I have been on record stating that I don’t like the Montreal Canadiens. From the team, to their over-the-top pre-game ceremonies (in the regular season at least), to P.K. Subban, to Michel Therrien, to the holier-than-thou attitude that comes with many fans of the team, there isn’t much that appeals to me. Admittedly, perhaps this stems from a tinge of jealousy, but the constant reminder of 24 Stanley Cups, (the last of which was over 20 years ago, by the way) is a pain in my backside.
However, you don’t have to like someone to respect them.
And for the Montreal Canadiens, they have earned a lot of respect in my book for their run to the Eastern Conference final and beating the Boston Bruins in the second round.
The Habs, and most notably Subban (who also had to deal with the unfortunate behaviour of some ignorant cowards on social media), showed that they could indeed play with the big boys, and they could do so without reverting to dirty tactics and gamesmanship.
The Habs over the past year have complained about not getting enough respect, whether it was during the Senators’ playoff win last season or even earlier in this series.
Well, respect has to be earned, it is not given. I didn’t think the Habs had a chance against the Bruins, and they proved me wrong, and did so with their heads held high.
I am still not rooting for any further success, and I still don’t like them, but today I have a lot more respect for the Montreal Canadiens than I did two weeks ago.