Why the Montreal Canadiens Can Benefit from Underdog Role

Miah D.Senior Writer IOctober 18, 2009

BUFFALO, NY - OCTOBER 3:  (L-R) Assistant Coach Kirk Mueller and Head Coach Jacques Martin of the Montreal Canadiens look on from behind the bench during their NHL game against the Buffalo Sabres at HSBC Arena on October 3, 2009 in Buffalo, New York. The Canadiens defeated the Sabres 2-1 in overtime. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

The Montreal Canadiens’ current situation has given reason to the many skeptics who anticipated a painful season start following the team’s summer changes.

Jacques Martin’s crew has been surprisingly wandering without a direction and identity so far in the season, with their fifth straight loss in just seven games. Surprisingly, really?

Snow in Madagascar is a surprise; American Idol getting Ellen DeGeneres as judge is a surprise; but our dear Habs looking for the light at the end of the tunnel, not so much.

And yet, hearing the boos at the Bell Center as the team was battling with a few minutes left in the game made it look like Montreal was supposed to be THE team to beat in the NHL.

Granted, the additions that have been brought during the summer surely look amazing on paper. The players that Bob Gainey signed all have more than six years of experience in the NHL; which clearly shows the sense of urgency to bring success to a team that has been lost for so long.

But with the major makeover they just underwent, should we really expect a quick recovery?

Fans are certainly entitled to expect the best; for the sacrifices we fans have made for our team, don’t we deserve the finals every three or four years?

Aren’t we impatient just because we want to push them to become greater? Aren’t we there to motivate them?


But I personally hardly see anything motivating in booing your team at their second home game of the season.

There is a bright side to everything; as for Montreal, coming into this season as underdogs will take some pressure off the team’s shoulder.

With a new coaching staff and a goalie who seem to be losing and gaining the fans' hearts with a blink, this first season half should be exciting.

Is it frustrating? Duh. After all the fuss that we have been fed, oops, fed ourselves regarding a stronger defence, a scoring offense and a more mature goaltender; it is tough for the pride to see five straight losses.

But it is one thing to aspire for the high honours; it is another to blackmail the team with humiliating cheers if they do not deliver.

For a change, let’s look at the bright side. Clearly, they are not coming as favourites into this season; and for the sake of the their relation with their fan base, it might be better this way.