Rivalry Heat Intensifies Ahead Of NHL 100 Classic
Rivals Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens will be pitted against each other at Lansdowne Park come December 16th in a battle that promises to be both entertaining and very, very edgy indeed. And really, you’d expect no less when two teams caught up in a rivalry of this nature go head butting.
Adding to the excitement in a big way is that the Senators and the Canadiens are two of the founding members of the NHL and met for the first time on the League’s opening night: December 19th, 1917.
The League’s centennial celebrations just happens to coincide with Canada’s 150th celebration, the Stanley Cup’s 125th birthday and the Senators’ 25th anniversary.
Senators owner Eugene Melnyk is nothing short of lyrical on the happy coincidence, saying that in his opinion, only the hockey gods could have figured this particular timing in ice hockey’s history out. He went on to say that the three anniversaries should be celebrated nowhere else but in the nation’s capital, and that the entire coming together only serves to re-affirm that hockey was born in Ottawa and that this should be honoured accordingly.
He finished off by saying that Ottawa was the cradle of hockey and that it was the capital of a hockey-playing nation. He also expressed the hope that the Ottawa Senators fans appreciated the deep connection to the game.
First Outdoor Game For Senators
Senators captain Erik Karlsson is every bit as hyped about the upcoming game as Melnyk. Commenting on the fact that this will be the first outdoor game that the Senators will have hosted, Karlsson said that it may be a small community, but that the Senators had a great deal of passion going for them. He also said that the fact that the Senators were playing Montreal right on the border of Quebec was bound to add to the buzz as there were a lot of Montreal fans living in the city.
Montreal heads into the game coming off a 2-1-0 outdoor streak. They defeated the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 at Commonwealth Stadium in 2003 and ran circles around the Boston Bruins in a 5-1 victory at the 2016 Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
Montreal president Geoff Molson said that it was an honour to have been invited to play this game and that it was going to be Montreal’s fourth outdoor game. He said that Montreal were really proud to be playing.
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