If you are a sports fan in North America this is a very busy time of year. The baseball races are coming down to the wire. The NFL, CFL and college football are well underway. Hockey has begun preseason games and basketball is just around the corner. Phew!
In Montreal, the focus is primarily on hockey and the 2017 version of the Canadiens. Several years ago I wrote a piece about the two distinct generations of Canadiens fans; those old enough to have experienced a Stanley Cup championship season and those for whom that joy has yet to be realized.
The team has won a total of 24 Stanley Cups, but coincidentally they have now gone 24 years since last winning in 1993. By the time I was eighteen, the Habs – as the team is often known – I had witnessed ten championships.
It occurred to me recently as I listened to a radio sportscast that the same holds true for journalists covering the team. The excitement is clearly evident as the young sportscaster discussed various line combinations used at practice and possible defense pairings. All in an effort to make the team competitive. When I was a kid there was never a thought given to whether or not the team would be competitive, but rather which other teams might give them a run for their money.
Alas, my once mighty Montreal Canadiens have become just one of 31 teams, albeit one with a very rich history. Maybe this year they will snare that elusive 25th Stanley Cup!