Wednesday, May 14, 2014

On the Verge

You may have noticed by now that we are the Mahatma Ghandhis of blogging.

We protest by blogging silently - and by that I mean we don't write at all. 

Why must it be this way, you ask? Supply and demand. The basic, most fundamental rule of economics. Make them beg for it by making it rare. No one cares about commodities. I'm not lining up for flour or another Dave Matthews concert tour. 

Hopefully, by posting 3 times this season, we have amassed millions of fans who are all now parched with gaping mouths ready to suck on every drop of text we provide.

That could be the reason. Or it could be the 43 diapers A-Rab and I change per hour. No - we haven't made a child together, although I suspect we would get on well if we had. He's a loving man and I make excellent cassoulet, but we do not yield to that wondrous Macklemore Same Love persuasion (we do celebrate the men and women who do - anyone who raises a child should be given an honorary pen or pony). No, my co-blogger and I had children 10 days apart a few months back, both our second child. These babies protest the idea of sleep with the conviction of the LA Clippers at centre court. And so they have muted our pens.

Our first borns have taken to their new sibling with the warmth of a middle eastern peace summit which has made for some complicated and time consuming problem solving. They too are responsible for our reclusive ways. 

But this is Habs Bruins. And it's Game 7. And if not now, then never. And let it be known here and now: our next post should be on the eve of the New Hampshire Republican primaries in the 2016 US elections. 

A few years back, we put this site together because we knew what kind of player PK Subban was going to become. 

He is the best defenceman to play in Montreal since Larry Robinson. He is the most charismatic player to wear the CH since Patrick Roy. He plays every night, every shift. At times, he can be accused of overplaying the game and every shift. Until last month, the awe in this regard was contained to this city; Montrealers knew what they had and with every attack on PK's defensive mindset or hockey sense we cried foul, because PK's natural talent and willingness to be all-world were indisputable. Duncan Keith and Drew Doughty don't turn the puck over? Ever? 

Because of PK's brash demeanour, he is judged by different standards and that's fair - but it should be the opposite effect. Don't judge him for the vocal way he carries himself on and off the ice - embrace his passion for the game and the fact that he is so compelled to shatter the mold of the ever so bland, restrained and almost apologetic hockey player. Celebrate his revelling in the spotlight because that's what sports mythology is built on - players who want the ball, the puck, the at bat when the game is on the line. Players who aren't afraid to ask for it. And who execute when they do. 

Subban was on another level against Ottawa in the first round of the playoffs last year. Game 1 stands out as one of the most inspiring displays of hockey I've ever seen. 

But what PK has done this spring is altogether jaw dropping. The numbers speak for themselves but they only paint a portion of the picture. His energy is limitless, his desire to win is uncharted. He won't yield. Even down 4-1 against Boston in a listless Game 5 at TD Garden, he makes it a point to serve notice on the Bruins with a deafening slapshot beyond an overwhelmed Tuuka Rask at the end of the game. His way of saying, this is not over.

Against the Boston Bruins, PK has been legacy building. This is the most intense rivalry in the NHL, one of the most storied in sports. To give it its proper depiction, the stage for this series is larger and more daunting than the Stanley Cup final - that's how engrossing this duel is. It takes a special breed to rise to that occasion. No skater on either team has managed to make the kind of impact PK has on this series. He is the best player on the ice, he possesses the best and most accurate shot (something Zdeno Chara has not managed to accomplish thus far in the series), he has a thrilling attitude, he delivers in the clutch, and he does nothing to shy away from this impossible level of competition - on the contrary, he invites it. 

The amazing thing is through it all, PK has been forced to address new attacks on his status as a black player in the NHL. Of course, this is not the despair of a Robinson living in a state of emotional isolation as he broke the colour barrier in baseball, but it is a distraction as a result of a hateful view of his race - and nobody who has been a victim of racism is impervious to it. There is that spin that PK must address from time to time, that a player like say Sidney Crosby or Jonathan Toews will never know or be obliged to fight through. That makes PK Subban an inspiration as he continues to collect accolades in the face of violence.

This Canadiens team is young and promising. Yes we may realize what we have when this is all done. Much like in 93 when the dark horse Habs made us realize that, hey, Damphousse, Muller, Bellows, Roy Schneider, Leclair, Desjardins - that's a stellar lineup, no kidding they took the cup home.

And it may all end tonight with these Habs taking huge steps to becoming a force in this league for years to come.

The nice thing is that either way, win or lose tonight, unless PK takes a page out of Donald Sterling's book and rants about how he doesn't want his girlfriend to bring white people to Habs games, we no longer have to live with the PK complex. We no longer have to convince the league that they should be paying closer attention and try to see what we're seeing. It is now evident.

PK on the ice speaks for itself - but in case you're unsure, the best quote in the NHL will be verbose enough to remind you how anti-generic and special he is. 


Steve said...

PK is on a trajectory to be the best player (non goalie) in the NHL. If Alex Galyenchuk can fulfil his potential Montreal is going to be a perennial cup threat for the next ten years

HabsFan29 said...

Amen 4! Well said. However:

Because of PK's brash demeanour, he is judged by different standards and that's fair

Because of PK's skin colour, he is judged by different standards and that's unfair

Fixed that for ya.

But good to see you back 4