My father, affectionately known as Jake by his colleagues for his uncanny resemblance to Jake "The Snake" Roberts during his undercover narcotics officer days with the Ottawa Police, is an old school Boston Bruins fan. Bobby Orr is the greatest thing to ever happen to the game of hockey and don't even try to convince him that it's Wayne Gretzky as I tried many times as a youngster.
If anyone knows about Ghosts of the Forum, Montreal magic, or simply massive horseshoes strategically placed in an area where the sun doesn't shine, it's Boston fans. For years they've watched Montreal find one diamond after another in goal, or just find ways to win. Too many men anyone?
It's been nothing short of amazing what this group of Habitants has been able to achieve in these playoffs. An upset win over the NHL's best team in the regular season - the Washington Capitals - followed by another giant killing in knocking off the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins. The only ones more disgusted than Bruins fans and Leafs Nation might be the NHL's marketing department for bouncing Crosby and Ovechkin.
It seems every few years Montreal turns up another goaltending wizard.
In the last 40 years alone, Ken Dryden led Les Glorieux to six Stanley Cups, Steve Penny was a short-lived hero before Patrick Roy became a saint, and even Jose Theodore had a run of magic before morphing into, well, Jose Theodore.
Now in 2010, Halak has become Hal-whack leading the Habs to the final four.
That's the irony with what the Flyers' Michael Leighton has done to the Canadiens this post-season. Montreal has been shut out in three of four games during the Eastern Conference final. That's taking nothing away from what the Flyers have done offensively and defensively, but Michael Leighton was passed around the league more times than a DVD from Blockbuster before his coming out party these last two weeks.
Given the run Montreal has taken the hockey world on the last two months, it's foolish to completely write them off just yet.
But somewhere, Jake and every other Bruins fan must take a little solace, despite that 3-0 collapse, that finally a horseshoe has been painted something other than bleu, blanc et rouge.