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May 03, 2008

Les glorieux quand même

Things the hockey commentariat would be saying right now about the Montreal Canadiens if they weren't the Montreal Canadiens, and especially if they were the Toronto Maple Leafs:

• No team that really values winning would party in the streets after a first-round playoff victory.
• No team that really values winning would get a standing ovation from its fans for bowing out of the playoffs one game short of a second-round sweep.
• The Habs should have drafted one of Anze Kopitar or Marc Staal instead of Carey Price, who'll probably be pumping gas in five years.
• Trading Cristobal Huet was an incredibly suspect move in the first place: why would a team that ostensibly had designs on the Stanley Cup deliberately downgrade in goal, not even get a human being in return, and strengthen an Eastern Conference opponent in the process? But with Price's collapse against Philadelphia, the move attained the status of catastrophe.
• The Habs' Stanley Cup drought is currently the 13th longest in the NHL. Wait, that doesn't sound damning enough, so let's make it among teams that have actually won at least one Cup. Ergo, the Habs' Stanley Cup drought is currently the ninth longest in the NHL.

(That said, I hasten to add that I prefer the media's deference to the Habs as an abiding national treasure to their treatment of the Leafs as an abiding national cold sore, since the former at least recognizes that NHL hockey, for all the passion it quite rightly arouses, is a game.)

Posted by Chris Selley at May 3, 2008 10:21 PM

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Wow, you pretty much nailed it.

Although it the Habs were really the Leafs, the media wouldn't talk about Stanley Cup droughts -- they'd arbitrarily switch the criteria to Stanley Cup Finals appearances, just so they could pretend that teams like the Panthers and Capitals had been more successful.

Posted by: Down Goes Brown at May 5, 2008 03:48 PM

Quite a bit og hogwash in this post.

1. If you would read the papers in Montreal, especially the French press, most criticized the fact that the celebration after the 1st round win was, indeed, excessive (not to mention destructive).

2. A team that was picked by ALL experts to miss the playoffs by a fair margin certainly deserves an ovation for finishing first in the East and making it to the second round. Sure, they looked bad in the last game, but people in Montreal actually know and appreciate a good season.

3. The comment about Price is just ridiculous. I'm not an expert, but most who are in this game agree that he's for real. Kopitar and Staal are alo great, but come on! This is borderline stupid.

4. On this point, I agree. Not because Price won't be great, but because having a veteran presence would have helped.

5. This means nothing. I don't get it.

Posted by: Phoff at May 5, 2008 04:44 PM

Sounds like Phoff hasn't had too much exposure to the Toronto media.

Posted by: Matt at May 5, 2008 05:20 PM

Sounds like nobody here has had any exposure to Montreal sports media whatsoever.

Why in the world would I read the Toronto media for coverage on the Habs? Why would anyone? It doesn't make sense.

The Toronto media has little interest in what goes on with the Habs and that's as it should be. Their readers don't care. Why then, would you expect any critical assessment of what goes on in the Montreal hockey community? I don't look to the Montreal media for news on the Leafs.

The Montreal media has been very critical of all of the moves Gainey and Carbo have made and haven't pulled any punches.

Sure, there are some who always go easy on the Habs, but you only need to watch 110% for 10 minutes to realize that most in the Montreal commentariat are very critical.

Posted by: Phoff at May 5, 2008 07:39 PM

You might want to add one more bullet point, Selley:

If it had been the Leafs instead of the Habs, the Montreal media would not have made the Leaf run all about the Montreal.

Posted by: Rob Huck at May 5, 2008 10:30 PM

i am gonna show this to my friend, dude

Posted by: Availianids at May 9, 2008 08:31 AM