It's hard to know where to begin. Another loss, "to build on". Somehow the coaching staff has found contentment in taking the positives out of an overall negative situation. Rumors have been coiling around the team like a venomous snake and have transformed a classy organization into tabloid fodder that would make the Brits proud.
It's easy to stir controversy when the team is losing. You feed off the negative energy and become far more receptive to the the angry tidal wave that fans and media set-off. When the team is winning, they become untouchables. You can snort coke off a lama's ass if you're at the top of the standings. Nobody wants to hear it, nobody wants their bubble to be burst.
Forget your bubbles, forget your fabled team, forget the honor, the legacy, the legend. Forget your Béliveaus, your 100 years, your 24 cups. What we have today at the Bell Centre is a round- the-clock circus. Shriners galore. The team should trade in the hockey helmet for the fez and start taming elephants instead of opposing goaltenders.
And it's embarrassing. Why does this team need to grab headlines for all the wrong reasons? Everything that is supposed to go down in history becomes marred by controversy. On an afternoon where the Habs are playing the league leading Bruins, THE hated rival, love or hate those pajama jerseys, it was all leading up to something; something eventful, something to remember. Instead, that game turned out to be the reference point for the ensuing collapse. Kovalev was benched for the third, totally slighted before the very fans that were cheering his All-Star MVP honors a week before.
The wheels came off at that point, and odd reports concerning player conduct started propelling the eager rumor mill, which only needs the faintest breath in Montreal to reach incredible momentum. The media took to this side of the story and went to town with it.
Last night, Ron Fournier promised he would be staying in studio all night to ensure proper coverage of a story that would have a drastic impact on the city. He alluded to the fact that players may even be arrested on the tarmac as soon as the plane would land.
What we have that passes as hard news is that Andrei Kostitsyn and his little brother Sergei are both horny young males, who may enjoy a drink or two or three or drugs and may like to hang around a "shady" guy. And this is supposed to become the headline of the year. You think Gotti may have had a drink or two with some high profiled athletes? Professional athletes shmooze with wise guys and this is what we use to stir the pot more?
How naive does the media think the public is? A portion of the story does raise some eyebrows, like why "Shady guy" allegedly had financial data that belonged to the players in question. Is there a gambling controversy on the horizon? It's hard to tell, but this is not the kind of news that makes it to the front pages in Montreal. This is supposed to be old wives tale material that begins with, "I heard he slept with her and partied with them and drank this much and woke up naked in this park and got traded because of...."
Are we supposed to call the Kostitsyn party route news? How is stating the obvious news? Athletes party. they party hard. The sleep with beautiful women. They do it for free, they pay for it. The booze it up, they eat their filet mignon at night, and they have their pasta lunch and nap before games. So in the midst of this losing streak, all of this unnecessary attention to the most irrelevant gossip only serves to disassemble the entire image of a team that today looks like a blazing sinking ship.
You want news? This is news. As a result of last night's loss, the Habs are now just four points ahead of ninth place Carolina. That's all I want to hear about. Maxim Lapierre can bequeath his entire estate to a snail for all I care. Saku Koivu can tattoo a picture of Oprah on his ass.
Enough with this circus.