Rejoice, Bruins fans, for in 95 short days, the Boston Bruins will be back to playing hockey and wouldn't ya know, it'll be against a familiar foe. Here's the full schedule, per the Bruins official website:
BOSTON BRUINS PREASEASON SCHEDULE:
Tuesday, September 23 (Montreal, QC)
-Boston Bruins at Montreal Canadiens (Bell Centre, Montreal QC, 7:30 p.m. ET)
Wednesday, September 24 (Boston, MA)
-Boston Bruins vs. Washington Capitals (TD Garden, Boston, MA, 7:00 p.m. ET)
Friday, September 26 (Washington, DC)
-Boston Bruins at Washington Capitals (Verizon Center, Washington, DC, 7:00 p.m. ET)
Saturday, September 27 (Detroit, MI)
-Boston Bruins at Detroit Red Wings (Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, MI, 7:00 p.m.)
Tuesday, September 30 (Boston, MA)
-Boston Bruins vs. New York Islanders (TD Garden, Boston, MA, 7:00 p.m. ET)
Friday, October 3 (Bridgeport, CT)
-Boston Bruins vs. New York Islanders (Webster Bank Arena, Bridgeport, CT, 7:30 p.m. ET)
Saturday, October 4 (Boston, MA)
Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings (TD Garden, Boston, MA, 5:30 p.m. ET)
While the Bruins do advise this schedule is subject to change, one game is guaranteed to be set in stone - the opening game against Montreal. If you're like me (and you probably are, since you're reading a story about the Bruins preseason schedule in June), the departure of hockey from your life is a traumatic event, requiring ample amounts of activity to distract you from the mundane existence that is the sports world of summertime. Oh it's not all bad, for those who enjoy things like Wimbledon, MLB, MLS (and for this year) the World Cup, NASCAR & Formula One(if I was writing on a different website, I wouldn't have even bothered to include those), but let's be honest - we're all grasping at straws here compared to the NHL.
I don't know about you, but by August, when there is nothing but baseball game after sodding baseball game, I'm just about ready to jump out of my skin (I usually remedy this by jumping into the ocean). The opening game of the preseason is like dose of drugs for an addict on withdrawal, a drink of water for a desert traveler, a Christmas Ham for a hungry man...you get the idea? And for as long as my memory can go back, I've always remembered Boston playing Montreal at least once, if not multiple times, in the preseason. So instead of trusting my memory, I actually went back into the history books to see how long these annual meaningless matchups actually go back. Turns out my memory is pretty damn accurate actually. Here are some fun facts for y'all:
-The Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens have not failed to meet in the preseason since 1992-1993. That is a streak of 21 years. Coincidentally that season was also the last time the Canadiens won the Stanley Cup. Coincidence? I think not.
-Clearly, the Canadiens have gotten off to the wrong foot every year since winning the '93 Cup, having to face the Bruins in the preseason. Since 1994, the Bruins hold a 20-9-3-1 record against the Hated Habs in the preseason. So if you're saving your pennies for a Habs game this season, you might want to think about pocketing half of it and just purchasing tickets for the preseason game on September 23rd (did I just actually write that?). Of course, you wouldn't be the first Bruins fans to travel up north for some early hockey action...
-The Bruins have not hosted the Canadiens at the Garden during the preseason in this century. They have instead hosted them at some pretty random places throughout Canada, including the Halifax Metro Centre, Le Colisee Pepsi in Quebec City and the Moncton Coliseum in Moncton, New Brunswick. The closest they ever came to Boston was in 2004, where they hosted the Canadiens at Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, NH (home of the AHL Monarchs) on September 26th. By contrast, there has been almost without exception one game played in Montreal each year.
-With the game on September 23rd, this marks the 3rd time in the last 5 preseasons (recalling that there was no preseason in 2012-2013) that the Bruins will play their first preseason game against Montreal. So when your first exposure to hockey in months ends up being another Habs-Bruins matchup, there's no time to "get into the swing of things" as a fan. You're probably screaming at your T.V. from the first faceoff onwards.
-A lot of these preseason games actually degenerate into extremely ornery affairs. Take a look at this gem from September 20, 1996 (sadly the Bruins lost 4-1):
Let the countdown begin!...95...