|Montreal Canadiens' Mathieu Darche (52) collides with Boston Bruins' Dennis Seidenberg during an NHL hockey game in Montreal on Thursday, December 16, 2010 (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Graham Hughes) |
The Bruins currently sit in first place in the Northeast Division and third in the Eastern Conference, but Montreal is just one point behind Boston.
That means that whoever wins tonight’s match-up with take over first place while the loser moves to second in the division and eighth in the conference.
“I think it’s one of those things where everything is so tight and you know to me those are the kind of games you want to play. You want to play games that have real good meaning this time of year and are exciting to play,” said Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien.
“I think our players are excited to be in this situations here, this game has a lot of meaning and hopefully we respond well.”
Boston’s northern rivals are well known for packing the Bell Centre with loud fans, something the B’s will have to overcome to remain steady in their game.
“You appreciate how awesome it is to play here,” said defenseman Dennis Seidenberg
, “These fans are crazy so it’s different, you know. It’s a little different than other games you know at the end a couple of seconds in you’re pretty much like always. “
Bruins forward Brad Marchand
said the best way to stay focused was to quiet the crowd early.
“I think that you know the main thing is you just have to block it out. I think one way to do that is score early, you know if we can score the first goal and try to get their fans to turn on them a bit then that you know definitely helps us,” he said.
“They have a good atmosphere here and the fans are really you know, they bring a lot of energy but you know as much as we can ignore that then it’ll help us out.”
After falling to Minnesota on Thursday night in a non-conference match-up, Boston is looking to re-gain some of the momentum they had previously taken out the their successful five-game road trip.
“We really want to start off on a good note, you know we had a really disappointing loss to Minnesota and a way to bounce back you know a big win here tonight would be great,” Marchand said.
“We’re battling with them for first and you know the division has been like that all year and we want to makes sure we can get any lead on them we can and obviously this would be a big time for that.”---Hannah Becker