By JD Lagrange – In the heart of hockey mania, where maple syrup flowed like water, the Montreal Canadiens are facing a peculiar challenge. The Canadiens, with their rich history and passionate fanbase, find themselves navigating the ups and downs of the NHL, all while dealing with the enigma that is Gary Bettman, the Commissioner who seemed to favour American-based teams.
It all started in 1993 when the Canadiens, with their iconic red jerseys and the scent of poutine in the air, were gearing up for a crucial game against arch rivals, the Boston Bruins. The stakes were high, and the Habs were ready to make their mark on the ice. However, rumours circulated that newly appointed Commissioner Bettman had a soft spot for American teams, and the Habs weren’t exactly his favourites.
During games, the referees calls and video reviews seemed to all be going against the Canadiens and every time a Montreal player tried to score, the puck seemed to take an inexplicable detour away from the net. The Canadiens’ shots are mysteriously redirected, as if guided by an invisible hand with a preference for the opposing team. For about 30 years now, the Montreal players scratch their heads, and the fans present at the Bell Centre are puzzled.
In a recent post-game press conference, the coach of the Canadiens, Martin St-Louis, was asked about the unusual occurrences on the ice. With a twinkle in his eye, Coach St-Louis exclaimed, “Well, it seems like the puck had its own GPS tonight, and it was programmed to avoid the net. Maybe it’s trying to sightsee in the Boston end of the rink!”
The press erupted in laughter, and even the most die-hard Canadiens fans couldn’t help but chuckle. The Montreal media coined the term “Bettman’s Bizarre Bounces,” turning a potentially frustrating situation into a running joke.
Despite the challenges, the Canadiens embraced the humour and unpredictability of the game. They started incorporating new strategies, like asking Mme Bibeau to play a lively tune on the organ to distract the puck’s GPS. The fans, decked out in their Canadiens gear, brought signs saying, “Even GPS can’t navigate our passion!”
In the end, the Montreal Canadiens proved that, even with the quirks of the game and the mysterious ways of Commissioner Bettman, they could skate through adversity with a smile.
Still today, the Habs continue to play their hearts out, winning over fans not just with their skills on the ice but also with their ability to find humour in the face of challenges. And so, the legend of the Montreal Canadiens and their laughter-filled encounters with Bettman’s Bizarre Bounces became a cherished part of hockey history.