It has been almost 208 years since Laura Secord, after walking about 32 kilometers, brought some important information to Lieutenant FitzGibbon about some Americans planning to attack "Canada". It was during the conflagration known in our history as the War of 1812.
Wikipedia describes what followed this way:
"On June 24, 1813, a force of First Nations warriors from Quebec rallied under the command of Captain Dominique Ducharme. They attacked the American column and fought a running battle with the U.S. Troops. Reinforcements of British, Canadian and Indigenous forces arrived just in time to see the surrender of the entire American force. The First Nations warriors had fought the entire Battle of Beaver Dams on their own. They had forced the surrender of 542 American soldiers with field cannons"
Now we await another attack from a group whose designated "leader" is again an "American" - a mustachioed "American" individual who might well look at home in 19th Century military garb. Standing between them and our "Canadiens" is, once again, a Dominique Ducharme! Can you really think that this is an historical coincidence? There are many who claim that "there is no such thing as 'coincidence'!". To my mind this may well point to a manifest "Destiny"! My experience in various parts of Canada (and certainly in Quebec – though not limited to it) is that First Nations people continue to support these "Canadiens" in very large numbers.
Captain Ducharme didn't speak English that well but, never fear, he was resourceful. Wikipedia describes it this way:
"Captain Ducharme asked [Lieutenant] Fitzgibbon to negotiate the surrender. He didn’t think his English skills were good enough to speak with the American commander."
What a self-effacing move. A "Captain" asking a "Lieutenant" to take the glory. Victory was more important than any single "victor". FitzGibbon was the right man for the job. That's all that mattered.
This time around we have "Coach" Dominque Ducharme ask his "Captain" to lead the way. As captains and lieutenants have their proper place in the pecking order of the military so too do coaches and players in a hockey league. This "Captain" is again the right man for the job. This "Captain" is a Man Mountain! Our Man Mountain will not forget that he and these "Canadiens" also have a "First Nations" connection. This connection comes from the same part of the country that he, himself, does. This "First Nations" man knows all about "goals". Man Mountain and his other "Brave" "Canadiens" will protect and defend the "goal" which belongs, not just to their "First Nations man" but to all of them. They have a single and common "goal". Those "Americans" of 208 years ago may have had their "field cannons" but this time around, our Man Mountain has a "cannon". Other "Brave" "Canadiens" also are well armed with skills that many of us have dreamed of having for years.
When conflagrations such as wars and Stanley Cup playoffs occur, events often converge which lead to unexpected and historic results. When history itself converges with the present, who can dare to doubt but that history will be repeated? First Nations, lead by a Ducharme, allied with Europeans and, yes, even those who have left America (we'll call them "Loyalists") have united. Bring it on! Bring it on!
The only thing missing from this parallelism of history is a petite heroine. Wikipedia provides this info about Laura Secord:
"Her granddaughter described Secord as being 5 feet 4 inches (163cm) with brown eyes and a fair complexion. James FitzGibbon wrote she was 'of slight frame and delicate appearance'" .
For that reason FitzGibbon is described as being amazed that she could have carried out the trip that she had.
I should re-write some of the above. "Heroine" is clearly too gender specific for today's world so I'll change that to "hero" since that term can be applied to either gender. I will also change "petite" to "small" since that English term is also more generic. Laura was 20 years old at the time. So, if only we had a small 20 year-old hero whose small stature has people around him (or her) underestimating his/her strength and endurance! That would really complete this historical convergence!
Maybe someone can suggest a possibility?
And, while we're at it, instead of getting too stressed about these 1st practice lines, let's all go for ice cream! Or chocolate! Or both!