I know I don’t write about the sport too much on the blog, but I would count myself among the dwindling number of hockey die-hards who still follows the NHL. While my beloved Red Wings were bounced by the San Jose Sharks in five games, there is still one team — and specifically, one player — that I’m still pulling for this postseason.
The Montreal Canadians have made an unlikely run from the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference, bouncing top-seeded Washington in the first round and forcing defending Stanley Cup champions Pittsburgh Penguins to a seventh game in their second round series, which concludes tonight. Canadians goalie Jaroslav Halak has justifiably been the story of Montreal’s run, but Michigan fans will certainly recognize the name sitting atop the NHL leaderboard in playoff goals: Mike Cammalleri, who has netted 11 goals and 16 points in 13 playoff games this season, including this spectacular goal in game two against the Pens, one of six goals he has scored in the series:
I shouldn’t have to name all the reasons you should be rooting for Montreal: a team from Canada hasn’t won the cup since Montreal in 1993, they’re the eighth seed that has faced the toughest road in the playoffs, and they’re facing that punk Sidney Crosby and a generally unlikeable Pittsburgh squad (yes, I’ll allow my Red Wing homerism to carry over to my Michigan blog — deal with it). Let’s add one more reason to that list: Montreal’s offense has been led by a former Wolverine, and after he scores in the Bell Centre, “The Victors” blares over the PA system.
Yes, Michigan’s fight song has found an unlikely home in Canada.
Facing a daunting seventh game on the road, Montreal will likely need Cammalleri to once again power the offense if they hope to stave off elimination. As a hockey fan, and a Michigan fan, I’ll be tuning in tonight at 7 — let’s hope “The Victors” will ring out many more times during these playoffs.