It’s an Original Six matchup in the Eastern Conference Finals. For the Rangers, it’s their first time in the “Final Four” since 2012. For the Habs, it’s their first return since 2010. One of these teams will be advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since the early 90s; when both last won the Stanley Cup. It should, theoretically, be an intense matchup between two really great teams.
There’s one problem, though, that I don’t think enough people are considering. And it’s that the Montreal Canadiens are an absolutely terrible franchise. Seriously, I am incapable of comprehending how this group of misfits made it this far. How can a team that can’t even decide on its own nickname – it’s Le Tricolore! No wait, Les Habs. Non, Les Habitants. Or is it La Sainte-Fianelle now? – find itself with home-ice advantage and four games away from the partaking in the highest competition hockey has to offer? I have no idea, and I’ll just let those NERDY NERD STAT LOSERS type things into their calculators until they figure it out.
But for now, let’s get one thing straight. The New York Rangers are going to obviously win this series. The main question is clearly how many goals the Rangers will win by in Game 4 before moving on to whatever the West has to offer. Let me also announce that I HAVE NO INTENTIONS OF APOLOGIZING FOR MAKING THIS BOLD PREDICTION and that anyone who dares to critique this prediction or chooses to taunt me once my arrogantly voiced opinions are proven wrong is merely part of a SOCIAL MEDIA MOB.
Anyway, let’s review the five reasons why the Montreal Canadiens are terrible.
1. Ils Ne Peuvent Pas Épeler
Webster’s Dictionary defines a “Canadian” as (emphasis mine) “a native or inhabitant of Canada.” Thus, “Les Habitants” was born. However, you might notice that they somehow butchered the spelling of their own team name and listed themselves as the “Canadiens.” With an “e” at the end. What a terrible typo! Rather than admitting and correcting the error, the Habs tried to save face and trotted out team star Maurice “Rocket” Richard to tell the world that “Canadiens” with an “e” is simply the how the word is spelled in French. Clearly embarrassed by the inexcusable error and poorly crafted cover-up, Montreal fans took to the streets and went crazy. The violence and pandemonium that ensued has since been dubbed “The Richard Riot.”
2. Une Grande Fraude Egoïste
The young and energetic P.K. Subban has been one of the top defensemen in the NHL over the last few years. With 38 points in 42 games during the 2012-2013 season, Subban was named the Norris Trophy winner, and his four goals and 12 points through the first two rounds of the playoffs this year, as well as his solid defensive play, have been a massive reason why the Habs have made it this far. Though Brian Gionta might be the team’s captain, Subban is the team’s catalyst, both offensively and emotionally, and is currently championing the supposedly increasing stature of the Habs. “We’re a good group of guys in here and a character group and I think we earned a lot of respect today,” he told the waiting press after defeating the Bruins in Game Seven.
I received a curious tip, however, from an anonymous source. I decided to do some investigating. I came across something absolutely stunning. Subban has been so vehement in his love for Montreal and his disdain for the Bruins and their fans, but then how does he explain THIS?
THAT’S CLEARLY P.K. SUBBAN IN A BRUINS JERSEY!!!!!! So much for hating Boston, huh?
I reached out to Subban’s agent for comment and he attempted to sell me on the idea that this is actually Malcolm Subban, P.K.’s brother. And that Malcolm was drafted by the Boston Bruins. I find that about as believable as the idea of there being a fourth Baldwin brother named Daniel. In reality, this is probably the usual agent PR spin we’re used to seeing and P.K. Subban is actually a two-faced traitor. He just pretends to be so heavily committed to the Canadiens while in reality he has ulterior motives. I think we’ll soon see Subban become apathetic when the Canadiens need him most and his true colors (NOT BLEU, BLANC, ET ROUGE!) will show. The Habs are so dependent on a player who has completely pulled them into a long-con. The evidence is insurmountable. The only question left to be answered is why he’s doing this. Do you think he’s Andy Kaufman? I bet he’s Andy Kaufman.
3. Le Échange Stupide
In the summer of 2009 a truly desperate Bob Gainey, then General Manager of the Canadiens, called up Rangers’ GM Glen Sather and together they put together a massive trade. The Montreal Canadiens sent Ryan McDonagh, Chris Higgins, and Pavel Valentenko to the Rangers in return for Scott Gomez, Tom Pyatt, and Michael Busto. In hindsight, this has developed into an absolutely dreadful move for the Canadiens and one they surely wish they could have back.
Pavel Valentenko was a huge piece to the Hartford Wolfpack/Connecticut Whale blue-line from 2010-2012, scoring 10 goals and totaling 38 points over two seasons while playing very good defense. Busto lived up to his name, bouncing around the ECHL for a couple of years and even spending some time in Italy before retiring in 2012. Massive downgrade in talent for Montreal. Tom Pyatt had some decent games over the span of two seasons with the Canadiens before moving the the Lightning as a free agent, but Chris Higgins proved to be the more valuable piece of the deal, as he was soon after shipped to Calgary in a trade that brought Brandon Prust to the New York Rangers. Thanks to Prust’s fighting, the Rangers finished first in the East during the 2011-2012 season and brought on a new era of prosperity. Prust moved on from the Rangers after the season and nobody knows where he is playing now, but he made his mark in New York; far more of an impact than Tom Pyatt could have ever wished to generate in Montreal.
Ryan McDonagh has also provided decent depth to the New York Rangers’ blue-line.
4. L’espion Ultime
Michel Therrien was brought in for his second tenure as head coach of the Montreal Canadiens; a position he still currently holds. Under his masterful guidance the Canadiens have traveled this far. A truly fantastic accomplishment. At least it would seem.
What few in Montreal have realized is that the Rangers are master manipulators. We saw that with the aforementioned trade. Sather and the rest of management concocted a blueprint to infiltrate the Canadiens’ organization and leave them in a highly vulnerable state. The Rangers enacted this plan in carefully selected intervals over the course of the season. Check this out.
Well that’s weird. What is Alain Vigneault doing on the cover of this Montreal Canadiens’ magazine? Must have been a computer error and they chose the wrong photo, right? Wait a minute…
Look at this 2014 team photo of the Habs and where the yellow arrow points. There he is again! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA WHAT A BUNCH OF IDIOTS! Alain Vigneault managed to convince those fools that he is, in fact, Michel Therrien, and now the Rangers know all of their game plans. In fact, Alain Vigneault CREATED those tactics for them. When then Habs are sending five forecheckers deep for a full 60 minutes and Peter Budaj is suiting up on Tomas Plekanec’s wing in Game Three you’ll know the genius responsible. And those dorks don’t even see it coming. Quel désastre!
5. Oui, Nous Parlons Le Français
A major fear one might have going into this series against the Canadiens is the Rangers’ recent history of being absolutely terrible when visiting Montreal. Coming into the season, the Rangers had lost their last eight games in Montreal; their last win coming on March 17th, 2009. Eventually, it was discovered that New Yorkers’ inability to speak French was translating into miserable efforts once the Rangers were in Quebec. Many attempts to resolve the issue were made through a variety of mediums. In most desperate times, noted Rangers fanatic Joey Tribbiani was brought to the scene. Rangers officials theorized that his acting prowess would make the learning of a new language a seamless task. Unfortunately, that proved to be calamitous.
Eventually, though, the Rangers found the recipe for success. Do what ‘Murica does best; import everyone else’s goods. The Rangers put into motion a plan to bring in a bunch of French-Canadians who obviously could speak the language. Derick Brassard? Bonjour! Benoit Pouliot? Bienvenue à New York! The Rangers doubled down on this methodology at the trading deadline, boldly exiling captain Ryan Callahan to Tampa Bay just to bring in Martin St. Louis. You’re good for nothing, Rochester! Glen Sather even got creative, bringing in defenseman Raphael Diaz, who is from the French-speaking country of Switzerland. And he’s a former Hab. DOUBLE TROUBLE for the Canadiens. It’s no coincidence, given these acquisitions, that the previously incompetent Rangers went 1-0-1 in Montreal this season. We’ve figured out your witchcraft, Montreal. FUN TIME IS OVER!
*This article may or may not be satirical. Please take everything literally and seriously. All thoughts expressed in this article are 100% the views of Kevin DeLury, The New York Rangers Blog, Bloguin, and The United States of America*
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