Eulogy: Remembering the 2016-17 Montreal Canadiens

 

(Ed. Note: As the Stanley Cup Playoffs continue, we’re bound to lose some friends along the journey. We’ve asked for these losers, gone but not forgotten, to be eulogized by the people who knew the teams best: The bloggers and fans who hated them the most. Here are the Boston Bruins bloggers from Days Of Y’Orr, fondly recalling the Montreal Canadiens.)

(Again, this was not written by us. Also: This is a roast and you will be offended by it, so don’t take it so seriously.)

By Days Of Y’Orr

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, gather around, for we have come to tell you a tale.

A tale of the most hated hockey franchise to ever grace frozen water and how they once again met their demise.

A tale of intrigue, astonishment and that weird bewildered-white-guy gif that’s all over Twitter.

Welcome to the eulogy of the Montreal Canadiens.

Here lie the 2009 Boston Bruins, or rather, Marc Bergevin’s attempt to recreate them like an underperforming Frankenstein’s monster with character issues.

If there’s anyone for Canadiens fans to be mad at, and the rest of the NHL to throw a parade for, it is the Canadiens GM.

Bergevin stated on June 23, 2016: “I never shopped PK [Subban]. I never have, I’m not now. But I can’t stop teams from calling” then much like the team he put together, quickly flopped on his position and traded the All-Star defenseman to Nashville for a player with so many miles on him, he’s the NHL equivalent of Sasha Grey.

It’s hard to rip on Shea Weber.

Sure, it was his worst offensive year since the 2007-2008 season (lockout season notwithstanding). Sure, it was his lowest average time on ice since the 2009-2010 season. And sure, it was his lowest shot totals since the 2012-2013 season. Oh and quadruple sure, he’s on the wrong side of 30.

But…but…where were we going with this? Was it that when his contract finishes he’ll be 40? Was it that PK Subban had 2 points less than Weber and played 12 less games? Was it that PK will only be 32 at the end of his contract?

We just can’t remember.

That wasn’t all Bergevin accomplished though. Instead of adding speed and skill to combat the Torontos and Ottawas, Bergevin went the complete opposite and signed Andrew Shaw to a 6-year, 23.4M contract with the Montreal Canadiens.

Apparently this is the going rate for slagtrash NHL players that haven’t scored more than 20 goals in a season, are seedier than a Donald Trump sex romp in Russia (allegedly), call referees homophobic slurs and smell like the dumping grounds of a Kayem hot dog factory.

This may be taboo, but we really feel bad for Carey Price. To know that your prime years are being wasted because the team in front of you couldn’t score a goal if their life depended on it is incredibly disheartening. Price will always be the bridesmaid and never the bride. Unfortunately, he’s the incredibly hot bridesmaid that no one will talk to because she has an RBF and her friends keep getting sloppy drunk and throwing up in the bathroom.

The hope is that Marc Bergevin somehow rights the wrongs he has committed and trades Carey Price. That being said though, this is OUR hope. It shouldn’t be the hope of any of the Canadiens’ fans yet there is a large contingent of reprobates calling for Price’s head on a spike outside the Bell Centre.

Price is not the problem in Montreal, but if you want to make him the Robb Stark in whatever offseason Red Wedding you’re planning, please feel free to do so and put him out of his misery.

The hiring of Claude Julien somewhat revived the husked corpse of the Canadiens in the regular season, however he alone could not get the shambling mess that Bergevin pieced together past the first round. That would have required key players stepping up and putting goals on the board.

Key players such Max Pacioretty.

There isn’t a player with a more punchable face than Max Pacioretty and I’m delighted that El Capitan Patches managed to really put a great effort out there on the ice these past 6 games.

I mean, he didn’t score any goals but he did manage to beat up Jimmy Vesey and that’s gotta count for something, right?

When asked about the team’s effort in Game 6, Pacioretty stated that he strongly believed that the effort was there. He also spoke about believing in the process and trusting the process which sounds like some sort of cult style brainwashing experience. If there is some sort of process that the players believe strongly in and have given themselves over to then by all reason that would mean Bergevin is the Jim Jones of this situation and the players have all drank the Kool-Aid.

There were many times while watching the Montreal Canadiens battle against the New York Rangers that we had to rub our eyes to make sure we weren’t having deja vu. Some of us love Claude Julien but watching him coach the Canadiens reminded all of us of years spent watching the Bruins try to play to a 0-0 tie to get the loser point.

Pack it in defensively? Yup.

Safe, conservative offensive plays that neuter offensively gifted forwards because they need to account for any defensive assignments? Yup.

Mind numbing deployment of 4th liners when there are seconds left on the clock and you’re losing? Yup.

Get used to it.

Claude Julien may be the winningest coach in Boston Bruins history but that didn’t mean anything when Gregory Campbell was taking a draw with 45 seconds left in a 1-0 game that Boston was losing.

Whoever your grit and balls and sandpaper fourth liner is is about to get a ton of minutes and you’re going to hate every second of it.

We fully expect the comment section to come back at us with “Well, Boston was eliminated too!”

At the beginning of the season the Bruins were thought to be a bubble playoff team at best. Montreal was expected to be one of the top three in the division. The Ottawa Senators and Boston Bruins didn’t deserve to make the playoffs and should be sending flowers to Tampa for their incredibly odd season. Toronto is so green, Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner are pissing Miracle-Gro. It’s not hard to win a division that is made up of just bubble teams full of children and old timers.

There are few things that can bring hockey fans around the globe together like the festivities around watching one of the most overrated franchises in the NHL fail in their quest to etch their name on Lord Stanley’s Cup.

Maybe that’s the real problem. Maybe the Canadiens should aim lower than winning the Stanley Cup. Why don’t they just settle and make their goal making the Stanley Cup Final? I mean, since their last finals appearance in 1993, only eight other NHL teams haven’t made a Stanley Cup Final.

Those teams? Arizona, Nashville, Winnipeg, Columbus, Minnesota, New York Islanders, St. Louis, and Toronto.

Since the Canadiens have been in a Stanley Cup Final, the NHL has also added five teams to the league (seven if you want to include Anaheim and Florida in 1993). Those teams are Arizona (96), Nashville (98), Atlanta/Winnipeg (1999), Columbus and Minnesota (2000).

This has all been just a long winded way of saying that the Montreal Canadiens are one of the biggest failures in the NHL in over two decades.

As the wildly popular hit song in the year in which the last time the Canadiens were good in the NHL Playoffs said:

Whoomp, there it is.

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