In exactly two months to the day, members of the Montreal Canadiens will very likely wake up to the conclusion of their season.
On April 7, the Habs will close out their regular season in Toronto against the Leafs. On April the 8th, the Canadiens will, in all likelyhood, find themselves dealing with “garbage bag day” at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard. Unless you-know-what freezes over, there will be no post-season for the 2011-12 edition of the Montreal Canadiens.
But that doesn’t give the Canadiens the right to stink out the joint over the final months of action.
The Canadiens have won two in a row: number 2 coming in last night’s spirited shootout win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Can they make it three in a row tomorrow night in New York against the Islanders? Can they make it four straight Saturday night in Toronto?
No one has the answer to those questions. However, the Canadiens owe it to themselves, and to their fans, to give it their best shot. To show up, as they did against the Penguins last night, and play like it means something.
Do not count me among those who are hoping the Canadiens tank the rest of the way, to improve their standing come draft day. I am not prepared to sit back and watch the Habs simply go through the motions over the final 28 games of the regular season. And I don’t believe for a moment that the players are, either.