Last night while our poor Habs were struggling, there were some people who thought it would be better if the Habs didn’t make the playoffs. What’s the point of going into the playoffs knowing that you won’t be able to get past Boston or Washington? Why bother? Wouldn’t it better if the guys just went off golfing? Why does it matter if we get in if we’re going to suck?
Maybe I’m wrong, but to me, being in the playoffs, even if you know that you’re team doesn’t stand a chance, is stil better than not making the playoffs at all. Let’s face it: not making the playoffs is just plain awful. Losers don’t make the playoffs. And what’s particular irksome is the losers who are proud to be losers. There’s been a lot of talk this year about the bottom ranked teams wanting to tank on purpose so they can get a better draft pick. Maybe I’m missing something here but isn’t losing on purpose totally against the idea of this sport? I thought the idea of this sport was to want to win.
Now I’m not sure if (some of) the Islanders truly want to tank. They came out and tried against New Jersey earlier this year and they chased out Martin “the unbelieveably great” Brodeur. They tried against the Red Wings – the defending champs – and blanked them. There had to be at least a little effort and a little desire to win on their parts.
The Canadiens will not win the Stanley Cup this year. I think the smart people accepted that a long time ago. But so what? Only one team is going to win it this year. Does that mean that everyone who hasn’t been labeled a favorite should just pull out now? Why don’t we just hand the Eastern Conference title to Boston now? How about we give the Stanley Cup to the Wings or the Sharks now? Someone write up a memo telling the Flames, Canucks, Caps, Devils, and everyone else to go to golf courses right now because they haven’t been labeled a favorite and therefore shouldn’t participate.
I want to see my team in the playoffs in a couple of weeks. I want to know that they did everything possible to get into the playoffs – and I do believe that they tried last night – and that they went down to whoever they play with a fight (even if they are severely outmatched). I’ll forgive any loss as long as I know they tried their damn hardest to win. At the end of the day, that’s really want I want: I want my guys to try their best. Even if their best isn’t good enough to bring home the Stanley Cup, I want them to try.