|Montreal’s own, Annakin Slayd, inspired all of Habs Nation to “Rock The Sweater”. Check out his video!|
By now you know, my Montreal Canadiens lost their chance to play for the Stanley Cup in a shutout by the New York Rangers last night. And if you know me, you probably know (or can guess) that the heavy heart I’m carrying around is weighing tons.
I was never like this. I started loving the game, truly getting into rules, strategies and all the trappings, the last time the Habs were here: 2010-11 season when once again, they were eliminated in the step before going for the Cup.
That year, however, the team had won 1 game in that series. This year, we enjoyed 2 wins – albeit playing on the brink for the last 2 games. The team gave me, and the entire city of Montreal a true sense of hope and believing, because they seemed to be playing their best against adversity.
But it was not to be. They didn’t even put one in the net last night, and the Rangers now move onto the Finals.
There, it’s out. I was in tears when 2 minutes remained on the clock, my heart pounding so loudly I could practically hear it, and wondering why on earth I put myself through this every time.
I couldn’t watch the last seconds speed to the end, so I left the basement, went to my computer, sat here and let my emotions get the better of me.
But I had a job to do: I had a column to write.
See, the Habs gave me, over the years, more than just something to do on a Saturday night, or a week night; they gave me the ability to learn something new – the game and everything it entails – and more, to be able to write about it.
My writing has always been a skill I’ve enjoyed, and one that has gotten me everything from great grades to connections with people who read my works (whether those are on blogs, social media comments or statuses, or works I have written in other venues).
My writing got me noticed by one of my mentors in the field of cyberbullying, an internationally renowned author and educator, who – along with his colleague – asked me to write a short piece for one of their books, and forever immortalized me in a book on cyberbullying.
My writing has helped me to get noticed by, just recently, an American radio show host and commentator, who had me on his show to discuss cyberbullying and gave me even more of a platform to teach what I do.
But the night my Habs eliminated our hated rivals (yes, the Boston Bruins), I received a formal job offer from an online sports site, to which I had applied to become an opinion writer, and just a week before the postseason came to an end, my first column went up.
Even as it’s been one-a-day, the last 3 (I submitted 2 yesterday) were already showing me that my writing about sports has improved. And suddenly, I am visible, I am honing an already-honed skill I’ve always enjoyed, and who knows where this can take me?
But when I think of the Habs, I have to smile through the tears of disappointment: this has been just the tip of what is a very large iceberg about to break through the Bell Centre ice next season, and in the seasons to come. Our team will never be together this way again, but the ones who will remain with the organization are going to bring us to this point again – and further. Of that, I’ve no doubt.
And lest you think I’m doing the “homer” wave, I am not saying this because I’m biased (though I am) – I’m saying it because of every analysis I have listened to, every write-up I’ve read, and every professional I have turned to for my ongoing hockey education. And because I HAVE learned enough to know what I’m looking at, and how to interpret the signs.
The Habs came far – but we ain’t seen nothin’ yet. My car flag will continue to fly high.
So, I am grateful for the almost-2 months longer we had as fans of this incredible team. I am hopeful for the (very near) future we will enjoy as fans.
And I am profoundly proud – of the players, of the team as a whole, and to be a fan in this beautiful city, with this exceptional team.
Not for the first, and not for the last:
Go Habs GO!