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Stanley Cup Final

Canadiens, Bruins respect Montreal's 100-year history

Friday, 12.04.2009 / 4:57 PM / NHL Insider

By James Murphy - NHL.com Correspondent

"Some people might look at this as a chance for our team to spoil the (Canadiens) party, but I don't think I look at it that way, and I've told our team not to look at that way either."
-- Bruins coach Claude Julien

MONTREAL -- The year-long celebration of the Montreal Canadiens Centennial comes to a conclusion tonight as the Habs will hold a special ceremony honoring their 100th birthday that is expected to be close to, if not a complete two hours in length. They will then host their longtime archrivals, the Boston Bruins, in a big Northeast Division matchup.
 
The celebration is sure to trumpet the organization's most celebrated players and provide plenty of highlights from the glorious past from one of the most storied franchise in professional sports. While the current Canadiens have had to sit through many ceremonies and delayed starts this season, they still appreciate the fact that they will forever be part of Canadiens history and this is an event fans will look back on many years from now.
 
"At times over the year there were situations where guys said 'We've got to do this again? We've got a game to play?" defenseman Josh Gorges told the media Friday. "But it comes with the territory. You look back on it, I don't think anyone would trade in a moment of it. To be part of the Montreal Canadiens, with the 100 years and the history and everything that's gone on here, it's worth the extra ceremonies and time put in."
 
The Bruins players were approaching it the same way and, while they want to just go out and play, they all acknowledged the history of the Canadiens and the respect it deserves.
 
"These things are tough for all players involved in terms of staying ready and focused, but you deal with it and the tradition they have here, they deserve this night," Bruins forward and Quebec native Patrice Bergeron said.
 
The Bruins obviously want to beat the Canadiens, but that is more a case of the Bruins wanting the two points in the standings than trying to be party crashers.
 
"Some people might look at this as a chance for our team to spoil the (Canadiens) party, but I don't think I look at it that way, and I've told our team not to look at that way either," said Bruins coach Claude Julien, a former Hab. "It's something you have to respect. This team has been in the league for 100 years. This is the game, and you have to respect that. When you've been part of this organization, you probably understand a little better.
 
"My message to the guys is to respect what's going on here today, because it's something special. At the same time, let's remember that we have a game to play. We've got to focus on our game and our game plan. That's what we need to do tonight."
 
Gorges said his team will remain focused on beating the Bruins, whom they haven't beat in regulation in their last 10 meetings (0-8-2) both in the regular season and playoffs.
 
"We're lucky to be a part of it, but we can't get caught up in it," Gorges said. "It's still a great day to be a Canadien and a great time to be here, but we have a job to do and that's where our focus has to be."

Playing for my favorite team growing up, I've probably scored that goal a million times in my driveway. It feels good to actually do it in real life.

— Dale Weise, who grew up a Canadiens fan, on scoring the overtime winner in Montreal's 5-4 victory against Tampa Bay in Game 1