WILMINGTON, Mass. — Be it preseason, regular season or postseason, games in Montreal just mean a little something extra for the Boston Bruins.
The Bell Centre will be the site of the Bruins’ preseason opener against the Canadiens Tuesday night, and despite the game’s lack of impact on the standings, the B’s know what to expect.
“I’m sure it’ll still be loud,” Daniel Paille told reporters after Monday’s training camp session. “I think the atmosphere will still feel like a regular-season or playoff game. I think it’ll be a little bit overwhelming for some guys, but like always, it’s going to be be the first five minutes where the guys will get used to the crowd and then the game will start.”
“That building’s always fun to play in,” Tuukka Rask added. “It doesn’t matter if it’s preseason or playoff or whatever, it’s always sold out and the fans are really into it. It’s definitely a special feeling to play there, just because of the crowd. Even if it’s a preseason game, you really have to play good and try to match that intensity there.”
The rivalry between the Original Six clubs gained another chapter last season, when the Canadiens pulled off a seven-game upset of the Bruins in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Gaining revenge on their northern rivals won’t became a priority for the B’s until the regular season, but Paille said the nature of that series loss — with Montreal goading Boston into making uncharacteristic mistakes — gives the team something to improve upon during its exhibition slate.
“You’ve got to give them credit,” the winger said. “They did a good job of getting under our skin. Usually, we’re the other way around. So, we have to learn from that. Preseason is different, especially with not everyone playing, but it’s definitely another learning experience going into the season, and (Tuesday’s) a good test.”
Photo via Jean-Yves Ahern/USA TODAY Sports Images
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