There have been a lot of emotions running rampant in my city this week. Since The Hit on Canadiens’ forward Max Pacioretty by Boston Bruins’ Zdeno Chara, hockey fans – and many non-hockey fans – have gone from shock, to fear, anger to outrage, confusion to utter mystification. Yesterday’s news that Patch was home brought hope and relief. Letters from Air Canada to the NHL, and Geoff Molson to the home base brought a renewed sense of empowerment. The news that the Montreal police were investigating the Hit brought everything from amusement to derision. And bloggers streamed into my Twitter timeline from Habs Inside/Out’s Dave Stubbs after The Hit and after The Decision, to Kyle Roussel, Sports Illustrated’s (and Montreal’s own) Michael Farber and Montreal Gazette’s Red Fisher. The emotions ranged from low to high on every front, and as each blogger weighed in, emotions were renewed.
But what struck me most profoundly of all was the solidarity we were all experiencing. Montreal is a hockey city, and I’ve never been more aware of that since my hockey awakening began with last season’s playoff run. But this week, as we all tweeted (2 days where hundreds upon hundreds of tweets updated by the second and I made many new Twitter friends), posted on Facebook, called into radio shows, emailed one another, and kept abreast of the story online, I felt a pride that was only strengthened by our togetherness.
We were banding together in positive energy sent to MaxPacs. We bonded over the anger that his assailant got off scot-free. We agreed on analogies comparing street thugs and hockey bullies, criminal behavior vs “part of the game”, and we shared our resolve to have our voices heard as fans, fanatics and humans.
I found myself reflecting on my city. My City. Montreal’s been home to me all my life, but I’ve seen it in a new light being a new fanatic of the game of hockey. I watch American broadcasts of our games and swell with pride when they show pictures of downtown, the Bell Centre, and talk about our history – hockey and non-hockey related. I travel the subway with my kids, on the way to a Habs game, and feel At One with every other attendee going my way, wearing the bleu-blanc-rouge. I talk to people from other cities who, even if they root for another team, laud the electricity felt at the Bell Centre. I go to games and feel a new awareness of how lucky I am to live in a city which has a European flavor, a metropolitan buzz, and yet sometimes – like this week – boils down to a village mentality where we are all one with each other.
So instead of blogging anger (which I still feel) or loathing (which is now stronger than I thought I’d feel toward another team and its fans) or disgust (if I even qualify that I WILL blog about it), I would like to share my profound love of being a Montrealer, my extraordinary pride in my city and its citizens, and my continued support for my team, its players, and the fans who help make Loving My Habs that much more of a global experience.
Go Habs Go!!!