MONTREAL, QC — It’s been a hell of a ride.
The Habs season ended on Saturday April 7, 2012. They defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 in front of a jubilant home town crowd and I was so pleased.
They played with the heart and soul we have come to know, love and expect.
They played with pride.
Yet there I was sitting at McLean’s Pub at the All Habs Hockey Party, tears welling up in my eyes, knowing that once the clock ran down in the third period it was going to be over.
Why did it have to end? I could not fathom that my CH-wearing heroes were no longer going to be playing.
I was so sad.
Yet as I reminisced about the fate of this season, I realized that I had experienced some fantastic adventures. There were many firsts for me, and many experiences that will remain ingrained in my heart forever.
It started in the fall. October 24, 2011 to be precise. The day I saw my first Habs game of the season. It was especially exciting for me, since I hadn’t been to a game in a couple of years. Although the team lost that game I was stoked. I felt it was going to be a great season.
That same week I also met Habs fans from Montreal, Hamilton, Toronto and Maine!
Then there was Tony McColl. The jovial Scotsman who came to Montreal for the first time in his life. You see he is from across the pond, and he showed us all that Habs love does exist outside of the mecca.
Not like we didn’t already know this!
It was around that time I had the dream. The one where I saw Habs people. They needed me. It was quite the dream, I must say. I just wish I could have helped.
Another first was that I skated with the Habs. Yes, I sure did.
In preparation for this skate, I had an amazing fantasy. One that had me sipping wine and nibbling on cheese with one player and asking for an autograph on the crest of my jersey from an other while I was wearing the jersey!
A girl is allowed to dream and have her action plan you know.
When I eventually hit the ice at the Bell Centre, it was simply surreal to be there with my heroes. I will never forget how it felt to talk to Lars Eller and Ryan White and stand at the goal crease imagining what Carey Price sees during a game. It was bliss.
A fever hit me in mid November: Habs Fever. November 19, 2012. Game number two for me of the season and it was spectacular. The Rangers were in town and le Bleu, Blanc, Rouge had an amazing game and beat them 4-0. What a night! I still don’t remember if the kids ate that night, but I do know I slept unbelievably well sporting my Josh Gorges t-shirt.
Ahhh Josh Gorges. My warrior. A true warrior. His accomplishments this year were second to none. 243 blocked shots and has appeared in every single game the Habs played this year. He was honoured the last game of the season with the presentation of the 2011-12 Jacques Beauchamp-Molson Trophy. An award given annually to the member of the Canadiens who was a dominant player, but considered unsung.
Please. I have been singing his praises for months.
I also went to not one, not two, but three practices this year. I went with my daughter and good friend Leeza. Like all fans who make their way to the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard, we waited outside for autographs and for the opportunity to take pictures.
We weren’t disappointed.
I did this not only for me, but for my daughter who is a Habs fan and more importantly a huge P.K. Subban fan. Her adoration for number 76 is immeasurable. Nothing is more pure than the love and adulation of a child.
Her first Habs game on January 31, 2012, which was also my third of the season, and it was all about Subban.
I pulled her from school that week, on February 3, 2012 so that we can go to practice in hopes that she will see her hero and get that coveted autograph.
She did, and proclaimed it was the best birthday ever. She had turned ten the day before.
She also showed me this year that she understands what competitive hunger truly is. She learned what it takes to be a winner. That hard work and dedication is tantamount to success.
I am very proud.
Oh what a season this has been indeed. Rumours were rampant. Players came and went. Others were thrown under the bus. Some did not survive the NHL Trade Deadline day.These events did not take away from the passion, and the pride the Canadiens brought to every game. Their motivation had never diminished.
This unfortunately, wasn’t enough.
My season came full circle on Tuesday March 27, 2012 My fourth and last Habs game of the season. I got to see le Tricolore one more time and it was just fabulous.
“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened” — Dr. Seuss
As I sat there, enjoying the company of friends and fellow Habs fans, I thought Dr Seuss is right.
I was very fortunate this year. I met some wonderful people, went to four games at the Bell Centre, and more importantly, I met Habs people, and they were genuine, sweet, very personable, and some were downright chatty.
It’s been said that you only fall in love once but that’s not true, every time I see my Habs I fall in love all over again.
Here’s to falling in love again in October.
Category: Fan Focus