Well, I was not one of those chronic complainers. I liked the team in 2010 and strongly felt that the 2014/15 team was "almost there." The thing is, I was looking for the latter team to make additional runs, building on the 2014/15 failures. You lose before you win; a team matures, learns, grows, and eventually breaks through. That takes more than two seasons, usually. Instead of those seasons being the beginning of something, they were the end of it. And now I'm being asked to look back upon a brief interlude of high-quality hockey and told I should be happy with two years amidst three decades of garbage.
The goal is not to "get back there," i.e., have a team knocking on the door for a couple of years, then disintegrate. The goal is not to just "have a shot." Rather the goal is to have a sustained run of excellence as one of the league's top teams over several seasons. Boston is the best example; Tampa, Pittsburgh, San Jose, Washington, and St. Louis are others: teams which, for roughly a decade, have consistently been in the mix as plausible Cup picks. They have better or worse seasons, better or worse playoffs, within that time-span, because sh*t happens, and because it's very hard to win a Cup; but on a year-in year-out basis, such teams are on all the lists of probably contenders, and are universally respected and feared as heavy-duty clubs to be reckoned with. The Habs have not been in this category since the early '90s.
What frustrates me is that a significant chunk of the Habs fanbase no longer seems to even recognize this as a goal, or else seems to think it is axiomatically impossible for the Habs to get there. Instead it's either wave pom-poms for mediocrity, or else fantasize about getting lucky and having a year where "everything goes just right." The loser mentality has become baked in.