Do not get me wrong…i am a Habs fan and always will be. That being said, I could not be happier to learn that The St. Louis Blues, led by Jaroslav Halak, not only beat, but shut out the Montreal Canadiens tonight at The Bell Centre in Montreal. In following the scores around the league nightly at work while cooking in a busy restaurant, I always cringe upon discovering that The Habs are losing but not so tonight…tonight i smiled when my colleagues informed me almost immediately of each of the unanswered goals scored by St. Louis.
While i have nothing but respect and admiration for Carey Price, it is Jaroslav Halak who led the Canadiens to their miraculous upsets over the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins in 2010 and that was the last time i was truly moved by a member of this hockey team. I dare say that i was crushed and stunned like so many others to learn that this puckstopper had been traded and that what was coming down our way consisted of Lars Eller and Ian Schultz-two players the existence of which i had previously not been privy to. I cannot publish the transcript of my vocal reaction to the trade for i would be permanently banned from posting in any website and i probably woud have been confined to an institution given that i was a threat to myself and to others (especially to others). Naturally Price’s play last year and the progress of Lars Eller have done much to lead me to believe that Pierre Gauthier was not as crazy as i had decided he must have been when he made that startling move.
Having said that, i still feel that Jaro never really got to bask in the glory of his performance. His stint as the hero in Montreal seemed to be cut far too short given his contribution to the sucess of our team. It is like he was gone before we really got to thank him for both rekindling our faith in our team and for uniting us as a city. So, on this night, and only on this night, I can accept, gladly, defeat at the hands of the opponents. I genuinely believe that tonight was not about proving who got the upper hand in the trade, it was not about redemption…instead it was about having an opportunity to watch two terrific goaltenders at work and about having an opportunity to give a hero`s welcome to Number 41 for his messianic performance in the 2010 playoffs.