I suppose it began with the January victory, last season, where Max Pacioretty scored the winning 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 and 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 team. Instead, I enjoyed the company of 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 has our name on it more often than any other team.
Flash forward to Season ’11-’12: I’m optimistic that the bad feelings have run their course. I can now recognize the rivalry between our two teams, and anticipate thoroughly trouncing them on the scoreboard, with perhaps-naive hopes that dirty plays won’t be accepted and 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!