Wow. I thought I was ready to say goodbye to the Habs this year. They played a great season. There's so much hope for the future. I thought I'd accepted their ignominous departure from the playoffs as an inevitable part of their development as a team. But I'm not ready. This is crap!
It's been what? Ten days since their elimination? It feels like ten weeks. Usually when the Habs don't make the playoffs or they get dumped out early, I take solace in watching the other teams play. I pride myself on being a hockey fan...not just a Habs fan. But this year it's really tough. I admit, watching the Dallas/Detroit series is fun because Ribeiro is getting trounced and it looks good on him. But the Philly/Pittsburgh series is killing me. Montreal should be there.
I don't know exactly what happened to the Habs in the second round. I know, theoretically, that they got bad luck, a hot opposition goalie in Biron and poor goaltending of their own. But watching the Pens own the Flyers makes me think Montreal should really have taken Philly down. I hate watching that series, because I know not only should the Habs be in it, but they'd also being giving the Pens a better challenge. It'd be more fun for the fans too. Speed on speed, offence on offence. It would have been great.
I have to give the Flyers credit. They did what they had to do against Montreal. They were, when it counted, the better team. But I hate that they're just going to fold against Pittsburgh. I want the team that beats Montreal to be the Cup winners. Not an also-ran team that gets killed immediately after eliminating the Habs.
So, here I am, watching the World Championships to catch a glimpse of Koivu or Plekanec or Markov in an effort to feed my Habs addiction. (Speaking of which, does anyone think there's the slightest hope Koivu might persuade Selanne to give Montreal a try for a year? I'll live in hope, because that would be impressive, to say the least.) I'm planning for the draft that's 38 days away, in the hope that Trevor Timmins picks a nice big centre we can drool over for the next dozen years. (I have favourites, which I'll blog about closer to the draft.) I'm getting excited over announcements like the signing of Ryan White, which I think is just great. But the rhythm of the season, the three-a-week game days is missing and I miss it. I don't do off-season well.
Anyway, fortunately, neither the Pens nor the Flyers are going to beat the Wings. Detroit for the Cup. I'm calling it now. But damn...I wish they were playing the Habs for it.