I had a whole post written about Thursday's game against Florida. A bright, new, shiny Creamy Middle just sitting on the showroom floor. It was chock full of snarky, sarcastic goodness. I had fully planned to highlight the fantastic work from the 4th line (Schubeedoo, Spawn of Mike, and Gratz in your program kids) and using that to indulge in a little gloating after THE COACH finally listened to the mob and just rolled his lines for most of the game. It had an entire section entitled "Can't anybody play defence?" in which Mesz was singled out for his singularly putrid performance in a game that was far tighter then it needed to be. Then Doug The Plug rolled into town. A new face in the comments, Doug The Plug had this to say in my recap of the Habs game: this site is far too angry.
This gave me pause. I read his comment. I re-read my last few posts. Then I read his comment again. And I realized that he was absolutely right. It was far too angry. In the midst of one of the darkest stretches of Sens history since the bad old days of expansion, I had lost sight of why I love this game. And on this, of all days, that just wouldn't do. You see, it's Hockey Day In Canada. Not "Hockey Night In Canada", not "Three Hours Of Hockey Later This Evening", but a whole fucking day. And it's one of my favourite days of the year.
Why? Because I'm a sucker. Sure, the entire thing is a creation of a television network, an overwrought, saccharine and overly patriotic ploy to generate ratings, as my esteemed colleagues at Four Habs Fans point out here. I know that. But still, I'm powerless against it. And I defy anybody to watch the three hours on CBC before puck drop on the first game of a triple header (THREE games!), where t.v. crews set up in small towns and big cities across the country to remind us why hockey is the greatest sport on the planet, and not be affected by it, even just a little. A story on a special needs team in Richmond B.C., and how much it means to the kids playing, gives me goosebumps. The first shot of a house league Timbits practice, with six year olds flopping and falling all over the ice, never ever fails to turn me into a choked-up, blithering idiot (hell, I have trouble making it through one those stupid commercials). Besides, as completely manufactured, industry driven "faux holidays" go, Hockey Day In Canada kicks the shit out of Valentine's Day.
That's not to say that I won't be watching tonight's rematch with the Habs with a critical eye. I'll still take my notes, yell at my television and post angry comments about abysmal goaltending or crappy defensive zone coverage, using multiple exclamation points for emphasis at the FHF game thread (mostly because by that point, I will have been drinking beer for six hours or so). And, I imagine, that certain parts of my game post tomorrow will still be, while perhaps not angry, at the very least mildly annoyed. But maybe, just maybe, something somewhere in the more reptilian parts of my brain will remember that this is just a game, after all, the greatest game in the world.
So thanks Doug. I owe you one.
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