Thursday, October 17, 2013

East Hatred: Montreal Canadiens

Tonight we will be graced with the presence of another ORIGINAL SIX team.

[feels overwhelming sense of gratitude]

Once again we are regaled with the history of a great franchise. They celebrated their 100th year in 2009 - as we celebrated our 9th, no wait 8th season. (Lockouts. *sigh* ) That logo up there has been the primary logo of les Habitants since 1956. Think about that a NHL team outside the ORIGINAL SIX has seen a different logo on the Habs jersey. (Heritage Classic jerseys not withstanding.) When they have a throwback night, they just wear the same jersey.

As if that wasn't enough, the Habs are the last Canadian team to win the Stanley Cup. That's not a big deal now, but just wait until April and we'll get beat over the head with it once again. The hockey media (read: Canadian media) loves to bring that one up every spring. (This is not to be confused with "the last team with Canadians on the roster to win the Cup," because that would just mean the Blackhawks.)

And oh the Cups they've won. Most ever! EVAH!!! I don't feel like looking up the exact count, hopefully some Habs fan will leave it in the comments.

So those are general-hockey-fan reasons to dislike the Canadiens a little bit. But finally, we as fans of the Jackets have a reason to get a little hate on against a team from the East.

The date was December 18th, 2000. A plucky little team from Columbus was making it's first trip through the NHL, and it's first ever trip to Montreal. Two days earlier, the Jackets were in Vancouver...oh the NHL schedulers, they were jokesters back then, weren't they?

But I digress...

December 18th, 2000 the Jackets vs. the Canadiens for the first time ever. I remember the evening well, I was at a concert at Nationwide Arena and in the days before smart phones I had no idea what was the score was. After the show was done, I turned on the radio in the car to learn we'd won 2-0. "Holy crap! 2-0!! Tugger must have been on FIRE!!" And he was. First shutout in franchise history.

On the road.

In the hockey Mecca of Montreal.

Headline in Montreal the next morning: "Canadiens suffer worst loss in franchise history."

"Worst loss"?? Seriously? They'd been around for almost 100 years at that point, and dropping a 2-0 game to lowly Columbus was the worst loss EVER, according to the paper. Worst loss, though? Embarrassing on December 19th, sure, but worst?

I remember thinking back in that first season that every team expected to beat us, but even an expansion team isn't going to go 0-82, so somebody is going to be bummed out they lost to the new kid. (Turned out to be 28 times a team and their fans were bummed they lost to us.) So, seeing the occasional newspaper headline reflect that wasn't too surprising, but the headline in Montreal was the best. Worst loss ever. "How could anybody take it that hard?" I thought.

Oh yeah. Canadian media.

1 comment:

  1. I see why teams in the East don't like PK Subban, he in a punk.


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