Friday, May 30, 2014

Merci, les gars


    Canadiens fans are routinely accused of living in the past, but long gone are the days when attending a Stanley Cup parade was considered a Montreal birthright.  Fans old enough to remember the Canadiens' last two championships will also recall that those teams benefitted enormously from the prohibitive Cup favourites of the day - Edmonton in 1986 and Pittsburgh in '93 - being upset by other teams.  The Canadiens cleared their own path to the Eastern Conference final in 2014 by eliminating the Boston Bruins, who were the consensus best team in the NHL heading into the post-season.  That's what we'll remember most about these playoffs, just as the 2010 run to the Stanley Cup semifinals is remembered more for beating the Penguins and Capitals than it is for losing to the Flyers.
     Forty years ago, when the Canadiens routinely competed for the Stanley Cup in a 16 team league watered down by expansion, there was no consolation in anything less than a championship.  For the sake of their own sanity, no team's fans can adopt an all or nothing mindset in a 30 team salary cap era.
     Just two years removed from finishing last in their conference, the Canadiens gave us a playoff thrill ride.  With a solid core of youth that includes not one but TWO franchise players and a general manager who's become a quick study in assembling a legitimate contender, the Canadiens have turned a corner and should only get better in the foreseeable future.  That might or might not translate into a Stanley Cup, but they're in the competitive mix, and that's the most any modern day fan can realistically ask for.

6 comments:

  1. It was a great playoff run, a surprise really. The surprise in the last round was Dustin Tokarsky (sp?). If he remains the real deal, we'll have a pretty respectable 1 2 punch with netminders.

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    1. As long as that does not turn into another "Price vs Halak" - We all know how that went!

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  2. To me win or lose they are my Team!! Go Habs Go!!! It was a good match last night, they played hard but NY played harder. :)

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  3. Despite last night's elimination, the Habs surprised more than one in their resiliency, perseverence, attitude and drive this year. Whenever we counted them out, they always bounced back! Bergevin gaved us the additional players needed to drive us far in the play offs and Therien applied his know how to a close perfection. Weiss and Weaver were simply incredible and added a missing dimension to our team. Vanek was the un-explainable downfall and demise. He was all fire on ice when he first arrived and composed the best line of the NHL with Patch and Desharnais. Fans were liking it alot! I was enchanted by the ability of that line to dis-member the opposition's defense with suave passes and finess shots. Then something very mysterious happened! Till now the only thing that would make sense is an injury that would apear to put his feet into cement skates or a contract negotiation fart between Vanek's agent and Bergevin that completely floored the player to a dismal downward spiral to hell! Either way the "no excuses" statement at the entrance of their dressing room should be applied here in full effect ! We live and die with our choices and Vanek was on the ice alot. We were all hoping for him to do something.......anything, but nothing came. A dark abyss of nothingness! What hurts the most was that he dragged down Patch along with him! Patch wasn't the same player as in during the regular season anymore and his enthousiastic attitude faded quickly to the drum of Vanek's dissapearing act. The fat lady has sung and her name was Vanek! On a final note, Tokarski was on a highway to heaven doing warp speed and stopping all the stars. What a very pleasant surprise! He outplayed the best second fiddle to Price in Lundqvist.

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  4. Simon in TorontoJune 1, 2014 at 7:44 AM

    Wonder where Peter Budaj plays next season. He's a solid back up. Or do the Habs send Tokarski back to Hamilton rather than have him sit on the bench behind Price?

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