Marchand: 'We hate (Montreal) and they hate us'

Marchand: 'We hate (Montreal) and they hate us'
April 6, 2013, 1:45 pm
Share This Post

MONTREAL – The Bruins are clearly jacked and pumped with first place in the Northeast Division on the line and only a couple weeks’ worth of games remaining until the playoffs begin.

As it should be at the Bell Centre with Boston and Montreal about to do battle, and only a single point separating the Habs from the Black and Gold with the Bruins still holding a game in hand against the Bleu, Blanc and Rouge. This comes after Tuukka Rask allowed five goals in the last showdown against Montreal: a 6-5 shootout loss that was also the second time this season that Boston has blown a third period lead against their arch-rivals.

So there should be a little extra for everybody in a Spoked ‘B’ sweater, including Rask with lifetime numbers of 2-7-2 with an .898 save percentage and a 2.90 goals against average coming off a game in which he allowed five goals against them. It will be a big game for a B’s goalie looking to head off a potential goalie controversy at the pass, and it will be a playoff-style match played at a fever pitch by everybody else.

“There will be [extra jump] on both sides. Everybody is excited about it. It’s really a big stepping stone for us to know whether we can take control of where we are, and get back to playing our game,” said Brad Marchand, who rarely lacks for excitement in any game he plays. “With the rivalry we hate this team, and they hate us. It will be a battle, and it’s a lot of fun to see who is going to come out on top.

“This is our team now. We want to continue to build our game to what it was before, and make sure that we are tough to play against. It’s time to make a statement here and climb back toward the top. Hopefully we do that tonight.”

It won’t be perfect for Boston, of course. Montreal has largely enjoyed good health this season while the Bruins will be missing Patrice Bergeron, Chris Kelly and Adam McQuaid from their lineup. They’ll also be continuing the introduction process to the Bruins way of doing things for both Jaromir Jagr and Kaspars Daugavins.

“I just want to enjoy the game, and do everything I can to help,” said Jagr. “Anything I can do to help them win the game I’m going to make it happen.”

The Bruins have struggled against the cream of the crop in the Eastern Conference, and sit 1-3-1 against the Canadiens and Pittsburgh Penguins this season in five tries against the fellow Eastern powerhouses. They’ll get one more crack at each of those teams, and that starts with Saturday night’s classic showdown between Boston and Montreal at a sure-to-be raucous Bell Centre.

Watching a 41-year-old future Hall of Famer like Jagr taking in the Bruins/Canadiens rivalry for the first time at the Bell Centre should be worth of the price of admission all by itself, and there’s a late season fight for first place that goes right along with it.