Even in our instant information, Instagram, on-demand culture, some old standbys are worth waiting for and savoring — a delicious glass of wine (Merlot of course in honor of the Bruins’ fourth line), a bike ride in the orange glow of a warm late afternoon, and the Bruins and Montreal Canadiens renewing their frozen blood feud in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Gentlemen, start your animus. Hockey’s Hatfields and McCoys are at it again, reuniting for a 34th time in the postseason. The Bruins and their eternal antagonists begin a second-round series Thursday at TD Garden. In a time of fleeting attention spans, transient players, and fungible loyalty, the Bruins-Canadiens rivalry still means not just something, but everything to the players, fans, and cities involved.
There is genuine and organic enmity between these teams, not the kind trumped up by breathless television promos. This rivalry isn’t overexposed like Red Sox-Yankees, overrated like Patriots-Jets, or on a hiatus from relevance like Celtics-Lakers. Plus, the ante has been upped because it is the first time since 1992 the teams will meet beyond the first round.
Bruins forward Milan Lucic was blunt in proclaiming his feelings for the Canadiens.
“I do [hate them], and if you ask them the same question I’m sure they’d give you the same answer about if they hate us,” Lucic told reporters Wednesday. “It’s just natural for me. Just being a part of this organization you just naturally learn to hate the Montreal Canadiens, and the battles we have had with them over the last couple of years have definitely made you hate them.”
You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month
Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.
- High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
- Convenient access across all of your devices
- Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
- Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
- Less than 25¢ a week