I came to the topic of revolutions when I was browsing the battery of Habs websites on my daily list.
• noun 1 a forcible overthrow of a government or social order, in favour of a new system. 2 a dramatic and far-reaching change. 3 motion in orbit or in a circular course or round an axis or centre. 4 the single completion of an orbit or rotation.
The first one: Dave Stubb's great piece on Paul Haynes, got me thinking about how playing a player on his off wing could have been a revolution in years gone by (see it doesn't necessarily take much). Then there were some other articles and posts here and there, which generally made me feel like everyone was pretty hunky dorey with the way things were going right at the moment (RDS, Mike Boone, this blogger)
I don't want a bloody revolution like Lenin's or Robespierre's. I want to imagine the possibility of change, without the casualties, more like say the internet revolution - a force of change so irresistible that it moves along of its own volition.
I don't think things are as bad as they've been for the Habs, but we're not "there" yet.
Where is "there"?
Well, I like to imagine it is possible for this team to go from battling for the playoffs every year (every other if I'm honest about it) to a team that wins the Cup 3 to 5 times in a ten-year span. A team fighting to maintain parity to fighting to form a dynasty. I want to watch a team that is light years ahead with their first Cup in many years and then works hard to stay in front.
Don't get me wrong an accidental Cup would be nice, but this is Montreal here.
We invent hockey, we invent 50 goalscorers, we invent draft day rip-offs, we invent playoff OT miracles, we invent the hockey dynasty.
NHL revolutions begin and end here. There's Richard; Geoffrion adopting the slapshot; Jacques Plante deciding to protect his mug; Patrick Roy playing the butterfly. And if another revolution comes along, we pooh-pooh it and win anyway, at least in time -think about Bobby Orr, Broadstreet Bullies or another team in Eastern Canada trying to be successful.
I don't know what the next revolution should be, and a good thing, since the frustration of knowing just what to do, and limited to yielding the power of this puny blog would drive me mad for certain. I just get upset with the complacency that creeps in every time we beat a hapless crew on a night in October. I also happen to know a non-revolutionary idea when I see one:
playing 7 defensemen, needlessly pursuing a goon, trading a veteran in March of his UFA year, listening to Don Cherry (eh, PJ?)...
Our team is good. It can beat any team most nights. But it still falls short of being able to beat every team most nights, most teams every night, or every team every night.
That's what you need if you start thinking like a revolutionary.
What if we started trading players as soon as they reach the height of their abilities (um, Theodore, Ribeiro maybe back when) for top returns. What if we started trading prospects we may see in 2 years for a ten year career for someone with a guaranteed value today for an 8-year stint. If done a few times over the course of one season might just turn the league on its head.
I'm not asking for Gainey and Carbonneau to go ahead and revolutionise everything by tomorrow, I merely ask that they think about being revolutionary sometimes.
I especially ask that the fans use a bit more imagination and expect something a little more revolutionary from this team - more revolutionary than benching every player who goes a game without a goal. Let's see some revolutionary ideas and be patient about their proper implementation, they just might work. And heck, they're a lot more entertaining to debate...
Once a week from now on, I'll try to come up with one revolutionary way in which I think the Habs could take steps become a dynasty again.
... don't you know it's gonna be. Alright.