It’s Good To Be A Habs Fan

The Habs are gone, and for now………

No more P.K. Subban wheeling around and rushing like a man possessed, or blasting a missile from the point, or sailing across the ice, fired up, in the moment, to level an oncoming enemy.

No more Brendan Gallagher crashing the net, standing firm as bigger opponents try to figure out how to take his head off without getting penalized, with the young fellow holding his ground as he’s mugged and coming back for more. No more of the little bugger pushing hard against the gigantic Zdeno Chara and other behemoths, and when seeing this, how could it not touch our hearts.

No more Brandon Prust sticking up for his teammates, and sometimes finding himself on the scoresheet after giving the proverbial and impossible 110%. No more choirboy Lars Eller getting better each game, or witnessing 19-year old Alex Galchenyuk slowly make his way to a brilliant future.

No more of the players we cheer for on some nights when they’re on fire, and want to ship to Vladivostok when they’re struggling.

No more beautiful blue, white, and red uniform with the big CH on the front. The uniform the Rocket wore. How it must feel to put this sweater on. Fans of other teams don’t understand, and I guess we don’t expect them to.

No more Pierre Houde shouting “et le but,” or, from any of the English voices, “he shoots, he scores,” as one or another Montreal Canadien lights the lamp, and we celebrate and crave more.

No more anticipation of a big game, especially at the Bell, with a booming rendition of the national anthem beforehand, with the crowd ready and expectations high, with little kids carrying the flag or pretending to light up the ice. I applied for this flag job a few years ago, only to be told I’m about 50 years too old.

No more games, for a few months, for us who cheer for our Montreal Canadiens. We who feel the magic. Magic in the crest. Magic in a big night.

It’s over for now, until they come together once again, when, as we always have, we’ll hope and dream and yell at the referee.

Until then, until we see the blue, blanc, and rouge take to the ice, the games might as well be played in Oregon.

Boring, Oregon.

Boring

l-boring-welcome-sign

17 thoughts on “It’s Good To Be A Habs Fan”

  1. Dennis,

    Once again I want to say how much I continue to enjoy your blog. You write well and always in an interesting way (a rare combination!). Just given the items you’ve pictured or mentioned over the past few months, I can only imagine that your musuem of Les Canadiens memorabilia has to occupy several rooms (if not every room) of your house. You must have married an extraordinarily understanding woman (congratulations on your anniversary, by the way – a touching story of your matrimonial adventure).

    I clearly am not the expert observer of the Habs that you and several other readers are….It appears that our team played over its head for the first 3/4 of the season. Even considering the injuries, it seems to me that the Canadiens still are a considerable distance away from being a top-rung team. It’s been many years since they’ve had a bonafide star player (someone who actually makes it onto the scoring list that appears in the newspaper every day). While there are some very good/good players on the team (including the names that you mentioned in this blog), at the same time there are too many mediocre players who lack the necessary skills and/or motivation to play hard every night. Until that changes, I’m afraid that the Canadiens are going to remain near the middle of the pack, barely making the playoffs each year, only to be knocked out of the running by stronger, more disciplined and hungrier teams.

    Thoughts?

    Eric

  2. Hi Eric, thanks for that. My collection takes up one room with a scattering of things in others. A lot is in boxes, and I’ve been hauling this stuff around the country off and on for years.
    I’ve been yearning for a true Canadiens superstar for years, ever since Lafleur left. It’s what the team needs, not only to be better, but to have that certain aura they’ve had in the past. A superstar would own the city. This is why I’m hoping so much for Alex Galchenyuk. He’s been our one chance in many years to have a guy who can lead the league in scoring, be in the upper echelons, a 50-goal scorer. P.K. is getting up there now as at the top or near the top of blueliners, and it’ll be interesting to see if we have the league’s best defenceman for the next several years.
    I don’t think I would call it playing over their head. They won too many games, and had so many points, and I think it was instilled in them early in the year from management that a repeat of last year is unacceptable and just can’t happen again. The attitude was different, and no one had any idea of how Gallagher would pick this team up. On so many nights when he was playing well, it was a different team. They were alive and crashed the net and found ways to win. To me it wasn’t playing over their heads, it was the failure of the goaltending. It’s always pretty discouraging when the guys are going good in the first period, only to be behind by a couple after the goalie lets in some weak ones. If Price had stayed brilliant from start to finish, they’d still be playing, even with the injuries.
    Some tweaks need to be made. A bit more toughness etc. But the bottom line is, Price has to be better next year.
    I’m always such a hopeful type. It’s that way every year for me, and I never truly get down on them. I get mad at them, but I always expect things to get better. Every year I expect some kind of surprising turn of events and they win it all. Just like in the movies.

  3. Another summer without the thrill of a championship. I still remember the sense of elation I felt after the titles in 1986 and 1993, mostly because both were so unexpected. Two Stanley Cup titles in the past 34 years. Blech………..

  4. I think like you too, Dennis. Had Price been better the team could have found a way to win (more than one game). I think their energy was high but were easily deflated when he’d let in say 3 of 6 goals. How can it not get to you mentally? The goalie is the spine and somehow Price crashed at the end of the season. Why? What happened to his confidence? It’s still a mystery to me how that can happen.

    It bugs me that they didn’t move on we must remind ourselves where we finished last year. We have a good coach, a new coach who knows his players a little more now and combine this with what Bergevin can do come trade deadline and with drafting, I think we will see some beefing up for the next season.

    I don’t like the way half the crowd left the last game. How terribly sad. They did their best (most of them? And if anything, provided your scoresheet with a lot of yellow! Boo on you, Montreal fans. Very embarrassing.

    Thank you Dennis. You are my most favorite-followed hockey blog. I read you at all hours of the night. I love, love your humor the most.

    No more….no more Habs for now…

  5. Thank you Marjo. You’re a key power play specialist on the Kaneblog Kamels. Yes, there was a lot of yellow this year and if Mr. Price can stop the puck next year, there should be a lot of yellow again. I may even have to buy a new highlighter. Please check in now and again throughout the summer if you get a chance. I’ll continue to babble away. And speaking of summer, I hope you a have a wonderful one.

  6. The season can be summarized like this:

    The Habs were a decent team that got hit by the injury bug and shaky goaltending at the worst possible time and faced a team that had a really hot goaltender. That, and an NHL ref that should be an official for FIFA.

    Price was really good until mid April this year. Something happened after we clinched a playoff spot when we beat Buffalo. That5-1 loss against the Leafs on April 13th was the beginning of Price’s decline. Before that, people were even talking about him winning the Vezina trophy.

    Listen to what Price has to say near the end of this video. He admits he needs to get checked out by a doctor for “things that started acting up from previous years” and might need to have surgery performed on him after he is assessed.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QI8UIKEvIzU&feature=player_embedded

    In the playoffs, goaltending is everything. And if you don’t have it, you won’t go far. A wounded goaltender can’t play up to his full potential and this could explain why Price looked bad on several occasions.

    I hope Price was just suffering from a niggling injury and will be spectacular next year when hopefully he will be 100% recovered from whatever was affecting his performance.

    I’m still optimistic and feel the future looks bright. Montreal has one first, three second and two third-round draft picks this year.

    Looking forward to next year. It’s going to be even better.

  7. Ian, I read that and your link also ended up on my Facebook page, although I’m not sure how I did that.
    I thought it was quite lame. But even lamer were some of the comments. One person wrote that he or she is a lifetime Habs fan and this article was wonderful, or words to that effect. My main question to this Ottawa writer would be – who was his favourite team before the Sens came in in the early ’90s? I’d love to know.

  8. I’m the one who posted the link on your FB page, Dennis–wanted to be sure that you saw it. I was really annoyed after reading the article (I never bothered to read the comments, which are often nothing but the views of trolls and/or sycophants, anyway), as it seemed to me like this ass went out of his way to try and trash the organization and to make its fans feel badly (or worse) about the outcome of the season (than they already did).

  9. Thanks Ian. I was confused because when I posted my comment to that story, I was asked to sign in to Facebook and I wasn’t sure why. So then I deleted the post on Facebook because i thought it was a mistake. Now I wish I hadn’t. I hated this guy’s story. I thought he was an idiot and I’d like to reply to him directly but I guess I can’t be bothered. It really made me angry, and that’s why I posted my little story today. I have a whole new way of looking at the Senators now, and I hope they flop in magnificent fashion against Pittsburgh. And like I mentioned earlier, I’d like to know who this guy cheered for before 1992 or whatever it was.

  10. Funny. For a guy who is so down on the Habs in so many ways, he sure as hell gives our team a lot of space in his head.

  11. Ian, if you get the chance, could you please put that link back on my Facebook page. I’m not sure why I deleted it. The unknown I guess. Sometimes the computer freaks me out.

  12. Marjo, good one. My comment on that post, although it never seemed to show up, was “And it took six of you to write this crap?” He acknowledged five other people for helping him with it, at the bottom. Now that I know that Sens fans are just as despicable as Leafs and Bruins fans, it changes everything for me, the way I see that team and their fans. To begin with, I hope they get clobbered. Badly. Shut them up.

  13. Six authors? My God. I never made it that far down to check out who wrote it. Constant complaining and acting like children is pathetic; the read got old. If they’re Sens fans, would it not be more fantastic to marinate in the win rather than focus on the losers? Odd folks those Sen fans.

    On another note, I watched the Bos/Tor game tonight and a great goalie makes all the difference. If only…of, shoulda, woulda…

  14. Marjo, right. a great goalie makes all the difference. This is good quote of the day stuff. I watched it too. I’m actually surprised there’s not more nastiness. Who would’ve thought the Habs-Sens was more than Leafs-Bruins.

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