Wednesday, 6 May 2015

'15 Playoffs Round 2, Game 3: Canadiens 1, Lightning 2

Speaking of the Fight of the Century, remember when 'Duke', Appollo Creed's manager, was trying to talk his protégé out of the idea of a rematch with Rocky Balboa?  Here's what he said:
"He's all wrong for us, baby.
I saw you beat that man like I never saw no man get beat before...
...and the man kept coming after you.
We don't need that kind of man in our life.
I know what you're feelin'.
Let it go.  Let it go.
You're the champ."

I was reminded of this after Game 1, and again tonight.

We swarmed their net.  We hit posts.  We made their goalie look unsteady and ungainly.  We outshot them.  We outchanced them.  We outhit them.

But it didn't add up to a win.  We came close countless times, and they cashed in their chances when it counted.

I thought the season sweep by the Lightning might be a statistical anomaly, due to travel and the vagaries of scheduling and the luck of the draw.

I don't think that no more.  They're our kryptonite.

***Re-posted from May 4***

Generally guys, this is where and when Marc Bergevin's 'small step back' happens.  All season long we've overachieved.  This is where it hits us.  We've prolonged the dream, delayed the inevitable.  Now, our balloon deflates.  

It's just going to sting a little more that it happens on the national stage like this, with talking heads from Toronto finally having the chance to let loose on our team, after the whole season spent damning us with faint praise, 'du bout des lèvres'.  

Like facing up to an abscessed wisdom tooth that should have been yanked much earlier, we now have to take our medicine, and willingly subject ourselves to this process.

This isn't the first time we suffer a bitter series loss that turns our attention inward, colours everything candy-apple grey.  Remember Minnesota?  Remember Guy Lafleur's "petite poche", as catastrophically-phrased by Steve Penney?

The thing to do now is to support the boys, hope they keep fighting valiantly, don't embarrass the bleu-blanc-rouge.  Realizing that this is the next step in the journey, a bit of a detour to a dead-end.  We'll get the car turned around, check out the map, figure it out, and get going again.  Next season.

In the meantime, what we have to avoid as a Commentariat is to turn against each other.  We must stay united, supportive.  This is a bitter pill we have to swallow, we kind of knew it was coming.  We can't degenerate into an unruly mob, resort to name-calling each other, and making wild accusations about the coaches, demanding the head of Jean-Jacques the Baptist.

No, Habs fansites must remain the bastion of the sane, be the warm bosom that provides succor to the passionate but reasonable, equable, tolerant Canadiens fans that we are.  

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