BOSTON (CBS) – As soon as the Bruins left Montreal on March 8th, many people circled March 24th on their calendars.
The Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens renew their rivalry at the TD Garden Thursday night, and the game could decided the fate of the Northeast Division.
“It’s going to be a huge game,” Patrice Bergeron said on his weekly appearance on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Gresh and Zolak Wednesday afternoon. “We look at the standings and we’re three points ahead. We’re aware they might be the team we face in the playoffs. We have to make sure we’re ready, they will be. They’re always ready, it’s always a big game, and we need to make sure we’re the better team tomorrow.”
To say there have been fireworks in the first three match-ups this season would be an understatement. In their first meeting on January 8, the Canadiens won 4-3 in overtime on a Max Pacioretty goal. When the teams played in Boston on February 9th, 187 penalty minutes were given out between the two in an 8-6 Bruins win. Then earlier this month in Montreal’s 4-1 win north of the border, Zdeno Chara checked Pacioretty into the stanchion, resulting in a severe concussion and fractured vertebrae.
Montreal erupted after Chara was not suspended by the NHL, crying foul and hoping for revenge the next time the two teams met.
Thursday night the Hab’s will get their chance, but the Bruins are not worried.
“We’re going out there with the mindset to win the game, to (get) two points and to play through our system to our game,” Bergeron said. “It doesn’t mean not being physical, just going out there and playing. We’re not expecting anything stupid and it shouldn’t be part of tomorrow’s game.”
However, Bergeron will still be watching his back when the puck drops.
“To be honest with you, you always do,” he said. “When you step on that ice you always have to watch your back, I learned that a couple years ago. You can’t trust anyone on the ice, you have to make sure you’re always aware.”