Hodgemail: Habs and Bruins fans - what fuels your hate? Staff

3/24/2011 12:42:59 PM

TSN's Dave Hodge sounds off on all the hockey issues of the day in Hodgemail.

There's never a shortage of intense rivalries in the sporting arena.

The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. The Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics. The Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins. And who could forget Hulk Hogan against Andre The Giant?

In hockey, the one rivalry that has persevered in the NHL's 94 years of existence has been between the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens.

From the days of the old six-team league all the way up to the now-infamous Mar. 8 game at the Bell Centre, these two teams have had an unparalleled hatred for one another.

But why? To our loyal users who worship all things black and gold, what is it that sets you off about the bleu blanc et rouge? For everyone who loves Les Glorieux, what is it that brings out the worst in you when the Bruins hit the ice?

Can't we all just get along?

So here's Dave's question to you: "If you're a fan of Montreal or Boston, what makes you dislike the other team most?"

And here are some of his favourite responses:

"I'm a lifelong Habs fan, but I respect the Bruins. Whoops! As I write this, Boston just scored. Stupid Bruins." - Andy in Kingston, ON

 "I'm a fan of the Bruins and where do I start? "Ole Ole Ole"—the most obnoxious chant in sports." - Martin in London, ON

" ' How many Stanley Cups does your team have?' " Get a new line, Habs fans." - Joey in Sudbury, ON

"I thought I had enough reasons to dislike the Bruins, but now, one more—Mark Recchi's ignorance." - Justin in Halifax

"I don't hate all the Bruins—just Milan Lucic." - Mark in Oshawa, ON

"Here's proof that I don't like Montreal—my 16-year-old son's name is Bruin." - Dwayne in Hythe, AB

And Dave's Reply to All 32 Reasons Why Rivalry is Great:

Well, admittedly, our question dealt with this rivalry's negative side only. But if we celebrate the great rivalries, and we do, surely there are good things to say about both teams that create them.

The Montreal-Boston rivalry is great because it has the two things that an NHL rivalry must have - the teams are in the same division, and they have a playoff history. Oh, do they ever! No less than 32 Montreal-Boston playoff meetings have been held, and the biggest reason a Boston fan should dislike Montreal is that the Canadiens have won 24 of them.

And Montreal and Boston have met seven times in the Stanley Cup Final. I'd love to see number eight, but that could only happen if the NHL changed its playoff system with some sort of crossover that would allow any two teams to play for the cup.

These days, there is no such thing as a meeting of two great rivals in the Stanley Cup Final. We have to settle for playoff rivalries earlier than that, so a lot of you watching tonight undoubtedly hope you see these two teams again soon. The first round of the playoffs is a definite possibility.