The last time I felt this euphoric was watching the Habs Centennial celebration on Dec. 4th, 2009. It was a magical night that brought back so many fond memories. Ken Dryden was my favorite Hab during the Canadiens' glory days of the seventies. I loved the interview he did with Ron MacLean just before the Habs/Bruins match got underway. Ken, Patrick Roy and Guy Lafleur were asked to share their thoughts about the current team and Ken had this to say, "You do your best when you do something that feels like it belongs to you. The past year has felt like it belonged to us. It's too much. It's not Guy's team, Patrick's team or my team, it's their team. It's time for the next hundred years to begin and for this team to begin it. They have to leave the past behind and write their own story." As always, Ken never disappoints with his poignant words and what a story it's turning out to be.
I wrote this in July 2009 after Bob Gainey cleaned house. I was still pretty emotional about losing my beloved Saku; so in order to get my head around it I decided to try and take a peek into Bob's. This is what I came up with.
As GM it's Bob's responsibility to ice the best team he can. Bob never struck me as a gambling man, in fact he strikes me as quite the opposite, very methodical, plodding and slow. Let's go back two seasons ago when we finished first in the conference. When we lost to the Flyers, did anyone one out there think we had a chance of getting past Pittsburgh? I didn't. Put your hands up if you thought Boston would beat Pittsburgh if they had managed to get past Carolina. I didn't. If I'm Bob Gainey and I want a team that's a cup contender, how do we get past Pittsburgh? Not with the lineup we had, not even with a few tweaks and additions. The Pens are getting better and stronger, they'll be a force to be reckoned with for a few years to come. We were getting older and slower, no disrespect to Saku, I love the guy but even I had to admit there were times out there when his skates looked like they were made of cement. He was good for 12-15 minutes max. If that's your best center it's just not going to cut it. The Pens have too much jump and they don't quit. Our new first line have the skill and jump. Enough jump to get past the Pens? Who knows, but it's a start and I'll take a question mark over an emphatic NO any day.
Obviously I had no idea what was going through Bob's head when he put together this team, he himself says at the end of the day it's a crapshoot. If I were Bob, I'd be on the next plane to Vegas.