Wednesday, November 08, 2006

11-7-06: Canadiens 3, Oilers 2

AAAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!

(textual representation of an incoherent scream of joy/anger/excitement)

I was prepared to sort of take it easy for this one. I always want the Habs to win, but honestly, with Higgins out, I was feeling a bit pessimistic. I figured it’d be really close, and it was; but I was also thinking that it’d entertaining but comparatively unexciting. WRONG. It was a bit of screaming-type game. To the list!

  1. That was a lot of fighting. Especially for the Habs, who haven’t been particularly prone to dramatic displays of violence this season. At some point in the second period everybody decided that the hockey part was just getting in the way of the larger goal of inflicting pain, and proceeded to more or less brawl their way through the remaining time.
  2. Because of this, I learned something new about the role of fighting in hockey: It does wonders for that irrational partisanship known as ‘team spirit’. Going into this game, I rather liked Edmonton. You know, definitely on my list of top five teams-who-are-not-the-Habs. I wanted them to lose, but not badly, and not necessarily painfully. But once the fighting started, I didn’t just want them to lose, I wanted them to suffer. And after dude tripped Johnson, for one raw moment, I wanted them all to die. Not seriously, I tell myself, not really. But that’s what the fighting part does to you, as a fan- it raises the stakes totally out of proportion to the actual scale of the game. I can’t even imagine what it feels like for the players.
  3. Perhaps more seriously, because of all the anger, I stopped actually watching Edmonton for their play less than half way through and started seeing them as just bodies, a sort of negative space for the Habs to play against. So don’t ask me how they did. I don’t know.
  4. Still, on the positive side, the Canadiens played a nice synthesis of thuggy-sexy-gorgeous that I think looks good on them, although I think they could run it a little less rage and it would still work. Everybody brought their energy this time, and more importantly sustained it, and it’s especially nice to see goals from unexpected places. Did Latendresse deserve the credit for his? Maybe, maybe not, I don’t really care. Dude went in with a ton of expectation and bits of shiny controversy following him, and he did good. Hugs all around.
  5. I think maybe this is all in support of my collective mood disorder thesis from earlier, but in a good way. That’s my team: the vaguely crazy one. At least you can’t predict what the hell they’re going to do.

In conclusion, fighting is undeniably exciting but probably not a good thing in the long run, and I really do hope that everyone is okay on both sides. But it’ll probably be a while before I can manage any affection for the Oilers again…

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