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The Boston Bruins are back on the sports map in New England. An 8-3-3 start, combined with their gritty yet skillful style of play, will do that for a team, especially on the heels of last season’s epic playoff showdown with the long time rival Montreal Canadiens. logo_1024768

Tonight, the Bruins take their show to he road, squaring off against another up-and-coming team, the Chicago Blackhawks. Both teams are stacked with young talent. Both teams also have great goaltending. Tonight’s game should be a classic, as two Original Six teams square off for the first of two meetings this season.

The problem for the Bruins comes tomorrow night, when they are scheduled to play Montreal back in Boston. As usual, Montreal has the night off tonight. They will spend the night resting in their plush hotel accommodations in Boston, no doubt watching the game on television. While the Bruins take the red-eye,flying through the night, Les Habs will be sound asleep, dreaming of tomorrow nights important divisional game on Causeway Street.

In a story in today’s Boston Globe, Bruins coach Claude Julien spoke about the challenges of playing back to back games against top notch opponents. He did not make any excuses or play the “why me” card (that’s for the fans and writers). However, he did touch upon the fact that certain teams (the Canadiens) seem to get the better of the schedule when to comes to Bruins-Canadiens match-ups.

“It’s ironic that it’s always them waiting for us at home.”

“So be it; we have to deal with what we can control. I think the best way to control that is to have all 19 guys going tomorrow, and being able to stretch your bench as much as you can and getting the results that you want, then trying to get home as quick as possible and getting a rest for the following night.”

To make matters worse, Nov. 22, the next time they play each other, Boston will once again be on the tail end of back to back games. This time, the Bruins will travel to Montreal after entertaining the Florida Panthers, as Montreal enjoys a night off, resting in the comfort of their homes.

One thinking radically may sense some sort of conspiracy.

Conspiracy or not, the Bruins always seem to get the shaft when it comes to the schedule, especially when involving the Montreal Canadiens. Montreal always gets the calls, always gets the players (however that has changed over the years), and always gets a break from the schedule maker.

It’s no secret a winning team in Montreal is good for the NHL. They have one of, if not the biggest, hockey market in the NHL. They sell out every game. Hell, the fans are more passionate about their Habs than Bostonians are about the Red Sox.

No matter what happens, the Bruins will be a better team after battling two straight nights against quality opponents. These successive games will pay off in the long run, in the dog days of the season, as teams are battling for the playoffs.

Unfortunately for Montreal, the league doesn’t hand out any cupcakes in the playoffs. Maybe that’s why that once proud franchise from the north hasn’t won the Stanley Cup since the 1992-1993 season.

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