Now that my little rant against the Flyers is done, let’s come to the most important topic: the habs.
Quite simply, this team made me really happy. With the way they played during the first two rounds and during parts of the conference finals, I cannot feel anything but pride and admiration for them. This is BY FAR the most exciting month and a half of hockey I’ve ever seen as a habs fan. That was a fantastic ride, and I loved every minute of it. No matter what’s ahead for the habs, I know that in 10 years I will remember fondly this spring.
To be more specific, I loved how this team became a team. Everyone knows how this group was formed, and the initial doubts and weird feelings about them lasted a while (at least for me). This season was not all happiness and sunshine. It was often VERY frutrating. The way they made it to the playoffs was really not encouraging. But since the first game in Washington, everything changed. That’s probably why we all fell in love with them. The contrast between the way they played in the regular season and in the playoffs is incredible. But it’s not only about the way they played, it’s more importantly about their attitude, their declarations, their solidarity, their courage. In one word, their heart. This team showed far more heart in 6 weeks that I’ve seen the Habs display in 6 years.
The hardest thing to swallow after this loss, as is often the case, is to know that this is truly the end of this team, this group. Halak, Plekanec, Price, the K brothers, Metro, Pouliot, Pyatt, MAB, Darche, Moore, Mara, Lapierre all need a new contract. Some will be back, but some won’t. Even if I won’t miss them all individually, and even if the Habs will survive some of these departures, those are all parts of a group I’ve fallen in love with. The fact that this was pointed out by Scott Gomez during the postgame interviews is telling. Of all the newcomers, he’s the one I had the hardest time really liking. But he was part of that group too. MAB’s interview was also moving. He knows his time with this team is probably over, and he’s clearly sad about this. He said he was obviously happy to be a part of this, to experience the Montreal playoff atmosphere, and added that no matter what, that’s something he would be able to tell his grandchildren about. God knows MAB made some horrible plays this season, but he did the job he was hired to do (on the PP), and his enthusiasm for this team was obvious from the day he arrived. It was a little sad to see him like that.
But the saddest postgame interview involved Josh Gorges. It’s no secret I’ve loved Gorges for a very long time. He’s my favourite hab, and I’ve said that as soon as I started this blog. He looked as if he was on the verge of tears after the game and he refused to talk about himself when the journalist asked him a question about his season (the question was obviously intended to congratulate him for the way he played over the last few weeks). That’s what I love about him. He opened a lot of eyes with his play against Washington and Pittsburgh, and I hope he stays with the habs for a very looooong time, because I think he’s truly one of the souls of this team.
This post isn’t particularly well written, I’m sorry about this, it goes a little in all directions, but that’s just how I felt after all those emotions. I’m really sad to see this team gone like this, especially at the hands of a team I truly hate, but they made me prouder than any other habs team in the past. For that, I’ll remember them for a long time.
Thank you habs, get some rest and come back even stronger next year!