Halfway! But yet, ONLY halfway…

Preface (Except for the fact it has nothing to do with my post): Find a Leafs fan on Twitter and then read the conversations they are having with other Leaf fans. Man do those folks ever need a hug. I swear the only thing keeping them going is a unified faith in this Habs run ending before they win another eight games.

Anyway…

Before I get started with another installment of All Habs, All the Time I have to throw in a little disclaimer of sorts.

It’s not that I don’t take responsibility for my own opinions but I have to explain my mindset when analyzing a team I happen to love more than oxygen. I want more than anything to join in all the ‘I believe’ and ‘doesn’t this feel like ‘93’ talk but I have this glaring character trait, where I tend to be skeptical about them.

It’s a combination of an interest in being as objective as possible – I am trying to make a living at this after all – and the simple fact I have gotten my hopes up many a time in all kinds of sports, only to wind up really miserable.

Good lord, I’m a Roughrider fan for cryin’ out loud.

Because of this I have a habit of seeing all the things that can go wrong, no matter how much I may want to ignore them. And so, with that, I give you:

Day 4 – Slooooow down parade planners.

At this point in the 2010 playoffs, no one can deny the level of play coming from the Montreal Canadiéns. From an unconscious goaltender to a battered blueline of shot-blocking crazy people to a group of forwards who score WHENEVER the situation calls for it, these Habs look poised to continue this run right into the Stanley Cup Finals.

The President’s Trophy winner? Gone. Defending champs? An after thought.

Mike Cammalleri, Josh Gorges, Jaro Halak? On a mission.

What a fantastic story this team has become. They’ve overcome all kinds of odds against them and have built a bond, which seems unbreakable by any outside force. Let’s face it, everything is aligning perfectly for them to win that 25th Stanley Cup and it’s really hard to imagine anything – or anyone – standing in their way anymore.

Of course, the only problem with all that is it’s the EXACT same feeling every Flyers fan on earth is having and every player in that Philly dressing room believes just as strongly as any Hab that they are meant to win it all.

This team of destiny nonsense is absolutely everywhere and it makes me want to punch somebody in the larynx. Guess what folks? Right now there are four teams left and four teams’ fan bases believing they are destined to raise the Cup.

And every year it’s the same, no matter who makes it this far, we always hear that same term. Well, with all due respect, if there actually is some hidden power out there controlling our fate, it doesn’t give the smallest s#!t who wins a North American hockey trophy and those who believe different really need to lay down for a bit.

The Flyers beat Marty Brodeur and a VERY potent team from New Jersey before coming back from down three to topple the Bruins. Just because the Devils series only went five shouldn’t mean their story has any less drama.

Two of my best friends in the world are MASSIVE Philly fans and they have never seen their team win. I talked to one of them tonight and guess what? He really believes there is something special about his group this year and feels there is a bond in that room strong enough to take them to the top.

Sound familiar?

The Montreal Canadiéns are not in the Eastern Conference final because the hockey gods want them to be. The Philadelphia Flyers are not in the same series because it was meant to happen that way.

The conference’s seventh and eighth seeds will play for all the Eastern marbles because they have performed well enough to do so. Any claim of less is an absolute insult to the athletes who have accomplished it.

What worries me now as a Habs fan is that all the talk is going about the Canadiéns. Hardly anyone – aside from maybe Eklund but he LOVES the Flyers – will be talking about this Philly story and how great they are playing. I really get the feeling some fans and media will be overlooking the Orange and Black because it would be such a let down for Montreal to lose at this point, people will almost dismiss its possibility entirely.

Well not this writer.

I think if the Habs play with the same grit and fire they have had all post season AND land the same timely breaks they have enjoyed from time to time, they will come out on top. But unfortunately I’m just as positive the same applies for Philly.

I have absolutely no clue which of these teams will win the East but I do know one thing for sure. This is going to be the toughest series yet.

For both clubs.

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7 Responses to “Halfway! But yet, ONLY halfway…”

  1. Rains down in Africa Says:

    Well congrats to your Habs. Nobody thought they would make it this far, but such is the story of upsets. Getting news ever few days here in Africa it is interesting to hear about every few games and what happens. With little access it is just box scores and headlines i get, so it will be interesting to catch a few games of the finals when i get back. Sure looks like a youth movement is in full force.

    I also hear the cavs are out. Boston disposed of them in 6. Then the magic haven’t lost a game yet and the sun waxed the floor with the spurs. Hopefully kid Canada can do the same with kobe and wipe that smirk off his face.

    I look forward to your updates Shmitzy!

    • I got you RDiF. We’re all glad to hear you’re doing well out there. I got your email yesterday and am glad you can at least get some scores, though what you’re doing out there is just a tad more important than the athletic result of capitalism out of control. Haha.
      BUT… Nash was SO badass against your Spurs, arm. In game four he took the nastiest elbow in his right eye from TD. Closed almost instant and he took six stitches. Comes back for the fourth, all momentum with the Spurs who were on a run, and drops 10 with five dimes. The schmuck after the game who interviews him says “Was it hard to play like that?” Nash says: “Well, it wasn’t ideal.”
      Single handedly keeping the NBA playoffs from being a complete joke. Toughest guy in the whole sport. Shaq missed like a half a season once because of a GD toe. Nash is 6’3″ and looks like a banker, with hippie hair. And he’s embarrassing the rest of the league.
      So Canadian. Blind? So what, I gotz a game to win.

  2. Actually, all I’m hearing about today is the Flyers and what they’ve achieved, and how they’re the Cinderella team or team of destiny to watch for now. The Habs are still getting props, but right now all the pundits are saying how the Flyers will have all the momentum going into the series vs. the Habs. Because the Flyers are beat up from the Boston series, the Habs might take one, but experts expect the Flyers to take the series after that. Even a lot of the Habs fans, so positive after the Pens series, are getting in on the doom and gloom.

    I’m not discounting what the Flyers did – it is truly amazing – but they’re not the only ones to ever do it. The Habs are the only ones to ever accomplish what they have this year. That whole “team of destiny” thing gets on my nerves too, along with Cinderella vs. Cinderella, or David vs. David. I suspect that’s more to do with the media’s lack of creativity and/or effort than anything else though.

    Yeah, the Flyers will be tougher in ways than the Pens and the Caps who had blatant superstars we could shut down. I’m not willing to say it’s the Habs’ year, but I am choosing to have the faith that this team – who by their own admission still think of themselves as underdogs today – will continue to get better and better, will continue to find and execute a winning game plan, and will find a way to beat the Flyers. This is not the same team the Flyers squared off against in the regular season. Washington found that out the hard way. So did the Pens. And so too, I hope, do the Flyers.

    • I agree the talk since last night has been about Philly, after all they played last night. I just see that changing by tomorrow and I’ve read about 25 predictions today with a good 80 per cent calling Habs in six or seven, and while that may be in fact true I worry it’s coming with a dismissal of the Flyers. I haven’t seen any doom and gloom from the Habs faithful at this point but I have no doubt you’re right when you say it exists. Habs fans – like me especially maybe – can be REAL moody about their team and its chances. Maybe people are telling me what they think I want to hear and most certainly we are both proof there are many predictions coming for this series, but I – like our dressing room I hope – don’t like to think too far ahead.
      It’s just TOO easy to think the Habs SHOULD beat the Flyers. The Pens and Caps SHOULD’VE beaten us and didn’t.
      And as a member of the media I can only comment on your opinion of its laziness as being 100 % accurate. If people murdered over the use of cliches, my old writing teacher would be a serial killer. We finally have the parody in the league they have been long after and yet they are still BEYOND shocked to see an underdog win. Makes zero sense.
      Thanks for the insightful comments, I need a little disagreement on this blog. Lol
      Go your team!!

  3. Man, I couldn’t agree more. Now that the Habs have beat Washington AND Pittsburgh most of the people (scratch that) ALL of the people I talk too automatically assume that the Habs have booked the Bell Centre Ice for the Stanley Cup finals….Philly is scary, especially after coming back from 3-0 in the series AND in game 7.

    Another exciting, edge of your seat series…coming up!

    • I know dude. Me too. Thankfully I’ve been seeing a more or less split on TV as the day has panned out. The GREAT news is NO WAY the boys in the dressing room are taking this lightly. Too far in for the 8-seed to get cocky now.

  4. Maelstrom78 Says:

    I do agree with alot of your post. This team of destiny is a pain to hear. However, if we are to think that let’s look at each teams path. Philly had lost a key player but struggled badly without him. They played teams that were anything but offensive powerhouses. Brodeur hasn’t been the same for awhile now. Montreal however had lost their top D man in game 1 of round two. Not to mention a 9 game absence of spacek and Gill missing for an elimination game. Did the fold up shop? No. They persevered by raising their game and playing as a team. It is peoples rampant optomisim which leads them too believe the Habs are THE team of destiny, and while I find it silly at times, there may be a case for it.

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