I know the playoffs are a new season and we have to throw away all the assumptions and all the understandings we gleaned from the last 82 games. Rightly so, I think. There's no point getting overconfident about beating the Bruins because of the Habs' unbeaten regular season record against them. That makes us insufferable if the team wins and devastated if it doesn't. But with another day to go before that magical second season begins, I find I'm not ready to file the last six months under "done" just yet.
So, before the 2007-08 regular season is officially relegated to the annals of history, a little walk down memory lane. These are a few of the special or notable moments that made this year so very enjoyable for me:
-The first time Mark Streit teed one up from the blue line on the powerplay and blasted it through the goalie into the net and we all said, "Sheldon who?"
-Kirk Muller and Claude Julien screaming at each other at the end of a Canadiens' blowout of the Bruins. That was so bloody entertaining. I half expected them to go, and it made me laugh to see Muller so riled up.
-Kovalev beating Chara behind the net, dropping his glove, turning back and picking it up, putting it back on and STILL keeping the puck from Chara. Beautiful. I'm still smiling at that one.
-Another Kovalev moment: levelling Ryan Hollweg with the elbow and getting away with it. I know it wasn't a clean hit, but Hollweg deserved it, and Kovalev sent a message about what happens when someone messes with him.
-Cristobal Huet stoning the Rangers in the shootout of the comeback game on February 19, after admitting he doesn't like shootouts, and having looked so brutal in them earlier in the year. That was the perfect cap to a great game.
-Andrei Markov's reaction after scoring the shootout winner against the Pens in the ninth round. I'd never seen him so obviously exuberant about anything before, and it was great.
-Josh Gorges, refusing to fight a Philly defender and pointing down the ice to where Francis Bouillon had broken away for his first goal of the year. That was brilliant and hilarious.
-Guillaume Latendresse dropping Nolan Pratt with a good smack right to the schnozz. The big guy showed he can look after himself if he has to.
-And on the fights front...Maxim Lapierre's stance is an absolute riot. He looks like the Karate Kid standing on the log.
-Tomas Plekanec's goal celebration, both arms up in ecstasy, throwing himself at the glass...no better than when he scored his first hat trick this year.
-Saku Koivu pulling off the shootout winners when it really counted.
-The Carey Price facewash that started after his first shutout and has gotten better (or worse...for him) after every win.
-Carbo's horrible tie on the night they clinched the division against Ottawa, and his laughing at it the next day.
-Gainey Night, with the big man skating out in full uniform. That was unexpected and completely emotional. Too bad the game sucked, but the ceremony will never be forgotten.
I could go on, but those are some of my favourite moments from the season on which we're about to close the book. It was a great one, and a fun one, and no matter what happens now, it's worth remembering.