MONTREAL, QC.- As a Habs fan, the 2010-11 season was one of the most highly anticipated seasons in my lifetime, in large part due to the Habs unlikely appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals in the season prior. For the first time since 1993, I had tasted possibility and I hoped to do it once again in the new season.
The season started out incredibly, with Carey Price shutting up all the naysayers who felt the men in charge had made the wrong decision in trading Halak. The Habs comfortably sat atop their division, and everything seemed to be going wonderfully.
Then, the unbearable loss of Markov and Gorges all but crushed my Stanley Cup dreams. How could we possibly come back from this? Surely the blue line couldn’t be left in the hands of the near-elderly Spacek, Hamrlik and Gill. And Subban? Well, he was just a rookie. Thankfully, P.K. far exceeded our expectations, and the welcome addition of Wisniewski eased the burden as well.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a Habs fan first, but I’m also a fan of hockey in general. I’m capable of recognizing an extraordinary talent, even if he plays for another team. I have to say that Sidney Crosby’s point streak was so exciting, and it was such a terrible loss to the league when a concussion left him sidelined for the remainder of the season.
Then came that infamous game in March when everything changed for me. After the Bruins’ Chara delivered a devastating hit to Pacioretty, we were all left in shock, praying there was still life in the young forward’s motionless body, and wondering why we had never heard the word ‘stanchion’ before. When it was announced that no supplementary action would be taken, Habs fans were outraged, and mocked for their admittedly outrageous reaction.
As a side note, I’d like to add that while I don’t enjoy being put in the position of questioning another man’s integrity, I find it incredibly difficult to comprehend how the person in charge of overseeing illegal hits and disciplinary measures (Campbell) could maintain such a position when his son plays in the NHL.
Despite the fact that he didn’t handle the cases that involved his son’s team, it was still his subordinate who did, and this to me seems like a massive conflict of interest. While he may have stepped down before the Bruins won the Stanley Cup, I still think Gregory Campbell should have won the Conn Smythe, as if it weren’t for him, the Bruins season could have gone very differently. But I digress.
After the Bruins escaped suspension yet again (Boychuk/Raymond hit), it became hard to ignore that the Bruins were responsible for breaking two men’s vertebrae. And how was this team rewarded? With the Stanley Cup. Call me bitter, a whiner, a sore loser, or a homer, but this seems like one of the greatest injustices I’ve ever witnessed in sports, and if I could, I would flash a Ference “equipment malfunction” in each and every Bruin’s face.
Over the course of the past week, I’ve been hoping to wake up and find out that the past three months have all been a dream. To be able to warn Patches not to chase that puck. I have a feeling that when I’m old and senile, I’ll be sitting in my rocking chair going on about that hit, and a season that had more lows than highs.
But, since I’ve yet to master the art of time travel, I suppose I’ll just have to move on, and look ahead to next season with the same anticipation as I do every year. Keep on believing, Habs Nation!
GO HABS GO!
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