Finally it begins, 198 days from that dark October 1st evening when the Canadiens would lose 4-3 to the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Bell Centre.
Through highs and lows they took us, from four and five-game winning streaks to three and four-game losing streaks. But they always kept pace, always stayed in the hunt from start to finish.
Up and down we went, and in the end, when the long 82-game regular season finally drew to a close, we found our team finishing fourth in the east, a fine100-point season to be proud of, with a goalie at the top of his game and a team that slowly but surely created chemistry within its ranks and a new and forceful first line in place.
Tampa’s number one goaltender Ben Bishop won’t start and we don’t know if he’ll even finish. Brandon Prust seems ready to go. The penalty killing has been spectacular. And our goaltender backstopped Team Canada to gold at Sochi and carries on now as the best in the business.
I’m not going to try and dissect the lines and matchups, or who’s dressing and who isn’t. I prefer to see how everything unfolds. Criticism can wait until it’s well-deserved.
For now, for me at least, it’s time to get excited, nervous and more than hopeful, and embrace the Montreal Canadiens as they attempt to give us and themselves what we last saw in 1993.
It’s time once again to bring out Annakin Slayd’s “Feels Like ’93”.
Time to dust off the great Annakin Slayd “Feels Like ’93” to get things going. Mike Williamson suggested a few years ago that this tune should be an annual event here as the boys begin their charge, and I agree.
You probably think I should be listening to Rudy Vallee and Al Jolson, but I happen to think Feels Like ’93 is a very cool song.
Can the Canadiens take out the Senators? You bet they can. They have more weapons. And as for those Habs who’ve been struggling lately, now’s the time to stop struggling. We need you. Not mentioning any names, Michael Ryder, DD, Max, Brian Gionta, Mr. Bourque etc.
The video below shows where I’ve hung my hat for the last 16 years. It’s a terrific place. Way too many Canucks fans but great anyway.
Powell River sits at the top of the Sunshine Coast, 120 kilometres north of Vancouver, with the Strait of Georgia, also known as the Salish Sea, also known as part of the Pacific Ocean, in our backyard, so to speak.
There are also some Habs fans here, and I suppose now is as good a time as any to mention what my wife Luci came up with. We’d like to have local Habs fans join us some night at TC’s Pub for beer and talk. We can trash Gomez, for example. We can slander the Canucks. We can toss the around the idea of whether or not Brad Marchand’s brain should be donated to science. While he’s still alive.
I think it could be the most fun any of us could ever have with our clothes on.
I’m going to start putting the word out. Like now. Heck, maybe it’ll get so big that those of you from other parts will make the trek out here. Sort of like a Habs Woodstock, with you arriving in your Volkswagon vans, whooping and hollering, blasting Annakin Slayd and wearing Habs sweaters.
Time to dust off the great Annakin Slayd song to get things going. And in my best Wolfman Jack voice, I dedicate this tune to Mike Williamson, who believed a few years ago that this tune should be an annual event as the boys begin their charge, and I agree.
So start growing your playoff beard (if you’re a guy) and groove to the pep rally song. (If you’re a lady, instead of growing a beard, just be nice to the shy guy with pimples at work or at school. You have the power to give him serious issues for many years and you don’t want to be doing that).