For the record, I love the “we were disrespected” angle that the Montreal Canadiens were playing up last night after eliminating the Bruins. It’s great for the blogging business, providing lots of clicks and comments and ranting and raving. Same goes for Milan Lucic being “disrespectful” in the handshake line. Even more so, actually.
But here’s the thing: getting disrespected wasn’t why the Habs beat the B’s. Perhaps it provided a bit of useful motivation, but let’s not allow that narrative, as much as you all care about PHTs well-being, to overshadow things like:
— Carey Price is one of the best goalies in hockey.
— PK Subban is one of the best defensemen in hockey.
— Teams that have those two things often do well in the playoffs.
— The Habs got Thomas Vanek at the deadline, and it didn’t cost them all that much. His five goals lead the team in the postseason.
— Max Pacioretty was called out by his coach after Game 4. He responded, big time.
— Dale Weise was deemed expendable by the Canucks. In Montreal, he’s been anything but.
— Lars Eller. Pretty savvy trade acquisition for an expendable goalie.
— Brendan Gallagher. Pretty savvy draft pick at 147th overall.
The Habs are full of good stories, from all of the above to Daniel Briere to Mike Weaver to Andrei Markov. And let’s not forget about their coach, Michel Therrien, who just so happens to be enjoying all this success while the guy who replaced him a few years ago in Pittsburgh is getting ready to look for work, apparently no longer a genius.
I’m not quite to the point where I’m going to rip the Habs for playing the “we were disrespected” card, as some have. I’m not going to rip Lucic much, either. Hockey is an emotional sport. We demand the players play on the edge, then we’re outraged when they get frustrated and don’t “#stayclassy”? Seems a bit much to me. But that’s another story.
And besides, I don’t doubt the Habs felt disrespected. (I mean, come on.) However, focusing too much on the respect factor is selling themselves short. Montreal’s got a great chance to get back to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1993. Because, as it turns out, Montreal’s got a pretty good team.