I'd like to start by thanking everyone who sent in a submission for the blog contest. I thoroughly enjoyed reading each and every entry (English and French), and it was enlightening to see everyone's personal interpretation of the Canadiens-Bruins rivalry.
When I read Lissa Albert's submission, I was impressed with her passion, her interpretation, her writing, and her determination to follow the rules very precisely. Her blog was exactly 350 words (I'd have accepted a little more or less), and it really was about what the rivalry means to her
. Most impressive, Lissa's only been a fan for one season, but she understands very well the dynamics at play between the Canadiens and Bruins, and she should be commended for offering the best blog I read on the subject.
Rivalry is a Beautiful Thing, Habs vs. Bruins
I became a rabid hockey fan in the past year or so. This means, in a nutshell, understanding the game and all its nuances - instead of the previous me: the Scoreboard Celebrant.
So of course, it stands to reason that--between the newscasters and social media--I developed a keen understanding of the rivalry between the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins. Little did I know, at the outset, that this is a long-standing feud, more intense than the Hatfields and the McCoys. But I did find out rather quickly how deep those waters run.
I suppose it began with the January victory, last season, when Max Pacioretty scored the triumphant OT-goal and started what would define the rest of the season for every Habs fan, and the NHL itself. It was the human factor I embraced and blogged about
(EE Note: Lissa hadn't really put this blog out to the public, but it gives further insight into what she means about "the human factor"). Hockey was merely the umbrella under which the emotions resided.
On Twitter, where Bruins bashing was more rampant, I refrained; I could recognize the difference between rivalry and attack, and didn't like the attacks on people, no matter their allegiance. Instead, I was content to share the space with some classy Bruins fans who chose to celebrate the game, not defame its patrons.
The Cup was different. I couldn't watch the celebrations of the team that had beaten us out of a long playoff run. I’d seen the underhandedness of many Boston players and the newbie justice-seeker in me cried out, "Where are the refs? Why aren't the rules being followed?" So it hurt to see them go all the way and hoist the Cup that’s marked with 24 glorious engravings from our beloved Canadiens.
Flash forward to Season '11-'12: I’m optimistic that resentment, fury and melancholy have run their course. I can now recognize the rivalry between our two teams, and anticipate ours thoroughly trouncing theirs on the scoreboard, with perhaps-naive hopes that dirty plays won't be accepted, and that good, intense hockey will be the order of any given day. I can now boo the Bruins with the intensity of having earned my Rival Badge. Go Habs GO!
You can follow Lissa on twitter