MONTREAL, CANADA – Since the Boston Bruins did little more than show up for Games 6 and 7 in their Divisional Final series, my hockey fantasies are reduced to ones involving my new favorite goaltender, Anna Prugova of Russian women’s hockey fame. The fun of a Bruins-Rangers Eastern Conference Final is also kaput but there is still a rooting interest for me and other eliminated team’s fan bases as cheering for the Montreal Canadiens is akin to backing the New York Yankees. Today, I’m here to tell you why you need to hitch your wagon to the New York Rangers for the current playoff round at the very least.
Ginette Reno: This “woman,” who looks like former U.S Attorney General Janet Reno swallowed a bilingual Kate Smith, is responsible for an elongated Canadian National Anthem rivalling 7th inning stretch renditions of America The Beautiful at Yankee Stadium. The pomp and circumstance with which Montreal orchestrates home playoff games at Bell Centre is almost some sort of psychological ploy; just drop the damn puck and get the game started fer chrissakes!
Arrogance & Tradition: Far be it for me as a New Yorker to talk about arrogance but our brashness is one of toughness and style whereas the French are snippy and mousey. ‘Hockey arrogance’ however belongs solely to Montreal as their overweening conceit as the hockey capital of North America makes you want to pull their underwear up to their neck and shake the lunch money right out of their man purses. Arrogance is a by-product of winning traditions as their World Series (28) and Stanley Cup (24) championships help form the Yankees and Canadiens as the Evil Empires in their respective sports.
The Yankees: As an organization, they spend like drunken sailors and in the past regularly raided the rosters of the Cleveland Indians and Kansas City Royals to their advantage. Call it shrewd business practices and that’s fine if you can find those types of suckers. The Canadiens dominance was a direct result of a territorial monopoly on the talent around Quebec at the time as there was no amateur draft existing today and fed the monster known as Les Habitantes.
P.K. Subban: The talented Canadiens defensemen brings something unseen to the NHL, which until now thankfully set hockey apart from other major team sports – a look-at-me, Rickey Henderson-type of smugness leaving no shred of doubt to who you need to root for in this series. The Frog p*ssy Subban dives, stumbles, and holds an opponent’s stick to draw penalties and the ire of hockey fans with his refusal to fight and dangerously submarines to avoid oncoming checks. Rangers fans will love him for all of a nano second.
Arena Chants: The Nah-Nah Goodbye serenade of the Montreal Forum faithful has given way to the equally annoying and modern Ole-Ole-Ole chant and is right up there with the New York Yankees home run chime. The Montreal fans have been known to sway penalties out of referees past and present, who have been officiating Canadiens games as if they are the only representative of Canada in these playoffs.
LET’S GO RANGERS!
West Coast Craig, tomorrow.