Boston Bruins

Nov 14, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman Connor Clifton (75) defends Montreal Canadiens left wing Michael Pezzetta (55) during the second period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

The iconic rivalry between the Bruins and Canadiens has gone through some lean years of late.

After meeting in the postseason four times in a seven-year stretch from 2008 through 2014, the Bruins and Canadiens are going on almost eight years between postseason meetings. Repeated tweaks to the NHL schedule have also de-emphasized divisional head-to-heads, meaning there’s less Boston-Montreal showdowns.

But the century-old rivalry between the two sides will not die on Bruce Cassidy’s watch.

“It’s not one of 82 when it’s Montreal,” Cassidy said after Sunday’s comeback win. “It isn’t to me, anyway, and it shouldn’t be to anybody that knows anything about the Boston Bruins, right? I even heard Nick Foligno talking about it in the room after. He’s new but he’s got a father that participated in a lot of NHL rivalries and he’s in one here.

“There’s always more [to these games].”

That’s being instilled in some of the team’s newer faces, too. By both Cassidy and the top of the Boston roster.

“It’s special, and you don’t really understand until you’re on the ice playing,” Bruins netminder Jeremy Swayman said of his first taste of the rivalry. “Our leadership group made a point of it that this is an Original Six matchup [and said] ‘They don’t come in here and bully us.’ So that was a fun game to be a part of, definitely will remember it for a long time.”

“We got our two points, we came back to win, we stuck with it,” said Cassidy. “But it’s still the Montreal Canadiens and we want to beat them every time we step on the ice and that’s the attitude we need to have around here.”

The Bruins and Canadiens will meet again Dec. 18 up in Montreal.

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Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.