2013 Stanley Cup Playoff Team – Montreal Canadiens
The Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins have been battling for the Northeast Division title for most of the shortened 2013 NHL season, and the winner won’t be known until the regular season’s final weekend. The winner will gain the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference bracket while the loser of the race will be the No. 4 seed and probably face the Toronto Maple Leafs. Based on the Bruins game in hand on the final couple days of the year, it’s likely that the Canadiens will be pushed to the lower seed. If that happens, first-year coach Michel Therrien (actually in his second stint as the Habs’ bench leader) will be in the center of one of hockey’s most bitter and historic rivalries. The Canadiens and Maple Leafs are the two premier Canadian franchises and members of the Original Six. They have the most banners in their rafters, and fans of the two sides have plenty of axes to grind against the other as they await the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Therrien’s defensive charge is anchored by talented blue liner P.K. Subban and goalie Carey Price. Subban loves stirring the pot and has been in the center of plenty of scrums involving Toronto and Montreal this season. The recent rivalry breathes new life into decades of face-offs, but it’s one that didn’t happen that currently stands as the biggest argument for fans. The Montreal Canadiens’ last Stanley Cup title came in 1993, where they defeated Wayne Gretzky’s Los Angeles Kings. The Kings defeated Toronto in a controversial game 7 to make the Stanley Cup finals, and Leafs fans have spent 20 years telling Montreal loyalists that they actually would’ve won the cup if the officials didn’t mess things up. Those Habs fans welcome the first playoff matchup with their rivals in two decades in hopes of finally shutting up those fans via play on the ice.
Even if Montreal isn’t able to overtake the Boston Bruins for the Northeast Division title, they will have home ice advantage in the first round of the 2013 NHL Playoffs. If taken to a Game 7 by presumed opponent Toronto, Montreal would host that series deciding game at Bell Centre.