Montreal Canadiens: The Perfect Ending To A Perfectly Un-Perfect Season

Apr 29, 2022; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens team honors a member of the staff, Pierre Gervais (center), before the game against Florida Panthers at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 29, 2022; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens team honors a member of the staff, Pierre Gervais (center), before the game against Florida Panthers at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /

After the game and the mandatory stick raising thank you to the fans, the Montreal Canadiens presented Alex Romanov with the Beauchamp-Molson Trophy for the most dominant Canadiens player without winning any other trophy, and then came the speeches.

The first speech came from Samuel Montembeault, and I will be honest with you, I did not understand a word of it. The arena was still very loud, the microphone was peaking and reverberating, and Montembeault was speaking French.

Yes I know. I am a terrible Canadian and Montreal Canadiens fan for not knowing much French, but you can blame the Ontario French teaching system for that. But it wasn’t so much about the speech, but what happened after.

After Montembeault finished his speech, the whole arena stood and cheered for him. And it felt so great and so cathartic for a player that has been given so much grief and hatred throughout this season. And so much of it is not warranted. Many acidic fans wanted a scapegoat for the way this season went, and many fell on Montembeault.

He was never brought in to the team to be the starter. He was supposed to be the third-string goalie after Carey Price comes back early in the season. But with injuries to Price and Jake Allen thrust him into the starting position, and the team in front of him was really bad.

And that’s the thing! While Montembeault had some lapses in play, for the most part, he played really well. There is no reason to hate Montembeault for this season. He performed admirably, and it was amazing to see him get the respect he deserved.