Whenever Toronto and Boston get together these days there’s a buzz about the game that always centers around how Phil Kessel performs against his old team and how Tyler Seguin plays against the team he could’ve been a part of. When Kessel goes wild, Leafs nation exuberantly cheers believing they got the better of their trade between foes. When Seguin pots a goal, the cheers in Boston of, “Thank you Kessel” rain down causing the Leafs faithful to seethe.
While Brian Burke essentially declared the trade a win for Boston thanks to winning the Stanley Cup last year, is this Toronto-Boston battle a true rivalry? CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty doesn’t think so. Haggerty says that it’s not a rivalry until both sides get the upper hand on each other. Boston has owned Toronto the last four years going 11-4-3 against the Leafs. Add to that that the two teams haven’t faced each other in the playoffs in seemingly forever and there’s not much else to go on aside from the Kessel-Seguin (eventually Dougie Hamilton) stuff.
Does that make it any less contentious though? No way. Perhaps the Bruins look at this as the kid brother of the arch rival looking to get a piece of them while their true rivals, Montreal, are always there to light the fuse. Either way, when it comes to either of the traditional rivals out of Canada, the Bruins have to be dialed in and ready to play or else.
After all, if Boston wants this to continue to not be a rivalry in their minds, they have to keep putting their foot down. With how the Leafs have been playing this season there might be just a classic rivalry to come out of this anyhow.