Thomas Vanek’s numbers against the Boston Bruins speak for themselves, and the new Montreal Canadiens forward will let it stay that way.
Vanek will make his home debut for the Canadiens on Wednesday, one week after being traded from the New York Islanders at the NHL trade deadline. The game also will mark Vanek’s first taste of the Bruins-Canadiens rivalry.
The offensively talented forward is no stranger to playing against the Bruins, either. He spent eight-plus years as a division rival with the Buffalo Sabres before being shipped to the Islanders earlier this season. Now he’s back in the B’s division, which could mean bad news for the Black and Gold. In 53 career games against the Bruins, Vanek has 30 goals and 31 assists and is a plus-21.
However, he’s downplaying his success against Boston on the eve of his first game against the B’s as a member of the bleu, blanc et rouge.
“I don’t know. The last four or five years, to me, Boston has been one of the better teams in the league,” Vanek told reporters after practice Tuesday, according to ESPN.com. “You want to play your best against the best teams, but again, I think sometimes just the numbers are the numbers. I can’t really tell you why that is, but I can tell you that it’s a big game, it’s a great team and you want to play in big games.”
Vanek also is looking forward to seeing the Bruins through the lens of the B’s-Habs rivalry.
“The rivalries, I think, are for the fans, and they’re good to have in this league, but for us in here — and I’m sure it’s the same as everywhere — it’s just about winning two points,” Vanek said. “I’m sure the atmosphere is going to be great, and I can’t wait to experience it tomorrow.”
Vanek’s next point will be his first as a Canadien. He has been kept off the scoresheet in his first two games with Montreal. The Habs lost both.