McKenzie: Montreal-Boston best NHL rivalry on balance

The Canadiens and Bruins put on a show for fans over the weekend, but where would you rank the two franchises in terms of NHL rivalries?

Bob McKenzie had a radio hit on Montreal’s TSN 690 Monday morning, and naturally the Bruins’ 3-2 win over the Canadiens Saturday was part of the discussion.

At one point, morning show host Conor McKenna remarked that “the rivalry factor, the hatred factor - Montreal-Boston, alive and well.”

“The single… you know what, I’ve got to be careful or I’ll radio myself really badly,” said McKenzie. “But honestly, more often than not, there’s really only one rivalry in the National Hockey League that even comes close most nights. And I realize recently it hasn’t even had the juice that it’s had in the past. And there was a great Calgary-Edmonton game a couple of Saturdays ago that was really raucous and fun and all of those things.

“So yeah, you get it from time to time. But on balance, if you’re going to talk about the single-best rivalry in hockey, there’s nothing better than Montreal-Boston when it’s the way it should be. And it is the way it should be more than almost any other rivalry.

“The Battle of Ontario, that’s more or less fabricated. Battle of Alberta is legit. I think sometimes the Battle of New York when you get the Rangers and Islanders on the right day.

“But year after year, decade after decade - the one that when you’re putting on the TV and you know that those two teams are playing, you’re like, ‘Oh yeah, let’s watch this. This is going to be good.’”

The Bruins and Canadiens will next square off December 17 in Montreal.