BOSTON (CBS) – After four days of rest for the Bruins and eight days of rest for the Canadiens, the second round series between the NHL’s most heated and storied rivals will commence Thursday night in Boston at the TD Garden.
To preview the series, Bruins legend Ray Bourque joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich show Wednesday morning.
“Whenever these two teams meet up, both towns are so passionate and it’s talked about during the regular season if they ever meet down the road how exciting it’ll be. It should be another great series,” said Bourque.
Bourque says the extra long layoff for the Canadiens leading up to this series after sweeping the Tampa Bay Lightning will cause them to be sluggish from the get go in Game 1, but it won’t take more than a period to get adjusted.
Montreal has a funny way of getting under the skin of the Bruins, and if Boston hopes to advance they’ll have to channel their aggression, tone down their emotions and be the more disciplined team.
From a Bruins perspective the Canadiens have many unlikeable players, but one pest in this series happens to wear black and gold, and he goes by the name Brad Marchand.
Bourque weighed in on the Little Ball Of Hate with T&R:
“[Marchand] is a great player. He plays on the edge, but he’s not in the penalty box all that much. He’s an agitator. When people say he embellished one of the calls [in the Detroit series], he was tripped. He was hit. He went down. He didn’t fake going down.
“Once he was down maybe he grabbed his knee, and maybe he was hurt or worried about his knee for a second, but I’m happy this kid plays for us. … He agitates, and sometimes he goes in the box, but most of the time he’s bringing somebody with him.”
This led into a general discussion about embellishing and how it’s different from diving.
Fred argues players like P.K. Subban go down on the ice without really getting hit, which constitutes a dive. Embellishing, however, has always been a part of the game and Bourque believes, in small doses anyway, that it’s perfectly okay.
“Back in the day the hooking and the holding was crazy, and sometimes some of the stuff that wasn’t called you felt like you had to embellish to make sure that the ref saw it. In today’s game they see pretty much everything. Pretty much everything is called, and you’ll always have guys do it more than others.
“If [embellishing] gets you a call why not? How many times do you see a guy that gets hit with the stick right around the helmet? And if you don’t react, if you don’t kind of send your head back or something like that, fifty percent of the time the referee won’t call it.”
Listen below to the full interview, where you’ll hear Bourque share stories about playing in Montreal and what the fan base is like to Bruins players: