With the Montreal Canadiens having won the North Division, Canadian hockey fans outside Quebec are faced with a dilemma: how can we explain the fact that the Habs did so much better than our teams without acknowledging that they may actually just be very good? Well have no fear fragile ego sports fans, because we are here to help you out with 5 ways to write off the Canadiens success.
1. The Leafs & Jets choked
The classic ‘you didn’t win, we lost’ argument. Classic for a reason we say! How else can you explain the Leafs coughing up a 3-1 series lead, other than the fact the Canadiens started playing a tight defensive game that kept Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner in check, and caused key turnovers at big moments. And the Jets? Sure the Habs beat them so badly that multiple advanced stats have described it as the most dominant performance in playoff history. But that probably wouldn’t have been the case if the Jets had played much, much better.
2. The other teams were missing key players
No John Tavares, no Mark Schieffle. Case closed am I right? I mean, we guess the Leafs still had the 3 best forwards in the series and the Jets could still ice two lines with top tier offensive skill, but that doesn’t change anything. The players couldn’t play well because they missed their friends! They were real sad.
3. Puck Luck
We don’t really know what this means because no one does. But we do know it’s something teams say when they lose. So yeah: puck luck! After all, the vulcanized rubber disc that is flung around a sheet of ice at high speed does sometimes do surprising things. So maybe all these things went in the Canadiens favour. You don’t know they didn’t!
4. Carey Price
We got Goalied. That’s all. Now is Carey Price part of the Habs’ team, and therefore his play reflects on how good the team is overall? No. Goalies don’t count. Everyone knows that.
5. “Whatever, they’re gonna get killed next round”
Forget the past. Let’s focus on the future when the Habs are going to get swept by Colorado or Vegas, and lose every game 10-0 and their fans will cry and we’ll know that we were right all along and the Habs suck. And if that doesn’t happen and they win and go on to the Stanley Cup finals? Whatever. Pandemic. This year doesn’t count anyway.