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.