And thus the 100th (well, 99th) season of Les Glorieux ends not with a bang befitting the Best Team in Hockey History, but rather a soft, impotent whimper befitting the team that so spectacularly crapped the bed for more or less an entire season.
And how poetic, too, that it was the mighty Bruins of Boston, Kings of the East and Conquerer of All, who put the Bleu et Blanc et Rouge out of its pitiable misery with yet another 4-1 win that was, perhaps, even easier than the lopsided scoreline belies.
I mean, you would have thought that a team with the Habs’ amount of talent, that took the East with so little effort just one year ago, would have at least put up a fight. It was, after all, the season of wonderful memories of Cup Champions past. It seemed like any time anyone turned over to a Habs game, they were trotting out a fourth-line guy that won 14 Cups in 12 years to drop the first puck while the current-day Canadiens stood around wearing ridiculous uniforms before losing 3-1 on Hockey Night in Canada to, like, the Thrashers or someone.
It seems like the mere aura of all those warm memories — broadcast countless times on RDS in all their fuzzy, buzzy black-and-white glory, no doubt — would have at least transfered to the 100th iteration of Les Habitants through osmosis. I bet if you added it all up, the number of Cups won by former Canadiens that were honored this season stretched well into the thousands. You’d think the spirits of Rocket Richard and Toe Blake and Jacques Plante would have worked some form of other-worldly magic to at least have one of the games in Montreal, the celebrated hockey city of old, not be a total blowout.
And yet here we are. Can the Canadiens really have just been handed their marching orders by the Bruins? Can it really have been just four games that decided the series? Can they have really given up four goals a night? Can they have really scored just two themselves? The ghosts of 100 years of hockey excellence surely looked on tonight, etherial arms folded in consternation, ghostly heads buried in embarrassment, vaporous mouths agape in shock. Their brilliant past, so exalted for close to eight months, spat upon by a bunch of no-trying layabouts who surely wouldn’t have even been good enough to lace Yvonne Cournoyer’s skates.
So shameful. So hilarious.
What’s French for “sweep?”
(…And you thought I’d go on and on about the Flames.)
New York Rangers 2, Washington 1
Well that’ll just about do it, eh? Another robbery for Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers’ PK, which is beginning to resemble Frank and Jesse James’ gang in its bravado and success at marauding the helpless Capitals power play. What else is there to say? The Caps have barely climbed aboard the train at all when they hear the click of a Colt revolver and feel cold metal against their heads. Put all your playoff hopes in this bag here, and no one gets hurt.
Calgary 5, Chicago 4
Well jeez, this was a hell of a game. Remember what I said the other night about Adam Burish going out of his way to piss off Jarome Iginla, and how that was sure to backfire. Well now I’m patting myself on the back so hard (not unlike Barry Horowitz) that I might just throw my shoulder out. Iggy was IMMENSE tonight for the Flames, as he had to be. Two goals and an assist sure is nice production for a guy that should be on everyone in the world’s DNFW list.
‘Course, I’d be remiss in not mention three more things about this game:
1) Calgary led this game 4-1 at one point in the second period, and it was 4-4 by the time intermission rolled around. Also worth noting: Calgary was outshot that period 13-5. Somehow Khabibulin returned for the third.
2) Olli Jokinen was a monster tonight. He scored his first career playoff goal, which was also his first goal in the Saddledome, and liked it so much that he did it again not 10 minutes later. He also had three points.
3) Another guy with three points: Eric Nystrom. You know him. The guy that scored the game-winner with 6:56 to go? Yeah, that guy.
Like I said, goddamn hell of a game.