The Habs – Same Old Song and Dance … Sorta …


Your Montreal Canadiens are off to yet another fine October start. What could possibly go wrong ?

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Last season, the Stanley Cup parade was being planned before Nov. 15th. Why not? Carey Price was Carey Price. Nothing else mattered to the powers that be. Relying on a goalie to win championships – par for the course in Montreal. Par for the course in Caddyshack perhaps ?

Then, as quick as a P.K. Subban is to lights;  the wheels, the frame, the engine, the hood – even the MP3 player fell off the Holy Grail vehicle. No one could have predicted such a disaster when Price fell to injury. Then again – no one could have predicted ‘The Donald’ would be closer to the Presidency of The United States than an poor person to a whorehouse. Hey – crazy stuff happens …

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If last season taught the management of The Montreal Canadiens one thing, no one knows what it is. That said, last year’s nosedive into Brian Fogarty territory made Bob Dylan’s lyrics eerily prophetic.

Well now what’s the use in dreaming?
You got better things to do
Dreams never did work for me anyway
Even when they did come true

Yup. Fans could sense it, management could sense it and the ghost of Eddy Palchak was singing ‘ I Feel A Change Coming On ‘ throughout the Bell Center ( aka $20.00  Hot Dog Land).

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If and when Habs management were able to pry Subban away from his day job as a car salesman, a narrative must have taken place.

Bergevin; ‘ You know we are paying you very top dollar to grow, learn and live up to your potential right?

Subban; ‘ Just a second please. My agent is on the phone …

Bergevin; ‘ We are paying you so tell your agent you will call him back. ‘

Subban; ( Hanging up the Phone) Ok. Where were we …?

Bergevin; ‘ P.K. . we need you to step up your game and lead this team as a … (Subban’s phone rings)

Subban; ‘Sorrry guys, it’s my tailor, I really need to tak …

Bergevin; ‘ Ya ..ya … It’s ok. Go do your important stuff.

 ‘The Brand’ was dismissed. 

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Not dismissed as in ‘ see you later alligator’, more like ‘ in a while crocodile’. Once the decision was made to trade ‘The Brand’  –  any tears from the Habs organization, crocodile by nature.

There is a lot of talk about Subban not fitting the scheme of the ‘old boys club’. Lots of lip about his teammates not liking him. Banter about racism playing a part in trading the team’s number one fan favorite. Blah, blah, blah …

Seldom – if at all, does anyone lay the blame right on Subban. 

Let’s put the situation into a different arena, no puck intended. If Subban was a hot lawyer on the way up. Or – perhaps, one of the best cabinet-makers on the planet. A company was so pleased to have ‘the scholar’ and signed him to a big salary just to keep him from signing with B.A.D. Wood down the road. The cabinet making company knew they were overpaying him for his lack of experience. They knew the potential and thought ( as crazy as it seems) he would repay their kindness by doing everything in his power to learn and realize his own potential. Good deal right? On Paper …?

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Wrong.

The young cabinet maker scoffed at the boss. He scoffed at his elders and he scoffed at the business. Realizing he was young and prone to errors in judgment – the company gave him a couple of years to ‘mature’. The payback? The young apprentice utilized all his energy to focus on making money outside the business. So much so – he was not welcome any longer. His chances had run out.

Hockey is a business and the Habs’ investment was not gaining interest in the proper places. For once – making money was replaced by making a hockey team once more. Subban out. Weber in.

Hockey, as priority one,  has returned to Montreal in 2016 -17.

So far …

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What Shea Weber brings to a Montreal squad is stability. Dependence. Accountability. Talent.

A guy who marches to his own drum within a marching band. Not on the sidelines with an eye to defection. A tool inside a box made for doing a job right. No breakage, no loose parts – just an old fashioned cog brought in to repair a broken down dream.

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Lars ( I have not been the same since they knocked my block off) Eller was dismissed for dismissing his job on the ice more often than a Kardashian sighting. Enter Alexander ( I used to drink Vodka) Radulov – a finesse player whose baby toe ( and liver)  is tougher than Eller. An experiment that could go wrong yet – what is worse than last season?

Enter Andrew Shaw from Chicago. A player who has the mean streak of a Robert DeNiro dissing Trump combined with Bill Clinton’s art of scoring. Add his ‘Hilary’ experience ‘lifting a Cup’ and voila – the Habs’ heart grew ten times this year …

So did their focus with the absence of  

‘ the brand ‘…

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Your Montreal Canadiens are off to an 8-0-1 start. Leading the league in points and goals against. The news is good but not new.

Somewhere – the Lord and The Devil are playing chess. The news is good but not new.

As for P.K. – he’s just doing his best …

 

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