The Montreal Canadiens have made the playoffs, and I can't drink.
A few weeks ago I decided to go sober and eat clean until my charity half-marathon (on June 2) was over. This means that I can't drink or stress-eat over my Habs unless they stay alive in the playoffs until then (come on, conference final). Eating well and not drinking has improved my training exponentially, but at the same time, this is obviously the worst decision I have ever made in my life.
For the first time in a long time, the Canadiens have these vile things called "expectations" associated with them. The 2008 team that finished first in the conference had a lot of expectations on them as well, but in retrospect, we probably should have known better. I guess I should say that this is the first time that we have high expectations of the Canadiens, that are also backed up with overall results as well as underlying stats.
Naturally, being the eternal sports pessimist that I am, I began to freak out about the worst case playoff scenarios back in February, give or take a few potential opponents. The absolute worst case scenario is the Habs getting swept in the first round by an inferior team, so obviously this is exactly what I think is going to happen. It'll probably end up being at the hands of the Maple Leafs, of course.
But then there's a chance they could barely sneak past the Leafs after giving us fits for seven games and then they'll go up against the Islanders or Ottawa and get swept by them, instead. Or maybe those teams will already be eliminated so the humiliation can come at the hands of the Boston Bruins, who will then go on to win the Stanley Cup for the second time in three years. Or, you know, back to Ottawa or the Islanders sweeping them. Or, hang on, I just checked the standings and it appears the Flyers haven't been mathematically eliminated yet oh no they are going to make the playoffs and then beat the Penguins and then beat the Habs again of course they are this is how it works HELP I CAN'T BREATHE AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA...
Is this what it's like inside your head, too?
The sun always comes out the day after the Canadiens are eliminated from the playoffs. I mean, no it doesn't, it's always the end of the world, but we always survive said end of the world. This year, that end of the world will be like all the other years, except this time we won't be able to console ourselves by saying they went further than anyone predicted they possibly could.
I guess this is what it feels like to cheer for a team that's actually good versus a team you don't expect much from. Every win is not a bonus anymore. Beating the top teams aren't miracles anymore. Losing to a bad team is just humiliating, not the flip of a coin.
The playoffs are still three weeks away, and all I can think about right now is throwing up from my nerves. I hate this.
I fucking love this team.