Okay, Habs fans...see that? That flash of brilliance you catch out of the corner of your eye every once in a while? I think it's the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. With the team sitting (even if it's possibly just temporarily) in first place and the young players taking big roles in the group's current success, it's the best the Habs have looked in the last fourteen years. And while the present looks good, the future looks better. Not only does the team have young, talented players coming up through the system, it also has the management in place to make sure those players develop to the best advantage of the franchise. Bob Gainey isn't likely to throw the next young Chris Chelios or Patrick Roy away for nothing.
Yeah, I know it's a little early to be singing "Happy Days Are Here Again," but I think the worst is over. So I need to ask: how'd you do it? How did you survive the darkest time in the franchise's history since 1940, when it nearly folded?
I learned how to look away when things got really bad, and how to appreciate the small bright spots like Saku Koivu's play and the scattered heroic win when they shouldn't have come close. I learned humility at the hands of Leafs fans, and patience as I waited through the long winter of the team's hibernation. I learned not to expect less, exactly, but to face reality and bide my time. My pain tolerance improved immeasurably. But, I'm proud to say I stuck with this team and I feel like my faith is going to be vindicated, finally.
And somehow, I think the Enlightenment will be sweeter for having lived through the Dark Ages.