You know things are bad when...
Tonight will see them log 440 hours of missed man hours. Every year I think their injury situation can't possibly get any worse and then it inevitably does.
I expect them to clear the 500 mark of missed game hours next season, just because that's the way this team has been trending for the past few years.
I've felt like a yo-yo far too many times this season.
I wanted Jacques Martin and his stupid system gone and poof they were. And the Habs fell apart. Was it entirely due to losing Martin? Doubtful, but I'm sure it didn't help.
Realizing as far back as November that the Habs were unlikely to contend or even make the post-season at least I enjoyed watching the Habs attempt a two man forecheck more than once a month. I've never been a fan of "sit back and hope the other team doesn't score" style of hockey.
And then Pierre Gauthier decided to sacrifice Randy Cunneyworth on the altar of self-preservation, which did not sit well at all with me, and I wonder how the players enjoyed that too. Did it help them feel confident in their GM and the future of their team?
I enjoyed watching the kids play, particularly Louis Leblanc, whom I expect will start the season with the Habs next year despite his lack of seasoning in the AHL. Now Gabriel Dumont is up and Robert Mayer and they're fun to watch because I don't get to see many AHL games, but the fact is that they'd not be available to watch playing for Montreal yet if the Habs were in the playoffs.
I watched major changes taking place, including the trade of underachieving sniper Michael Cammalleri, whom I will have to say I liked when he was effective but had little use for otherwise, particularly off the ice. The guy has always struck me as possessing too much false modesty and a giant ego, but whether or not his locker room disruptions were truth or rumour how he was dealt was badly done.
I watched this team make more than a few bad PR mistakes under Gauthier's last ditch efforts to save his own ass, and while I saw the logic behind some of them and even agreed with a few I've never witnessed this team in such a sorry state before.
I hope to hell I never see it again.
I hope to God next year I don't have to root for another team to win just so the Habs can salvage a high draft pick for what is a truly miserable season.
I don't like this season of paradoxes, of such extreme highs and lows. I like cheering for this team, and even on nights when the logic is clear that I should root for them to lose, I still squeal with delight when they score a goal.
Then it's "Oh. Damn."
I do so hate that like nothing hockey-related I've ever hated before with the possible exception of Gary Bettman.
I hope to never have to cuss after watching my team win a game ever again.
The dog and pony show that has been this season is almost over and I'm glad. The paradoxes of liking Scott Gomez everywhere but on the ice may return again next, or not, depending on who the next GM will be.
I just hope the guy is a sound strategist with a solid game plan he is willing to take some serious flak for as he attempts to execute it before the fans and media execute him. I hope the new coach is not married to an inflexible, outdated system and has more than two days of grace with the new GM who hires him.
They have a lot of work to do before the puck drops next fall. Players to sign, players to drop, and an unusally high draft pick that they have no choice but to get right.
I hope it's an interesting summer for the Canadiens; just not interesting in the way that this past season has been.
As for the playoffs... I just hope to hell the Bruins don't win.
And I hope, most fervently, that next season I'm writing a blog not about a miserable season, but about how the Habs are back where they belong - in contention for the Stanley Cup.