But the coach, who was just north of tubby, Did NOT!
The coach hated playoffs! The whole playoff season!
Now, please don't ask why. No one quite knows the reason.
It could be his head wasn't screwed on just right.
It could be, perhaps, that his suits were too tight.
But I think that the most likely reason of all,
May have been that his brain was two sizes too small.
Whatever the reason, his brain or his suit,
He stood there at playoff time, Habs chances moot.
Staring out from his bench with a sour, grumpy frown,
As the banners above spoke of teams of renown.
He knew every Habs fan was there at the wickets,
Standing ready to purchase next season's tickets.
"And they're buying their jerseys!" he snarled with a sneer,
"Next month is playoffs! And they want us here!"
Then he growled, with his short fingers nervously drumming,
"I MUST find some way to stop playoffs from coming!"
For in April, he knew, all the Habs girls and boys,
Would wake bright and early; dust off their Habs toys!
And then! Oh, the noise! Oh, the Noise!
Noise! Noise! Noise!
That's one thing he hated! The NOISE!
NOISE! NOISE! NOISE!
Then all fans, young and old, would throng into the Bell.
And they'd yell! And they'd yell! And they'd YELL!
YELL! YELL! YELL!
They would yell at Ovechkin, and at Bergeron too.
Which the coach loved as much as a stone in his shoe!
And THEN they'd do something he liked least of all!
Every Habs fan in Habsville, the tall and the small,
Would stand close together, with rafters a-ringing.
They'd stand side by side. And the fans would start singing!
They'd sing! And they'd sing! And they'd SING!
SING! SING! SING!
And the more the coach thought of this fan playoff sing,
The more the coach thought, "I must stop this whole thing!"
"Why, for four long, long years I've put up with it now!"
"I MUST stop this playoff from coming! But HOW?"
Then he got an idea! An awful idea!
THE COACH GOT A WONDERFUL, AWFUL IDEA!
"I know just what to do!" The coach laughed in his throat.
And he drew up a powerplay, starting to gloat.
And he chuckled, and clucked, "What a great sneaky trick!"
"I'll use Davey to start to be sure it won't click!"
"All I need is a scapegoat..." The coach looked around.
But really terrible players didn't abound
Did that stop the old coach? No! The coach simply said,
"If I can't find a scapegoat, I'll make one instead!"
So he called his dog, Lars, who responded with dread.
"If you make a mistake, then it's all on your head."
THEN he loaded some scrubs and some old tired hacks,
On a ramshackle special team, leaning on Max.
Then the coach said, "'Ard! 'Ard" And the team started down,
From the top of the heap to the shame of the town.
The fans' outlooks were dark. Quiet fear filled the air.
As the GM was dreaming sweet dreams without care.
And the coach kept on filling round holes with the square.
"Don't you second-guess me," the old vacant coach hissed,
And his face turned bright red as he shook his fat fist.
Then they slid down the standings, past Caps and the Rangers.
But no one in management recognized dangers.
He got stuck only once, for a moment or two.
Then he set up his team to take less than their due.
Where the Stanley Cup banners all hung in a row.
"This goalie," he grinned, "is the first thing to go!"
Then he played Price too soon, with a smile most unpleasant,
'Til he went down for good thanks to the old peasant.
Pop guns on offence! Defence that's all thumbs!
No forecheck! No backcheck! They all played like bums!
They lost more and more games. Then the coach, very nimbly,
Defended his methods in French, although dimly!
Then he revamped the lineup from greatest to least.
And he managed to plummet to low in the East.
Bergie cleaned out that roster, no more Weise or Flash.
Fans bemoaned the unpalatable plate of Habs-hash!
When the coach said "Be happy! I'll play all the kids now,"
And still Chucky played less time than DD somehow.
As the coach kept on making the same old mistakes,
The Habs bandwagon kept on downhill without brakes.
With Desharnais out and Chuck still on the wing
(For no one could replace the old coach's offspring,)
Somehow the young guy started scoring nice points,
Proving he who's the best isn't who coach anoints.
And fans stared at the coach and said, "Therrien, why,”
"Why are you wrecking our playoff chance? WHY?"
But, you know, that old coach was so oily and slick,
He thought up a lie, and he thought it up quick!
"Why, my dear loyal fans," the incompetent lied,
"There's a gap on this team, see there on the right side."
"And our goalie is out; he's our best hope for wins."
"And there's P.K., who's guilty of multiple sins."
And his lies fooled the press. Then he smirked and stepped back,
And had high octane beer before hitting the rack.
The fans went to sleep with no hope of a Cup,
While the coach cashed his paycheck, living it up.
The last thing he took was the torch's bright fire!
With lots of excuses and whines, the old liar.
In the room he left nothing but hooks and some wire.
And the one speck of hope that he left in the Bell,
Was that this season's sounding the coach's death-knell.
Then the GM did something no one expected
Announcing, from his view, the coach was protected.
It was quarter past deadline... most Habs still were Habs.
While fans wished for the coaching staff laid out on slabs.
They packed up the season, the hoping and dreaming
The fun and the laughter, the cheers and the screaming.
Seven floors up the Bell, where the managers live,
They all knew that the team just had no more to give.
"PoohPooh to the fans!" coach was gleefully humming.
"They're finding out now that no playoffs are coming!"
"They're just waking up! I know just what they'll do!"
"Their mouths will hang open a minute or two,
Then the fans down in Habsville will all cry BooHoo!"
"That's a noise," grinned the coach, "That I simply MUST hear!"
So he paused. And the coach put his hand to his ear.
And he did hear a sound rising over the snow.
It started in low. Then it started to grow.
But the sound wasn't sad! Why, this sound sounded angry!
It couldn't be so! But it WAS angry! ANGRY!
He stared down at Habsville! The coach popped his eyes!
Then he shook! What he saw was a shocking surprise!
Every fan down in Habsville, the tall and the small,
Was chanting! Without any playoffs at all!
He HADN'T stopped playoffs from coming! SO LAME!
Somehow or other, fans yelled just the same!
And the coach, with his cheap shoes ice-cold in the snow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling: "How could it be so?"
"They chant without Davey! They chant without Price!"
"They chant without anything decent on ice."
And he puzzled three hours, till his puzzler was sore.
Then the coach thought of something he hadn't before!
"Maybe playoffs," he thought, "are not what it's about."
"And maybe the true fans don't have any doubt!"
And what happened then? Well...in Habsville they say,
That the coach misjudged fans for the last time that day!
In one minute he thought he was liked after all,
So he whizzed to the Bell; he was standing so tall,
He vowed to keep coaching in all kinds of weathers!
And the fans met him there with hot tar and feathers.