As you might expect, the energy in the Garden was building even as the B’s took their skate this morning. Several dozen spectators -- family of friends of one player or another -- showed up to cheer on and support Boston as they practiced. However, nobody looked more excited than the players.
After his workout, Boston goalie Tim Thomas
was grinning ear-to-ear as he sat in his stall answering questions.
"It should be fun," said Thomas. "It’ll be…a good crowd here (on) Saturday night in Boston."
And it is certainly not hard to get up for a game between these two teams.
"Yah, it is really easy," said Jeremy Reich, who always figures to have some extra curricular work. "They’re a team that’s ahead of us, so we have to go out there, and in this four point game, we have to go out there and get the win.
"It’s Saturday night (hockey), it’s going to be sold out and it should be exciting."
Asked if he had every played against Montreal, Reich said, "No I haven’t. This is the first time."
As a New England native and a born and bred Bruins fan, defenseman Bobby Allen had a unique, at least in this locker room, perspective on the match up.
No doubt having played imaginary games against Montreal since he was a little boy, a quick scan of the stats shows that he, too, is playing his first pro game against the Habs.
"I think it’s more exciting just for the consequences of the game," said Allen, trying not to be melodramatic. "We really need this one and it’s do-or-die for us. This is a team we have to catch."
But then he relented.
"It’s special to me, (too). I grew up (rooting against) the Canadiens," he said.Marc Savard
, who was visited by fans from Peterborough, Ontario, this morning, and whose father was a Habs fan, looked as if he was having trouble sitting still.
For a Canadian player, any Original Six match up is important. But Montreal vs. Boston is something special altogether.
"Tonight we’ll play in front of a big crowd (and) it’s going an emotional game," he said. "Obviously we need the two points.
"[Montreal] is one of the teams we are chasing.
"We’ve gotten them three times, and that’s six points. Hopefully we can get them all.
The moment is not lost on Savvy.
"It’s really easy [to get excited playing Montreal]," he said. "They’re a team that’s ahead of us so we’ve got to go out there and get the win."