We are all Guy Lafleur

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Imagine one of those cold winter evenings when the family would gather around the television set to watch the hockey game on Saturday night...

There was screaming and screaming in every corner of the house to encourage the flannel soldiers. It was so intense that you were afraid of police officers coming in and taking your father away for disturbing the peace.

Even if in your memory it made you smile that we shouted at each other to express our happiness, you remember especially that this hubbub of adults intimidated you a little.

Often you would rather watch the snow fall outside, with your elbows resting on the window sill. You liked to get lost in your dreams where you became the trio companion of the blond demon.

You kept seeing the perfect pass you had given him and the wink that The Flower had given you after scoring his goal. These images were so real, that you convinced yourself that your name was in the Canadian's locker room somewhere between Robinson and Gainey.

Inspired by this feeling of power, you would rush through the melee in front of the TV, elbowing for one last handful of cheese droppings before going outside, your skates tied around your neck, your hockey stick on your shoulder.

The weather outside didn't intimidate you. You were invested with the spirit of the Glorious, ready to roll up your sleeves to face the enemy, no matter what its form.

You were running at full speed to the rink with your mother's last sentence echoing in your head: "Don't come back too late there! ». You finally understood that no matter what time you decided to come home, it was always too late for her.

You knew that in her heart, you were more important than the Stanley Cup and you didn't want her to worry too much, and for that reason, you rushed to enjoy every second.

You were hoping there would already be players, that they had taken the trouble to clear the ice.

Out of breath, you came at just the right time. By the time you put your skates on in the stinking little cabin, and we were already throwing the sticks in the middle of the ice to form teams, as if we had waited for you before starting.

You usually recognized some faces. It comforted you a little to think that somewhere some friends had made an appointment for you.

These evenings on the ice attracted all kinds of people.

There was always one who looked at you with his drooling look on his face, his cigarette in his mouth, convinced that with his boots, he was going as fast as with his ski-doo.

There were also some angry ti-cul who were discovering the place and it reassured you a little to be able to thwart a few novices with your puck dribbles not always known when to tick.

Sometimes these assholes had only a small ass. Even if they were younger than you, some of them were able to fool you almost every time, but it was no big deal, because no one had ever made fun of you.

Sometimes the older ones only had the name on their sweaters. They proudly wore Mario Lemieux's sweater, but skated on the boot with the grace of a penguin who was not from Pittsburgh.

There were also AAA midget dog food that came just to show that they were good, but ended up being packed, because we didn't tolerate puck eaters in this kind of game.

Pepers who no longer needed mouthpiece, but who chased the puck with fire in their eyes as Richard had done, still as vivid in their childhood memories.

Good steps that would get everyone into the tapes to compensate for the fact that they were being thwarted by ti-cul.

Little girls who followed their older brothers with their pink plastic sticks and their fancy skates.

But as the game became more intense, everyone eventually found their place in the dance.

Between the experienced players, those who thought they were professionals and those who were just there to get some fresh air, there was an atmosphere of comfortable and unexpected camaraderie.

It was as if the ice melted the differences. You felt like you could become anyone's friend, as long as you were able to make a pass on the pallet tap.

It was to experience these magical moments that you spent your winter evenings playing outside.

Even if you liked watching the games on TV, nothing was better than those brief moments when you had the opportunity to make a real connection with someone you didn't know, but felt close to in an unexplainable way.

The game has this ability to unite people.

Hockey is a tradition that keeps alive the momentum that drives us to want to connect with those who seem different from us.

Everyone you had met one day on the ice had imagined themselves in Guy Lafleur's place; escaping in a Stanley Cup final, vibrating the ropes in front of a jubilant crowd shouting his name.

It was while playing outside that I realized that everything that unites us is made up of the dreams we share.

Put on your skates, and go play outside, your friends are waiting for you to start the game.


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