(Because I couldn't call this post "Reflektor," now, could I?)
After spending half of 2012 without hockey, and dealing with the consequences of a shortened 2013 season, and being quickly thrown back into offseason mode, we've got our game back.
It's almost like I'm not used to this. It's been two years since I spent September trying to keep up with injuries and training camps and game-day rosters. It's been kind of weird to adapt to something that should be second nature. Maybe it just means that I'm changing as a fan somehow. I guess now that I have a few seasons under my belt, I can't really say that all of this is new to me anymore. It just feels like getting back into old habits. (I'm trying really hard to not make a Sister Act 2 pun here. Really hard.)
I had trouble keeping up with a relatively crazy offseason, especially since I wanted to take advantage of summer as much as I could. Days that would normally be spent hanging on Bob McKenzie's every word were instead spent at festivals or on road trips. (Or at work, too busy to even remember the names of the 29 other GMs in the NHL.)
But it's impossible to be out of hockey mode for long. Right before preseason started, everyone started to feel it. There's a shift that happens. The days start to get crisper, festival season winds down, and Montreal becomes a hockey metropolis again. People wear their Canadiens shirts so often that they have to put their old ones back into rotation, and I do a double-take just to make sure I really did see someone wearing a Kostitsyn or a Latendresse. My Facebook feed is so much more interesting now that people are showing their CH pride again, from the soldiers stationed in other countries playing hockey in their downtime to the friend sporting her colours at college in the US. (She wore a Habs shirt, by the way, to an event where she had to wear something from her "home state" - and since her Quebec pride has been shattered by the Charter for Religious Control And Something-Or-Other, she chose to embrace her hometown team.) I've been looking at the jerseys hanging in my closet, thinking that soon, soon I would get to wear them.
Going to the first preseason game of the year helped me get back into hockey mode. Even the huge condo developments going up around the Bell Centre can't dampen the excitement that I get just being within a few blocks of home ice. It was like reconnecting with a good friend you haven't seen in months - there's so much to catch up on, but it feels like no time has passed at all.
I may not be ready for summer to be over, but I'm itching for the season to start.