Haberrant Behaviour


montreal canadiens playoffs 2010

I might have to stop making fun of the Montreal Canadiens.

For a minute.

Their victory last night in the seventh game of their series against Sidney Crosby and the defending Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins was pretty impressive. Considering it’s the second series in a row they have played the giant-killer role, I’m wondering if I might have to finally concede some measure of respect to them for what they’re doing here.

Am I going to have to retire my favorite nickname for this team now? Does the Montreal Men’s Skating Choir not quite apply to the 2010 version of Les Habitants? Can I at least still call them the Diving Princesses?

Chances are I’ll stick with all of the above, especially if the Bruins can pull out a Game 7 victory over the Flyers and advance to meet their most hated rivals in the East Final. However, for at least one day, I’m being forced to stand up and take notice of what the Canadiens have accomplished so far in these playoffs. To this point, the only two predictions I have gotten wrong during the entire post-season were the two series they played and in each one I had them losing in 5 games. Granted, I don’t think anyone saw this coming but I need to admit to a certain misjudgment of their chances.

There’s something to be said about playing as a team, focusing on defense and goaltending and riding the wave of emotion that the Habs have experienced in these playoffs. It’s carried them this far and I’m sure, in their minds, the sky is now the limit. Who could argue with them right now?

Not Eric Adelson of Yahoo. His contention is that they should be America’s Team because of the way they play. It’s a decent article but he’s got a few things wrong. I don’t think it will be bad for ratings at all and, if things fall a certain way and we can have ourselves an Original Six Stanley Cup Final I think the sports world will take notice. Certainly the hockey world will.

Let’s face it, right now they’re the most exciting thing on ice. They have the best scorer in the playoffs in Mike Cammaleri and seemingly the best clutch goaltender in Jaroslav Halak. Hal Gill (yes, that Hal Gill) seems to be a tower of strength and stability on defense and their speedy, undersized forwards are all playing like they’re seven feet tall. What’s not to like?

Hell, if they didn’t have the most annoying, odious, self-important, whiny, pompous, skirt-wearing, song-singing, snobberific fan base in professional sports, I’d probably be rooting for them, too.

I can’t believe I just thought that.

I feel dirty.


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