Living in the province of Quebec, as I do, there are two things that are sure to make headlines: Celine Dion and the Montreal Canadiens. This past week we’re getting copious amounts of both. As you’ve probably heard, the Quebec-born singing superstar lost her husband and then, two days later, her brother, both from the same form of cancer.
Since then, you would be hard-pressed to find a radio station or tv news show that isn’t focusing on one aspect or another of her tragedies. This morning, for example, CBC Radio One featured an interview with a cancer specialist discussing mouth and throat cancer – the cancer that claimed these two men. And with rumours surfacing she’ll be singing at her husband’s funeral, the media coverage is destined to “go on and on” – taking a line from one of her best-selling songs.
The Habs and Their Loss
As for the Habs, well they’re always in the news – even when the hockey players have traded in their sticks for golf clubs at season’s end. Lately the news has all been bad. They’re dealing with a loss of their own – the loss of a guaranteed playoff position, which happened with last night’s loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. The team that was on top of the world from the start of the season began an unbelievable downward spiral last month, a pattern that has continued into the New Year. Out of the 7 games played so far this month, the Canadiens have won only two, and that brings them to 5 wins in 21 games since December 1st.
Sure, they’ve been up against the League’s powerhouses lately like the St. Louis Blues (OT loss) and the Blackhawks twice (both losses). They’ve had very little to celebrate so far this year — except for their very first outing of 2016. The Winter Classic, held at the Gillette Stadium, gave them an opportunity to pummel their arch-rivals the Boston Bruins, 5-1.
Call it obsessive or call it a fishbowl but all of Quebec is pretty much focused on the Habs and their losses, and their tone is now at a panic decibel. They wonder out loud what’s wrong. They talk about goaltender Carey Price and speculate on his return (he’s been out, injured, since October 27th, 2015) and, really, what’s wrong with him anyways? They talk about defenseman and resident showman, PK Subban, and wonder if he’s getting too much attention – or taking too much away from the team. They question the skills of head coach, Michel Therrien, a man who was being touted, just two months ago, as a certain shoe-in for Coach of the Year.
And now the tongues are really wagging about forwards Alex Galchenyuk and Devante Smith-Pelly and what went on leading to the arrest of Chantal Leszcynski, the 21-year-old Galchenyuk’s girlfriend. (He ended up with a bloody nose, and two storylines have emerged — domestic abuse at the hands of a woman and young guys learning life lessons –are being spun). Regardless of what kind of shellack they’re painting, it’s drama fit for a soap opera, and like a soap opera, the fans are addicted and can’t get enough.
Drama and hockey go hand in glove, no matter if we’re talking about the NHL — or your kid’s Pee-Wee team. If you think there’s too much drama going on with your hockey team, here’s some advice. Take a step back, chillax and remember it’s no big deal. It’s just a game.
And leave the drama to the pros.