Tuesday, May 25, 2010

That's all folks

The Canadiens' semi-charmed playoff run is over. Lost just wrapped up, sort of, with a series finale. Tuesdays just aren't the same, and even though the sun shone so brightly this afternoon, it felt like a dark day. I'm not - repeat, NOT - a sore loser, but I'm going to miss the Canadiens until next season.

I'll be honest here: I've been thinking about what I'd write in my end-of-season post pretty much since the playoffs started. It might be a little tough for me to remember what I wanted to write a tumultuous month and a half ago, so I might forget a few things. But one thing that I certainly won't forget to mention is how proud I am of this team. Everyone assumed that this season would be all about slow rebirth, and we'd be seeing promise of the suture but still coming in dead last in the league, giving us the advantage of the #1 draft pick. But our Habs proved us wrong: who wants a Taylor or a Tyler when you've got a Jaro, a PK, or a Tomas?

That, of course, was only one of the questions that this season's team answered:
What would happen if almost none of last year's free agents stayed with the Canadiens? (I actually asked this to ~czechtacular about a year ago, and followed it up with "Who would be captain?" Still waiting on an answer for that last one.)
What would happen if Halak became more than just the other white meat?
Are we going to make the playoffs?

It was a regular season full of ups and downs and injuries and roster changes. How I ever thought that the 2008-09 season would have given me more blog material is beyond me, really. (Let's keep that last part between us, ok?) We started this blog in the preseason, after all of the summertime buying, selling, trading, and all the other things that happen in the offseason and have had tons to write about. We've made it to 200 posts in less than a year, and we have our incredible Canadiens to thank. This is a team that didn't give up despite losing big-ticket players to injury at various points during the season. This is the team that snapped the Washington Capitals' epic winning streak, long before eliminating them from the playoffs. This is the team that got rid of the defending Stanley Cup champions. Yes indeed, ladies and gents, this is the team that knocked two of the best teams in the league out of the race for the Stanley Cup. This is the team that shut down the NHL's two biggest stars. This is the team that snuck into playoffs and made it to the final four. This is also a team that looked very, very different at this time last year. Bob Gainey cobbled together a bunch of players from all over the league, and in less than a year they became Stanley Cup contenders. I expected a lot of the new players not to know what they were in for, that playing for the NHL's most storied franchise also meant that they would be living their lives under a microscope, in a place where "La ville est hockey" is more than a slogan. So far, all the players who've joined the Habs' roster in the last year have embraced their role as  Montreal Canadiens both on and off the ice.

They've given me a team I can be proud of, and a team I can write about even when I have very little to say. They stuck around for a whole month after my birthday, for the first time in a very long time.
So the best thing I can say, on the first Tuesday of this year where I have no Lost and no hockey (only Glee), is a retweet of the last thing Damon Lindelof will say about the Lost finale:
"Remember. Let go. Move on. I will miss it more than I can say."

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