By Ric Duarte, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — And so the month of March has begun for the Boston Bruins, and after three games in four nights, the Bruins are … just fine. And call  it what you like, they have been as solid as you would want them to be.

Their 14-3-2 record is their best start in the lifetime of anyone who’s reading this, and it has them second in their division in the thick of the top spot in the Eastern Conference. They’ve been a consistent lot since the beginning of the year and have been able to sustain the pressure of close games and come out with the victory.

That wasn’t the case Sunday night, when you had just your average run-of-the-mill, regular-season game against the Montreal Canadiens. Yeah, right! The furor is still raging from all the so-called “embellishment” — did he or did he not cross-check? Is there jealousy of not being in first place after 19 games?

Lets face it, as cliche as it is (and I really do hate cliches), the Bruins hate the Canadiens, the Canadiens hate the Bruins, the fans hate each other and see nothing but Black & Gold or Bleu, Blanc, et Rouge. That is never going to change and I would rather it not!

In all my years of watching hockey, I’ve never liked the Canadiens. I’m not supposed to. I was born in Boston and remember when “Jesus Saves but Espo Scores on the Rebound.” I remember the first half of my life when the Bruins couldn’t beat the Habs in the playoffs no matter what. So the sniping will continue. It’s an ongoing saga that will continue for the next 75 years, when most of us will no longer be here.

What will be interesting is to see if the Bruins stand pat with the cast of characters that currently make up their roster. Teamwise, the consistency has been there, however, production from key components has been lacking. The likes of David Krejci, Nathan Horton, along with the third and fourth lines have not been contributing, leaving it up to Patrice Bergeron, Tyler Seguin and Boston’s leading goal scorer, Brad Marchand.

The trading deadline is four weeks away and with some players in contract years are not playing like they are (Andrew Ference, Horton), it would suprise me to see some of the 17 players that remain on the roster from the Cup winning year to be jettisoned somewhere else as this shortened season nears its halfway mark on the 12th of March.

By the time All Fools’ Day arrives, we should know a lot more about what kind of team the Boston Bruins will be heading into the home stretch and preparing for the playoffs. In the meantime, let the sniping continue between the B’s, Habs, and  the fans, because even though they’ll play 44 other games, it’s the four in which they see each other that matter. March 27 at the TD Garden and April 6 at the Bell Centre April 6 can’t come fast enough and we wouldn’t want it any other way!

Ric Duarte has covered hockey and the Bruins for various media outlets since 1986. You can follow Ric at and at twitter @bruins_diehard.


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