Just as a reminder for why we all have perfectly good reasons to hate Montreal, I asked everyone's (least?) favorite habs blogger for the 5 moments in the rivalry's history that make him sit back and smugly smirk.
1) May 10th, 1979: The Canadiens engineer a comeback victory in a game they completely dominate, eliminating the Boston Bruins in overtime en route to a 4th straight Stanley Cup to cap off a dynasty. Gilles Gilbert absolutely stood on his head, but it just wasn't enough. It's possibly the most iconic NHL game in history, immortalized every Saturday on Coach's Corner. Guy Lafleur's tying goal was also one of the greatest play-by-play calls in the history of sports. Everything about this game is fantastic.
The only reason this is immortalized in Coach's Corner is that Don Cherry looked so damn fine in that coat. It's simple marketing. Additionally, fuck you, man. Just, fuck you.
2) In 1971 the Canadiens were in between two dynasties and facing a powerhouse Bruins team. Down 5-1 in Game Two, the Habs came back and won 7-5. A fantastic playoffs from players proving they belong in the NHL like Ken Dryden, and those showing they still have something left to give like Jean Beliveau, and the Habs once again eliminated the Bruins on the way to a Stanley Cup.
Hidden deep in the original league charter is a rule that says the Bruins can't win two in a row. I assume it was an anti-American conspiracy. This explains how this happened. It wasn't even the finals.
3) In 2002 the Canadiens finished 8th in the East with a horrible team, carried on the back of Jose Theodore's Hart Trophy season. Saku Koivu missed all but 3 games in the regular season while battling cancer. The Habs drew the Boston Bruins, who had the second best record in the NHL. Koivu's inspirational return and Theodore's brilliance lead to a 6 game upset for the ages.
A Hart Trophy goalie steals a playoff series? Good times. What happened next for the bleu, blanc, et rouge? Oh nothing, really. The paper tiger with the 24th-strongest-schedule in the league were exposed by none other than the Carolina freaking Hurricanes. Jose Three-or-more let in 5 goals in the final game 6 and had a .615 save percentage. So much promise, wasted. The story of the habs.
4) On December 4th, 2009, the Canadiens celebrated their centennial. There had been exhaustive pre-celebrations over the previous year, and most fans were absolutely sick of hearing about it. Then the Canadiens did something that only they could do, and made it special again. Led by Patrick Roy in full gear, legends from the past cascaded onto the ice to raucous cheers. After that though, the crowd was notably nervous. Boston was a much better team than Montreal in the 2009-10 season, and they could rain on the parade with ease. But that's not what happened on this magical night. Carey Price was an absolute rock and Mike Cammalleri scored a hat trick that had the Bell Centre rocking, and the Habs beat the Bruins 5-1. It was a perfect beginning to a new century.
Later that same year, former Montreal forward Michael Ryder scored more points than the the habs en route to an absolute drubbing at the hand of the Bruins. 4 years later, the second hundred years are off to a great start - The Bruins beat Montreal on their way to one cup already, and threatened to again last year. Pretty wonderful that one of these moments is a regular season game.
5) In 1984 the Habs made the playoffs with a sub-500 record, 35-50-5. The Bruins on the other hand, were a powerhouse team that registered 49 regular season wins. In the first round of the playoffs, everyone expected the Bruins to walk all over Montreal, yet the Habs swept the Bruins in 3 games, allowing just 2 goals and scoring 10.
I guess you needed a story from the 80s or you wouldn't really be a habs fan, right?
Anyways, apologies that we had to take this road down memory lane. As a cleanser, let's just remember: