Friday, April 24, 2009


Okay. Now it's hitting me. We won't see another Habs game for SIX MONTHS. Sure, we'll have the hiring of a new coach, the draft, the signing of the Canadiens own free agents before July 1, UFA season, development camp, rookie camp and training camp before the new team takes the ice in October. But it's not the same.

For all their faults, there are very few Canadiens I'll be glad to see leave town. And I know we've seen the last games of more than one of them. I'll miss Kovalev's precision shot over the goalie's left shoulder. I'll miss Koivu's digging in the corner and coming out with the puck against guys with thirty pounds on him. I'll miss Dandenault's speed, Higgins' hustle, Tanguay's seeing-eye passes, Markov's PP set-ups, Halak's stopping forty-plus shots, Kostopoulos' "fights," Price and Gorges' funny win celebrations when the team was winning, Komisarek's shot blocking, Schneider's bomb from the point, Lapierre's energy, Plekanec's sweet passes from behind the net, Bouillon's bodychecks, Breezer's dramatic outlet pass, Kostitsyn's once-in-a-blue-moon virtuoso rushes, Laraque's smile when he lines up with the other team's goon, Hamrlik's big minutes and willingness to take on whatever the team asked of him, Metropolit's heart, Sergei's feistiness and the hopefulness of kids like D'Agostini, Pacioretty, Stewart, O'Byrne and Weber. There's something to like about every one of them.

It's going to be such a long summer for us though. I think it's worse because it's tinged with such sadness and uncertainty. Last year we were all impatient for the summer to pass and the new season to pick up where the promise of the old one left off. Now we're looking at wholesale changes in staff, the roster and possibly even the ownership. That's making it really tough to look ahead with much optimism. But, ironically, maybe that's where the optimism can be found.

Maybe if we're not expecting great things, the possibility of a pleasant surprise exists. Perhaps a return to realism after all the fairytale hype of the Centennial will mean a lot of the bandwaggoners will drop off and leave the team to supporters who don't expect a Cup just because the media tells them they should have one...and who boo when they don't get what they were told to expect. Maybe returning to normal will mean the players will smile again and their development will get back on track after the derailment of this awful season. Hey...I guess there's hope after all. Bring on the draft!


Anonymous said...

Amen. J.T. I feel exactly the same way. Can't wait for the draft and the signings. I'm going to miss the guys who don't return and wish them well.

JF said...

I feel the same about missing the Habs, J.T. Even though I knew the Bruins would win the series and thought right from the beginning that a sweep was likely, I'm still so sad I can't stop thinking about the games and the team, wondering exactly what went wrong, worrying about the players who had sub-par seasons, obsessing about the whole thing. But I liked what I heard from Gainey yesterday. I liked his standing up for price, his slamming the Tampa GM, his talk about the work ahead, his calmness. I also liked what I heard from some of the players. It'll be a long summer, but somehow I feel optimistic about next year with no unrealistic expectations, no distractions and the focus entirely on hockey. I hope Gillett hangs onto the team and Gainey stays.

Woodvid said...

Thanks for pointing out the positives and not tearing a new one on the guys like so many people are doing. If only the media could do the same!

Number31 said...

It'll be along summer, but there's still the Bulldogs to listen to!

But this summer is going to be hard. I don't want to lose these players, and I'm pissed off that that was the way some "fans" sent them off. Terrible... Gainey's press conference made me a little happier with what happened though. And double props to Price for standing up for himself. I remember when Roy did it, and when Price did it my heart sank.

Here's to next season!