins have made, did they get better?
Now as much as it pains me to say it, I feel as though the Canadians are the best team in the eastern conference, and I want to see how the Bruins stack up against them.
After letting the dust settle of the NHL offseason, the Bruin’s roster is a very different group than it was after their final game against Tampa Bay. The key aspect of the Bruin’s roster right now is that, for the most part, the core group is still there. Bergeron is there, Chara is there, Rask is there. These are the types of players who you can build a championship team around. The question is whether they have enough talent to do so.
Now I’m not going to sit here and pretend like I understand the Hamilton trade, but they did it. It’s in the past and there is no going back, so it’s time to move on and do the best with what we’ve got. Sweeney has made the moves he feels are best for the team, and I have to say I am actually quit fond of them.
I love the signings of both Jimmy Hayes and Zac Rinaldo. That might seem like a ridiculous statement, and I know, but it’s not their scoring prowess that has me excited, it’s their attitudes. All last year I begged the Bruins to go back to their old ways of bullying teams around and just being flat out goons, and that is exactly what Rinaldo and Hayes bring to the table.
They both have the ability to bring the Bruins back to being that team that opponents just don’t want to play. More importantly they can be a team that the Montreal Canadians don’t want to play. Which, for me, reigns supreme compared to anything else. After all, wouldn’t Rinaldo’s fist look real good right in Brendan Gallagher’s teeth. (I really hate that smug kid.)
We can finally be the team that pushes people around again, and with the addition of Matt Beleskey and a healthy Brett Connolly, the offense should have enough depth to really test opposing goaltenders, more specifically Carey Price.
If it was up to me I would build the entire organization around beating the Canadians, and while it might not seem like a good idea to have the sole focus of your organization be to beat just one other team, when that “other team” is the Canadians everything goes out the window. Montreal right now owns a lot of real estate in my head, and I’m fine with that, I’ve accepted that because I have confidence that this 2015-16 Bruins team can resurrect the Bruins of old. They can knock the Habs down a few pegs, and as everyone knows in this town, every bad day in Montreal is a good day in Boston.
So, as this season approaches kick your feet up and have faith that, even though the Bruins might not win every game against the Canadians, they will beat the ever living hell out them, and you know what, that’s just fine in my book.
By Jake Cianci