Canadiens Stanley

The Canadiens are ready to bring Stanley home

Who cares about the odds when destiny is on your side?

The Montreal Canadiens are only four wins away from hanging a 25th Stanley Cup banner in their rafters. Despite beating the statistical odds in true underdog fashion, the Canadiens have been able to do something truly unexpected: Bring Montreal back to life

Living in a city and province that was under a strict lockdown not too long ago, most Canadiens fans would agree that this year’s playoffs have come as an unexpected gift of sorts — one that just keeps on giving.

When Arturri Lehkonen scored the series-ending goal against Vegas Thursday night, the city lost its collective mind. It was overtime on home-ice, under a full moon, on St-Jean-Baptiste. The feeling was indescribable and the energy, electric. You could not have written it any better.

While the Canadiens have been playing lights-out on every side of the ice, they have also seemingly been carried by a supernatural element. This playoff run has presented countless parallels to the team’s history, and especially to their last championship team in 1993. Sprinkles of magic have come from being major underdogs, Carey Price’s winking homage to Patrick Roy, and the many nail-biting overtime victories. It is seemingly written in the stars for this group.

Canadiens Stanley Cup
Montreal Canadiens fans raise a makeshift Stanley Cup. Photo by Cindy Lopez

And analytics is no match for fate.

Another odd occurrence was the team being awarded the Clarence Campbell trophy — usually reserved for Western Conference champions — instead of the Prince of Wales. Strangely enough they won it on the 37th anniversary of the former NHL President Campbell’s death. Historians may recall that it was Campbell who suspended Maurice Richard, ultimately triggering the 1955 “Richard Riot.” Winning the trophy on St-Jean-Baptiste is especially sweet for Québécois and Québécoises everywhere. 

Fans like myself have yet to see the most storied franchise in hockey lift a cup. Even as I write this, I can’t help but pinch myself as many of us have waited our whole lives for this moment. And it still doesn’t feel real.

 This Canadiens team has battled through COVID, injuries, bad officiating and much more to get here. Montreal is on a mission and it looks like nothing can get in their way.

Canadiens Stanley
A Bonne St-Jean. Photo by Cindy Lopez

So bring on the red suits, press conference pizza and hoisting of traffic cones. This is our time. Skeptics and doubters may soon find that the ghosts of the old Forum have finally arrived at the Bell Centre. ■

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