(Ed. Note: As the Stanley Cup Playoffs continue, we're bound to lose some friends along the journey. We've asked for these losers, gone but not forgotten, to be eulogized by the people who knew the teams best: The bloggers and fans who hate them the most. Here is No Dangle Zone, fondly remembering the 2014-15 Montreal Canadiens. Again, this was not written by us. Also: This is a roast and you will be offended by it, so don't take it so seriously.)
BY NO DANGLE ZONE
Montreal, let us say goodbye.
What a pathetic run you just had.
Just so pitiful, like Glenn Healy's knowledge of Hollywood.
Up 3-0 in a series against Ottawa, the Canadian-Hero Hamburglar completely stripped of his stripes and you just totally chicken out. No, not you, P.K., I mean you simply laid egg after egg after egg. What would you do without Price? Seriously!? Your demise this year was like that of King Robert Baratheon (first of his name) in the opening season of Game of Thrones. You had one guy on a throne and now that he's gone, no one in the rest of the 7 kingdoms, or beyond the wall, gives a King Joffrey about him. And Carey may win the Hart, Vezina, Lester B. whatever it's called now, and may get himself and the Habs neck-pillow of a logo onto the cover of EA's NHL 16 (and hopefully his acting is better than that awful Bruin from the year before), but his accomplishments are really just a testament to how terrible this year's Canadiens were. And even he was beaten, leaving you Habs fans and your city even closer to 25 years without number 25.
The series against Tampa was supposed to put an end to the analytics debate. And so with that in mind, let's look at the super-fancy-need-seven-degrees-to-understand stats that the Habs led in this year:
1) Ugliest array of flow
2) Most food spit up from pronouncing all the names with "P" on the roster (maybe chew your food a little, chap)
3) Best-dressed GM who resembles Willem Dafoe
4) Biggest revolving door on D to fill the Gorges hole (or Gorge Gorges, as the French translation goes)
5) Record-breaking number of consecutive losses to a team after sweeping their backup goalie a year prior
6) More shot attempts while shorthanded than while on a powerplay (in fact, having a worse power outage than the 1998 Ice Storm)
7) Hanging cool-as-a-cucumber Carey out to dry, like week old laundry on the first sunny day of Spring (which in Montreal, is usually around mid-late July)
8) Turning every goalie you encounter into a brick wall (and you don't even have a Mason on your roster)
Let's take some time to remember that the Habs did decently well last year, leaning on their goalie more than Big Z leaned into Pacioretty.
(Ohh was that joke offside? Because Pierre Racicot and Steve Miller didn't think so.)
And so Price held the Habs afloat until Chris Kreider turned the clock to midnight and shoved his glass slipper where the rest of the NHL would HAVE (not "would of") loved to put it. And to follow up such a successful year, the team cleared the way for not ready to dip his toes in the NHL water yet, Jarred Tinordi and the next Guy Lafleur (on the crime sheet), Nathan Beaulieu. Funny thing about Beaulieu, is that his name can be translated from French to "right place".
That didn't work. Neither did castaways Gonchasaurus, Bryan Allen Rex, or 2014 playoff hero and Pacioretty's #1 fan Le Dream Weaver. But finally they switched to Dish Network and things looked good for a while. With Ducky's Land Before Time friend in the lineup, the picture was getting clearer and the signal was starting to look stronger. Unfortunately for you Montrealers, the luxury of dropping a second round pick for nothing will soon be realized as the hidden fees and regional blackouts are set to come up on July 1st.
Petry's name will be another to add to the list of ex-players on a contract outside of Montreal, leaving the team without his service à la James Wisniewski/Mark Streit/Michael Ryder (twice) etc. His payday will just be one more reminder that you're stuck with Markov at $5.75M for another two years. The Canadiens seem to have a habit of carrying along extra defensemen to sit in the pressbox.
When it comes to Manny Malhotra, it must have been nice to hear all the childhood stories from his days hanging out with Hey Arnold.
Thank the hockey gods that Manny scored this year and didn't get Gomez'ed by the fans. Poor guy has been through enough already.
Continuing at forward, almost Bourque was told to go take care of Louis Leblanc down in Orange County. What a first rounder he turned out to be (right, Ryan McDonagh? David Fischer?). And when René wasn't doing well enough, they sent newly-signed-saviour Jiri Sekac to tend to him as well. Marc Bergevin may think he's as brilliant as the founder of Oscorp, but let's be honest, who among us didn't do the whole sign a decent free agent in NHL and then trade him to improve your team thing? No players traded off the roster though (right, Sebastien Collberg?). And so Dancing Bergy brought in the next saviour, Devo, on what we can assume was nothing more than a gut feeling. Hopefully his next contract will allow him to buy a few more teeth.
People in Montreal may be upset now, but CBC must be thrilled that they no longer need to bother with covering the Habs. Somewhere Strombo is locked up in a cellar at the hands of PJ Stock and Glenn Healy and won't be let out until he finds Ed the Sock and goes all Mankind's Mr. Socko on the CBC crew. Save for Elliotte Friedman. Elliot can be spared like Dane Cook when the orb-shaped pen-guy goes postal at the office. Seriously, the hatred against the Habs at CBC is so blatant it's hilarious. Glenn Healey doing this (can skip to 2:30) at the All-Star Game while Price was playing and mic'd live was as dumb as those interviewers asking Evel Knievel about his injuries. And then how about he and Scott Oake doing the Morrow Spin for all of us to witness. They wouldn't dare be trying that while covering Toronto or the we're-so-proud-of-you-for-losing Calgary and Winnipeg. Even Cherry, while awkwardly wearing a Habs pin, said Tampa better win. Take the hint Montreal. CBC is the home of Hockey Night in Canada, they'll praise and defend cities who take pride in misogyny and wearing the right colored shirts, but they don't want you.
No one wants you. It's time to finally separate and become your own sovereignty. Go back to Pierre Houde and RDS, eat your poutine and tourtière with the cigarette loaded on your ear and enjoy that crappy beer in your hand because that's as good as life will ever get for you. We will all make sure to call you Guy, just so long as you keep pretending you have a shot at the cup.
Oh, what a playoff run it was. And I don't mean the number of times your players attacked Ben Bishop. The playoffs are supposed to be a series of tight races, but the only thing tight about this year's run was the timing on Coach's Corner. That and the shoehorn used by Ron MacLean's sign-off-zinger writer. It started with balding skeletal beard, Andrei Markov, scoring on his own net and things only went downhill from there. It's like you were trying to blow it. Trying like Mike Tyson does to beat the letter "S".
No wonder no one celebrated after your first round win. Markov was busy falling on Price, much to the delight of Kreider fans everywhere. He assisted on Eric Condra's breakaway goal, just like Kovy taught him in 2004. He was clearly sending a message. That he's had enough and wants to lie down until his bones can be used as fuel, maybe that'll help the power-play.
There were the anthems from (what's the French word for Orca Whale?) Ginette Reno, and P.K. chopping stones like Homer Simpson joining that secret society. The Habs passed off more shots than a pregnant woman at a viewing-party for The Bachelor. And took more from the outside than a rap-feud drive-by. Speaking of rap, Brandon Prust did his best Ludacris as he tried to throw them bows. The master of neck-warming hid in his shell with 1 goal all playoffs. In fact, Plekanec was so offensively-challenged that Therrien was forced to break up the Lonely Island line.
Things got worse when they performed their hit song "D--k in a Box", y'know when Galchenyuk had that hat-trick of penalties. "Lonely Island" is so fitting, as that's how Price has felt since the season began. He was the only true Habs representative at the All-Star Game, he was the only player to show up for 66 regular season games, and he's the only player who isn't consistently incredibad.
The star power in Montreal really went out fast, like Super Mario 30 seconds after using his. Norris Subban swung, dove, and clucked, like on this shot block attempt in front of Price:
And the playoffs went on and what a meltdown it was. Let's take a second to cover all the terrible puns NHL.com and CBC.ca wanted to use as headlines. You really went down swinging. At first, you were Stone'd, but then Lightning struck instead. What a way to go. Your parade was to the penalty box and your king was taken in 6 moves by a bishop. You were so far up Schitt's Creek, that even Eugene Levy's eyebrow dandruff was of no help.
A legend was looking over you and not one player could step up to the challenge. Without a captain, your ship sunk with ease. Instead of fixing your glaring on-ice issues, you bitched to the media that the mean guy in stripes called Prust names. For all the talk about code in the NHL, Prust really follows none of it. Suspended in last year's playoffs. Runs, spears, and fights with goalies. You have to imagine he was the kid acting out in school everyday. The one none of the teachers wanted to deal with, and neither did his parents or girlfriend. So they put him into sports and made him someone else's problem. And now here he is today, stirring up more beef with goalies than Mike Gillis, Leaf Nation, and the NHL's goalie-pad-shrinking Competition Committee.
It's funny how all year the Canadiens whined about players attacking Price, and then the first time people outside the city noticed their inability to score, they were on the opposing goalie's back quicker than Don Cherry can say "Bieska". And while Prust was leading the way in being a petulant turd-worm, Brendan Gallagher was doing his part too. Crashing more nets than Netscape Navigator. Yapping and smirking and pissing more people off than the MayPac fight. I guess no one ever told him what happens when you eat too much blue paint.
Just look at this face for a second. Really take it in. It took some time, but I think we've got a proper explanation for this.
Long ago, a weasel and a rat conceived and their offspring grew up living in Maxime Lapierre's sock drawer. Second to this, another weasel and rat conceived, with their offspring residing in Brad Marchand's nose. Upon reaching maturity, these two rat-weasel offspring met and produced Brendan Gallagher.
Now, (we're going to get scientific for a second), this cross-species breeding must have come at the cost of some higher brain functioning. Brendan's behavior and disregard for the rules about a goaltender's crease are symptomatic of a rat with bilateral amygdala damage. You see, rats with a brain intact, know to avoid dangerous areas where they may be killed with poison. Brendan, on the other hand, has no suspicion or anything within his little rat-brain telling him to stop. As a result, he continues to crash beyond his limits and it's only a matter of time until he meets a more permanent end.
And while the playoffs are a fun time to spot celebrities in the crowds (way to ruin the party L.A.), does anyone know who Montreal had the privilege of hosting? Of course you don't. Because even Calum Worthy doesn't think he's worthy of that verified tick-mark Twitter somehow bestowed upon him.
Calum, by the way, is apparently an actor, starring in such films as "Dr. Dolittle 3" and (I swear I'm not making this up) "I Was A Rat". While poetically fitting, this is somehow not the biography of Brendan Gallagher's life, however eerie it may be that the plot revolves around a rat moving in with a kindly couple. Yes, even your celebrity fans are garbage. But what could we expect from an organization living in the past, that pompously looks down on all the others. Preaching about class and respect and then employing these mutated sewer-beings. The Habs' players are like that kid in high school, driving daddy's company car around, taunting the other kids. Just wait guys, high school's almost over and you'll all be cut off soon.
And what can we say about the fans that flock to the arena, ready to cheer for Les Glorieux? One has to wonder how long Mr. Molson can keep up this scheme. Convincing the easily-amused from all over the city to come watch a team run around in their own end. It's like going to a carnival and having thousands of people line up at the dunk tank, to see the same guy fall again and again. Cheering him on and hailing his name as he drops into a pool of knee-high water. So long as there's hockey to watch, right? That's why the city did so well at attending the World Juniors this Christmas. To be fair though, half the citizens were already in Florida enjoying the nice air-conditioning at grandma's condo, the movie theater and the Cheesecake Factory.
So with that, we say goodbye to the 2014-15 Montreal Canadiens, this was a painful year of loss (with utmost respect to Jean Beliveau, Elmer Lach, Dollard St-Laurent and their families) and unlike these heroes who deserve every ounce of their legendary status, you, 2014-15 Habs, need to do something more than pray to the PDO Gods if you want to keep winning and be respected.
Just look at this face you've made.
Seriously, this is how the world sees you. It's time to shape up, give the cursed Youppi back to that baseball team and raise something heavier than a torch at center hice (typo intended). Otherwise, you might take a regression back to the mean pie to the face and when you wipe the cream from your eyes, your MVP goalie might just be gone, taking his athleticism along the ground towards a bright new career:
Stay tuned, as Babwatch will continue to drag on for another long and news-starved summer...