Its understandable that in the Habs universe you take nothing for granted. For all that we’ve been through in the past 24 months, it is entirely predictable that we should feel uneasy as to what the outcome of the next 2-9 games will be. All week I’ve been reading from bloggers, posters and journalists alike: It is still possible that the Habs don’t make the playoffs. The scenario exists, however improbable, that the 2009/10 Canadiens will not be in the post-season. For those willing to be a little bold it is still a difficult task to muster the courage to verbalize what might happen once we get to the playoffs. As I said, we’ve earned the right to apprehension.
24 Months ago, the Habs ended a Cinderella regular season in which they clinched the Conference title, only to nearly lose in the playoffs against the Bruins whom they had beaten 8 straight times that year, and eventually falter to the Flyers. 12 Months ago the Habs backed into the last playoff spot only to be swept by the Bruins in the first round. It was enough tumult to make those riding the SS Canadiens seasick.
Now, After 24 months of elating highs and dark lows, it is difficult to put your blind faith in the Bleu, Blanc, Rouge. There are very few shouting “this is our year!” from the tops of Montreal rooftops. There are probably more ready to jump. That said, Montreal has the opportunity to eliminate the impact of a terrifying deja-vu rendezvous with those Laffs who seem bent on screwing us, even if it only means losing to every single playoff rival we have during the final 5 games of their season. There isn’t a Habs fan out there that wants to see ANY of our valuable assets out against the Leafs in a do-or-die final game of the regular season.
The game tonight is yet another opportunity for the Canadiens to seize the playoffs for themselves, as well as ensure they have a chance at being ranked in 6th place which could come in handy should miracles happen in the first round and the Habs eventually run into a lower ranked opponent in the post season. A win in regulation will do it. A loss in over-time is not preferable, but will also do it. A loss in regulation allows for the nightmare scenario to continue.
I’m cheering for a win tonight (as always). If for nothing else than piece of mind over the weekend. Go Habs Go!!!