Sorry, hockey fans, but I dropped the ball on my summer posts. Partly, it's because I just didn't have time.
Anyway, the new season is three games old, and it's time to weigh in.
About the Jets: Before Sunday's game, I told Bride of Kovalev that this game would determine my loyalty for the future.
After all, I can only stand so many promises to "Fix you."
I can only take so many 2-0 series leads AWAY FROM HOME, only to see the team implode.
I can only stomach so many December-February swoons precipitated by an ill-advised concession to a goddamned CIRCUS.
I don't really enjoy seeing General Managers blow up the team only to walk away from the ensuing mess.
I have lost any patience for coaches who repeatedly try to pound the square pegs of speedy, young athletes into the round holes of defensive, boring, New Jersey Devils.
I can only hear "Baby, I promise, this time it'll be different. I looove you, baby" so many times before I stop believing it.
I'm tired of the Canadiens.
And after all, what reason do I have to root for them? The only Stanley Cup victory I remember was 1993. I am from North Carolina. I don't owe the city any allegiance. The past glory of the Habs, the Maurice Richards, the Boom-Boom Geoffrions (the reason I found myself fated to cheer for the Canadiens), even the Patrick Roys, are all a distant memory now. The Century of excellence is over. What we have now is very reliable mediocrity.
So why root for the Habs? Why not root for a team that, in the larger scheme of things, matters a lot more? The Jets are bad for Gary Bettman. Ergo, the Jets are good for hockey. The Jets represent a victory over Bettman's brand of stupidity, over his moronic insistence on expanding into dead markets. The Jets have already won. They represent all that is good about fans, about sound economic policy, and about divine justice in the world.
And so I turned on Sunday's game fully intending to become a student and a fan of this Jets team. If they won, that would seal it. Goodbye, Montreal. Goodbye, overhyped management. Goodbye to a team that, in all honesty, I really do not like.
But then a funny thing happened. Even before Michael Cammalleri scored, I found myself cheering, unconditionally, for my bleu-blanc-rouge. Unconditionally.
I hate the Habs.
And yet, I love the Habs.
It's too late. Short of them signing Todd Bertuzzi, I will always love the Habs. Even if they eventually fail to sign Carey Price and trade for Rick DiPietro, I'll find myself watching them on my NHL Center Ice. This sucks. Because, as we saw last night, anyone who thinks the Habs are a playoff team is smoking dope.
True, the kids have the ability to rise above the adversity and become true NHL'ers, but Jacques Martin won't allow that to happen. Scott Gomez will continue to suck in creative new ways. And he'll bring down his linemates, just as he is doing now to Brian Gionta. And Erik Cole is furiously cementing his legacy as the worst free agent of 2011.
Fuck this team. And yet, for better or worse, I'm with you Montreal.
I love you, Montreal Canadiens. I just don't particularly like you right now.