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As everyone has now doubtless digested, a Habs loss tonight against the Mighty Thrash of Atlanta would mean Les Glorieux are off to their most suckalicious start in 68 years.

Big deal.

Last year they had the best first half in a decades, and look how that all worked out.

This space has been inundated by e-mails from angst-ridden Habs fans (ok, actually there were two, but that counts as a deluge around here) over the start to the season.

We don't really give a toss, to be honest - don't you know journalists thrive on conflict and discord? - but it seems to our squadron of semi-detached observers that it might be a good time for everyone to breathe through the nose and perhaps pop a mood-enhancer or two.

Marc-André Bergeron's slapper and mobility should help on the power play, Jaro Halak will seize the opportunity to start tonight with both hands, at some point a forward not named Cammalleri, Gomez, Gionta or Plekanec will hit the scoresheet.

It's still early, they're still not as bad as the Leafs, and the Habs have had dreadful luck in their last two games with bad bounces (ask Shawn Belle, of course, you'll have to call Hamilton) and inopportune, ticky-tack penalty calls.

In fact, we asked Cammalleri about the role providence and luck play in hockey.

"Don't even get me started, that's bulls--t," he said.

Okay, then.

"It's like there's a weird karma thing in hockey, when you're playing well and doing the little things, the puck bounces your way and goes in off legs into the other guy's net instead of your own," he said.

In other words, Cammalleri said, the team needs to work harder and smarter and the rest - including better fortune - will come.

We're reminded of the scene in All the President's Men where Jason Robards, playing former Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee, is told by Woodward and Bernstein that they aren't having any luck nailing a Watergate story.

"Get some," he growls.

Art imitating life, then.

Of course, if the Habs soil the silks against the surging Thrashers, we reserve the right to rip them into itty, bitty little flannel shreds.

Nothing personal, or even especially rational, but it's how we roll in this town.

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