Much like the fan who shot the – ahem – "rap" video above, you have to hand it to the Montreal Canadiens for not only knocking off the Washington Capitals but now impossibly the Pittsburgh Penguins as well.
A team that has been given as much respect as Dustin Penner circa 2008 has proven itself to be much better than anyone thought – nearly to the point of a Dustin Penner circa 2010. And though we aren’t normally in the business of caring about Montreal, we have to admit it is fun to watch.
We won’t sit here and pretend that we are a Habs fan because we are not. But even the stone heartiest fan among us has to respect the fact that fans of Le Bleu Blanc et Rouge are an excitable lot and have been supporting this team through thick and thin througout the 249 years they have been in the league.
Some of the most passionate hockey fans we have ever met are Canadiens fans and every single citizen of the Nation must know some long suffering fan of the Canadiens that is now sitting breathlessly with his or her parents, grandparents, extended family and massive network of Habs fans in Edmonton – waiting for the Eastern Finals to begin.
That’s how Habs fans roll – in packs.
CHILDHOOD MEMORIES OF A HAB FAN
Long ago, a hockey obsessed L’il Wanye had this french gym teacher in Juniuor High that thought the Habs hung the very moon and stars. He was a fantastic sort of guy who disregarded the Phys Ed curriculum set out by the Edmonton School board and for three wonderful years let us play floor hockey virtually every gym single class in the winter.
While the other classes were forced to play basketball, gymnastics or partake in the dreaded rope climb, our class enjoyed epic best of seven floor hockey series, while the teacher alternated between keeping detailed stats from game to game and occasionally taking the court to wire slapshots at hapless kids to "keep ze games close’ . He even allowed to slash and body check each other telling kids to "keep ze head up and play tough."
These floor hockey games and the teacher who wore a Habs hat like it was the school uniform are some of the best memories of school that remain in our booze addled brain.
This dude absolutely lived and died with the Habs. We can recall some of our lippier classmates chirping him when the Canadiens would lose and he would rise to the challenge on every single occasion – casting aside the required professionalism of a teacher and telling our classmates in his heavily accented english "you keeeds don’t know not-ing about real hockey. Never will your Oiler (he refused to pluralize the word for some reason) ever measure up to Montreal."
One time he had to be our substitute social studies teacher for a day and – no single word of a lie – he dug up the Roch Carrier video above and let us watch that instead of learning facts and the like.
We can vivdly recall when Patrick Roy got traded to Colorado and he brought the whole class in to a circle at the centre of the floor hockey court. "Les enfants" he emotionally began, "Patrick Roy has slapped the City of Montreal across the face. He used to be the best goalie in hockey, now he is nothing."
We don’t know where this guy is today, or what he is doing but as the Habs have won each of the eight games leading to this improbable berth in the Eastern Conference we can’t help but laugh and think of the Junior High kids somewhere that are happily slashing away at one another under his watchful eye and smirking as he breathlessly explains how Hal Gill is better than any defenseman heretofore in the NHL.
We salute you Junior High Gym Teacher.
You and your beloved Habs have shocked us all.