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Bruins-Canucks rivalry is one of a kind

Posted by Eric Wilbur, Boston.com Staff  December 15, 2013 12:01 PM

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Well, we may be snowed in, but Boston isnít burning, Vancouver.

Et, tu?

Oh, it was ugly, the 6-2 loss the Canucks handed to the Bruins on Saturday night. Duly noted. Still, I believe Brad Marchand said it best:

That would be his ring finger. The one that bears the 2011 Stanley Cup ring. Something Vancouver has yet to understand.

Someday, VAN. Someday.

Is there any rivalry you can think of in professional sports when the two teams meet so infrequently better than what has transpired with the Bruins and Canucks since 2011? Since Patrice Bergeron and company hoisted Lord Stanleyís Cup amidst a riotous outdoors three seasons ago, itís quite amazing that Saturday night was the first time these teams had met since Jan. 7, 2012 (Thanks, Bettman!)

Almost two years later, we still hate Vancouver with a puck passion normally reserved for our neighbors to the north, les habitants of Montreal. But Saturdayís game was circled on the calendar of every Bruins fan once released. It was a chance to guffaw at the hackneyed Green Men. A chance to ridicule the Sedins. A chance to see what John Tortorella, Boston native that he is, could bring to the equation.

Ooops.

The Bruins are still a healthy 22-9-2. leading the Eastern Conference by three points over the Canadiens, and Saturday night was really but a blip on the recent Western trip.

Still. The Canucks. And it was blechhh.

Not to stress you out over holiday shopping (actually, I think I just did that to myself), but we are 30-something days until the kids head to Sochi for the Winter Olympics. Yet, here we sit and the Bruins are in prime position, Saturday night notwithstanding, in total control.

In the East, at least. If Vancouver were 5,000 miles more our way, theyíd be only one point behind the Black and Gold.

It is difficult to not notice that two of the Bruinsí worst losses of the season came at the hands of Montreal and Detroit, who should both figure into the playoffs come spring. The Canucks, under Tortorella, figured to be a tougher bunch, the adjective being a step beyond Alain Vigneault's laissez-faire approach. It showed in Game 1, or, Game 9 as some opined on Twitter in the wee hours of the morning.

Yup, the Bruins have lost two straight to the Canucks. Quincy Market is still standing.

See you on Feb. 4, Vancouver. You have given Boston its best rivalry since the Red Sox and Yankees a decade past. We wish we saw you a lot more.

So. June, then?

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About the Author

Eric Wilbur is a Boston.com sports columnist who is still in awe of what Dana Kiecker pulled off that one time in Toronto. He lives in the Boston area with his wife and three children. Comments and suggestions for the best Buffalo wing spots are encouraged.

Contact Eric Wilbur by e-mail or follow him on Twitter.

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