The puck drops here!

I've just been watching TSN's NHL season special. . .

After two games played in London, England, the 2007 NHL season will officially begin tomorrow night. And I can already make a prediction: the Montreal Canadiens will not win the Stanley Cup this year. Heck, they might not even make the playoffs. As things stand, we will be battling for the 8th and final playoff spot. If we're lucky, that is. . .

I guess you have to be a Canuck to truly understand what hockey means up here. Don't get me wrong: I absolutely love the NFL, but nothing beats a good hockey game!

Detroit and Toronto can brag about being hockey towns and all that, but everybody knows that Montreal is the true mecca of the sport. With its 24 Stanley Cups, only the New York Yankees have won more championships in their history with 26 World Series titles. Here in MTL, we literally have the Habs' logo tattooed on our hearts. The sun rises and sets with the Canadiens, and you have to live the experience to really have a chance to understand what hockey means in a city like Montreal. It's been likened to a religion, and I guess it's a very good analogy.

Which, in the end, is why the prospect of the 2007 season looks so bleak. The addition of players like Tom Kostopoulos, Roman Hamrlik, Bryan Smolinsky and Patrice Brisebois will not get us anywhere. Once again, our general manager did move fast enough at the onset of summer, and every free agent of note signed with another team. Forced to scramble to try to please the fans, Gainey signed Hamrlik to a ridiculous contract, overpaying him and thus ensuring that we cannot possibly trade him.

Both Pierre Boivin and Bob Gainey should be fired, for reasons too numerous to enumerate in this post. The long and the short of it is that they fail, year in and year out for quite a while now, to put a competitive team on the ice. Guy Carbonneau should be an assistant, not the head coach. But in Montreal, anyone with a key position must speak French. . .

TA-BAR-NAK! Je suis francophone -- un Québécois pure laine -- et je n'en ai rien à foutre que le coach ou le directeur général parle le Français! Put together a team that has a chance to compete in the Eastern Conference, and I don't care if they speak Russian, Spanish, or Arabic! Hiring only French-speaking people for key positions in the Habs' higher echelons will almost always preclude our going forward. Why? Because the best coaches and general managers in the NHL don't speak French, and those that do have little desire to come or return to Montreal, where the pressure for them to win is too strong. Which leaves us with inexperienced men who don't have the pedigree to take us all the way.

Of course, I'll be rooting for other teams in the NHL. The Pittsburgh Penguins, in particular. My patriotic side wishes that every Canadian team does well this year. But if the Gods are kind, and if we fail to make the playoffs, hopefully the hated Toronto Maple Leafs will not either. Watching the Leafs lose brings me much joy, you see!;-)

It's going to be a long cold winter. . .:-( But I'm too much of a fan, which means that I will be watching every single game -- for better or worst. . .
Rant over!

11 commentaires:

Larry said...

There is a famous, perhaps overqualified Montreal resident who could perhaps make an excellent head coach.

Youppi.

You know you want him there, no? ;)

Aidan Moher said...

Hmm... a Habs fan?

Let me offer you my condolences.

~Aidan
A Dribble of Ink

Patrick said...

Larry, bringing in Youppi when the Expos were sold to Washington, D. C. was probably the stupidest move this franchise has ever made...

Then again, we have made quite a few atrocious trades in the past, so okay maybe not the stupidest. But it's up there!

Aidan: Yep, being a Habs fan will be tough this season. The upside is that the last few seasons has accustomed us to losing!;-)

Larry said...

But you have to admit, with Youppi as a head coach, expectations would be so low that ANY victory would be cause for celebration, thus making it easier to transition to a non-Francophone coach, no? ;)

Besides, Youppi doubtless would appeal to the "Bear" population in the area :P

Abyss said...

Stop whining, accept the inevitable, and support the Sens.

- Abyss, recovered Habs fan.

Binder of Demons said...

Does Saku Koivu still play for the Canadiens?

I remember seeing him on TV playing as an amateur on the Finish national side in either the world or european championships. That Finland team was pure skill and made me a fan of ice hockey.

Ireland is not famous for its ice hockey so we get to choose who to support on a whim.

Sarah said...

It could be worse. You could be a Sabres fan, your team having the best record in the NHL for the first time in its HISTORY, then not even making an effort to keep its TWO (not one, TWO) top players and co-captains from leaving. It's embarrassing.

I take it back. Ryan Miller was one of their two top players. At least they still have him.

Blend said...

Pshhht, Sens are gonna win it this year anyway.... Or, you know, make it to game 7 in the playoffs and choke... again.... *sighs*

Go Blues! said...

Only one way to go... up for the Blues!

Please, please, if there are hockey gods, all I ask is for the Blues to hoist the Cup in the shadow of the Gateway Arch just once in my lifetime..... Please!!!

Go Blues!

Graeme Flory said...

I don't know a lot about the NHL but as an Ipswich Town fan (Football) I know the taste of mediocrity well...
Good luck though!

Ron said...

Die hard Blackhawks fan here myself. I will pull for the Pens this year, though, and hopefully our young team will finally make a step forward after so many bad years.