October 30, 2011


The Habs are without a doubt the beating heart of the NHL.  The team is a symbol for the city of Montreal, the country of Canada and the game of hockey.  The team has a history which is envied by every other NHL club.  Greats like Maurice Richard and Guy Lafleur are just two of the many legendary players who have worn the Canadiens uniform.   The ramparts at the Bell Center are covered in championship banners and the reminder of past success is present every time they drop the puck and the club takes on a new opponent.

This track record of success is a double edge sword for every player who steps on the ice for the Habs.  Expectations are always high and underperformance is punishable by excommunication from the hearts of loyal Canadiens fans.

This year's edition of the Habs is under that very same pressure.  Carey Price is their own ice leader and he has faced the most criticism so far this season. The pre-season tailspin foretold a rough start to the season and it looked that the Habs were headed to the basement in their division after the first few weeks.  Fans were calling for the head of Price, Demers and others as the team dropped key games to the Leafs and Avalanche. It certainly did not look good.

Somehow, disaster was avoided this past week for Montreal.  It was as though the team called on the ghosts of past Habs' greats and they managed to knock off the Flyers and the Bruins (in a home and home series).  The band wagon of Habs fans which had lost "loyal" followers for three weeks has been busy since last night picking up the same poor souls who had "lost" their way.

The question for all Habs fans and NHL fans is which Habs team we will show up for the rest of the year.  I suppose we can best express the anticipation with Habs or Habs not ? A true Habs team will pull together from here on and get back in the race.  The tradition of playing in Montreal should be enough to get these guys to play their best.  If the team fades; hockey history will banish them as an oddity and mark the players as not good enough to have worn the Canadiens jersey.  I guess it is up to them to answer the question; Habs or Habs not ?  Either way it should be interesting. 

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