The Bruins and Canadiens start their second-round playoff series on Thursday night, renewing one of the National Hockey League’s longest rivalries.
To symbolize the spirit of the rivalry, owners of the store Fines et Futés in Buckingham, Que., decided to have a little fun by putting stickers of the Canadiens logo over the word “Boston”.
Social media has lit up with an angry response from Bruins fans, the national media in the US plus some online hockey forums.
One online newspaper called the joke “vandalism” and an attack on one of Boston’s important symbols, comparing its value to that of poutine to Quebeckers.
After the response, the store decided to remove the stickers and returned the cases of beer to the shelves.
Store owner laughs off Boston fans' anger
Martin Gravel, who co-owns the store, said it was nice to see the passion for the game reflected in people’s responses. He laughed off the anger.
But due to the level of reaction, the business sector of Buckingham issued a statement and sent a letter to the Boston Beer Company, which makes the lager, saying everything was done in humour.
The letter said the joke was not meant to affect a company, trademark or image of a product.
This is the second year in a row Boston has had issues with beer stores that cheer on their opponent. In last year’s eastern conference finals, Pittsburgh beer stores took Boston beer off their shelves during the series.