Remember – it’s still hockey and anything can happen

'As a hockey fan, I feel like reality has decided to take me on a little holiday to opposite land'

By Zachary Cormier

What is happening right now? As a hockey fan, I feel like reality has decided to take me on a little holiday to opposite land, where Gary Bettman is cheered everywhere he goes and where Sean Avery is the most beloved man in hockey (wow that was a dated reference.)

Maybe those first two aren’t really true, but perhaps more implausibly, the Montreal Canadiens are currently the top team in the NHL and the Edmonton Oilers are in second.

Remember a few months ago when we were all laughing at the Habs and Oilers for making what we thought were the two dumbest trades in history?

Seems like a long time ago now, doesn’t it? Now all of a sudden we’re just a few months away from those teams playing each other in the Stanley Cup Final.

Ok, let’s bring this back down to Earth.

Habs fans don’t get too smug.

This happened last year, remember? Then Carey Price got hurt and suddenly it became apparent that your team was essentially a house of cards in a wind tunnel. Yes, you’ve got Weber and I’m sure that feels very good, but he’s got the worst contract in the league so tell me how that’s going in like five years.

I’m sure he’ll definitely still be contending for the Norris.

And Oilers fans (I’m looking at you Mayor Christie) wipe that smug grin off your faces.

Connor McDavid’s been freaking great and all. In fact, he might be the best player in the league and he’s only 19. But just ask Mike Babcock what happens when you try to make a 19-year-old sophomore play 18 minutes of ice time.

“You jam a guy out there like every shift and like three in a row, stuff like that? It’s hard to have the same pop man,” Babcock told reporters after his Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Oilers 3-2 in overtime after McDavid gave the puck away to Nazem Kadri of all people.

Also, you signed Kris Russell so you might be laughing now, but wait until you have to talk to some CORSI nerd in a sports bar. You’ll get your comeuppance for that, I guarantee it.

What, bitter? Me? Nah. My Flames signed Kris Versteeg from right under your noses! What would I be bitter about? *starts crying*

Ok, deep breaths.

Sorry about that, just needed to get that off my chest.

It’s still early in the season and we’ve still got a long ways to go before it’s time to start seriously talking about teams who are going to be serious cup competitors this year.

That being said, it’s still kind of nice to see two Canadian teams on top of the standings for once.

Even if the Flames aren’t one of them (just give them time, they’ll be great I’m sure of it).

So, Oilers and Habs fans, I say enjoy the early success.

To be honest, I think both of your teams have the potential to be Cup contenders in the near future. And how much fun is the Battle of Alberta going to be for the next few years?

But even with a great start, it’s still hockey and anything can happen. Please don’t burn my house down.

zcormier@lacombeexpress.com