TORONTO, ON. — Things were tense this week on the Road to The Winter Classic.
Seeing as how the Montreal Canadiens have had a rough week, ahead of Wednesday’s second episode of ‘Road to the Winter Classic.’ I anticipated that we would gain some insight into the team’s current drought and how the locker room is reacting to the losing streak–we did.
“If there are some nights, some games, some teams that are just different than all the others, what about all the others?”
The opening of this week’s show spoke about just how long an NHL season is and how it never pauses, slows down or shows sympathy. This may have been the perfect way to illustrate what the Habs are currently dealing with. An excerpt that I found particularly enlightening was the idea of the ‘unconditional commitment made to the ones they skate alongside’ made by the players and how losing can carry a heavy impact.
On a lighter note, the team took some time to put things into perspective with their annual trip to the Montreal Children’s Hospital where our very own P.K. Subban has become quite a regular fixture in the lives of these kids, which is so incredible to see. These types of outings serve as “reminders perhaps, that the world doesn’t turn on the results of a single night on the ice.”
Next up, we got to pay a little visit to Brendan Gallagher, as he recuperates at home featuring a visit from Dustin Tokarski and his wife. He really is quite infectious in terms of his positive outlook and we even got to see him hit the ice again for the first time in practice with Pierre Allard, the team’s strength and conditioning coach.
Another player we got to go home with this week was Greenfield Park’s very own Torrey Mitchell, who just last month welcomed a second baby girl. Mitchell discussed how much it means for him to be playing in his hometown in front of family and friends in Montreal.
A short but sweet segment came courtesy of a Mr. Marc Archambault, a parking attendant at the Bell Centre, responsible for parking some very fancy cars belonging to the players. It’s always nice to see the relationships that the players build on and off the ice in such a strong hockey community, like Montreal.
The episode featured the Canadiens home game losses against the San Jose Sharks and the Los Angeles Kings, the teams first shut out loss of the season, before the team embarked on an eight-game road trip starting in Dallas. The segments featured a ton of frustrated post-game interviews, most notably from Captain Max Pacioretty, who at one point demanded he and his team ‘play with a little pride.’
As with last week’s episode, there remained no sign of Carey Price, except for empty dressing stalls and glaringly obvious shots of his team photo looming in the distance
The team’s trip to Dallas and subsequent loss to the Stars on December 19th brought home a narrative that was focused heavily on how much hockey is left to be played. Featuring cameos from Geoff Molson and Marc Bergevin who both spoke of the current losing streak and offered somewhat positive outlooks that they’d rather see this happen to the team now, mid-season, before the fear of elimination looms. The locker room, however, remained deflated and defeated.
The moral of this week’s story was that it’s a very long season, with many months and many miles left to be conquered. With that being said, hopefully, this holiday break will light our boys back up and give them the confidence they need to dominate the second half of the season.
Things I learned
NHL hockey synced up to Christmas music is pretty freakin’ fantastic.
There are legit reasons they keep doctors in the locker room, including stitches in under 15 minutes.
Pick up from the mic of Dale Weise in between periods is one of my favourite things.
Apparently it is incredibly difficult to pronounce Beaulieu….BELLieu?? Really??
Hockey hurts, a lot.
This losing streak has been just as frustrating for the team.
Because if Gally can keep a smile on his face, so can we.