All Habs Hockey Magazine is proud to provide a platform for young writers to express their views on important issues. Today, we present a fan piece on the Canadiens’ top rivals. Your comments are welcome.

Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban (76) exchanges glances with Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63) during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Monday, March 24, 2014, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

by Dean Matheos, Junior Staff Writer, All Habs Hockey Magazine

PIERREFONDS, QC. — Throughout history, sports teams have developed rivalries with some of the greatest being Red Sox – Yankees, Packers – Bears and of course the Canadiens – Bruins. For Habs fans whether it is Saturday night or mid-week game, it is always exciting. Rivalries are a great part of the game as we witness players stepping up their game on the big stage.

aatopfiveIn addition to the Bruins, the Canadiens have had other classic rivals — the Nordiques and Maple Leafs come to mind. But who are the Canadiens current rivals?

In my opinion, here are the best rivalries currently with the Montreal Canadiens. What do you think? Please leave your pick in the comments section below.

  1. New York Rangers

We all know what happened in game 1 of the conference final during the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs. Chris Kreider injured star goaltender Carey Price. Since that incident there has been a hatred between these teams causing a rivalry to form. The two original six teams have them been battling things out in an epic goaltending duel between Carey Price and Henrik Lundqvist with some interesting low scoring games with highlight reel saves to steal the show in this rivalry. The Kreider incident will be remembered for a long time.

  1. Ottawa Senators

This was a tough decision to put the Sens in front of the Rangers but proximity plays a part. We all recall those pesky Sens from 2013, the ones who knocked the Habs out of the playoffs in five games. Since then, these  teams have been going after each other looking to prove a point. Last year in the playoffs we saw this rivalry reignite with yet another first round matchup. Sens fans will long remember the vicious  slash by P.K. Subban on Marc Stone. The Canadiens avenged their previous playoff loss by winning in six games. The regular season might not show as much bad blood but if these teams were to meet in the playoffs once again the level of intensity will reach its max.

  1. Tampa Bay Lightning

This is an interesting rivalry to watch. These two teams play a fast-paced game along with a lot of skill. This rivalry started in 2014 when the Habs had difficulty in the regular season winning against the Bolts. But we later saw the Habs sweep Tampa Bay in the first round of the playoffs without their number one goaltender, Ben Bishop. It was a different story last year when the Bolts took down the Habs in the second round of the playoffs in a six game series. Pay close attention to these games because they are thrillers.

  1. Toronto Maple Leafs

Almost nothing is better than a Habs-Leafs game on a Saturday night for years and years dating back to the original six days. These two teams put on a great show all the time. The Leafs-Canadiens game has also become spotlighted as a regular season opener. Although the teams haven’t been evenly matched for awhile, standings never matter between these two teams.

  1. Boston Bruins

The Boston Bruins are the biggest rivals of the Montreal Canadiens. It is one of the best rivalries in all of sports. The Big Bad Bruins historically play a physical game against the Bleu Blanc Rouge. Since 2012-’13 regular season, the Habs have dominated the Bruins with an 11-2 record. The Habs-Bruins rivalry like the Leafs goes way back to the original six days. We will see these two teams return to the outdoor rink when the Winter Classic is played at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts on January 1st. It is going to be a great hockey game.

Rivalries bring out the best in players, teams and most certainly the fans. Who doesn’t want to watch a good and entertaining matchup? I’d love to know your thoughts!