Posts Tagged ‘Boston Bruins’
It is January 6 and several NHL teams have played their 41st game of the 82-game regular season. The Calgary Flames even jumped the gun Thursday and became the first NHL team to play 42 – ironic, considering they are among the oldest teams in the league. (Slow down, Jarome Iginla, and bask in what remains of your Hall of Fame career!)
For our purposes, we will call this the halfway point – an opportune time to take stock of the good, the bad, and the ugly. Having voted in the last four postseason awards, I can attest that teams and players seem to rise and fall on a whim; for example, last year’s Hart Trophy winner, Corey Perry, wasn’t even in the conversation until he started playing like an elite player in January. There is no hardware at stake here.
So we’ll reserve the proper nomenclature on these awards for June. But if ballots were cast today …
There’s nothing like a good rivalry. Two talented teams that don’t like each other and two fan bases that despise each other make for exciting games and great atmospheres. It also makes for great storylines for sports writers.
Unfortunately, the NHL is suffering from an extreme lack of rivalries right now. There hasn’t been a decent rivalry since the Red Wings and the Avalanche duked it out in the playoffs over and over again in the late 1990s.
Sure, Bruins and Canadiens fans like to say they have an intense rivalry. Penguins and Capitals fans claim their rivalry is growing. But let’s be honest. Nobody cares about the Boston-Montreal rivalry outside of New England and Quebec, and even though HBO did a great job profiling Pittsburgh and Washington last year in its 24/7 feature, the rivalry wasn’t all that exciting.
This isn’t just a hockey problem either.