Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Oh Montréal, qu'est-ce qui ce passe?

Last night, the Habs won their first round series against the Boston Bruins by a score of 5-0. The Bruins showed up to play and were great in the first period, but Carey Price was just a little better.

This win means that the Habs are now 27-0 when they lead a playoff series 3 games to 1, and Price became the fourth rookie goalie to record a shutout in a game 7.

This kid is the real deal. He may not lead the Canadiens to the Cup this year, but there is something about him that makes me confident that the Habs are in good hands for the next several years. Everyone comments about how calm, cool and collected he is on the ice, and that is the truth. In fact, I don't think I've ever really seen him anything but calm - just watch him in interviews.

Do I forget about games 5 and 6, when he let in 10 goals? No, but I also don't forget the previous 8 games, when he let in 10 goals in those 8 games. I also don't forget about how his team messed up in front of him, which led to some of those goals in games 5 and 6.

Price will make mistakes - that's the price (no pun intended) you pay when you have a 20-year-old starting goalie - but he will do good things for the Habs.

Okay, enough about that...

Anybody who has seen a Montreal Canadiens game at the Bell Centre (whether it be live and in person, or on TV) will know that Habs fans are very vocal. I've said this before - that place can rock like no other arena in the NHL. I personally love how they sing and are so passionate about their team.

A lot of people don't like how they 'boo' the best player(s) on the other team. In the Boston series, it was the Zdeno Chara that heard the boo-birds when he touched the puck. Boston fans, in turn, booed Alex Kovalev. I think that some people believe that these fans don't appreciate the talent of these players, but I would have to disagree with that idea - I think that fans acknowledge how important and how talented these select players are, and they single them out and voice their displeasure over these players touching the puck. I think of it as these fans showing how passionate they are for the game and showing their support for the home team.

That passion and support for the Habs was out full force last night, especially with the Canadiens playing so well. CBC showed the fans partying and singing in the streets, waving their flags and hugging each other.

Who would have guessed that something else would happen...

Some people decided to riot. Police cars were set on fire, other cars slashed and vandalized, stores looted, and all the likes. Many are left scratching their heads over this one - why riot when your team wins...after round frickin' 1? Besides, it's not like this is 1955. Maybe they were upset that Jean Chrétien and Stéphane Dion were in attendance at the Bell Centre...who knows.

I'm upset that some 'fans' would decide to do this (although one could make the argument that there were few Habs fans among this gang of schmucks), but I'm also upset that some people believe that most or all of Habs fans exhibit this kind of behaviour. It really bothers me that we're looked at like we're some 'crazy French people' who are, essentially, psychotic. I know that 99% of Habs fans are good people who are upset over this incident, just like I know that 99% of Bruins fans would not kick a person in the head for wearing another team's sweater.

So, to the world out there that looks down at us Habs fans, we're normal hockey fans. We love our team. We voice our displeasure when they don't play as well as we know they can. We scream and sing in absolute joy when they show us their heart and soul on the ice. We celebrate our victories, whether they come in 4 games or in 7, because we believe that victories should be celebrated. It has been awhile since the mayor of Montreal has said that the Stanley Cup parade will be held on the 'usual' route, but we also have faith that the team can win Cup #25 sooner rather than later...and before the Leafs win #14.

[Go Pens, Go Habs]

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