When I look at the Stanley Cup Playoff bracket for this year, I see massive hurdles.
Last night the Las Vegas Golden Knights defeated the Colorado Avalanche to advance to the next round of the playoffs… against my Montreal Canadiens. They are, without a doubt, a very daunting team. They are a strong squad that is coming off a six game series win, and they get the long weekend to rest for Round 3.
And yet, Montreal was not supposed to defeat Winnipeg in Round 2. They were not even supposed to defeat Toronto in Round 1, but to sweep Winnipeg was just another complete shock.
We now face Las Vegas… an expansion team three years old, a team from the desert. And yet they are strong and daunting.
At no point during the season did I look at the Montreal Canadiens and objectively believe that teams should fear them.
It has been twenty-eight years since I stood outside the Montreal Forum the night they last won Lord Stanley’s cup. It has been twenty-eight years since the Montreal Canadiens were eight games away from hoisting the oldest trophy in North American sports. It is, by far, the longest drought in the franchise’s history.
We were not supposed to get this far… but here we are. It is time to summon the ghosts of Maurice ‘Rocket’ Richard, Jacques Plante, Bernard ‘Boom Boom’ Geoffrion, Dick Irvin, and Toe Blake, and so many others… the greatest ghosts in the sport’s history. Let them sit on the shoulders of our players… let Plante knock down the shots that Carey Price might miss, and let The Rocket guide our forwards’ shots through to the back of the net… and when the gloves are dropped you know that he will want to throw a punch. Let the slap shot of Boom Boom put fear into the hearts of the Knights… and let the wisdom of Dick Irvin and Toe Blake guide our coaches to victory.
We need to win eight more games… let’s do it boys!
Go Habs Go!