Monday, July 6, 2009

Habs Fans Always Looking Back - Time To Turn Around

In the aftermath of the shockwave that hit the Montreal Canadiens July 1st, its interesting to see how many fans, myself included, were left looking back over what was -- instead of looking forward.

It seems to be a great curse of the organization (and also what makes it so great). The shadow of past success and story overshadow the now.
  • Higgins gets traded, and there is an outcry of support for him to stay a Hab
  • Komisarek goes to the (yak) Leafs, and then reports surfaced we could have kept him if we gave him an 8 yr deal and the key to the city.
  • Koivu is not (yet?) resigned, and suddenly he's the best captain a hockey team could have.
  • Kovalev is not (yet?) resigned, and there are petitions for his return.
  • Tanguay is not (yet?) resigned, and there is much wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth.
Yes, as a Canadiens fan I have already stated I would like to have seen small tinkering to (what I thought was) the solid core. I loved Higgins and Komisarek, the wizardry of Tanguay's passes, Kovalev's punishing wrister from the half-boards, Koivu's bravery and determination, Komisarek's competitiveness, and Higgins' determination. I have fond memories of them all.

But that's just it; they're memories. It seems like only a few of these memories happened at once. If Komisarek was kicking ass, then Kovalev was asleep. If Kovalev was scoring, Koivu and Higgins were nowhere to be seen. There were streaks of brilliance; but it was never a complete picture.

You can't win with memories.

And its over. The team has a new polish, a new flavour, and what was there is gone. You can complain about it all you want, talk about what could have been, but really fans, you have to move on.

Stop thinking about what could have been; start looking at what we have. A defensive minded coach. 2 young players from the 2003 New Jersey Devils, still in their prime. Still a solid defensive core, and still some young talent. Stanley Cup experience. What does this mean? Looks like Gainey is gonna try and trap his way into success. He has all the pieces of a defence-first low scoring club, that wins games.

No one knows if this will work. And we'll always be able to look back at our 2008/2009 team and wonder "what if?" -- "shoulda-coulda-woulda" -- but it is all academic now.

And the press will pan it no matter what; even if we kept the hometown heroes and once again failed to get any 'elite' level players. They love to kill a guy, then weep on his grave like it was a tragedy. Mobster style.

I have to cheer for Gomez. It's not gonna be easy, but the colours run deeper than petty preferences. Go Habs Go.


  1. You have the line "You can win with memories." I think you meant, "you can't win with memories."

    Anyways, good post. I was glad Higgins was gone, never want to hear Kovalev's name again, and wasn't as high on Komisarek as other people were.

    But I would like for them to bring back Koivu, just because of all he has given and done for the team. If they asked him to be the third-line centre who was to play defensive hockey, he did it. If they asked him to centre the top offensive unit, he did it. He led on and off the ice, and I think that's important for a hockey team.

  2. Great post.

    I agree.... time to look ahead.

    There is a certainly nostalgia in looking back at memories.. and a certain desire to keep holding on...and not let go.

    While I loved these (now) former players with the Habs, it's time to turn the page. I would have welcomed back Koivu, Kovalev or Komisarek... but at the same time, turning the page with a new identity is probably the best thing.

    There were things that had to be addressed.... lack luster play... poor defensive play resulting in tons of shots on goal....

    Even with the age of our (former) leaders, they can no longer carry a team as they would have been expected to. Newer faces, younger faster legs....

    I'm looking forward to the new chapter.

  3. Ha! Thanks for the catch theryancokeexperience!

    I'd love for Tanguay and Koivu to come back. But I think Gainey is now trying to make sure Pleks, Kostitsyns, and Laps / Gui don't get completely shut out.

    We'll see. No one is exactly knocking down these guys' doors, are they?