If you are reading this manual then it is safe to assume that you were a witness to the fateful night of October 1st, 2009. The dawn of a new season for the Montreal Canadiens, a time of hope and wonder of what this team had in store for us faithful fans who stuck through the hard times an look forward to the good. And in a blink of an eye that dream became a nightmare. Andrei Markov, arguably the best player on the Habs roster and the one who drives both the offence and defence, was cut along his ankle by Carey Price’s skate, severing several fragile tendons. As he was helped off the ice it seemed as though midnight had struck on the doomsday clock.
Below is a guide for surviving these dark times, simple rules that we can all follow if we want to survive… The Markovalypse!
1. Take a deep breath and come to grips with what has happened. Yes Markov is gone for possibly four months but at least his injury was a long way from the heart and he’ll live to fight another day.
2. HELP IS ON THE WAY! Yannick Weber has already been recalled and it has been confirmed that Bob Gainey has been working the phones. Whether a trade, free-agent signing, or another call-up down the road (Subban anyone?), the Habs will attempt to replace what Markov brought to the ice in the best way they can should the current group not be able to elevate their play. Gainey won’t wait until its too late to do something.
3. We still have Spacek, and if he continues to play like he did on Saturday night then it makes taking the loss a lot easier. If you recall, the Habs didn’t have somebody like him they could turn to for offence had Markov gone down this time last year.
4. It happens to the best teams. As Thomas Plekanec said, Pittsburgh was without Gonchar for most of last season and they turned out okay… didn’t they?
5. Look at it this way, if the Habs come together and play great hockey up until Markov’s return in January, you would have to think having him back things would become even better. How many other teams would get such a great deadline acquisition without costing a single thing?
6. The Habs players are still learning a new system, every single player. We are two games into the new season so it can’t be too late for Jacques Martin to augment his system to a Markovless one and implement it as the season progresses.
7. And lastly, THINK HAPPY THOUGHTS! Being positive in a time like this helps making things not seem as bad. And in reality they aren’t. Everything I’ve said above is true and that makes me see light at the end of the tunnel. As a whole we fans need to show others that it’ll take a whole lot more than this to bring us down. We need to use this event as a reason to come together and cheer for the Habs that much more. Make it known to them that we aren’t giving up on them already and that whatever happens, we’ve got their back. Certain members of the media have already said the Habs won’t make the playoffs because of this, I say it is a little early to be making such a claim. I intend to sit back and watch as the Habs push forward and continue to win.
We all wish Andrei a speedy recovery and wait for him with open arms whenever he returns, but until that happens, come out of the bomb shelters, watch the mushroom clouds dissipate, and enjoy the season that lies before us because I’m willing to bet that it will be a great one.