I woke up at 4:30 this morning, and even in my state of half-sleep I was furious. As I rose to the surface of consciousness, I remembered why. It was because of the complete anihilation of the Habs by their arch-rivals from Beantown, less than a week after the complete anihilation of the Habs by their arch-rivals from Hogtown. Mmmm...pork and beans. And the Habs as mincemeat on the side.
The cool and trendy thing to do today is to flip out and stress about what's wrong with the team. How far will it slide before something makes it stop? How badly can it actually play? How embarrassing will it be if the six All-Star starters are Habs and the Habs are in the tank by the time the game rolls around? What if they miss the playoffs?
Anyway, I did all that last night. Today I'm breaking from the cool and trendy ranks of frenzied Habs fans and looking for a bit of perspective. Of course, there's no doubt that the team stunk... terribly...from Price out. But, if you remember some of the lousy losses from last year's first-place season, it's not as smelly as it could be.
Recall the 4-1 game against Dallas, with Ribeiro scoring four points? The 3-0 lead against the Rangers that miraculously turned into a Rags' comeback and a Habs loss? The 3-0 loss to Columbus on Bob Gainey Night? The 4-1 complete ownership handed down by the Wings? The back-to-back humiliations delivered by the Sabres, including a 3-0 shutout, last November? The 4-0 shutout by Jersey, courtesy of Brodeur the Nemesis? The 6-1 pounding and utter domination by the Sens?
The point is there were many horrendous games last year as well. We stressed and gnawed and worried, and they still finished on top of the conference. That's not to forgive last night's game, because it's a good sign the team is doing many things wrong. But they did last year as well, and the same group managed to pull it together and right the wrongs. I don't like what's happening, but it take some crap to grow a bouquet, so I'll have patience and hope things turn around.
Tomorrow's game against Philly will tell us a lot. If the team can come back and play well, even with a loss, I'll have hope things aren't as badly wrong as they appear right now. If not...well, Bob may have to start his post-season planning a little early. I have to believe it won't come to that.
I need some sleep.