Montreal, a city of many cultures, a city encompassed in history and architecture, a city where you can swear by the smoked meat and the bagels, a city where a hockey team is so much more than a hockey team, it is a religious and cultural statement of who we are and who we were.
A city where parading down the main boulevards are a celebration of a people rather than a team. The Montreal Canadiens are so much more than the four lines composed by the genius of Guy Carbonneau, it is the city itself.
Some can not handle that pressure, that is playing in Montreal. If Detroit is H, Montreal is Hockey Heaven/Hell (insert season record to see if its the latter). 100 years of history and winning, where the likes of Maurice Richard gave heart and soul to his city, and his people.
Their is a certain responsibility and honor, that wearing the bleu, blanc, et rouge brings. One hundred years, celebrating names like, Plante, Richard, Morenz, and many others.
The All-Star Game given to us by Bettman and his circus as a reward for this accomplishment of longevity and tenacity, but would the Ghosts of the Forum be proud of the heart that drives this team right now ?
In what has been a roller coaster of a season, we receive an all star game, to honor the heroes that hang in the rafters of the most intimidating arena on the circuit.
You would think that having 60 of the worlds best players, a wide array of fans, personnel, GM's, and so on, would drive les glorieux to put on a show so to speak. That it would light a fire in their heart, that all the NHL herd is migrating to the Hockey Mecca of the world.
There is the fact that last time we received an All-Star Game when Montreal won its twenty-fourth Stanley Cup and so many reasons to be motivated I could write a thesis about it and probably start a class at l'Universite de Montreal.
These past two games, have brought shame to a city where Maurice Richard skated day in and day out, for his people.
With the return of Koivu, we can already start to notice that team chemistry has taken a hit. Now that Carey Price is back, Halak stopped trying, and this hurts, as Price gave a less than stellar performance last night.
This Cup is bigger than them but most dont realise or care it seems. The drive for 25 is bigger than any one of us can imagine, and I am not asking to win every night, but les boys must play with their hearts, not their heads, because no one can ask for more.
Show the people that idolize and worship you like gods on blades, that their is a fight worth fighting, and install that essential hope in our heart. I leave you on this note.
"Men who for truth and honor's sake
Stand fast and suffer long.
Brave men who work while others sleep,
Who dare while others fly...
They build a nation's pillars deep
And lift them to the sky.
Ralph Waldo Emerson.