The Stanley Cup playoffs have all sorts of traditions, not least of which are the CBC music montages that play into games, and play out seasons.
The closing montage of the 2014 season was especially emotional because it was the last CBC produced Hockey Night in Canada broadcast. The show will continue on the CBC for at least the next four years, but will be controlled by Rogers, the new national NHL right's holders. And you get the feeling HNIC will never be exactly the same again.
HNIC has marked the passage of time for the past six decades of NHL history. It's been a healthy slice of Canadian culture, nurturing an inspiration for the game. It's been a religion for anyone who dedicated their Saturday nights to the broadcast and vividly remember even the most random playoff moments from two decades ago. All those Stanley Cups being handed out and passed down, broadcast into our imagination by HNIC.
And the program nailed the close, rocking Queen's "The Show Must Go On" to highlights from the Stanley Cup playoffs as well as past HNIC moments. The package included Dave Hodge's famous pen flip and closed with Foster Hewitt's "He Shoots, He Scores!"
It was nearly perfect, except for a 20-second disconnect during Ron MacLean's soliloquy (the screen goes black from 0:45 to 1:06).
It was an emotional way to end an emotional night and, as usual, CBC hit it out of the park with this montage. Hopefully it's not the last and hopefully HNIC stays recognizable.
Because, damn it, this show must go on.