Category Archives: Boston Bruins

Montreal Ends It Off In Style. Now Bring On The Playoffs And Prove The Experts Wrong

Don Cherry thinks the Ottawa Senators will do well in the playoffs but the Habs won’t. Broadcaster Bob Cole threw water on the fire every time sidekick Greg Millen started to say great things about the Habs. “Watch their power play,” Millen would say. “Watch how they never stop moving, how unpredictable they are, how hard they are to stop.”

And Bob Cole would chime in, “yeah, but they haven’t scored yet.” And throughout the game, you could feel him cheering for the Leafs. Cole needs to retire. We’ll keep Cherry around for a chuckle here and there. But he loves the Leafs too.

It’s been like this all year. The so-called elite of the hockey media, Cole, Cherry, McKenzie, McGuire, Hodge et al, just can’t bring themselves to concede that maybe, just maybe, Montreal is a serious contender.

It’s the junior members like Millen and Glen Healy who are the ones who don’t mind offering up superlatives. The old guard won’t do it.

I guess, if the television screen’s right, Montreal meets Boston in the first round after taking out Toronto tonight (April 5) 3-1 in yet another impressive performance by all concerned, including a young buck in his first game, Gregory Stewart, who nearly scored a couple of times, and got the edge in a fight with Brian McCabe at the final siren.

Stewart skated off the ice to the cheers of the faithful and the pats from his new teammates, with this amazingly proud look on his face.

But back to Cherry and Cole and the like. I suppose by the third round, these guys might concede that the Habs look good. But you can be sure that they’ll say Montreal doesn’t stand a chance against the contender from the west.

It’s going to take a Stanley Cup to shut these guys up. Bring on Boston.

Game Day Routine. Getting Ready For The Sabres

GAME DAY and I need to be sure I don’t stray from my regular routine that involves strict discipline as far as getting a good nap in before I eat some high carb concoction like a fettuccine dish with a baked potato. I don’t know about your habits and routines on game day, but I’m sure your way is excellent, albeit slightly different than mine.

Because the game’s on early here on the west coast, at 4:30 pm, I know I need to get my nap in early too. So I’ll head to bed about 11am and sleep until 1:00. This gives me time to have my carbs and several coffees for a quick boost and not feel too bloated by the time the puck drops.

I like to arrive at the couch early, say about 3:30, so I can fiddle with things on the coffee table, give the TV a good warm up, go over game notes such as what good shows I can flick to during commercials, and plan my strategy about how I’m going to get all the household things discussed early with my wife so she won’t be talking too much during the big game. I learned this early in my career with previous females -(mother, first-wife, daughter, sisters, etc.)

All of this takes some serious concentration and is a good example of why I’m such a good team player, and why experience is invaluable.

FINALLY, GAME TIME. It’s what I’ve been preparing myself for all day, as you can see from the routine. Montreal needs this. It’s all about first over-all and the chance to play the eighth place team, which could be Boston, Ottawa, Washington, Philadelphia, and even Buffalo, who the Habs are playing tonight.

This is why it’s a big game. This is an example of why every game for the last two months has been big. And this is why it’s necessary to have a proper pre-game routine.

Me and the boys will take care of business tonight against the Sabres, the ones with the George Jetson/Los Angeles Rams uniforms, then a couple more days and we’ll be going through the same old routines once again as we prepare for the Leafs.

It’s all part of the strict discipline and commitment that goes into being a professional Habs watcher. 

Almost Good News On The Habs Hurting Front. And Tom Kostopoulos Knows What It Takes

Now that the dust has settled on just how healthy the Montreal Canadiens are, it seems  possible that only Saku Koivu might be out for awhile. But even that’s unclear.

What’s clear is that five Habs are hobbling and grimacing. Guillaume Latendresse has neck spasms and although he didn’t play in Toronto, he should play in Ottawa.

Mark Streit took a puck off the foot in Buffalo, didn’t play in Toronto, and although the team’s a bit vague, it seems he won’t be out long either.

Francis Bouillon didn’t play in Toronto either and is suffering from a right ankle injury. He’ll be back quickly though, because he’s a tough little bugger.

Mike Komisarek injured his hip (lower body injury!) in Boston but has started skating again, so this is good.

Which leaves us to Saku Koivu. He took a puck on the foot in Buffalo (like Streit), didn’t play in Toronto, and left Toronto on crutches. His foot is swollen and they’re not sure if it’s fractured or just badly bruised.  If it’s broken, he could be out until sometime in the second round of the playoffs.

When Koivu got the stick in the eye a couple of years ago against Carolina, the team went poof, like air going out of a balloon. But Montreal’s much better now, much deeper, more talented, and much more-rounded, and so although it would hurt to lose him, the boys can still get the job done. But let’s just hope it’s just badly bruised.

I also want to mention something about Tom Kostopoulos. This is guy who was a healthy scratch many times this year. He usually plays only on the fourth line, and he doesn’t get a lot of ink in the papers. But here’s the kind of guy he is:  Mike Komisarek said that when he was being treated in Boston for his hip injury, Kostopoulos was brought in after a fight in which half his face was blackened and his one eye was closed shut. But all Kostopoulos kept saying was to get him an ice pack and hurry because he needed to get back on the ice.

Now I have new-found respect for Tom Kostopoulos. This is old school, old time hockey. This is what separates men from boys. This is a guy who wanted to help his team and his teammates. He’s bounced around the minors, never really winning a job. This is the kind of guy who’d play for free. And players like him don’t disappear in the playoffs.     

Montreal’s Tomas Plekanec Saves The Day In Buffalo

I’m so tired I feel like I’m getting sleep-deprivation torture in a Saudi prison. It’s because I’m going to bed fairly late and getting up at 3:30 am to go to work. And today, at the ticket booth, I had trouble getting a guy’s credit card to work because the system was acting up, and finally, after it did work, the guy drove away and sarcastically said, “Thanks, you’re a real pro.” So I said “You’re welcome, you’re a real asshole.”

The Montreal-Buffalo game is on and it’s the end of the first period. Nothing really has happened so there’s nothing to report. So while I’m waiting for something to happen, I might as well say what I’m gonna say, and that is, “Mike’s an elevator mechanic. There’s a job that has it’s ups and downs.” BADDA BIN, BADDA BOOM!

Sorry. (This marks the eight thousandth time Mike has heard this.)

Montreal needs this game so I hope they’re regrouping in the dressing room. They need first overall for that prime spot in the playoffs, where they’d play in the first round, hopefully, Boston.

Buffalo is scratching and clawing for the final playoff spot, and if they reach it, they could play Montreal in the first round. So this is a team that’s desperate and hungry.

It’ll be interesting how this all plays out. Right now though, I’m tired.

A couple of small observations. I like the original Buffalo Sabres’ uniforms better than the ones they wear now. The ones now look like a cross between the Pittsburgh Penguins, Boston Bruins, George Jetson, and the Los Angeles Rams football team.sabres.jpg

But I really like how low the cameras are placed at the HSBC Arena. It’s just like the old days in Montreal and Toronto. And these cameras are about a mile closer than the ones in Tampa Bay.
Second period’s over. Kovalev just tied it up 1-1, finishing a nice Grabovsky play. I’m also thinking about what der Habinator said about Pete Rose should be in Cooperstown and I think so too. I also found it interesting what Mike said about how it would take an elevator mechanic 48 years to make the same money as what Patrick Roy turned down. Kinda makes you think.

Holy smokin arseholes! Tomas Plekanec scored two goals in the last two and a half minutes of the game to tie it, then Chris Higgins wins it in overtime.  They won it even though Habs fans in Buffalo sang the olay song. Maybe the song works after all.

Tomorrow night, it’s up the Queen E to Toronto. And I was thinking. If the team wants to make a side trip to Orillia before they need to play Ottawa on Tuesday, several of them could probably stay at my dad’s house on Elmer Ave. They’ll have to be quiet though. He’s 87 and goes to bed at seven. And they could go out for drinks at the Atherley Arms. I’m sure the peelers would get a charge out of it.

Montreal’s back on top in the east with 98 points. They finished with 90 points last year.

Montreal Scores 7 Goals In Their Win Over Ottawa, But It Was A Stressful 7 Goal Win

They can’t come much uglier than this. For two periods, life was good as Montreal built up a 7-1 lead against the visiting Ottawa Senators, who previously had humbled the Montreal 6-1 in February and 3-0 March 13. It was a time to dance in the street, sing, hug the neighbour, sing the Olay song. During the second intermission, I was thinking in double digits for the end of the massacre. It was going to be beautiful. habs-logo.jpg

But someone must have slipped horse tranquilizers into the Montreal player’ Gatorade between periods, because in the third, along with giving up fourteen shots to two, also gave up four goals to make it a scary, stressfull 7-5 game that I don’t mind saying made me quite pissed off. And on top of everything else, Montreal took two penalties and had to kill off a two-man advantage for the Senators late in this ridiculously ugly third period. But they killed it and I don’t even want to think about what could have happened if Ottawa would’ve scored during this power play.

I was as stressed as if it was a 2-1 game.

So it was a good-bad kind of thing. Pittsburgh lost 4-1 to the Islanders, so the Habs’ win, (and it was a win, all things considered), increased their hold on first place in the east by three points.  sens1.jpg

The bad, of course, was that they almost blew a 7-1 game and lost.

Imagine if they would have lost. They might have had to line up the same shrinks the Boston Bruins have lined up. It’d be a mind fuck for the rest of the season. The kind of game players, and probably fans too, lose sleep over all summer. The kind of game that can make or break the rest of the season.

And I’d have to listen to all my old friends in Ottawa who once upon a time were good, hearty Habs fans, and changed, believe it not, when their town got a team in the early 90’s. If Ottawa would have come all the way back to win tonight, these friends would have been insufferable.

But Montreal scratched it out and got the two points. That’s the main thing. It’s just good that the game was only sixty minutes and not seventy. And it’s good that Montreal scored seven goals, and not five, which you’d think would be plenty enough.

Let’s just hope there’s not too much mind damage.

 The team now has a rest until their short jaunt into Buffalo Friday, and then a little swing over to Toronto on Saturday. Both Buffalo and Toronto are in panic mode to win every game and possibly make the playoffs.

So both Buffalo and Toronto are going to play their hearts out when the Habs come to town.

So boys, have fun with your wives now for a couple of days, then get down to business. Keep it going. Stay on top. Go over 100 points. (they’ve got 96 now with five games left). Hopefully they’ll meet Boston in the first round.

And don’t worry about the Senators. They’ll be gone soon enough after the playoffs begin anyway.

The Senators Come For A Licking. Plus, A New Video Of Peace And Love

Big, big game Monday night when the Ottawa Senators roll into Montreal. The Habs have been humiliated a few times this year by these notorious playoff chokers, so I’d really like to see some revenge. I’ve got a lot of friends in Ottawa who once were Montreal fans but somehow became Senators fans just because their town got a team. I don’t understand it but hey, I don’t understand the theory of relativity either. sens.jpg habs-logo.jpg

In other news, more and more, Josh Gorges is becoming a solid, contributing,and important member of the Canadiens. He picked it up several notches against the Bruins, and now, with Mike Komisarek out for at least three weeks, this is a big deal and a pleasant surpriseAnd what this means is that when Komisarek gets back, he, Gorges, Hamrlik, and Markov form a formidible defence as the team readies for the playoffs. Take that, Pierre McGuire.

Also in the news, it seems that some people have disagreed with the violence in the video I posted of the 1971 Habs-Bruins bench-clearing brawl, and I feel bad about this. So today, I’m adding a little video that I hope makes everyone feel better. Let’s get back to the peace and love we all miss so dearly. This is from 1986. Just click the link. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZemmdLQsuE

Habs Make It Eleven In A Row Over Boston. So I Have A Gift For You

I’m having a good night tonight. I got home from work and my wife had a roast and a six pack of Heineken waiting for me. I start four days off. Then I watched the recording on my new TV of the Habs winning their eleventh straight win against the Boston Bruins (eight this year), and in doing so, stay on top of the heap in the eastern division.

So, because I’m in such a good mood, and it’s Easter, I’ve decided to give you a present. Just click the link below and enjoy a five and a half minute video of a 1971 Montreal-Boston bench-clearing brawl. Beliveau’s even in there, tugging and pulling. This is a huge brawl involving fans, police, Derek Sanderson, Phil Roberto, Gerry Cheevers, and a cast of thousands. Historically, Montreal and Boston like to rumble with each other. Here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBkvn4SsR5A&feature=related Watch it pick up momentum as it goes.  You don’t see this kind of thing any more.