MONTREAL- After making the playoffs just before the weekend, the Canadiens now finally have an opponent, the all too familiar Boston Bruins.
Following their loss to the Penguins on Saturday, the Habs will now collide with the Bruins in the postseason for the 32nd time in their bitter 85-year rivalry. To say the Canadiens have had the upperhand would be understatement. The Habs have come out on top in 24 of those series, including a perfect 7-0 mark in the Stanley Cup Finals.
Of course, it's only been 12 months since these familiar foes faced off in a playoff series, with the top-seeded Habs having needed seven games to eliminate the pesky Bruins last spring.
The roles are now reversed this time around. The Canadiens are the underdogs with the Bruins having finished atop the Eastern Conference with 114 points. Claude Julien’s troops had their way with the Habs during the regular season by winning five of six meetings, a far cry from the 12-game losing streak the B’s carried into the 2008-09 season.
Being the top dog in the East doesn’t necessarily bring back fond memories for the Bruins, who saw the eighth-seeded Habs eliminate them in six games in 2002. Being the favorite isn’t so great for Boston either, with the seventh-seeded Canadiens having bounced the No. 2 Bruins in spectacular fashion in 2004, roaring back from a 3-1 series deficit for the first time in franchise history.
While seeing the Canadiens and Bruins meet up in the playoffs is almost expected, the B’s would like nothing more than to avoid their other tradition—ending a hockey season by shaking hands with the Habs at center ice. Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.comRead also:Flashback Canadiens-Bruins: 2004 Flashback Canadiens-Bruins: 2002 Flashback Canadiens-Bruins: 1979 Flashback Canadiens-Bruins: 1953