Sunday, April 11, 2010

Saku Koivu Bee Hive Jersey Card

So this is how it's going to be...

The captain-less Montréal Canadiens clinched a playoff spot by losing to the (also captain-less) Toronto Maple Leafs in overtime, earlier tonight. In the absence of a designated True Leader, the team's actual leaders, Andrei Markov, Michael Cammalleri, Brian Gionta and Maxim Lapierre tried to do everything themselves and couldn't get everybody on the team to rally together to help, so what we got were flashes of brilliance and a loss to the second-worst team in the league.

I'll be honest and admit the Habs were in control for most of the game, but the opponents played with more desperation, more passion - despite an evident imbalance in talent.

It kind of proves all of Saku Koivu's past nay-sayers wrong: both he and Alex Kovalev, when the situation demanded it, could step up - and most of the dressing room would follow suit, pushing together. They did had definite leadership skills - as do Markov, Cammalleri and Gionta, clearly - but the fact that they wore a 'C' on their jerseys added to their natural leadership, it signaled to the rest of the team ''we're all in this together, and they're the ones pointing the way''. Now, with the course of the ship still unidentified, the soldiers aren't certain which General to follow - all this at a time where the President (head coach Jacques Martin)'s orders and game system is clearly not working for the type of players he's dealing with, and in the decade we're in. It's like trying to fight with muskets in the computer-and-nuclear age...

All that for this: a 2005-06 Bee Hive jersey card (card #MM-SK, Matted Materials insert) of Saku Koivu, our last and longest-ever-in-tenure captain, by Upper Deck. Bee Hive was actually a brand of honey in Canada in the 50s and 60s that offered free hockey cards in their pots of honey, and most of their sets had a simple, framed design. These series are a tribute by Upper Deck, who figure an homage to an early set fits with the fact that they're also producing all of Bee Hive's former competitors' sets anyway, Parkhurst and O-Pee-Chee.

Ah, nostalgia!

Now name Markov captain so Gary Bettman has someone to hand the Cup to when we win it, goddamn it.

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