Renewed Hostilities Between Bruins, Habs

Frank Doyle | Updated Jan 12, 2012

Frank Doyle previews another full night of fantastic hockey action!

Even though there’s a considerable difference between them in the standings, games between Montreal and Boston are always close. That’s what hatred can do.

Montreal is struggling this year while the Bruins are looking good for the first back-to-back Stanley Cups since the ‘97-‘98 Red Wings, but something about the sight of the big, bad Bruins makes the Habs want to beat them so badly it hurts.

Tonight’s game in Boston will be the fifth meeting between the clubs, having split the first four 2-2. Montreal’s wins came in October when the Bruins were still starting a little slowly for the season, but even though Boston’s got its mojo working since, it hasn’t been pasting the Habs the way you might expect.

The NHL odds haven’t been set for this game yet but you can be pretty sure the Habs will be the underdogs. Take them. Beating Boston means a lot, and that can make a difference.

Speaking of the Bruins, the Canucks gained some small measure of satisfaction from the big win – and bigger fight – over Boston on Saturday. But you know, it’s hockey and sometimes you just have to drop the gloves and put up your dukes.

The Canucks have a tough assignment tonight when they visit St Louis, where the Blues sit proudly atop the Central Division. Not every team sees instant success when they fire the head coach, but Santa Claus himself could not have delivered better results for the Blues. Vancouver’s game at St Louis is a game between two of the most evenly matched teams in the NHL but home ice could just swing it for St Louis.

Finally, it’s a game between two teams who have seen better times when Minnesota takes on the Blackhawks in Chicago. Chicago has been slumping recently – a win on Tuesday against Columbus isn’t really proof of having turned a corner – and have to do without Patrick Sharp, who’s injured his wrist, for the next four weeks.

What the Wild wouldn’t give for such riches. Minnesota is 2-7-1 in its last ten, which is, bizarrely, an improvement on what the Wild has been like recently. Minnesota lost eight straight in December and couldn’t buy a goal – no way, no how.

The Wild were among the goals in San Jose but the NHL odds say No to Yeo as Minnesota’s misery looks set to continue.