For obvious reasons, there is a lot of talk about the Chara/Pacioretty situation heading into tonight’s game between the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens.  The hit, plus some questionable comments by Bruins’ veteran Mark Recchi, would be enough to make tonight’s game must see TV.  However, the fact that the Canadiens and Bruins have bitter rivals forever ramps up the intensity even more.

This rivalry is fierce and it has been that way for generations.  While this feud has seen its share of controversy and brutality, it’s also seen some outstanding hockey and produced many timeless moments.  These two teams have faced off against each other more often than any other teams in the NHL and this is arguably the best rivalry in the league.

May 10, 1979 – Stanley Cup Semifinals

One of the most memorable moments in this great rivalry.  The Bruins were leading 4-3 in the third period when they were given a penalty for having too many men on the ice.  Guy Lafleur scored to tie the game and send it into overtime where the Canadiens won the game and the series.  They went on to win the Stanley Cup while Bruins coach Don Cherry was fired from his job.

1986 Brawl

The Bruins/Canadiens rivalry is known for its brawls as much as it’s known for great hockey, but this fight in 1986 may be the most over-the-top of them all.  The Canadiens went on to win the Stanley Cup once again that year.

1988 Adams Division Final

The Bruins, led by Ray Bourque and Cam Neely, would finally defeat the Habs in the playoffs.  This was the Bruins first series win over the Canadiens in 44 seasons.  Boston would advance all the way to the Stanley Cup Final, where they would lose to Edmonton in four games.

1989 Adams Division Final

The Canadiens would return the favour one year later as they defeated the Bruins in five games in the 1989 Adams Division Final. Like Boston the year before, Montreal would advance to the Stanley Cup Final where they would lose, this time to the Calgary Flames.

The 2008 Playoffs

In a thrilling seven game series, the Habs would defeat the Bruins in the first round of the 2008 playoffs.  Montreal stormed to a 2-0 lead in the series, but the Bruins would win the first game in Boston to make the series 2-1.  Carey Price shutout the Bruins in game four and the series was 3-1 Montreal.  The Bruins weren’t done yet, however, as they won games five and six.  Game seven in Montreal was a dominant 5-0 Montreal win.  Canadiens fans famously rioted after the Habs eliminated the Bruins.

The 2009 Playoffs

The Bruins got revenge in the following year as they swept the Canadiens 4-0 in the first round of the playoffs.  Boston would go on to the second round where they would lose to the Carolina Hurricanes in seven games.

The Habs 100th Anniversary

The two teams met on the 100th anniversary of the Montreal Canadiens franchise. The Habs won the game 5-1 and Mike Cammalleri recorded a hat trick to send Montreal fans home happy.

February 9, 2011

In what looked sort of like a throwback to the 1970s, the Bruins and Canadiens went at it once again, combining for 182 minutes of penalty time.  Even goaltenders Tim Thomas and Carey Price got involved in the action.  The Bruins went on to win this wild game by a score of 8-6.