Montreal was coming off their worst performance of the season in Boston, and was heading into a gut-check weekend with back-to-back match-ups against Philadelphia on Saturday and St-Louis less than 24 hours later.
I was coming off a busy week at work and had planned a nice weekend with my girlfriend to celebrate her birthday, not knowing we'd wind up checking our own guts... as things turned out, it was to be a near-disastrous weekend for us as well as for the Canadiens.
Saturday morning came upon us in our suite at the Bed & Breakfast I had booked, though my girlfriend was not feeling up to par and passed on the breakfast that I was hoping would justify the cost of the room. The day had been set aside for leisurely shopping, though we would visit just one store before Jade gave in to the nausea she'd been experiencing all morning.
Just blocks away from our room, I was given urgent warning to pull over and so I did, stopping just in time to witness Jade vomit downstream (thanks to steady rain and a steep incline near Mount-Royal).
We followed by heading directly to our room, where Jade tried to sleep off her sudden illness and I wrote up my game preview for the Flyers game. True to form, she decided to tough it out and make an appearance at the Irish Embassy, where friends and family were to meet up with us to watch the game.
The Canadiens were playing respectable (if uninspired) hockey through 20 scoreless minutes of play and our company was beginning to loosen up when, nearing the end of the 1st intermission, I suddenly felt a tinge in my stomach. I mentioned to Jade that I wasn't feeling well and motioned towards the bathroom, instantly feeling disoriented. By the time I reached the stairs, I was dizzy and out of breath.
Next thing I knew, I was being picked up off the bottom of the stairs, lifted out of a puddle of my own puke. The bouncer was telling me he had already checked my ribs in case any were broken during my tumble down the flight of stairs, which was apparently overheard by the bar staff. I tried to regain composure, washing myself off in the bathroom, only to be consumed once again with the illness that ravaged me for the remainder of the evening.
Between spells of vomiting, I could overhear the displeasure of the fans at the Irish Embassy, disgusted with the performance of their team. Making my way back to our room in time for the 3rd period, I could overhear on the TV in the other room that they had fallen down 2-0 and were showing few signs of life.
The Habs did very little to appease my condition and, upon watching the seconds tick down on yet another discouraging outing, I was incited to unleash one final torrent of vomit into my trusty garbage can (apologies to the housekeepers).
Still feverish and bruised from head to toe, I watched the Canadiens slip out of St-Louis with a much-needed but far from convincing victory.
The weekend could have been worse, though I'm sure we all wish it would have been much better... well, less nauseating and far less painful, to say the least.
Finally, an enormous thanks to the wonderful staff at the Irish Embassy for their genuine concern and selfless assistance through a scary experience. Your help and hospitality were immeasurably appreciated!