The Montreal Canadiens play in Vancouver tonight. From the comfort of my couch I will watch Montreal for the first time this season.
I have never had the chance to see the Montreal Canadiens play in person. I really should add that to the bucket list. Ideally you'd want to see them in Montreal, with a full taste of the French flavouring that Old Montreal can offer - wood-fired bagels, Schwartz's smoked meat and the iconic poutine from any number of roadside trucks.
But I really think it would a fascinating experience to see the Montreal Canadiens play as the visiting team. To walk into an arena as familiar as your own home, so in my case Roger's Arena in Vancouver, only for it become a completely foreign affair as thousands of noisy Montreal fans show up and drown out the hometown faithful. It would be unique. No matter how poorly the game is it would make that night an event.
It is all part of the mystique of the Montreal Canadiens. Like the New York Yankees in baseball or Manchester United in soccer or the LA Lakers in basketball, the Habs are one of those teams that you either love or truly hate, but either way you hope they are always good. You want them to be the forever icons, to be loved or hated for generations to come.
It's been too long since the Montreal Canadiens have won the Stanley Cup. 1993, to be exact. There have been some lean years in that time, when Montreal was barely a relevant side note in the narratives of some of those seasons.
But now the Habs look like a real threat to emerge out of the Eastern conference. Maybe with some luck they can end that championship drought. And even those fans who hate them could not be happier about that. Everything just seems right in the hockey world when Montreal is winning.