Category Archives: Boston Bruins

Rick The Trucker Is Back, With More News From His 18 Wheeler

Sorry about the small print. I don’t have a clue why this happened. Please read anyway, because Rick the Trucker is back. Just get closer to the screen, that’s all.

 

Rick the Trucker, who spends are a large portion of his life truckin Highway 417 between Ottawa and Montreal, is back with more on the what’s happening on the front. Rick’s been on these pages before, he’s like my roving reporter, and he’s always got this great perpective because while he’s truckin, he’s got the late night sports talk radio blasting in his 18 wheeler.

Rick’s a Senators fan, but he’s still a great guy anyway.

Here’s more from life on Highway 417:

“So I’m driving back from Montreal tonite and get into Ottawa radio range just at the end of the second,,tie game, announcer says Ottawa held their own, killed off some penalties blah blah blah,,so I got the hammer down to try and get home and maybe catch some OT on the tube or something and then BAM, game over in the first 90 seconds of the third, back off the pedal, cruise home while listening to the remainder and dream about watching cricket with my Habs friends by the end of the week,,JUST KIDDING bout the habs fans.I,unlike some other people,do not pick on people for the teams they cheer for,unless it’s the blue team of course,,jab jab!!!

Anyways,heard some good stuff on Montreal radio 2day,,,Lot’s of calls from people who made the trek to Boston for game 3,,some rough stuff in the stands but sad to say,tickets were very easy to obtain, it wasn’t a sellout. It’s sad to see the glorious Bruins tradition slowly sliding down, it wasn’t a sellout and a good percentage were Habs fans. Funny thing,when the Habs fans sang oley oley, Bruins fans sang back “your gay, your gay.”

Chris ‘knuckles’ Nilan has been on the radio everynite in Montreal during this series,always a good chat,was real happy to see fans from his old team showing a presence in his home town,,,forgot to tell you,,that ignorant prick on that 110% show who made that Kostfuckupolis comment was fired after that comment last month.

Don’t know if you get Vancouver radio where you are or even if you do, are the Van.fans as commited to hockey as much as Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal fans?  I’ll tell you, spending all my time between here and Montreal is hockey overload. Same stories,same predictions,same excuses, just different cities but it’s still a blast,,,,,,I’m ordering tickets for cricket matches,,when are you available??????

ENJOY the ride!!!”

Montreal, With A Big Shutout Win, Made Me Very Happy Tonight

 GAME 4

Whew. That was as blue collar, lunchpail as you’re ever going to see. It was playoff hockey, tough, close, hard- working, well-earned chances at either end. And Montreal won the big one, a 1-0 shutout, and it doesn’t get any better, or any more beautiful than this. Up three games to one and going back to Montreal.

It’s amazing how stressful hockey can be. And how satisfying when the right team wins.

Today I was talking to the local newspaper publisher, a woman who’s always been a tom boy and a hockey fan. She’s a big fan of the local senior team, but she said she didn’t like NHL hockey much anymore. “Too many low scoring games,” she said. “Too boring.”

I wonder if she watched tonight. This low scoring, 1-0 game was anything but boring. It was back and forth, tremendously intense, with non-stop hitting, and with a main sub plot starring Mike Komisarek and Milan Lucic having their private parties.

Montreal made adjustments tonight. But they need more. They stopped Boston’s offence, but their own offence is still a concern. Higgins and Plekanec in particular still haven’t gotten it together, and although I keep mentioning it, they’re obviously not listening to me. What, they don’t read the blog?

And the Kostitsyn’s aren’t playing with the swagger they showed during the regular season.

The good news is that the lone goal scored, by Patrice Brisebois, was a power play goal. Like I said yesterday, the power play’s been their bread and butter.

Three down, thirteen to go.

Game note:

As much as the Boston Bruins give me heartburn,  the Rangers’ Sean Avery gives me slow burn.

 

Montreal’s Biggest Game Of The Year Is Tuesday Night

Right now it matters little that Pittsburgh is poised to sweep the Ottawa Senators, or that Calgary has a shot at doing away with the favoured San Jose Sharks. Or that Dallas is surprising last year’s Stanley Cup champs, the Anaheim Ducks.

All that matters is game four in Boston. Montreal can ill-afford a loss to the newly-renewed Boston Bruins. Because it would be a loss that not only ties the series, but also creates even more momentum for the Bruins.

I’m sure Guy Carbonneau and his coaches are working hard to overcome Boston’s recent adjustments, which have seen the Bruins bottle up Montreal’s attack, and Alex Kovalev especially. For me, it all boils down to the power play. Get that back on track and the series will end quickly. 

One Montreal writer said recently that he doesn’t know why, but the number five is a big number this year. For instance, Montreal won game two, 3-2, which totalled five.

So keeping with that, our Habs can win Tuesday night, and then game five (there’s that five) back in Montreal.

And any long series is never good in the scheme of things, as the road to the Stanley Cup is a long- distance marathon, and Montreal needs to end it as soon as possible to be fresh and healthy for the second round. But I’m not getting ahead of myself. That would be bad luck. And smug.

The Canadiens absolutely need their power play to return. It’s been their bread and butter all year. They need to unravel the ropes the Bruins have tied around them. And in general, they need a big night from everyone, especially the first line.

Every game for the last month has been a huge game for Montreal. But none are bigger than this upcoming game four. 

Am I nervous? Of course I’m nervous. I’d be nervous if the Habs were up three games to nothing. But I also believe in my team.

Go Habs! You’re gonna do it.

Game Three: Boston 2, Montreal 1. Time To Regroup And Get The Power Play Back On Track.

 GAME 3

During the regular season, Montreal’s power play looked like Sophia Loren – beautiful, lovely, graceful, nice to watch. But in this playoff round against the Bruins, Montreal’s power play resembles a drunken Britney Spears. Kovalev’s overtime goal in game two was a power play goal, but that’s it. The only one in three games.

And that’s the main reason why tonight, Boston skated away with a 2-1 overtime win in game three, and now it’s going to take five games instead of four for Montreal to win the series.

Another reason is the ineffective play in the series so far of Tomas Plekanec, Christopher Higgins, Michael Ryder (who can’t hit the net), and pretty well everyone except Carey Price, Alex Kovalev, and the Begin, Kostopoulos, Smolinski line, who have shown up every game. It’s not good when the grinder line is the best line. The Kostitsyn boys, huge in game one, are a non-entity right now. And it’s obvious now that Saku Koivu is greatly missed.

Montreal showed all year that they are a superior team to Boston. But they need to adjust to the adjustments the Bruins have made. There was no fire wagon hockey tonight, only chances that arose from hard work. They need to overcome the tight checking the Bruins have instilled.

Show us your Sophia Loren moves again, boys. Show that you can score often, just as Sophia probably could.

Fourteen wins to go, on hold for the moment. Enjoy the moment, Bruins fans. Soon enough, you’ll be hating the moment.

Game note:

Milan Lucic, Boston’s young power forward, looks a little like a young Phil Esposito. Except Lucic’s nose is quite a bit bigger.

Bonus game note:

Ron McLean called Brad Richards “his boyfriend.”

 

 

Game Two Is In The Books. Kovalev Gets It Done In Overtime

  GAME 2

Regular reader and commentor-extrordinaire, Der Habinator, checked in today before the big game got underway, and what he said was dead-on. Knute Rockne or Dick Irvin Sr. couldn’t have said it any better. And although der Habinator may have done just a little too much acid when he was younger, he’s a good, solid Habs fan.

So today, we’re starting off with der Habinator’s words. This is what all Habs fans should want for today’s game. Take it away, der Habinator.

“Big game tonight.  Why?  Because the intensity level must not only be raised it must also crucially be maintained. We absolutely must come out and play the entire game with unrelenting intensity.  No physical let-up. No mental let-down.  No Mr. Nice Guy.  Now is the time when we must become more, not less, critical of our performance.  The momentum is ours, keeping it means working harder, playing smarter, refining refining refining. Away les gars! Foncez!!”

Montreal didn’t come storming out like der Habinator and myself and the rest of Habs universe would’ve liked. Boston had a brand new, and more effective game plan which involved more physical play and close checking, but Roman Hamrlik scored late in the first to make it 1-0 for Montreal. 

Did this deflate the Bruins?

Not really. Montreal’s power play, with no goals in the two games, is stuck in neutral. Plekanec and Higgins’s names are rarely mentioned by Father Time, Bob Cole. So all the stars aren’t quite aligned right now.

But the team got it done, in overtime, with their first powerplay goal of the series, scored by Alex Kovalev, who had several great chances throughout the game, and had taken a bad penalty to allow the Bruins to tie it up. However, the guy who sideswiped and lay on top of Kovalev prior to Kovy’s slash should have been called too.

So Boston can whine and complain and feel they got the shaft, but all things being equal, the good guys won, as they should have.

Best of all, aside from the fact that Montreal won the game, was that Don Cherry was proved wrong and full of shit by the instant replay. He went on and on about the high stick to the Bruin player’s face just before the guy took a penalty which led to the winning goal. But the camera showed that it was only a follow through from Markov’s shot, which Ron McLean, who is a referee, firmly stated SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN A PENALTY. 

Montreal didn’t play as well as game one, and Boston played better than game one, but the only thing I see is a win that makes it two games up for the Habs.

It’s two down and fourteen to go.

Game Note:

Good camera shots at the Bell Centre as they scan the crowd. Quite a few lovely ladies wearing skin-tight Habs t-shirts.

 

Other Thoughts Because Everything’s Already Been Written

It’s Friday, the day before the big game at the Bell Centre, and for now, all’s quiet on the eastern front. There’s nothing I can say about this series that hasn’t already been said.

But I have to keep things interesting, so I’ll talk about………

I live in an area jam-packed with Vancouver Canucks fans. But I’ve noticed lately that not person  brings up the subject. It’s like the Canucks don’t exist.

At this very moment, Ottawa is losing 2-0 to Pittsburgh in game 2. My only suggestion to Ottawa fans is that cricket might be a fun sport to switch to.

Pittsburgh is now leading 3-0. Ottawa fans might consider moving to Sri Lanka where the cricket is top notch.

The mayor of Montreal doesn’t want Montreal firefighters to display any kind of support for the Habs outside on the station walls. This mayor is either a commy bastard traitor, or a relative of Powell River’s mayor, who wants to sue three Powell River citizens, including one who’s 86 years old, because they criticized him in some letters to the editor.

It’s now 3-1 Pittsburgh. Ottawa fans are holding off packing for Sri Lanka in case a comeback is in the works.

I phoned in sick for today and tomorrow.

It’s 4-2 Philadelphia over Washington. Pretty well the entire hockey world is picking Washington because they can’t stop salivating over Alex Ovechkin. But one man does not make a team.

Can you imagine what Ovenchkin’s two-week paycheque would be? I’m no mathematician so I’m not even going to try, but he probably brings home a couple of hundred grand every two weeks. If anyone’s figured it out, please let me know.  Isn’t it something like 140 million over 13 years? 

Pittsburgh is now only winning 3-2 over Ottawa. Can Ottawa complete a comeback? Can they get their shit together, win this game, wake up the city, make it a series, and even win this series?

Let me think. Stranger things have happened. A 135 pound Japanese guy can eat about 50 hot dogs in an hour, for example.

We’ll know soon whether Pittsburgh made a big mistake by giving up on three good young players for notorious lousy playoff performer Marian Hossa.

Boston coach Claude Julien says that for some reason, Boston doesn’t play their best games against Montreal, and for some reason, Montreal plays their best games against Boston. Hey, whatever works.

It’s now Ottawa 3, Pittsburgh 3. Ottawa fans are scampering back in from outside and turning their TV’s back on.

Philly and Washington are tied 4-4, and the Rangers are beating the Devils again, 2-0.

Oh, the game’s over in Washington. Ovechkin scored with a little over four minutes left to win the game, 5-4. The guy’s got the world by the tail, that’s for sure. See what happens when you get a little nooky?

Pittsburgh just scored with a only a minute left, and with an empty netter, beat Ottawa 5-3. It’s karma, you know, for Senators fans, that they’re going through such misery. Many of these fans used to be good, faithful Habs fans. See what happens?

I barbequed some steaks and burned them because I was writing all this interesting information.

 

 

It’s Game One, And I’m Growing My Playoff Beard

  Opening round GAME 1

The idea is to get rid of Boston as quickly as possible. Smash them, dazzle them, and confuse them. Overpower them, upset them, anger them, and frustrate them. Kick them, bite them, gouge them, and stick your fingers in their eyes. (just make sure the ref’s not watching.)

Take them out in four games. Stay healthy, and get Koivu back.  Mike Komisarek, an extremely important piece of the pie, is ready to go. Not sure about Ryder and Bouillin. But these are Montreal Canadiens players, not Buffalo Sabres or Pittsburgh Penguins or Toronto Maple Leafs players. These are Habs. They wear the CH. They’ll be back, stronger than ever.

It’s three hours until game time. I’ve been growing my playoff whiskers since last night, and I won’t be shaving until….sometime tomorrow!

LIKE SOME SORT OF TIME-TRAVEL MACHINE, IT’S NOW 3 HOURS LATER, AND THE GAME HAS BEGUN. Another in a long line of Boston-Montreal matchups. Boston has the freak of nature, the behemoth Zdeno Chara. I say grab a chain saw and cut him down to a more normal size.

The dramatic beginning of the telecast, when the teams were waiting in the corridor to go out on the ice, was spine-tingling.

You don’t need me to go over the game. You saw it, or watched Sportscentre or something. The Habs got it done. They dominated.

Montreal 4, Boston, 1. Only fifteen more wins to hoist the Cup.

 Game notes: 

Bob Cole needs to be placed in an old folks home. 

 

Hold On To Your Hats. Habs Fans Are In For A Joyous Ride

Most of the hockey world has weighed in on the state of the Montreal Canadiens and how they’ll do in the playoffs. And frankly, most of them are wrong, most of them are overpaid, and most of their mothers wear army boots. And some TSN computer-generated program picked the Habs to go to the finals but lose to San Jose.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Milt Dunnell, Elmer Ferguson, and Jim Proudfoot rose from the ashes to offer their opinions too.

And the common consensus, the recurring theme is this – If you stay out of the penalty box so the Habs don’t get to unleash their fierce power play, and if Carey Price folds because of no playoff experience, then Montreal can be beaten.

Montreal is so much more than what people, other than Habs fans, are giving them credit for. It’s a young team, faster than lightening, with a system that allows for quick breakouts, and with a steady defence that includes the duo that some oppposing players have said recently is the best defence partnership in the league – Andrei Markov and Mike Komisarek.

The team has depth, youth, speed, experience, leadership, closeness, passion, a spirited fourth line, a coach-of-the-year candidate, great fans, spiritual guru Jean Beliveau, and a city of hockey ghosts who have been waiting for years for something like this to happen. The team led the league in goals scored, had the best power play, and got stingier as the season wound down when shorthanded. And if something happened to Carey Price, the team can call on Jaroslav Halak, who was the American Hockey League’s top goaltender three years straight before being called up to the big club.

We’re going to take it one series at a time, beginning with Boston. And if Montreal can go all the way this year, I believe this would be the most special Habs team since the 1970’s. More magical than both 1986 and 1993.

Hold on. It’s going to be great!

In games played tonight, Wednesday night:

Pittsburgh shut out Ottawa 4-0, which is really no surprise since Ottawa’s been in a nosedive for awhile now.

The Rangers went to New Jersey and went away with a 4-1 win which is a bit of a surprise because the Devils are usually pretty stingy (and boring) at home. I’m hoping for the Devils. I don’t want to see Sean Avery any more.

Colorado and Minnesota are tied 2-2 late in the third, and Calgary’s beating San Jose 3-1 early in the third.

But I’ve got to get to bed. Sorry.

 

 

 

 

 

Who Should Win. And The Best Things Boston Has Going For Them

    Wednesday it starts, the quest for the Cup, with Ottawa visiting Pittsburgh, the Rangers are in New Jersey, Colorado goes to Minnesota, and Calgary takes on San Jose.

On Thursday, the other four series begin, with Nashville travelling to Detroit, Dallas goes to Anaheim, Philadelphia is in Washington, and, last, but not least, the best of them all, the only one that matters, the beginning of the saga – those dastardly Boston Bruins, right now shaking in their boots, jet to Montreal whether they want to or not.

And although Toe Blake said predictions are for gypsies, I’m going to have my say about who I think will win each series. And this isn’t rocket science.

It’s not going out on a limb to say Pittsburgh will beat Ottawa.

The Devils very possibly could be taken out by the Rangers.

Minnesota should beat Colorado because I don’t trust Jose Theodore.

San Jose should wipe the floor with Calgary.

Detroit will have no problem with Nashville.

I’ve no idea who will win the Dallas-Anaheim series, but probably Anaheim will.

Washington, because they’re on such a roll, should beat Philadelphia.

And Montreal will ice an almost healthy team and spank the Bruins like they’ve never been spanked before.

The best thing’s Boston has going for them is:

Don Cherry doesn’t coach them anymore. They’re in big enough trouble already without having any ‘too many men on the ice’ penalties called against them.

Boston goalie Dave Reese no longer plays, so there probably won’t be any Montreal players getting a ten point night like Darryl Sittler did.

Fans at the Bell Centre won’t be in danger because Mike Milbury, who liked to fight up in the crowd, is only a lousy hockey anaylst now.

Eddie Shore is long gone, so Montreal players are safe from getting clubbed over the head.

And Phil Esposito’s retired, so there’ll be no trails of brylcreem all over the ice.

 

 

Dazed And Confused. And Another Classic Montreal-Boston Playoff Series

Okay, so I’m confused. But it’s the not the first time, and won’t be the last. And I’ve got the best excuse I can think of. I went through the sixties.

Here’s my confusion, and maybe I’ve missed something, and maybe you can clear it up for me.

Pat Hickey in the Montreal Gazette wrote that if Montreal won the eastern conference, which they did when Pittsburgh fell 2-0 to to Philadelphia today, it would be the first time since the 1977-78 season that the Habs did this. So just for fun, I got out my handy, dandy numbers book and saw that, yes indeed, Montreal won the east in ’77-’78 with a whopping 129 points. Boston was second with 113.

But then I noticed something else. The book says the Habs also won the conference in 78-79, when they had 115 points, with Boston again coming in second with 100 points.

And then I noticed that they also won the eastern conference in 1980-81, with 103 points. Then again in ’87-88 with 103 points, then again in 88-89 when they tallied 115 points.

So am I nuts or what. Why am I reading something different than Pat Hickey? Can you help?

Thursday, the show begins. Boston’s packing their spare sticks and jockstraps right now, and probably aren’t feeling real good about the propects of taking on our Habs, considering that Montreal has beaten them eleven straight times dating back to last year.

But I’ve seen before how anything can happen in the playoffs, so there’s no over-confidence here, or smugness, or looking ahead to the second round. No way. The Bruins are a proud bunch, I’m sure, and has tons to prove.

So I’m going to think and talk about this series in a quiet, sombre, respectful, and mature way, and in the end…………………………………….THE HABS ARE GONNA KICK THEIR ASS!