Keep Calm and Carey On
Even if the Habs have been more naughty than nice this year, ‘tis the season for warm tidings and good will towards men, so in lieu of lumps of coal, here is what I’ll be getting the following folks this holiday season…
To Mike Cammalleri - An open net – the streaky forward has been gripping the stick pretty tight lately. A gimme goal is likely all that is needed to jump-start one of his patented hot streaks.
To Alexi Emelin – An English-to-Russian dictionary. Hint….BOOOOOOOM means ‘good job.’
To Carey Price – Gold, frankincense and myrrh.
To Scott Gomez – A first-class, all-expenses paid, one-way ticket to scenic Hamilton, Ontario.
To Hal Gill – A Deloreon so that I can go back in time and take back all of the nasty things I said when the Habs signed him in the summer of ’09.
To Tomas Kaberle – The benefit of the doubt. For now.
To Randy Cunneyworth – A fair shot. The ‘interim’ label is usually a death knell for head coaches. A surname like Cunneyworth is usually a non-starter in la belle province. Cunneyworth is widely respected in league circles, however, and if he can coax this middling squad into the postseason he should be rewarded with a multi-year contract.
To Andrei Kostitsyn – A copy of ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’. I’m not sure how Frank Capra’s classic translates into Belarusian but it’s a pretty apt metaphor for AK46’s season thus far. Just as George Bailey once questioned whether life would be better had he never existed at all, Habs fans have often pondered a life without the mercurial forward. Kostitsyn has earned his wings this season, however, scoring nine goals and showing a level of commitment and hustle that has generally been lacking from his game.
To Lars Eller – The ability to grow facial hair in time for the playoffs.
To Raphael Diaz – A scrapbook of NHL photos and memories to keep him company when he returns to the Swiss Elite League where he belongs.
To Andrei Markov – Absolutely nothing. Christmas came early for the Russian veteran this year when he signed a completely undeserved 3-year, $17.25 million contract. He can buy his own damn presents until he shows the ability to stay healthy and motivated.
To Tomas Plekanec – A lifetime’s supply of turtlenecks.
To Erik Cole – A trip to Ottawa to participate in his first ever All-Star Game.
To Max Pacioretty – A dartboard with Zdeno Chara’s mug on it.
To Patrick Roy – A long and fruitful career as head coach and general manager of the Quebec Ramparts. Roy’s name has predictably surfaced as a rumoured candidate to ultimately replace Jacques Martin, a potential personnel move that has unequivocal disaster written all over it. Even if one dismisses Roy’s shocking lack of loyalty to les Canadiens, the temperamental hothead would completely crumble under the Montreal spotlight.
To PK Subban – The wisdom and self-assuredness to ignore all the bullshit and vitriol that has been directed his way. Subban may have his flaws but he is one of the most talented, dynamic and likeable players in the league. The absolute worst thing that could happen to Subban, the Canadiens and hockey as a whole is if his love of the game was slowly drained by his petty, vindictive critics.
To Habs Nation – A team capable of stringing together a couple of wins in a row. A third period lead that isn’t blown. A sense of direction and purpose from a seemingly rudderless and panicked front office. A power-play that doesn’t rank near the bottom of the league. A hockey team worthy of wearing the Bleu, Blanc et Rouge.
To you and yours – A very merry Christmas… and a fully stocked liquor cabinet to help get you through what is increasingly looking like another lost Habs season.
- Sean O’Neill