Habs-Bruins’ Electric Rivalry Resumes Tonight

There are two ways to watch a Boston Bruins game, on your broken in couch at home or in the cold seats of the TD Garden. There’s no doubt that the first option sounds more comfortable, especially if you throw a Snuggie into the mix, but the second option is most preferred. Either way you are watching the same game, but being at the arena intensifies the entire experience. You feel more alive; you crave steak sandwiches and ice cold Budweiser.

The Garden, like any other professional hockey rink, comes to life the second the puck drops. However, there is a buzz that lingers before the faceoff that is indescribable. You feel it on Interstate 93, on the MBTA, on Causeway Street and on the escalators where North Station becomes the house of the 2011 Stanley Cup champions. The current that pulses through the rink’s walls feeds off of the cool air, the history of the Bruins franchise, the fans in their seats, and the opponents that have made the trek from neighboring cities and states. I’m certain that if you could somehow bottle up this energy, the state of Massachusetts would have enough sustainable power to operate for at least six months.

Tonight, the Boston Bruins are facing the Montreal Canadiens and first place in the Northeast Conference is hanging from the rafters. When these two teams meet you are instantly overwhelmed with tension and anxiety due to the history behind this well-known sports rivalry. Like any good rivalry, it’s always black and white, us versus them, Luke Skywalker versus Darth Vader. The line is drawn in the sand and it is very clear what side you are on.

The Bruins struggled through their last few games, but were able to gain some momentum and confidence Monday night with their overtime victory against Toronto. With heavy hitters like Boychuck, Kelly and McQuaid out of the line-up due to injury, it is crucial for the Bruins to pull together to keep that spark lit.

As the month of March is coming to a close, the Bruins only have 16 regular season games left.

“We’re a little heavy right now in our play, and we’ve lost some speed and everything else that comes with it,” coach Claude Julien said.

“Nothing is as quick as it has been,” Julien added. “And we’re trying to figure out whether the fatigue factor has played into that. And I think we are tired, so we’re going to have to look into that a little bit more.”

It’s safe to say we have to dig deep tonight and for the remainder of the season. I’m interested to see who will rise to the occasion tonight to clinch first place bragging rights. My chips are on Tuukka Rask, Shawn Thornton and Patrice Bergeron.

I think the Dropkick Murphys sing it best, “Rancourt’s ready, it’s time to take to the ice. So tie down the jersey cause it could get ugly tonight. Top corner, five hole, off the post and in, on a quest for the Cup, and we’re ready to win.”

Is it 7:30 PM yet?


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