fb-pixel Skip to main content
bruins notebook

Three weeks into March, the Bruins still haven’t faced the Canadiens in Boston yet

The Bruins have mixed it up with the Canadiens only once so far this season, taking a 4-2 win Jan. 24 in Montreal.Minas Panagiotakis/Getty

With 12 games remaining in the regular season, the Bruins (54-11-5) trail the NHL record for wins by eight and the points record by 19. And they still have to go through the Canadiens twice — at home Thursday night and in the season finale at Montreal April 13.

Unlike the old-time Canadiens, this Montreal team is struggling in last place in the Atlantic Division at 28-37-6. And unlike ancien temps, the Canadiens aren’t making their first visit of the season to Boston until spring. The Bruins took a 4-2 victory in the teams’ first matchup this season Jan. 24.


“It is definitely something that is strange,” Bruins center Patrice Bergeron said Wednesday. “Probably a first, I could be mistaken, for myself and my career. But I think it is a first that it is this late, and as we all know, it’s always our biggest rivals and always a lot of fun to play against them.”

Scheduling exigencies etc. apparently prevented early-season matchups between the Bruins and Canadiens, whose rivalry dates to the 1924-25 season, the Bruins’ first in the NHL. In their first meeting, the Bruins sent three goals past Georges Vezina in the first two periods, but the Canadiens rallied for a 4-3 victory at Boston Arena on Dec. 8, 1924.

“Lots of history on both sides,” Bergeron said. “And so you’d like to see a little bit more of those games. But I do understand that’s the way the schedule has been written. It’s not easy to make 32 different schedules, but it is strange and we’re all looking forward to it.”

For the record, the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings and 2018-19 Tampa Bay Lightning share the league record for victories at 62 and the 1976-77 Canadiens hold the points mark at 132.

Bergeron is sticking with the Bruins’ mantra of focusing on the present.


"We’re all looking forward to it," Bergeron said of the Canadiens impending trip to Boston.Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

“I think we like where we’re at,” Bergeron said. “I think there’s things, parts of our game, we want to improve, get better at, especially with those 12 games left before playoffs. We want to make sure we rectify things and obviously we’re happy where we’re at with the team.

“It’s a long season. Now you’re getting down to the wire, you can see the end, I guess is how I should put it. We’re really trying to concentrate and make sure we’re working on some of the things that might’ve slipped in our game. And we want to stay on top of it — all over the ice, really.

“So we’re going to take it a game at a time. That’s what we’ve done all year. That’s something we’ve tried to do all year. It’s been successful for us. We don’t want to change that.

“And sticking to our process. The most important part for us is our details and our process and we feel like the result usually takes care of it. You’re result-driven, usually that’s when it can slip away from you.”

Coach Jim Montgomery also is attempting to keep the Bruins’ expectations intact regarding records.

“Would we like to do it? Yes,” Montgomery said. “Are we going to go chase it? We’re not going to go chase it. We believe in playing the right way. If we play the right way and believe in our process and our details that we think matter the most, we think those things will happen.”


As for the fact that neither of the teams that share the record for wins captured the Stanley Cup?

“I also know that the highest percentage of teams that won the Stanley Cup have won the Presidents’ Cup, too,” Montgomery said.

Hall in good form

Taylor Hall (lower body) went at near full speed wearing a red noncontact sweater during a 20-minute practice at Warrior Arena. “He looks really good,” Montgomery said. “He’s skating out there, he’s flying. I know there’s some more steps that have to happen but he does look good.” Nick Foligno (lower body) took a scheduled off day.

Frank Dell'Apa can be reached at frankdellapa@gmail.com.