While it was obvious that the team was struggling, I must confess to being absolutely shocked when i looked at the standings on Saturday night, again on Sunday morning just to make sure, and found that the Habs are sitting at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. It hit me. It hit me hard. I found my love and my loyalty for this team in question.
Anyone who has read my entries on this website will know, will absolutely know, that i remained a staunch and fiercely loyal supporter until it became clear that changes must take place. This stark realization came during the 4-3 loss to the Devils on Thursday and was marked with sadness and melancholy. Relative to many other fans and members of the media, my epiphany came very, very late. In one sense I am proud of that while in another way, i am a bit embarrassed that i held onto a losing cause for as long as i did in not truly seeing things for what they really are.
Upon discovering that the Habs had lost again by a 3-0 margin against the Washington Capitals on Saturday afternoon, my state of mind changed dramatically. I am finally officially angry. It took me quite a while to get here…i guess that i have a pretty long fuse but now there is some contempt within me as i reflect on the team that used to be a source of immense pride to my hometown. Lisa Fiorilli, an ardent Montreal Canadiens fan who contributes regularly to the site, described the team’s performance as follows:
Well, this was a doozy. And not a good doozy, a terrible doozy. The game was outright putrid, and I question whether any of the players on the ice today really felt like playing.
I completely agree with her assessment. So, what happens now? How does one remain a fan when the team seemingly no longer deserves support? This would ideally be a two-way relationship. This team has to start giving back. And if these players are not going to be the ones who do it, then let’s ship them out and bring in players with heart. I can forgive missed scoring opportunities and defensive lapses and bad goals against, but i cannot stand behind a team that does not care. What is the point of that?!
I can probably handle an 82 loss season as long as i trust that the team is giving the game and the fans absolutely everything that it has got. But i simply will not endorse any club that falls anywhere short of that. In one sense this might represent a bit of a high-expectation on my part, while in another manner this truly is a very, very generous offer. To the Montreal Canadiens organization i say: Take it or leave it.