Even the coaches have an interesting tie-in. Bruins coach Claude Julien was an assistant for Detroit coach Mike Babcock with the gold-medal winning Canada team at the 2014 Sochi Olympics in February.
Julien said he doesn't think that relationship gave either coach an edge heading into Game 1 on Friday at TD Garden (7:30 p.m. ET; TSN, NBCSN, FS-D, NESN).
"I think we're on even grounds there," Julien said Tuesday after practice at TD Garden. "We all got to know each other a little bit better, but … there's no secrets in this game anymore. And I think at the same time, I know his tendencies, he knows mine. It's just going to make for a more interesting series. But I don't think there's that big of a difference between the two of us because we worked together or if I was going against someone else that I didn't work with. We know pretty well our tendencies, not just players' but also coaches' tendencies. How certain guys are hard matchers, other guys don't and that kind of stuff. That's part of our homework that we have to do as coaches."