We were on a break

This was the best shot I could get from up in the 300s - theactivestick

One of the silver linings of the lockout is that it gave Canadiens fans some time to lose the bitter taste in our mouths that was left over from last season. We needed some time apart from our team, to stop stewing over their miserable performance, to miss them, to be able to think about them without getting that sinking feeling. Hey, all relationships need a breather once in a while.

We were on a break.

I went to the scrimmage the Habs put on last night. Fan events like that aren’t really my thing, usually. I’m not a public practice or autograph signing or meet-a-fourth-liner kind of girl. I like the games. The ones that matter in the standings. Blood and sweat and shootouts.

Okay, not shootouts.

I like the games. Which is why I wasn’t going to go last night. But I had had one of them workdays, and I heard that there was no line anymore, and Berkshire convinced me it would be a good idea to go "then write a post about it because I like making you write things." So I went.

We were on a break.

It had been long enough since I’d been to a Canadiens game that I didn’t really remember which sections were where. Or how to make a quick exit, for that matter. I felt a little weird, going there by myself, not having waited in line like so many other fans, not having planned to go at all. I picked out a spot in the 300s and sat there self-consciously, feeling too grown up to be there, especially sitting all alone.

Then ...

That damn Coldplay song... that warm feeling... Michel Lacroix’s voice... goosebumps... Acceullions nos Canadiens!... chills... the sound of an errant puck hitting the boards during the "warm up"... love... the Carey! Carey! chants... happiness... the asshole chanting Scott Gomez’s name... never change... the crowd booing because some Canadien fell on his ass after bumping into another Canadien and no penalty was called... home... Ole Ole Ole my Habs are home.

Hockey is a sport. The NHL is a business. The lockout was a labour dispute.

Your favourite team, though? Your favourite team is a feeling.

My favourite team is the Montreal Canadiens.

On paper, this team doesn’t look like a playoff team. It looks like a maybe, if they’re lucky, if miracles happen, if the stars align, if the craziness of a shortened season helps them out, if everything goes their way, if they’re lucky with injuries, if the coach’s new system works, if a player or two has a career year, if a few other teams in the conference don’t live up to expectations, if only, if all of these things, if only all of these things, they're a might barely make it in team.

But tomorrow night, in that noise, in that excitement, in that so very intense, unique-to-the-Bell Centre moment, right before the puck drops on the season, even though we know better, this team will feel, to us and maybe to them, like it can do anything. Like it can make the playoffs. Like it can win a series. Like it can make the finals. Like it can bring home the fucking Stanley Cup.

We were on a break, but that’s over now.

Drop the fucking puck already.

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