Red Fisher: Hockey still more than a game in
Montreal Gazette columnist Red Fisher has covered the Canadiens for 55 seasons, including 17 Stanley Cup championship seasons. As Montreal added to its storied playoff history Wednesday night — no No. 8 seed team had ever come back from a 3-1 deficit to win three straight games (two on the road) — NHL.com asked Red to give NHL fans his unrivaled perspective on the Canadiens’ latest feat … and their immediate future starting Friday in Pittsburgh (Game 1, 7 ET, Versus, CBC, RDS)
For Montrealers, hockey always has been more than just a game. It is our hopes, our dreams, our culture, our national identity.
Nowhere has it been played with more success and more passion. Nowhere does it elicit more joy from its audiences. When the Canadiens win, the fans win. When the Canadiens lose, they lose.
Once, the team was the blinding speed of a Howie Morenz. It was a Maurice Richard sweeping in on a goaltender whenever there was a game to be won. It was the grace of Jean Beliveau, the brilliance of Doug Harvey, the booming shot of Bernie Geoffrion, the finesse of Dickie Moore and the Hall of Fame excellence of Henri Richard, Yvan Cournoyer, Guy Lafleur, Larry Robinson, Bob Gainey and so many others.
How many treasured memories have they delivered to generations not only of Canadiens fans, but to Canadians across the land — and elsewhere? How much joy did they bring? How many hearts did they break — particularly among visiting teams?