Feb 15, 2012; Montreal, QC, CAN; Boston Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron (37) celebrates his goal with Milan Lucic (17) while Montreal Canadiens defenseman Josh Gorges (26) looks on during the second period at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

NHL LOCKOUT: Day 103 - Strange days we live in.

“Where is the best outdoor rink in mtl[Montreal] for a pick up game?? And who’s all coming??” Montreal Canadiens’  defenseman Josh Gorges tweeted last Saturday.  This tweet turned out to be entirely genuine. It brought out around fifty skaters. Players of all ages and skill levels showed up and got to share some ice time with a member of the Montreal Canadiens for an afternoon.

Hey owners, you are never, and I mean NEVER going to be able to connect with your fans on this level. You can certainly try, but I for one would put Bruins’ owner Jeremy Jacobs safety in doubt. As I’ve said in previous posts, I wasn’t raised on the history of the rivalries as many of you were, and I never found that much to hate about the Canadiens. We make the playoffs, they don’t. We obliterated them on the ice, and against the boards, and we had a great season against them last year. Yes, I do realize the potential for some great hockey moments when little brother Malcolm Subban dons the big ‘B’ and squares off against his big brother PK. (But that’s a couple of seasons away, at least.)

My hat is off to the players again. The reason why they will win this war (heaven forbid at the cost of another voided season) is because they’re willing to hop into the trenches with us poor slobs and let us join them in their world for a few minutes. The owners claim to worry about the fans (or in their words ‘sheep with wallets’), but in very rare circumstances have the actually DONE anything about it. My ‘Bruins brother’ is looking at his growing collection of FLEX-tickets and feeling next to nothing. The players (Habs players included) have made it a point to stay connected with the fans. (Or as the players call us, ‘the fans’.) Granted, I’m not going to buy a Montreal jersey over this moment, but it is one more reason for me not to hate any team in the NHL except for the Vancouver Canucks.

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