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  • The new faces of the Bruins-Canadiens rivalry

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    The new faces of the Bruins-Canadiens rivalry

    Tim Rosenthal October 22, 2016

    BRIGHTON — There will be a few notable faces missing from the crowd when the Bruins-Canadiens rivalry takes center stage for the first time in the 2016-17 season tonight at TD Garden.

    On one end, the Habs no longer have the services of P.K. Subban, arguably the biggest name when the two teams met over the last five-plus years. No longer will fans be booing No. 76 every time he touches the puck, which also means that there’s no chance of Subban scoring game winners or dropping the gloves with Brad Marchand in one of the more memorable rivalry moments since the Bruins won the Stanley Cup in 2011.

    On the other side, the Bruins will be without Tuukka Rask, who missed yesterday’s practice and today’s morning skate. Rask, who is dealing with general soreness, is day-to-day.

    For every vacancy, there are some new faces that hope to make a mark. For a rivalry that Claude Julien reverted to as “civilized” during his press conference with the media on Friday at Warrior Ice Arena — a day following the Bruins’ 2-1 win over the Devils in their TD Garden opener — some new blood could be a welcoming thing.

    “I don’t know if it’s going to stay that way, but I’m going to use the word that [the rivalry] has been more civilized for the last few years,” Julien said to reporters on Friday. “There hasn’t been as much of the sideshow as there has been.”

    The Bruins-Canadiens rivalry might have hit a lull in recent years, but there’s always an anticipation whenever the two teams meet in the regular season and especially in the postseason when there’s more at stake.

    From Brandon Carlo to Anton Khudobin — making his second start of the season — and the recently recalled Zane McIntyre, the new Bruins are hoping to acquaint themselves and write their own chapters of the historic rivalry.

    “I know it goes back pretty far and I know it’s a big rivalry, one of the best in hockey,” Carlo said about his familiarity of the Bruins-Canadiens rivalry after Saturday’s morning skate. “I feel like it’s probably going to get a little chippy at points, but I feel like I’m definitely ready and prepared I’m prepared for that.”

    Bruins-Canadiens rivalry

    Anton Khudobin will get his first start against the Habs as a member of the Bruins tonight. (Photo by Angela Spagna, Bruins Daily)

    “It’s always hard and it always has some tough games,” Khudobin, who is 0-3 lifetime against the Habs, said as he prepares for his first start vs. Montreal in his second go around in Black and Gold. “I’ve known [about it] for a long time, and like I said, it’s going to be pretty amazing.”

    “Obviously a big rivalry and everyone in the sports world knows it,” added McIntyre, who made the trip up I-95 north from Providence this morning to join his Boston teammates. “It’s going to certainly be exciting. I never really experienced anything like it before, so it will be really good to see it first hand and really enjoy it.”

    Carlo and McIntyre are just a couple of new names that will be skating in this rivalry for the first time. From other fellow rookies like Danton Heinen and Artturi Lehkonen to veterans David Backes, Riley Nash, Dominic Moore, Alexander Radulov and the Habs’ most notable off-season addition Shea Weber, both sides have their share of players that will get their first taste of Bruins-Canadiens.

    By the time the final buzzer sounds on the first of four meetings in 2016-17, the new faces will be quite familiar with one another.

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    Tim Rosenthal

    Tim Rosenthal serves as the Managing Editor of Bruins Daily. He started contributing videos to the site in 2010 before fully coming on board during the Bruins' Stanley Cup run in 2011. His bylines over the last decade have been featured on Boston.com, FoxSports.com, College Hockey News, Patch and Inside Hockey. You can follow Tim on Twitter @_TimRosenthal.


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