Since Diehard has been alive the Boston Bruins have played the Montreál Canadiens in the playoffs 19 times. And in that time the Bruins have been victorious only five times. As things go along you sorta think the due factor is there along with the law of averages that the Bruins would be able to come away with a series victory. That isn’t always the case as it took Boston 45 years and 19 playoff series to defeat the Canadiens. It was 1988 and I remember it as if it were yesterday. Sitting in my living room ready for game one of the series and there was a huge snowstorm in Montreál and the electricity went out and the only thing that had power in the city was the hospitals and of course, the Montreál Forum. All we saw all night on TV38 was the two logos of the teams and Fred Cusick and Derek Sanderson sounding like it was 1925 and they were transmitting over a telephone line. And of course the Bruins lost game one. They would not lose again in that series. Beating the Habs 4 games to one. Since that season, the Bruins have beaten the Canadiens in four of the last seven playoff series. But Montreál has won the last two. Including the last series before the NHL lockout. In that one in 2004, Boston had a three games to one lead and completely fell apart with Jose Theodore playing a big role in the collapse. So here we go again. Boston – Montreal. The series that for me brings more anxiety than any other series has. I hate it and I love it. It brings more angst than the last four games of the 2004 American League Championships Series between the Red Sox and Yankees did. But when the NHL gives you lemons, well, start puckering. Thursday begins the odyssey up north of the border and who knows what it will bring. The Bruins have eight defeats in eight tries against Montreál and in six of those games they should not have been on the ice with the Canadiens. Now that isn’t to say that can’t beat them in a seven-game series. But they need, no they must come away from Montreal with a win in games one or two. They must beat the Canadiens win all facets of the game. But the one big key is not taking penalties. The Bruins penalty killing is ranked 28th in the NHL. Conversely, the Montreál power play is numeral uno. This could be the backbreaker for Boston. The Canadiens have been devastating to all teams when they have the man advantage. Both teams go into the series with a goaltender that has never played a NHL playoff game. And we all know that the pressure ratchets up quite a bit once down to 16 teams. It is, without a doubt, the best time of the year by far. So, with that said, do I have faith? Yes. But unfortunately, I just don’t see this edition of the Boston Bruins beating the Montreál Canadiens in a seven-game series. I hope I’m wrong and I will not pick a sweep, but I believe the Canadiens in five games. Go Bruins!