Rabid Habs

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, Vol. 6

Written by: Karine Hains

In this week’s edition, I’m afraid hockey will have to take a bit of a back seat because there are times in life when events much more important should be given centre stage and it is the case right now.

The Good: That 7-1

Remember when the Canadiens lost for the first time this season on October 13th by a dreadful score of 7-1? I don’t know about you but this writer was severely picked on the next day about that disaster especially by Bruins’ fans but now, we can all proudly go back to these people and tell them that a 7-1 one time loss is nothing compared to a 7-1 record to start the season. The last time Montreal had such a start was in 1961-1962 back when Jacques Plante was the Habs’ netminder. While plenty of people will tell you that le Bleu, Blanc, Rouge has been lucky so far rescuing numerous victories from the jaws of defeat, I for one believe that a good team makes its own luck and better yet, that it really wasn’t luck but rather character.

Even when the team is down you can never consider it out. In fact, until the final buzzer nothing is over and everything seems possible for this year’s edition of the Montreal Canadiens. Add that to the fact that Price seems to be getting back to his usual self posting much better numbers this week than he did in the first two and it really does look like the Canadiens are a force to be reckoned with. Of course, we shouldn’t think that la Sainte-Flanelle is invincible but it’s safe to say that this season should be a very enjoyable one.

The Bad: The stir that the media tried to create out of Markov’s answer when asked about Gilbert

It’s a well known fact that Andrei Markov is a man of a few words but clearly, the media forgets that when it suits it. After a morning skate this last week Markov was asked to comment on his partnership with new summer signing Tom Gilbert and he hesitated for a long time before answering the question. When he did finally reply he said that they were still learning to play with one another, that it was a process and that he didn’t know what else to say really. Some journalist decided that this meant he was unhappy playing with Gilbert and not impressed with his new partner and proceeded to try and blow this out of proportion. Newsflash to the members of the press: everything is going well for the CH so far; stop looking for issues where there are none! The media also seems to forget that Markov’s mother tongue is not English but Russian, it can happen that someone who has to function in a second language takes a little longer to find the right words. Besides, it’s not like there won’t be any trouble in paradise this season…just be patient and wait for it ladies and gents of the press.

The Ugly: The attacks on our military

After the events of this week, nothing that happened around our Habs or around the NHL for that matter deserved to be labelled ugly. In fact, there was nothing uglier this week than the events that took place in both Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and Ottawa and to be honest, at times like these we realize that sports are well, just that, sports.

The week started grimly in Quebec when Martin (Ahmad) Couture-Rouleau ran over two members of the Canadian Armed Forces with his car in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and it later came to light that he was known to the authorities who had seized his passport in order to prevent him from leaving the country and undertake terrorists activities overseas. Two days later, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau opened fire in Ottawa by the Tomb of the unknown soldier and fatally wounded corporal Nathan Cirillo before going into the parliament building and finally being shot by Sergent-at-Arms Kevin Vickers. These events made us all realize that no longer can we say that things like that wouldn’t happen in Canada. Back in 2005, I lived in London and experienced the 7/7 bombings first hand. I kept thinking to myself that events like that would never take place in Canada and yet, here we are.

Needless to say, the game scheduled between the Senators and the Leafs in Ottawa on Wednesday was postponed and yesterday, when games were held in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa the opening ceremonies sent a clear message: “We will not be scared and we will stand united”. It was a pretty picture to see both the Sens’ and the Devils’ players standing together in a circle at centre ice in a real show of unity. We must not forget what the Penguins did in their match against the Flyers on Wednesday, while the Canadian anthem normally has no place being sung at the start of the battle of Pennsylvania, the Pens decided to ask the crowd to sing along to our anthem in a show of support. While hockey may just be a game and must take a back seat when such tragic events occur it can sure help the healing process.

That’s it for now Habs fans! For those of us in the West it will be a great week with match-ups against the Flames, Oilers and Canucks on the schedule and for those of us on the east coast, get ready for a lot of late nights!