Semi-famous Canadian celebrity George Stromboulopoulos has a great quote regarding the mentality of the average Montreal Canadiens fan: "One win, plan the parade; one loss, tie the noose." Depending on the most recent game's outcome, the 2009-10 edition of the Canadiens is either the best team ever or the absolute worst piece of garbage squad to ever wear la Sainte Flanelle. The truth, most maddeningly, lies somewhere in the middle of that bipolar dichotomy.
The truth of the matter is that the 2009-10 Montreal Canadiens are thoroughly mediocre.
It is that mediocrity that leads to the immensely frustrating inconsistency that leads to 4-1 and 6-0 victories over New Jersey and the Rangers, and 2-1 and 3-0 losses to Florida and Tampa Bay...all in the same week. Dominant and excellent one night, pathetic and listless the next. If you were to market mediocrity in a bottle, you would slap a Habs logo on it.
Last season a good team had a meltdown. This year the only consistency has been the inconsistency. They made the playoffs by the skins of their collective teeth last season -- had the season been a week longer I am thoroughly convinced they would have missed them. This year it all depends on whether they're hot or cold on the final weekend of the season. Until then, the key to maintaining a semblance of sanity while watching the Canadiens is to assume nothing and treat each game like a blank slate with no memory of what happened in the previous game. Or, do something else.