BOSTON (CBS) — Johnny Boychuk has plenty of experience in the Bruins-Canadiens rivalry, and like everyone else, is ready for yet another chapter to be written this postseason.
The Bruins and Canadiens will meet in the playoffs for the 34th time of their storied rivalry later this week, and the Bruins defenseman is ready for whatever the series will bring.
“We battle hard against each other and it’s always a spirited match,” Boychuk told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher and Rich on Tuesday morning. “It’s fun playing against them because everybody gets up for it, even the fans. Something interesting always happens.”
The NHL has not released the schedule for matchup, with the Rangers-Flyers first-round series still in progress, and when the puck finally drops both teams will have had a lengthy break in action. But Boychuk doesn’t mind the extra time, which allows him to not only heal some bumps and bruises but spend time with his family, and he doesn’t think getting back into the playoff groove will take long for either side.
“It shouldn’t take too long with the rivalry we have. Starting today we’ll have a good battle practice just to get the playoff mentality back into our systems,” he said. “You can’t really battle too hard against your own players, but you want to keep that focus towards the goal at hand.”
That focus will include the Bruins keeping their cool on the ice. The Habs sometimes bring out the worst in the Bruins, goading them into taking bad penalties, and Boychuk knows they’ll all have to place a big emphasis on remaining level-heading during the series.
“I don’t know why that is, but it gets the best of us a lot of the times,” he said of Montreal’s style against the Bruins. “In the playoffs we have to keep our cool and be the better person, and to walk away. It’s better to walk away because a ref isn’t going to change his mind on a penalty.”
Toucher & Rich also had some fun with Boychuk over Boston’s playlist for practices. Listen to the full interview: