Poor Len Canayen here with a heads-up for hockey fans in general and fans of the Montréal Canadiens and/or Pernell Karl Subban in particular. Tonight, for the first time since The Trade that shook Canada's most exciting city, the Nashville Predators and their "transcendant defenceman" (Subban, according to Dave Stubbs, late of the Gazoo) will confront Les Glorieux at the Bell Centre. Starting time is 1930 EST.
Because the two teams are in different conferences, they meet each other but rarely. When the Canadiens were in Nashville last fall, Subban was out of the lineup due to an unspecified injury. So tonight will be the first time for him to play against his old teammates, including the real defenceman, Shea Weber, who the Habs got in return and who has been playing some of his best hockey ever with the Bleu, Blanc et Rouge.
When the Canadiens visited Nashville, Predators fans gave Weber a warm welcome -- not being sarcastic -- including a video tribute showing highlights of his time with the Preds. Montréal boasts the classiest (and most knowledgeable) fans anywhere, so we can expect nothing less than a reciprocal Gloria tonight.
After the praise and bonhomie, the game will begin. The talk at the time of The Trade (and for months before) was that a lot of Subban's teammates disliked him intensely, not least for his habit of tanking up on black coffee and letting fly copious farts in the room and on the ice. There may be one or two (or more) of them who would like to get even with the NHL's blackest player for upstaging them or otherwise exacerbating last year's team's many problems. Should be an entertaining game to watch. I'll make the popcorn.