The morning after the last game, the last faceoff, the last glove save. The Bell Centre quiet, the fan jam gone. Bars will be quiet until Formula One racing in two weeks but grateful for the long playoff run. Beer taps in need of a refill.
And that, my friend, was the best hockey I’ve seen in Montreal in a long time.
It was historical, it was dramatic. How a team that should have but didn’t during the regular season, did what we knew they were able to during the playoffs. This playoff run was magical and inspirational as Montreal were the underdogs and were able to not only knock one, but two giants.
Unfortunately they were brought back to earth by another underdog. Well, c’est la vie. The team had good chemistry and good news, a chunk of the team wants to stay.
We still have the goalie debate to deal with. Jaroslav Halak is in the reflective process. He really, truly wants to be the #1 goalie and he does deserve that right. However, whatever Montreal offers plus his heroics along with the greatest fan appreciation, it’s going to be more than dollars and cents to keep him.
We got that other goalie to deal with, I remember something about Carey Price being a #1, was pegged to be #1. He too, in need of a contract. He has a potential that we’ve only seen glances of, however we can’t wait any longer. It’s either do it or goodbye.
Keeping them both would be the ideal, for Price to fight the same way Halak did for the #1. It would make sense to breed a bunch of awesome asshole-like goalers. Price needs to be less of a pussy, Halak needs to be #1 but stay in his net!
Thinking that we’re going to be bringing a lot of the guys up from Hamilton next year. PK Subban will be a keeper, watch for guys like Max Weber coming also. Even with Andrei Markov out for the beginning of the year, defense will be solid. Keep Gill, give more confidence to O’Byrne. Hamrlik is questionable, not just age but his contract.
Sorry to say, I think it’s time to give up on the Kostitsyns. Andrei, even when he’s close, is not close enough. Sergei is too much trouble to deal with. Time to give up as there are better guys either on the farm team or that could be part of a good package.
The Habs should be looking for another decent defenseman in the off season and probably a good power play specialist, we got beat there in the 3rd round. Maybe one more guy with size. Size somehow might matter. We are a small squad that did big things, however there were some shortcomings in the Philly series. Problem is, not enough cash to go around to keep and trade.
It would be great to keep Plekanec, Metropolit and the rest of the awesome out of nowhere signings from Bob Gainey however… that’s pretty much it. However…
Alright, my Stanley Cup prediction is the Chicago Blackhawks in 5 games.
I like Chicago, since last year I knew they would be a team to reckon with as they’re a new generation of a Western dominance (Detroit just got too old). I love their defense in Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook. I love Keith as he also lost seven teeth and scored a goal, now that’s a hockey player.
Of course you can’t forget the guys in front, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, a scoring one two punch, the west’s version of Crosby/Malkin. Kane and Toews were highlights from the Olympic tournament however against each other. Together it can be deadly.
The only catch here is that Marian Hossa will have to win a Cup, I don’t like Hossa because the Pittsburgh trade got rid of a favorite of mine, Colby Armstrong. After the final, he jumped ship to Detroit. What a bastard.
Sigh, I guess he’ll have to win it finally.
Funny thing about this final, it’s goalies that weren’t regulars. Michael Leighton has had the job for two weeks now and Chicago’s Antti Niemi was once a 2nd rate goalie/Zamboni driver.
Well, it’s better than trusting Chistobel Huet in a pressure-like situation. Ask Montreal. I think it’s going to be a clash of defense more than a scoring clinic, more blood and teeth on the ice.
As this is the last entry, I want to say thanks to everyone who watched games and drank in the experience (or in some games, drank me under the table). We went to 10 different bars in three boroughs. My blog by the numbers:
Most bar appearances: Hatters, Brutopia, Bifteck (3), Irish Embassy, Copa (2)
Number of times we played “Guess the overtime scorer, win a beer”: 2 we went 1-1
Because Plekanec had a mediocre playoffs, a friend couldn’t drink much
Most people we crammed into a bar: 10 in both game 7s
Weird places to watch: Vol de Nuit, Fats, Toronto
In each round I seem to be wearing less clothing. It got hot, got it?
Lived on a diet of chicken wings and nachos, this is where biking balances it out
Best Waitresses: shout out to the cutie at Irish Embassy game 5 Pittsburgh and the chickie at Brutopia game 7, so many people to serve and so cool with it.
A great shout out to everyone working in bars during the playoffs, thanks for the patience, the service and the fact this was extra in the pockets. Please always tip your waitresses (with or without playoffs).
Playoff pints were better than playoff pitchers: most was game 1 Washington and game 3 Pittsburgh.
Bad jokes: naming food after Hab players and the dirty use of the name “Cammalleri”
Nice to know we may have pissed off Jean Beliveau only once
So that’s it, that’s all.
Thanks to everyone who came along, will hopefully want to grab a beer with you guys and sorry for screaming in your ears these last few weeks. Thanks to Forget the Box for letting me find my writing voice again and covering what I thought would be four entries (this is entry 22).
Will be back in full photo mode this summer and will let my liver recover until World Cup in a few weeks. I actually have a home team this year: will find me yelling with Chileans at a TV soon. I actually will be writing in my own blog soon, I know I started one before the playoffs.
A great shout out to the facebook group BBQ with Kirk Muller, he deserves to have a BBQ in his honor, the Habs need to keep Kirk as his style of coaching can lead to an actual coaching gig (we need to keep him).
Lastly, to Montreal for embracing this team, this run. This was the most enthusiasm I’ve ever witnesses.
Let’s riot to that. Just Kidding. See you around.
for photos of semi riots go to: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cindylopez/sets/72157623926628035/
for the rest of Cindy’s Hockey Blogs this playoff season go to: https://forgetthebox.net/magazine/hockey-blog