I don't know about you, but I feel a little bit better after last night. It doesn't burn as much to have our terribly injured, terribly outmanned eighth-seed Habs go down to the powerful Bruins after the mighty Sharks choked in the first round again, does it? Imagine being a Sharks fan. You just spent the entire season smugly watching your first-place team look pretty much invincible against all comers. You heard the pundits praise them for getting off to one of the best starts in league history, and compliment Doug Wilson for going out and adding a smart veteran winner in Rob Blake. You were excited because shoring up an already-strong defence with all-star Dan Boyle was the answer to the missing piece question for your team. Then the playoffs start, your big guns Marleau and Thornton once again fail to show up and your team, after all the hope and glory of the season, chokes again. And to your hated cross-state rival into the bargain.
Or, imagine being a Flames fan? You were all excited when Pierre McGuire and the other talking heads were ranting and raving about how your team "won" the trade deadline frenzy by adding Jordan Leopold and Olli Jokinen. They expounded about your team being "the new power" in the west, and how it had added strength that would make it incredibly tough to beat. Yet, here are the Flames, with a fourth straight first-round exit. That's got to hurt. But, at least the Flames fans can lick their wounds by listening to those same talking heads explain the Flames lost because of their injuries. They couldn't be expected to win without Phaneuf in the lineup, after all. The Canadiens loss of Andrei Markov wasn't even close to being responsible for their playoff defeat according to the experts...but then again, he's no Phaneuf.
So, there are worse things than being a Habs fan today. I think it'd be way worse to have a powerhouse team that can't win, than have a team with obvious holes that can be filled with the right moves. I think it would be easier to solve the Canadiens problems than try to figure out how to make Joe Thornton step up in the playoffs.