MONTREAL — Two weeks ago, the Bruins debuted their own Winter Classic jerseys in front of season ticket holders at the Seaport in Boston.
On Friday, the B’s didn’t skate after a very early morning arrival following Thursday night’s game in Washington, but there was still plenty going on at the Bell Center in Montreal, where it was the Canadiens’ turn to debut their own Winter Classic attire.
Max Pacioretty, P.K. Subban and Brendan Gallagher were on hand to debut the jerseys, which incorporate several significant elements related to the team’s history, including the chest stripe, which is a shade of blue inspired by the firs-ever Canadiens jersey worn in 1909.
“I like the blue — the blue is a little different,” Gallagher said. “It’s sharp. It’s a pretty cool look.”
In addition, the colors on the central “CH” crest are inverted from what you see on traditional Habs jerseys — the “C” is white, while the “H” is red, reflecting the color scheme of the 1923-24 jerseys, the year the team won its first Stanley Cup.
There is also a globe on the sleeve, which is reflective of the “World Champions” design the Canadiens wore the season after winning their first Cup— and that was also the same season the Canadiens’ rivalry with the Bruins began.
Subban said that is a detail that appealed to him in particular.
“Being a part of this rivalry is definitely something that’s special,” Subban said. “Before the playoffs, we played the Boston Bruins on a Saturday night game where they have these pre-[game] clips of 50, 60, 70 years ago, and the Bruins were playing the Habs, and they show the players. And it’s like 50, 60 years from now, we’ll be in those clips.
“It’s something that’s special. It’s one of the biggest rivalries in professional sports, and it’s going to be on probably the biggest stage ever.”
Now that the game is a mere two months away — and now that both teams have revealed the uniforms they will wear for that momentous occasion — the excitement is building even more.
“This is such a special event,” Subban said. “This is such a special game, and the message to the players is to enjoy it. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, usually. Guys maybe get to play in this game another time — but not an Original Six game like this, where it’s Boston-Montreal. So it’s pretty special.”
Two weeks ago, when the Bruins revealed their jerseys, the fact that they will be playing outdoors in front of a sold-out crowd at Gillette Stadium became all the more real. On Friday, the Canadiens had the same experience.
The history between these two teams — which began nearly 100 years ago and has only built since then, particularly after a contentious second-round playoff series in 2014 — will make this particular Winter Classic all the more remarkable.
“Especially when you play a team in the playoffs, and it goes seven games, and you win a Game 7 on the road — it’s a pretty special feeling,” Gallagher said. “It definitely builds the rivalry, and the respect level between the two teams is pretty high as well. It’s always fun when we play them, and this game will be no different.”
Well, maybe just a little bit different. It is, after all, at Gillette.
“My dad’s actually a Patriots fan, so he’s looking forward to getting in there,” Gallagher added. “It’s going to be pretty special.”