BOSTON (CBS) – While one Canadian hockey team can’t stop complaining about the Bruins physical play, another it seems, has learned to live with it.

And maybe even envy it a little bit.

The Boston Bruins will host the Montreal Canadiens Thursday night, the fifth time the two rivals will meet so far this season. The division foes are very familiar with each other, as they also met in the first round of the playoffs last season. Boston took the series in seven, hard-fought games.

There is never a shortage of storylines between the two sides, but Thursday is a new wrinkle. After a week of hearing how the Vancouver Canucks think the Bruins are a dirty team, the Canadiens went in the opposite direction.

“No,” Max Pacioretty said when asked if he thought Boston plays dirty. “They play a certain way and I think that’s why they’re successful.”

Read: Bruins-Canadiens Preview

“They’re in your face and they’ve had a lot of success,” defenseman P.K. Subban said. “They’re the Stanley Cup champions and they’re playing some good hockey this year. Whatever they’re doing, they’re doing something right. You know that they’re going to be in your face, they’re going to finish their checks and they’re going to work hard.”

“To some extent, I wish we played a little more like them, maybe not as much as they do, but they’re definitely an intimidating team to play against and that’s why they’re successful,” added Pacioretty. “They have so many guys who can step up, and I’m not just talking about fighting, I’m talking about being physical.”

Read: Lucic, Bruins Expecting Canadiens Best

And that is coming from a guy who does not have the best history with the Bruins. Last season, a check into the stanchion from B’s captain Zdeno Chara left Pacioretty with a broken vertebra that caused him to miss the end of the season. The Montreal winger said that play is in the past though.

“I’m just looking to help my team win hockey games, especially against a top team in our conference,” said Pacioretty. “I want to do whatever I can to help and I’ve got to put the past behind me.”

Read: Chara, Seguin Named NHL All-Stars

It seems like “Bizarro World” with the Habs not taking the chance to bash the Bruins. Could it just be because they are in Boston? Not likely, because Subban had kind things to say about playing at the Garden as well.

“I love it. I’m not well liked in this building, I know that.” said Subban, who gets booed by the TD Garden faithful every time he touches the puck. “I guess it’s a compliment, but at the same token, my focus is helping my team win and you can’t really get caught up in that stuff. It’s a compliment when fans boo you out there.”

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Comments (7)
  1. Jeff Eichorn says:

    They’ve got more class than I gave them credit for.

  2. maybe the Cannucks and their fans could learn a lesson from the Habs. God that was hard to say….

  3. Bruins Unite says:

    To be accurate, I don’t see them saying the Bruins aren’t dirty here–a statement that’s consistent with their claim that they want to play more like the Bs.

    1. Roger says:

      Good post. Any hockey player with class will respect their opponent. Especially teams that don’t like each other. People take the rivalries to seriously. Everybody has a friend or two that is a fan of their most hated teams. That’s life. Enjoy the game and no one gets hurt.

  4. GlennM says:

    Wow – this almost made me like the Canadians. Almost.

  5. Roger says:

    First off Glenn its Canadiens, not Canadians. Lucic and half of the Bruins are Canadians.

    Whats up with the lack of respect for your Canadian players? Funny how the roster of all the teams are full of Europeans, Americans and Canadians. But people forget that. Every team is made up by players that are playing in yours/my city because its their jobs, not because they love your city and are dying to play there until their last breath…

  6. GlennM says:

    Roger – are you new to sports rivalries? It really has much more to do with the team and system than the individual players. I’ll take Subban and some of the other players on the Bruins any time (when there is an opening..). There is something in the Montreal water up there or the team owner makes them drink something but that teams plays cheap hockey. They dive and beg for penalties and do anything but play hard. Give me a hard working team like the Bruins or Flyers or Rangers or a handful of other teams any day over the likes of the Montreal Canadiens or Cannucks.

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