Why I look forward to playing the Bruins

NationalPost

There are legitimate reasons to be sick of the Habs/Bruins match up, but trust me, the ends justify the means.

First off, you should probably read the flip side of the argument.

Why I am looking forward to the Habs playing the Bruins in the playoffs for a 34th time?

Simple, it's what hockey is all about. Both Habs and Bruins fans will deny it, but most of us put a wry smile on our face when we saw our first round match-ups. It's not that we were overlooking our first-round opponents, but we knew that we would potentially see another great chapter in this rivalry unfold.

To be perfectly honest, during the series with Tampa Bay all I could focus on was either the absolute void in terms of intensity, or the anticipation towards the overload of emotions that was soon to come.

Bruins and Habs fans alike can attest to the power of this series. As a fan you get to experience the highest highs juxtaposed with the lowest lows. How can anyone ask for more?

If you're lucky enough to be a fan of either team, you already know that your blood will boil, your hair will stand up on the back of your neck, and you will get lost in the perplex maze of emotions that happens to be the best rivalry in professional sports. This, I can guarantee.

I've made my feelings known when it comes to this ageless match-up, so it should come as no surprise when I write that it really doesn't feel like the NHL playoffs to me without a Bruins/Canadiens series.

The other very real aspect of this rivalry is the fan fare, which as you may know, is something I willfully engage in and find exceptionally enjoyable.  I won't deny it,  it's quite entertaining and has done wonders in making the long delay between series pass.  The mere mention of P.K. Subban is enough to set off most Bruins fans. While I understand that some fans are sick of the contrived drama that floods our screens as we prepare for this match-up, I for one will always embrace it, and have fun with it. It's a small sacrifice for the excellence that is the Canadiens and Bruins rivalry.

Of course, the emotional angle is not the only great aspect of this rivalry, because once you peel away the dirty plays and whining from the media, we're left with great hockey. Don't get me wrong, there's a certain goon factor to the Bruins, and anyone would be fooling themselves by refusing to admit it, however the Bruins are loaded from top to bottom with skill, and once they decide to stop losing their cool over legitimate hits, it leads to highly contested and thoroughly enjoyable hockey games.

Besides, what's more satisfying than watching Tuukka Rask lose his mind, Zdeno Chara sit in the penalty box while his team loses the lead because he was unable to control his emotions, or Milan Lucic getting an obvious penalty and putting that 'I'm trying to do basic math' look on his face?

I love to hate the Bruins, and I doubt it'll never change. If I had my way we'd be guaranteed to meet the Bruins in every single playoffs, that way we would be assured to experience the best part of being a sports fan once a year.

This series could do with a little less media spite, and it could certainly function with a little less fan vitriol, however in the grand scheme of things those aspects are but kindling in the great bonfire that is Habs and Bruins hockey.

It's beautiful to watch, and everyone around town keeps an eye on it, because they don't want to miss what comes next.

Grab your camping chairs because it's going to be another great series that we'll undoubtedly be talking about all summer and beyond.

Hopefully we get to do it all over again next year.

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