Guest Author - Kevin Thorburn
The Montreal Canadiens were swept in four games by their original six rivals, the Boston Bruins, to be eliminated from this year’s playoff race. The elimination is hardly a surprise against the highly touted Bruins, but Montreal came into this season expecting a lot from their team, which is celebrating their 100th anniversary.
The part of the series that garnered the most attention was the displeasure the fans showed their team and young goaltender Carey Price in particular, who raised in arms in mock celebration as the boos rained down. Price is known for being seemingly unflappable, but this is Montreal.
Playing hockey in Montreal has always meant that you are under a powerful microscope. The fans expect, no, demand that you play at the top of your game and they aren’t afraid to let you know if they believe you should be doing better. This has always been the case. Ask any of the Canadiens’ alumni and I’m certain they will agree.
These passionate fans have been garnering a lot of negative comments about their behaviour and the fact that Price is still a star on the rise. In addition, it has been suggested that many players turn down the opportunity to play in Montreal because it is just too much pressure, especially for French-Canadian players.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all fans were this passionate about their team and the game of hockey? It is time for these multi-million dollar making hockey players to suck it up and realize that no job is easy, nor should it be when making that kind of money. As well, who are the employers in this situation? These same fans pay these exorbitant salaries and should get what they want in return – a player and a team that gives one hundred percent, one hundred percent of the time.
Now, all this being said, Price will be a superstar in this league. Only his attitude can stop him and up until this point is his hockey career his attitude has been unquestionable. Hopefully he will realize that being top gun in Montreal means that you will feel the wrath of the fans when they feel you can do better and that trying to upstage them will only put you in their dog house forever – and that only means one thing: a one-way ticket out of Montreal.