It’s a tired cliche in sport that there’s no greater cure-all than winning.  I once had an athlete tell me that everything feels better after a win…  food tastes better, your car drives better, your girl looks better, etc.  But how about another team’s win; could that make something better?  The answer is yes.  Perhaps a consolation prize to be sure but in this instance the answer is yes.  The Canadiens had the worst record among teams in the playoffs and was cast as the 8th seed.  They weren’t supposed to be good.  And they certainly weren’t supposed to be beat-the-President’s-Trophy-winning, Alex Ovechkin-having, home-advantage-enjoying-Caps good.  All the questions prior to the Caps, Habs best-of-7 was how short of a series will you make this, Capitals?  And they were taken to 7.  With a heartwrenching, Mike Green bashing, season ending Game 7 loss.  And now their rivals with that pesky Sidney Crosby and pretty darn good goalkeep Marc-Andre Fleury have suffered the same fate…  Tell me that’s not redemptive.

Of course it is!  It shows that Montreal wasn’t a complete fraud.  They weren’t a one series and done.  The same stifling defense that kept Ovie in check and shut Alex Semin down limited Crosby and Evgeni Malkin to one goal apiece in the entire series.  The same stand-on-his-head netminding tactics of Jaroslav Halak provided even better defense.  Heading into Game 6, Halak had stopped 106 shots from the Pens.  The Stanley Cup Defending Champion Pens!  In stark goalie contract, Pittsburgh had to yank Fleury and sub in former Cap Brent Johnson.

So yes, yes this lightly heals the wounds of the Caps.  (And a disclaimer:  this is in no way better than if the Caps were still playing.  But that should be obvious, no?) And maybe there’s a fine line between were you rooting for the Habs winning or the Pens losing; either way this feels infinitely and exponentially better than a Pens win.  There’s no disputing that.