The Scene: A cozy master suite in a certain Montreal condo. A man is sleeping deeply
Jacques Martin: (mumbling in his sleep) Come on, Darchie. You can do it. You're a PP genius Darchie...yeah, baby...
A Voice speaks in the darkness: Jacques! Jacques, hear My voice!
Martin: Hmm? Wha?
Voice: Jacques! It is I, the Lord God. Listen to Me!
Martin: (groggily surfacing to awareness) Skillsie, I don't know what you're trying to prove, but it's not funny.
Voice: (Sighs) Jacques, it is not Harold Priestley Gill. It is I, the Creator, the All-Powerful One. Listen up, Jacques. I did not give you those ears just for show.
Martin: (fully awake now) Lord? Is that really You? But I'm not dressed or anything.
Voice: (impatiently) Yes, yes. I am not concerned about your attire. Those ties would not help matters anyway. I am here with a message for you, so listen carefully.
Martin: Anything, Lord. I'm ready.
Voice: Jacques, have I not given you your dream job?
Martin: Well, yes...
Voice: Don't interrupt Me! These are rhetorical questions to make you think! Sheesh. Now...Have I not given you solid support in Kirk Muller? Have I not granted your team strong leadership and experience?
Voice: You can answer now.
Martin: Oh, uh, sorry, Lord. Yes, all of those things are true, and I'm very, very grateful.
Voice: Of course you are. Who wouldn't be grateful? I have a problem, however.
Martin: What is it Lord?
Voice: Jacques, I have given your team youth, skill and enthusiasm. You have taken that youth, skill and enthusiasm and tried to stifle it. You have exiled My son, Lars Eller, in favour of My hardworking, but completely stone-handed servant, Tom Pyatt. You have sowed the seed of doubt in the mind of My beloved one, Pernell Karl Subban. I have created him with a great mix of speed, puck skill and brash enthusiasm, and packaged it all in a strong body that can do some damage on the ice. All he needs is time to gain the experience that will turn him into a star defenceman in the NHL. I have done My part in making him. You, however, are not doing yours.
Martin: Well, Lord, the kids are great and everything, but...
Voice: I SAID do not interrupt Me. I'm not finished. My message to you, Jacques is this: Be not afraid.
Martin: Afraid of what, Lord?
Voice: (in an aside) Whatever happened to prophets who could read between the lines? No wonder I don't bother appearing to these people anymore. (to Martin) Jacques, you are fearful of losing the job I have so graciously bestowed upon you. You are choosing to play it safe and make all of My talent hang back on defence all the time. Look, Jacques, defence is important, I'll grant you that, but it's not everything. My sons need their offensive freedom as well. You have to find a balance and let them go. Your team needs goals, and I have given you the tools. You have to release your fear of getting turfed and use them.
Martin: But Lord, I need to protect Carey Price. We need to keep goals against down.
Voice: Oh, ye of little faith! My son Carey can handle himself. He needs goal support! Listen, Jacques, before it's too late. Your team is playing boring, hermetical hockey, and that is not why I created it in the first place.
Martin: Okay, Lord. I'll try.
Voice: "Try" isn't good enough, Jacques. You'll speak with Kirk Muller today, and have him draw up a new game plan; one that focuses on speed and forward motion. Shot blocking is fine in its place, but it is not the most important stat in hockey.
Martin: Yes, Lord. I'll speak to Kirky first thing in the morning.
Voice: Good, Jacques. I, the Lord God, am pleased with your willingness to serve Me and My chosen hockey team. Oh, and I want to see My Subban and Eller on the ice, not in the pressbox from now on.
Martin: Yes, Lord.
Voice: And I would like My son, P.K., to have music privileges in the room for the rest of the month. And a room of his own on the road.
Martin: Really? Okay, um...whatever you say, Lord.
Voice: I will leave you now, Jacques. Remember, be not afraid. And don't forget, speed kills.
Martin: Thank you, Lord. Um...can I ask one small favour?
Voice: What is it, Jacques?
Martin: I always wanted to hear the Bell Centre crowd chant my name like they used to do for Carbo. Can you make it happen?
Voice: Jacques, I am the Creator. I can make anything happen. I was behind the 1971 playoff run, after all. You, however, are asking for a bit of a miracle. I'll see what I can do. No promises.
Martin: Thanks again, Lord.
Voice: Good night, Jacques. Sleep well.
Martin shakes his head in wonder and lies in bed pondering the Word of the Lord in his heart. Outside, two black-clad forms clamber down the condominium's fire escape.
Lars Eller: Oh man, can I laugh now?
P.K.Subban: Sshhh...not until we're in the car.
Eller: How come you didn't ask for me to get my own room too?
Subban: Listen, I couldn't push it too hard. It's enough if you get sprung from the pressbox.
Eller: Okay. You know, you really made God sound like a tool.
Subban: Well, I had to speak a language coach would understand, didn't I?
Eller: Can we do this again sometime?
Subban: We'll see how it goes. We'd better get some sleep now, though. Looks like we're both playing tomorrow.
Players laugh and high-five as they reach the car parked around the corner.