So a number of commentators have remarked that the Montreal Canadiens 7-1 stat is the team’s best since 1961. Wow! That’s a long time ago. I wasn’t even born then (although I was expected…) Amazing that all the great Habs teams of the ’60s and ’70s never equaled or bettered the 1961 start (which was 7-0-1, incidentally, the “1” being a tie).
Ah yes, a tie. Remember those? Of course, they don’t exist anymore, all games tied at the end of three periods now being decided in overtime or a shootout. In fact, if memory serves, the second and third games of the current season were tied at the end of regulation, as was another game during the first eight. So, in 1961 terms, the Habs’ record this season is 4-1-3. Doesn’t look quite so impressive now, does it? Also, if you want to look back in Habs history, you’ll see that the 1975-76 team opened 6-1-1 and five of those six victories were by scores of 9-0, 9-4, 7-2, 7-1 and 6-2. I think that’s just a tad more impressive than this year’s performance.
I really don’t want to take anything away from this year’s edition of the Habs, as it looks to be a very exciting team for which I have high hopes. I just don’t think there’s any need to paint the lily by referring to their start as the “best since 1961”, when it so obviously isn’t. It’s a pet peeve of mine, similar to people saying that the 1994 MLB strike robbed the Expos of a World Series. They might not have even made it to the World Series and, even if they did, the Yankees team that they would likely have met wasn’t exactly chopped liver. It’s really enough to say that the strike ended the chances of probably the best Expos squad ever, one that might have gone all the way. And it’s enough to say the 2014-15 Habs are off to a great start.