Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadiens Ready for Lucic, Bruins in Home Opener after Nasty Playoff Series

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadiens Ready for Lucic, Bruins in Home Opener after Nasty Playoff Series

Article excerpt

Habs ready for Bruins in home opener

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BROSSARD, Que. - Dale Weise recalls the first time Vancouver faced Boston in the regular season after the Bruins' seven-game victory over the Canucks in the 2011 Stanley Cup final.

Early in the first period, a brawl erupted as Alex Burrows got a stick up during a line change. Weise was in the main event, trading punches with Boston's Nathan Horton in a long battle away from the main melee.

"We had a line brawl seven minutes in," Weise, now a member of the Montreal Canadiens, said Wednesday. "So I think the fans, the media and everybody got what they wanted there."

The gritty winger does not expect quite the same when the Bruins visit the Bell Centre for the Canadiens home opener on Thursday night, or that there will be any spillover of bitterness from Montreal's seven-game victory over their archrivals in the second round of playoffs last spring.

In the handshake line after Game 7, Boston's Milan Lucic reportedly told Weise "I'm going to kill you next year," and also had words for defenceman Alexei Emelin.

None of the Canadiens take Lucic literally. Weise expects a hard-fought game against a rival and divisional opponent, but not a war.

"I don't see it being the case," said Weise. "The media kinda blows things up a bit and the games have a hard time living up to that, so we're just focusing on having a good game.

"Being our first home game, everyone's excited, the crowd's going to be jumping and everybody will be ready to go."

Lucic took exception to Weise's mock muscle flex in the finale, a mimic of the Bruins' winger's chest thumping and muscle flexing earlier in the series.

The Bruins had a game Wednesday night in Detroit, so there was no word on their approach to the rematch with Montreal, although games between the teams are always tough and sometimes nasty.

"I expect a loud crowd, I expect us to come out and play well and I expect an intense game," added Weise. "Any time Boston plays Montreal there's a lot of animosity.

"I don't think there's going to be anything extra. It's always there."

On Lucic, Weise said: "That's the way he plays every night. He plays hard. He's intense. I don't think anything's different if he plays us or any other team."

That will be seen when the puck drops as the Canadiens return home after starting the season 3-1-0 on the road. The trip included three comeback victories after weak first periods followed by a 7-1 thrashing at the hands in Tampa on Monday night.

The Lightning took revenge for a first round sweep at the hands of the Canadiens in the opening round in April.

The Bruins will no doubt be seeking vengeance as well, said winger Brendan Gallagher.

"We've been in that situation," he said. "When you lose to a team in a playoff series; the disappointment, and how badly you want to beat them the next time we play them. …

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