If Sunday’s game had happened in a regular tank year, it would have been a triumph. A close game right until the end but still ending in no points. But let’s put away those rose-coloured glasses for a moment and be honest. As a Montreal Canadiens fan, this stinks. It would be great to get at least two wins in a row — and win at all — if for no other reason than to rinse our mouths of this “shark sandwich” we’ve had to eat all year.
As fans, we didn’t walk into this year thinking it would be this bad. We had no chance to brace ourselves; last year in the playoffs the Habs were turned up to 11 and this year they’re playing in “D” minor, the saddest key.
The year that the Toronto Maple Leafs drafted Auston Mathews, they were 29-42-11. Edmonton drafted McDavid the year before that with a 24-44-14 record. This year, the Montreal Canadiens are 8-33-7. That’s on pace for fewer than 16 wins. Our prize will be Shane Wright ... maybe. By all accounts a very good centre prospect. Perhaps not a perennial Rocket Richard or Hart finalist, but closer to that than a bust.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still happier with this group under Martin St Louis. I’ve noticed individual performances getting better. However, as a team, they had a 33.8% expected-goals-for percentage at five-on-five. In a word: bad.
I suppose at the end of the day, this season may be best left unsolved. Like the bizarre gardening accident that took Spinal Tap’s first drummer.