It’s Gonna Be a Long Summer

And…the off-season begins now.

Chances are if you’re at this site, it’s because you are a Habs fan. Or you like me, you really like me. OK, so you’re a Habs fan.

You know my misery. The season’s over, officially yesterday. Time to enjoy a few days of denial before those around you get excited for their team in the playoffs.

But for now, let’s enjoy yesterday. The Habs beat the Leafs in the season-ender, in an exciting, emotional game.

The Habs actually played really well. Very well, even. And this with Budaj in nets, because Price sat out the last 3 games due to a mild concussion suffered during a collision during practice with the wee Desharnais.

Can we talk about Cowboy Carey for just a second? Or at least, look at him.

It’s not the sharpest image because it’s a still captured on my iPhone from a TV screen. Still, hubba hubba. Sigh.

OK so it was a great game, we saw Cole with his 35th goal (I still want him to be captain), Pacioretty with his 33rd, I got to tweet “Pleks with a shorty on the breakaway!” for the final time in the season, and of all the guys, Staubitz scored a beauty into the empty net for his first goal in the dying seconds of the season.

It was during those last minutes that I got a serious knot in my throat knowing this was the last I’d see of them until October, and it was after the game was over that I cried real tears. It was really touching to see the players, including those who hadn’t skated, take to the ice in a final salute to the fans who’ve stuck by them through one of the worst seasons in memory. The team had gone through a lot of changes and rough times and the fans (the real ones, I mean) have stuck by them through the whole thing. The guys even took their jerseys right off to give them to a few lucky fans, and Subban triple-low-fived one of them. It was awesome! I’d had to switch to RDS to watch any of this, because CBC had immediately cut off any of the post game celebration and indeed all of the following proceedings at the Bell Centre.

Geoff Molson was there, looking on proudly, and I choose to interpret the look on his face as that of someone who knows big, exciting things are in the future for the team, and for us. I was really, really happy for the feeling.

Then I saw Coach Cunneyworth being interviewed on RDS and I wanted to shoot my TV. For the first time since he’s become coach, the interviewer decided to cut Cunneyworth off to “simultaneously” translate into French everything the coach said. He used up more airtime than the coach did. He acted like he didn’t care that Randy was even standing there; more so like it was deliberate that he was pointing out Randy’s lack of French skills. I’m no body-language expert but it was a passive-aggressive interview; the interviewer didn’t even crack a smile at him, was rude to him if you ask me, then at the end stepped in front of Randy to sign off and Randy tried to thank him and the guy looked contemptuous as if to say “we’re done now”. I’m really touchy when it comes to Cunneyworth’s mistreatment so I may be reading more into it, but I just don’t think so. Did you see it? I just tried to upload it to Youtube but it’s not taking. Better you don’t see it.

To contrast this, I then went to listen to the interviews in the locker room and heard Max Pacioretty say the exact following about Cunneyworth:

“He overcame a lot of adversity; he brought us together as a team, and he did a great job this year, so hopefully he’s here next year. Obviously that’s not up to any of us, but I know that in the room, he’s well-liked, everyone likes him a lot, and he did a great job this year.”

Then, to the question, “what did Randy have to say at the end of the game?” Pacioretty responded:

You know what, he was proud of us and we’re proud of him. He was put in a very tough situation this year, and he rose to the occasion. He brought us together as a team, and you know, you guys don’t see what happens behind closed doors, but I can tell you, Randy did a great job this year. Like I said, not many people get put in that situation, so it’s tough. But I know the guys in the room wanted to get that win for him tonight, and throughout this stretch we’ve been wanting to get him some wins just to prove that he belongs here.”

Anybody who expected Cunneyworth to spin gold out of the tattered remains of a team that he was given is just as dumb as anyone who expected Barack Obama to undo 8 years of his predecessor’s disasters in one year. Geoff Molson made clear that he’s listening to the fans last week during his statement for Gauthier’s dismissal. I hope he’s listening to the players, too.

And to Cunneyworth, who expressed his desire to stay with the organization during the post-game conference.

Until then, his vacation will be to “head to the cottage for a couple of days and that’s about it. And then, it’s all yard work”.

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