There was no shortage of bad blood when the Boston Bruins faced off with the Vancouver Canucks last Saturday. And to many in The Hub of Hockey that rivalry has taken center stage for the 2011-12 season.
While many hockey pundits feel that Vancouver and Boston would once again be the ideal matchup in this year’s Stanley Cup Finals (ahem), there are others who might claim that the newfound rivalry against the Canucks is not the most heated for the Big Bad Bruins’.
Thursday night, the Bruins faced their longtime hated rivals from Montreal and earned their third victory of the season against the struggling Canadiens this year. No doubt there was plenty of storylines going into last year’s playoffs — from the Zdeno Chara-Max Pacioretty incident to Mark Recchi earning the nickname “Dr. Recchi — but with the Habs closer to last place in the East than eighth, the matchup has seen to have lost its luster for the time being.
Then there’s the recently reignited rival with another Northeast Division foe, the Toronto Maple Leafs, highlighted by the Phil Kessel deal two years ago in exchange for Tyler Seguin — last year’s second overall pick in the NHL Entry Draft — and future defenseman Dougie Hamilton — taken ninth overall this past June.
And, finally, the New York Rangers are neck and neck with the Bruins in the Eastern Conference standings — the two teams will meet for the first time in 2011-12 next Saturday at the TD Garden — and the Philadelphia Flyers have had some memorable matchups recently with the Black and Gold during the 2010 Winter Classic and the 2010 and 2011 Eastern Conference Semifinals.
That said, we want to hear from you: