In my most recent contribution to this website, i advocated that we refrain from pulling the trigger on any trades that would radically shift the look of the Montreal Canadiens. After having had the time to sleep on that post, i still feel the same way while recognizing that i am most certainly in the minority in taking on this viewpoint. I want to believe that the team that electrified us in the recent past can do so once again.
In order for that to happen, however, this team of talented individuals will have to play each and every remaining minute of this season with a sense of pride that has not been demonstrated nearly enough this year. The answer lies within the room and it will have to come more from the heart than from the xs and os that dot the coach’s chalkboard. Passion has to be the order of the day, everyday. Passion has to be reflected in everything that these team members do between now and when the final buzzer sounds on April 7th at the conclusion of the regular season in Montreal. Passion absolutely needs to become the new buzzword on this team and it needs to be adopted / embodied by each and every player and coach immediately. In the words of the immortal Danny Gallivan: “Time is becoming a factor.”
It is not just victories and points in the standings that are at stake. I feel that what is at risk here now, more than has been the case in a long time, is the relationship between this organization and its supporters. The fans are disgruntled and this time the dissatisfaction is warranted. Something must change here or the fans will align themselves with another team or simply pursue other interests and they would not be unjustified in doing so. The Habs crowd is not meek and passive like its counterpart in Toronto that accepted a Stanley Cup drought now spanning 44 years. No, this crowd expects that its dedication to the team be reciprocated by the players it supports and, dare i say, rightfully so. We do not necessarily need to see a Stanley Cup but we must bear witness to a will to win!
Our fans arguably have more heart and passion for the home team than that which is in evidence anywhere else that the NHL has a franchise. As a sophisticated fan base we feel that the players should deserve our respect We feel that they must be worthy of our adulation, lest we retract it. We will not blindly dish it out like fools. It is high time that the players on the ice also start to feel. It is high time that they play 60 minutes with guts and with relentless intensity. Certainly the fans can spark the team but once in a while the team should spark its fans as well. The key to all of this is wanting it. The skill is there. I repeat: the skill is there.
While 16 points separate the 12th place Canadiens and the 2nd place Bruins, these squads have split the first four games that they contested this season. The Montreal Canadiens won the first two and subsequently dropped the next two to their great rivals. Can you believe that for a little while in their abysmal season your Habs actually led the Bruins in the standings? What has changed for the black and yellow team must now also change in the red/white & blue. Anything is possible but the effort, the commitment, must be on display for a full 60 minutes. Go Habs Go!