The rivalry between the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens clearly wasn’t as intense last year as the Canadiens were the worst team in the Eastern Conference, posting a 31-35-16 record for just 78 points.
But Montreal is playing much better hockey this year. The Canadiens head into today’s 7:30 p.m. game vs. the Bruins at the Bell Centre with a 6-2-0 record. They are just one point behind the Bruins (6-1-1) in the Northeast Division standings.
Montreal definitely is happy to have Andrei Markov back and healthy. The 34-year-old defenseman has four goals and four assists. He is tied for the team lead with eight points.
Markov played just 20 games combined over the past two seasons because of having multiple reconstructive surgeries on his right knee’s ACL.
BIG GAME ALERT
Archrivals Pinkerton and Londonderry face off in a 3:50 p.m. boys hockey today at Londonderry.
The two schools met in the Salem Holiday Tournament earlier this season. In that one, Eric Coburn and Jason Parker each netted two goals as Londonderry scored three times in the third period to turn a one-goal deficit into a 7-5 win.
Londonerry enters 7-4-1 in Division 1. Pinkerton comes in at 7-5-0.
CONNORS ACCEPTED AT BATES
Windham High’s Bernadette Connors was accepted early decision at Bates College and plans to play basketball there next year.
Bates is a NESCAC school and its women’s basketball team is 11-10 overall and 4-5 in league this year so far.
Connors was an Eagle-Tribune All-Star as a junior, averaging 10.7 points per game and netting 32 3-pointers. She shot 40 percent from 3-point range last year and averaged 16.0 ppg in three playoff games.
Read more about Connors in next week’s girls basketball notebook, which will appear in Monday’s Eagle-Tribune.
As noted in yesterday’s newspaper, new Red Sox director of media relations Kevin Gregg is the son of former National League umpire Eric Gregg, who died of a massive stroke in 2006.