Sunday, October 6, 2013
Eller is the real deal (and other Monday musings on a Sunday night)
It's disappointing when people who know better downplay Lars Eller's terrific start for the Canadiens because it doesn't suit their personal agenda. That Eller has been the Canadiens best forward to open the season shouldn't be eye-opening to anyone who's been paying attention for the past three years. His development as an NHL player has been solid and consistent, and taking it to the next level this season is part of a natural progression. Eller's skating ability and willingness to go to the dirty areas were never in question, and with added muscle on his 6 foot, 2 inch frame and the confidence and poise born of experience, Eller will be a pillar of strength down the middle for the Canadiens for years to come. Pretending otherwise because you didn't like the Jaroslav Halak trade at the time is disingenuous, self-serving and lacking in credibility...I've been watching hockey for the better part of 50 years, and only this week did I learn than there's a "code" that forbids NHL coaches from chirping opposing players. What a crock of shit. This isn't peewee. If Colorado coach Patrick Roy objects to his star rookie getting run in a 6-1 game, good for him for giving the other bench an earful - even if he did come unhinged, but that only added to the entertainment value. Besides, he's Patrick Fucking Roy. He doesn't have to abide by a code dictated by guys who couldn't carry his lunch when it comes to championship credentials. Carry on, Patrick...The ability to single-handedly control the universe can be an awesome burden, as I learned this weekend when I recklessly used my Twitter account to jinx Carey Price's shutout, Justin Verander's perfect game and Tony Romo's valiant but ultimately ill-fated showdown with Peyton Manning. The Twitter backlash from the high priests of irrational folklore was sufficient to remind me that with great power comes great responsibility. Henceforth, I'll confine the use of my mystical powers to more trivial and inconsequential endeavors, like sowing mutual mistrust between nations and manipulating the global economy...I was supposed to be at yesterday's Eagles-Giants game with my son, but we had to cancel the trip and sell our tickets after I lost my job last month. If the benevolence of my former employers in arranging to spare us the embarrassment and humiliation of watching our favorite football team fall to 0-5 isn't shining testimony to the corporate culture's limitless compassion for the working man, I don't know what is.