Thursday, May 13, 2010

NOW COMES THE HARD PART

They've knocked off two of the top three teams in their conference and shut down or contained three of the last four NHL scoring champions, but it doesn't get any easier for the Canadiens in their improbable march to the Stanley Cup semifinals. The Habs didn't have to deal with the pressure of expectations against Washington and Pittsburgh because they were such prohibitive underdogs in both series, but their stunning success will saddle them with the burden of their own history the rest of the way. They're no longer middle-of-the-pack eighth seeded cannon fodder for elite opponents. They're now the legendary Montreal Canadiens - 24-time Stanley Cup winners, torch bearers for ancient champions and guardians of a sacred hockey legacy. Every game - every DAY - from this point on will be awash in flashbacks to Montreal championships and dynasties of yesteryear, and comparisons of Mike Cammalleri to Yvan Cournoyer, Jarsoslav Halak to Patrick Roy, P.K. Subban to Chris Chelios and Marc-Andre Bergeron to...um...Gaston Gingras...? Whether it's against Boston or Philadelphia, the Canadiens won't enjoy the underdog role in round three, even if they're sentimental favorites. As the sport's marquee heritage franchise representing a city steeped in hockey tradition, the Canadiens can't go this deep into the dance without being expected to go all the way. You think the first two rounds were tough? The tough part is just beginning.

2 comments:

  1. No one expected them to get this far - and I'm sure they are surprising themselves. They really seem to be playing as a team for once. At this point I see there is no reason why they can't go all the way to win the Cup. The bandwagon? Yes I am on it. Go Habs Go !

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  2. Yep! Im with you on that one! and since lots of fans expect them to win with one finger up their nose, the pressure is through the roof and on the other hand, the disappointment would be of epic proportion!!!

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