By Josh Thomas
In Montreal hockey is Religion. The Bell Centre is the Vatican, Carey Price is the pope and the people of Montreal the faithful followers.
There's something special about the Montreal Canadiens fan base. Fans can be found all over the world. We love our Habs, we're passionate about our Habs and we are proud of our Habs (for the most part).
As for the Boston Bruins. They might as well be the anti Habs. We hate the Bruins with almost the same amount of passion.
So when the Habs and Bruins clash in the playoffs, emotions run high. The last time the two original six teams met was 2011. It was a roller coaster. The Habs took a 2-0 series lead stealing both in Boston, only to watch it dissapear at home. The teams split the next two games. As if there wasn't enough drama in this overtime filled series, game 7 was as back and forth as it gets.
Us fans will never forget that game. Our collective heart rates were up in the high 180's. We felt the absolute jubilation that came with P.K. Subban's rocket from the point to send the game into overtime, and the heartbreak that came with Nathan Horton's dagger. That was in round 1 of the 2011 playoffs.
Add all of the emotion and hate that comes with the Montreal-Boston rivalry, the freshness of their last playoff tilt, and this is now the second round. It will be an all out war and for fans, it's going to be hell on earth.
So I've decided to give a few tips on how to survive what we Habs fans are about to face
1. Try not to over think things.
It's hard not to but if you spend every waking moment worrying about what's going to happen in the next game, you'll drive your anxiety level way higher than you want it to be. Try and take your mind off of hockey until game time.
2. Accept that their will be ups and downs.
A first round sweep was awesome for the Habs and their fans but teams don't go 16-0 en route to a Stanley cup. Meaning, unfortunately we are probably going to have to watch our Habs lose sometime in the next two weeks. It sucks and it won't feel good but don't wig out. It's a seven game series between two original six teams don't be surprised if it goes the distance.
3. Have a pre-game ritual.
It sounds silly but you know what? It might just help to relieve some stress and settle you down. I like to "habify" my living room and then right before game time I walk around the room and touch everything with a Habs logo on it. Weird ? Yes, but it helps calm me down before a game.(I never said hockey fans were normal.)
4. Have a good yell every now and then.
We all do it, so don't be afraid to let that referee have it. I can only imagine having the anger that will come from diving bruins, blown calls and speared testicles pent up inside can't be good for you. Go ahead and let it out. Your spouse might not like it but it's a necessary part of a Habs-Bruins series. Don't go overboard and put the chair down. Throwing it at your T.V won't help.
If you're under under the legal age you can't partake in this one so sorry about your luck. If you're over it, indulge In a Don Cherry drinking game or two, have a scotch on the rocks. Anything to get you feeling warm and fuzzy inside. It'll take the sting out of a loss and make a win feel so much better. Just don't over do it. drink responsibly.
Warning: doing this might lead to more of 4.
6. For the love of god do not watch NBC or NESN.
Jack Edwards, Doc Emerick and Pierre McGuire are awful. There is no other way to put it they are just plain awful. They're biased, they're annoying and they are the biggest homers in the league. Just don't do it. You probably already know all this but if you don't you're welcome I just made your life a lot easier.
If you don't have twitter already then... How the hell are you even reading this? Well either way if you don't have it, get it. Go follow @kidcanada9 and @habsdiehards1 look through their following list and follow all those people. There's never a dull moment on twitter during a Habs-bruins game.
So there you have it the 7 steps to surviving a 7 game Habs-Bruins all out war. Lets hope it's not as stressful as I'm expecting. Go Habs Go.