The flag is held high at the Saltery Bay ferry terminal, the crew thought it was funny, and although I wondered what the Captain might say, all was fine and dandy. Traffic loading and unloading all day saw the proud CH in all it’s glory.
And speaking of proud, maybe what rankles me the most when I read the sports page or listen on TV is when someone, in describing the Habs, says, “The once-proud Montreal Canadiens.” Are they proud now, media darlings? By taking out the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins, does it mean you’ll stop describing them as such?
Players who come to Montreal and embrace their new home and team, like Mike Cammalleri and Scott Gomez, continue to make the Montreal Canadiens a proud team. A now-proud team. Seeing Jean Beliveau and Henri Richard and the other old greats simply oozes pride. The 100th anniversay celebrations last December certainly showed a proud organization. The majority of players are, I’m sure, proud as punch to wear the famous jersey.
The team just hasn’t won a lot of hardware in the past while, which several million Habs fans feel will change shortly.
Maybe now this tired and depressing description will vamoose. So stop it. Call somebody else a “once proud team.” Why don’t you call the Phoenix Coyotes “a once-proud team.” Back in the old days when they used to be the Winnipeg Jets.
Now, to shift gears.
Whoever it is who winds up playing the Habs, whether it’s Boston or Philadelphia, is going to get nothing but respect from me. In the last few years when the Canadiens met either of these teams in the playoffs, the papers and blogs in these fine cities gave Montreal absolutely no respect and I took it to heart. So I came out swinging and did my best to counterpunch with my own brand of disrespect to the Bruins or Flyers. I posted a monkey in a Bruins uniform, a Bruins team picture with girls’ heads pasted on, and similar silliness with the Flyers. I admit, it upset numerous fans down there, but I realized I didn’t really enjoy what I was doing. I know I hate it when it’s done to the Habs, and so I’ve turned over a new leaf.
I’ll probably still make fun of the Leafs, though. I’m not perfect.
Whoever Montreal meets, it’s going to be tough. We’re not the underdogs anymore. The team is probably favourites now in the next series, although if they get to the finals and meet San Jose or Chicago, no one will give them a chance once again. And even though the Habs have slayed the dragon twice, lack of respect has already reared its ugly head. Several scribes have come out and said the Penguins were exhausted from going the distance last year and having a whack of players who played in the Olympics. I think it’s a lousy excuse, for what it’s worth.
But regardless, respect for the Habs is coming slowly. Very slowly. Turtles pace maybe. Although Canucks fans around here have shown great admiration for the Habs doing what the Canucks couldn’t.