Radar Love

So, yesterday was weird.

It started out like many other mornings on this spring break that I have off work – my nearly 2-year old puppy has mastered the art of sleeping in, and now doesn’t rise until I do. Which yesterday was at about 9am. And then I switched on my Tunein Radio app to listen to TSN 690 in Montreal. Actually, I set the app to start recording the station at 3am my time, then when I get up I listen to the whole morning show on delay. I put on the headphones, take the dog out and for a run, all the while listening to Montreal deejays, their guests and callers.

Here’s what’s weird. It was game day, Montreal to play Boston in Boston later that evening, but it seemed like all anyone could talk about was this Iginla trade that was ruminating. And the gossip was that he was going to the Bruins. And then, all anyone could talk about was the Bruins and the Penguins, who had made a few key moves ahead of the trade deadline. And all this screamed to everyone was stacking up for the playoffs. Playoffs, playoffs, playoffs. BruinsPenguinsBruinsPenguins. Blah blah blah.

You know who’s never a part of any conversation? The Habs. No one pays them any attention. The Habs? Oh, man, they suck, not only did they not even make the playoffs last year, they sucked so badly that they couldn’t even suck enough to get a good chance at the first-round draft pick as a result of their suckage. Last year, the Habs were horrible, and painful to watch.

Last year.

Let’s talk about last year, and how the Bruins were on their way to a dynasty to win the Stanley Cup again. The Bruins won their cup in 2011 against the Canucks –  in Vancouver following a horribly disappointing blow-out in Game 7. Those same Bruins had only barely made it past the first round in overtime of Game 7 with the Habs – the Habs who were minus many key players, including F Max Pacioretty who was recovering from a murder attempt the previous month. The Bruins were one goal away from being sent home by this injury-riddled team. Just one goal.

But WOOOOOOW the Bruins were on their way again! Trumpeted from all the sports outlets! Oh, but then they got knocked out in the first round though, and by the way so did the Canucks, who got knocked out by barely-eighth-place Los Angeles.

And now, the Penguins, and not the Bruins, have acquired Jarome Iginla, Iggy, who was the real star of that Golden Goal at the 2010 Olympics.

Let me back up – so yes, it was a beautiful, warm spring day, and the bf came over and we took the dog for a hike up at the lake. I did something I seldom do, even though I had the opportunity to watch a Habs game live; I decided to record it and watch it later on delay. (P.S. That was hard. It meant not looking at Twitter, not reading my texts, and then, after the lake, we decided to hit up a pub for some dinner, and at the last moment I realized the Habs game was on T.V. there. The bf went in first to make sure they weren’t playing the audio, then backed me in to a table and a chair where I wouldn’t be able to see the game. It reminded me of that How I Met Your Mother episode where the gang decided to PVR the Super Bowl then had to go all day avoiding the score.)

So anyway, we got home, turned on the game, and it was a hell of a game. The Habs were up 2-0, the second by P.K. Subban, widely detested in Boston – then deflated in the 2nd period to trail 4-2. And then. They came out in the 3rd, and after scoring and giving up another goal, scored twice more to tie – the tying goal in the waning seconds of the period, scored by none other than Boston captain Chara. That’s right. Chara scored for the Habs, in his own building, to tie the game. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.

AND THEN OH MY GOD THE RECORDING ENDED. We flipped furiously to TSN to see the overtime highlights, and found out that the Habs had indeed won, again, against Boston, in Boston, in the shootout. Glorious. Glorious.

TSN then went live to hear Jay Feaster’s press conference about Iginla’s trade to Pittsburgh, not Boston, as initially reported.

I got this text from one of my pals: “Craziness, Pittsburgh…just give them the damn cup already.”

OK FINE: Let’s talk about Pittsburgh. Yes, they have Sidney Crosby, widely trumpeted on all the networks as the “greatest hockey player on the planet,” and now they have Iginla. But you know what? They still have Marc André Fleury, too. And Pittsburgh, on a 12-game winning streak, only barely beat Montreal the day before yesterday – and got wildly outplayed by Montreal, to boot. Last time they met, Pittsburgh only won by one goal as well – after letting in 6. So they have Iginla now. Will make it even better to watch, as far as I’m concerned.

Let’s talk about Boston. Last time they met Montreal, they lost, after giving up a lead, in their own building. Nothing but excuses after that loss. And after having umpty-ump games in hand against Montreal, I think it was five, during which they’d smoke us in the standings…are now within one point of the Habs with only one game in hand. And they lost last night to what should have been a tired Habs team.

And the Habs are still firmly in 2nd place in the East.

And are not showing any signs of quitting, not showing any signs of giving up in tough contests.

And only 31 games into the season did they finally concede two consecutive games in regulation.

Am I the only one who thinks Boston’s losing it? I mean, by the same token, they ARE in 4th in the conference, but I don’t know, I feel like they’re losing their confidence. They’re not playing with the same swagger, and do nothing but whine after losses. This year, the Habs’ motto is “Pas d’Excuses/No Excuses,” and all the Bruins seem to have is excuses.

No one is talking about Montreal. That’s okay. No one talked about them either in 2010, other than to predict that Washington would knock them out of the playoffs. Oh, and then to predict that Pittsburgh would knock them out. Which neither was able to do.

And this year, we also have a new system, a new coach, a new GM, and what seems to be great chemistry and a team that doesn’t give up. In so many games this year, they’ve come back from a deficit to tie or win, where last year they would have given up. With all the trade deadline talk and stacking up for the playoffs…I have a feeling Marc Bergevin is either going to make some incredibly big move, or no move at all.

Fine by me that this little team is flying under the radar. This little team, many of whose own fans were matter-of-factly stating before the puck even dropped on this shortened season that the Habs wouldn’t even make the playoffs. No one’s talking about them. I have a feeling that Bergevin might actually like it that way. Let ’em talk. I mean um, not talk.

So, what a difference a year makes. For every team. New year, new season. Keep your predictions, and I’ll keep enjoying watching the Habs and believing.

(The Habs beat the Bruins! Again! And guess what – they next time they meet, I will be there. I’m so excited, I could throw up!)

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