Monday, August 1, 2011

Memory Monday: Pour Toujours Les Canadiens

The summer of 2009 saw great turnover within the Montreal Canadiens organization. The prior season was supposed to be a big one for the Habs - coming off a regular season Eastern Conference title a year earlier, and bolstering their line-up with veterans like Alex Tanguay and Robert Lang. But as injury after injury after "scandal" broke, the team slipped in the standings, barely making the playoffs before being swept in 4 games by the Boston Bruins.

As a result of this tailspin, Canadiens fans said goodbye to many of their favourites, including Saku Koivu, Alex Kovalev, and Mike Komisarek, all of whom the Blue-Blanc-Rouge faithful once dreamed of seeing win a Stanley Cup in Montreal. Nothing against Mike Cammalleri, Brian Gionta, Scott Gomez, and the rest, but let's fantasize for a moment...

What if things had gone differently? What if the team had performed more like they were expected to in their centennial season? For people with such thoughts, parts of Pour Toujours Les Canadiens take you along for the ride.

Hence today we bring you a movie review of one of my highly recommended favourites. Released in 2009, the good news is that the film is now available in bargain bins in Wal-Marts and HMVs around the city, so you should be able to pick up a copy cheap. Even if you can't speak French, you should look into it, as the movie is quite simple and thus easy to understand through subtitles.

The story follows a young man who is crazy passionate about hockey. A successful Quebec university forward, over the course of the movie, with help from his Canadiens documentarian father, nurse mother, hockey teammates, and an inspirational sick youngster, he learns that there is much more to the game and life than focusing on oneself and trying to hog the glory. He learns to appreciate the little things and finds himself far better off for it. In the meanwhile, he gets closer to the Habs than he could have imagined, and so we get to see game highlights and shots of the club's top performers of the 08-09 campaign.

Without spoiling anything for you, be forewarned that this isn't a top notch hockey movie like Miracle or The Rocket. Consider this a Soap or Reality TV piece. It's cheesy, predictable, corny, and has a couple of plot gaps... but it will satisfy your inner craving to watch hockey (and specifically the Canadiens). Perfect to tide you over till training camp opens in September.

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