On Wednesday afternoon, the NHL announced that the 2016 NHL Winter Classic will be between the Bruins and Canadiens at Gillette Stadium.
Next January, fans in the New England area may be tailgating to another sport besides their beloved Patriots.
On Wednesday afternoon, it was announced that two of the oldest rivals in the sport will take their bitter feud outside and settle things under the sun in the 2016 NHL Winter Classic.
— NESN (@NESN) July 29, 2015
The Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens will meet for the 910th time in their on-going rivalry. One that has includes bitterness on both sides.
Come January 1, the rivalry might be taken up a notch with the almost Hollywood-like environment the hockey even has produced for fans and television viewers in previous installments.
Short of the two teams meeting in the Stanley Cup Final, which no chance in hell that’s going to happen anytime soon, this should help promote the NHL brand even more cause of them being involved.
It’s no secret the two teams have had their “differences” in the past.
No doubts this game will take on a new chapter. But perhaps what makes this rivalry attractive and should make for good ratings is the amount of bad blood between the two. And you don’t have to look far to get a feel of these two teams.
Last season, the Bruins did not make the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time in eight seasons. The Canadiens added to their misery by sweeping them in the regular season. A match was lit early in the season when the Bruins traveled to the Bell Centre, to take on the Canadiens.
A “public relations” gesture was shared by former Bruin Milan Lucic. Before taking a seat in the penalty box, he riles up the crowd by making a not-subtle gesture:
Perhaps one of the most strangest incidences between the Bruins and Canadiens occurred in the 2011 regular season. This time it was big Zdeno Chara taking center stage.
Off a faceoff, Chara is seen trying to prevent Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty from breaking into the Bruins defensive zone. What occurs has become a focal point in NHL safety with changes to the bench environments.
What made this outrageous were the reactions by the Montreal fans. Apparently, the hit, during a hockey game mind you, was enough to drive fans to the point of involving law enforcement and the outcry of criminal charges to be brought against one of their beloved.
Seriously? Yes, seriously. The story made headlines, but Chara was never charged with any crime.
Guess this just makes it so much fun to watch these two teams go at each other. Fans just wait for the next big hit or scuffle.
And that’s what may have the NHL and the NBC network rubbing their hands, grinning ear to ear with this year’s matchup. The potential of fireworks happening on the sports biggest stage, outside of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, is very real.
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