Admit it. You'd love to see Milan Lucic in a Habs jersey.

Admit it. You’d love to see Milan Lucic in a Habs jersey.

Out riding on the Cape Cod trails before breakfast today, my son and I swung by what we would’ve called a depanneur and struck up a conversation with a friendly guy wearing a Bruins t-shirt. After he pointed us in the direction of the closest greasy spoon, I said to him that his Bruins had done pretty good this year.

I told him we were from Montreal, so we liked that other team, but I repeated my new mantra that you have to respect the Bs – they got within a game of winning the Stanley Cup, the Habs not quite so close. (Ummm that would be one post-season win but hey who’s counting!)

I told him we hated Milan Lucic but that we’d love to see him in a Habs jersey. I said – he just annihilated our guy. That’s when the Bruins fan’s three pals turned up and one of them chipped in – ‘You mean Komisarek?’ I said – ‘Yeah there was that. But I was thinking of this year. When he took out Emelin.’

Then the first guy we met said – clearly the nicest of the three – said that the Habs were on the right track, that they were getting better. I agreed – hey I can be positive about the Habs sometimes – and I told them Galchenyuk’s gonna be a superstar.

Then one of the other guys said – ‘Oh yeah and there’s that other guy. He’s good. The little guy. I hate him.’

Obviously he was talking about our Calder-nominated hero Brendan Gallagher.

Brendan Gallagher

But the mention of him had them reverting to old-school Bruins-fan mode and one of them said – ‘Actually we hate all those guys.’

And the little Bruins-Habs ceasefire was over. I clipped one guy with a quick undercut to the chin, my son kneed the other guy……just kidding. No we all said our goodbyes and we took off on our bikes as fast as we could.

It’s funny. I’ve been coming down to the Cape for close to ten years and at first, you’d maybe see one Bruins t-shirt over two weeks at the beach. It was all Red Sox all the time. And of course there are still loads of Sox shirts and caps. But there are infinitely more Bruins shirts and caps – and yes Lucic is the most popular name choice if you’re wondering.

Now why is that? It’s cause they’re contenders.  It had been growing slowly but surely but it really took off in the summer of 2011 after the Bs won their first Cup in four decades. My point? These fans are living in the present. Montreal fans not so much. Now those Bruins fans this morning were right. Les Habs are moving in the right direction. The team has some amazing superstars in training – Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Subban – and for the first time in 20 years, management that’s not completely whacked.

But we all should be demanding excellence right now from this team. Not more ceremonies celebrating things that happened in the 1970s. We’re too complacent. The Canadiens won one playoff game. This is not acceptable and Marc Bergevin and his colleagues need to know that.

Somehow after that sad-sack ending, the common wisdom in Montreal was that we should all be happy with how we finished high up in the conference, have great young guys, a GM with natty fashion sense blah blah blah.

Marc Bergevin1

Hey I like M. Bergevin’s catwalk duds as much as the next guy but I’d prefer making it to game six of the Stanley Cup final. I’m funny that way.

And I take Milan Lucic on our team in a heartbeat.

 

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