It was the night before Christmas… in Habsland!

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and in the Bell Centre
Not a player was skating, the fans could not enter.
The skates had been placed in the lockers with care
In the hopes they’d air out while the players weren’t there.

Price and Auld were relaxing off-ice
Asking Santa for shut-outs that would be oh-so-nice.
The forwards and defense were all telling stories
And tales of the days of the team’s previous glories.

When out on the blue there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
I ran to the living room, I had to see this–
I knew it was a sight RDS-HD wouldn’t miss.

The lights of the city shone down on the snow
It glittered, and sparkled, and gave off a glow.
But lo, what was that, could it be a mirage?
The new centennial jersey, with its whole entourage!

With a bespectacled coach, so pensive with no grin,
I knew in a moment it must be Jacques Martin.
More rapid than slapshots his curses they came
And he whistled and shouted and called players by name:

“Now Gomez! Now Pacioretty!
Now Subban and Cammalleri!
On Gionta! On Lappy!
On Hamrlik and Pleky!
To the top of the circle!
To the front of the net!
Now put it away!
You can score a goal yet!”

And as with the pigeons that you’d swear couldn’t fly,
Just before you step on them, take off for the sky.
So all of a sudden, the Zamboni just took flight!
I couldn’t believe it, it soared like a kite!

And then, oh my god, that was my house on TV
And Pierre and Benoit were screwing up with glee.
As I clicked off the tube, and was turning around,
Down the chimney Jacques Martin came with a bound.

He was dressed in his suit, that tan one you know,
And his clothes were all covered with ashes and snow.
There were lots of pucks in his over-the-shoulder sack,
And it looked like the weight just might break his back.

Not a smile in sight, he was wearing a frown,
It looked to me like he wanted to leave town.
He was grim and severe, like a typical coach.
(Which only gets worse as the play-offs approach.)

He spoke not a word, but went straight to the tree,
Putting new pucks and sticks around haphazardly.
And turning to me, he broke a small grin,
And with a grimace he left the way he came in.

He sprang to the Zamboni, gave the driver a hail,
And away they all flew like the Fox comet tail.
But I heard him exclaim, ere they drove out of sight,
“HAPPY SKATING TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD FIGHT.”

Adaptation from © 1996 Alison Luperchio

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