PARK BENCH ON DECK HAS ’57 CHEVY MAILBOX BABY: Making up a little alien story sure beats the hell out of talking about yet another loss, this time an old fashion whipping by the New Jersey Devils. This is unacceptable. The boys are in a full-fledged slump. No wonder I drink.
Some kind of other-worldly park bench is growing from my deck. Dogs and cats run away shrieking. It’s making me nervous. It just sits there, quiet, not moving, almost like it’s ready to strike at any moment. It has a number 9 on the back. What could that mean? Why is it here? What does it want? Will it hurt those dogs and cats? Stay tuned.
Let the record show that on this day, Friday, November 17, 2007, the Montreal Canadiens, while playing in Buffalo, SUCKED RAT DROPPINGS FROM A MOULDY RUG.
They lost 4-1 because Kovalev, Koivu, Higgins, Plecanec, and a dozen others played like they’d spent the night playing doctor with Buffalo Bills cheerleaders, overdosing on Buffalo wings, and chug-a-lugging Russian vodka that Kovalev’s mother shipped over.
Why do I even bother.
Fascinating Fact #1. I once phoned old Hall of Famer and ex-Hab Bert Olmstead (1948-1961) in Calgary just to talk about the old days with the Rocket and Stanley Cups etc. He hung up on me.
Fascinating Fact #2. I once sat in an old beer parlour in Ottawa and drank beer with ancient ex-Hab Aurel Joliet (1922-1938). I asked him what he thought about the Rocket and he poo pooed the question. He said his old buddy Howie Morenz (1923-1937) was way better, then his eyes got misty. He signed the cast on my arm and I drove him home.
Fascinating Fact #3. I met the Rocket (1942-1960) when he was refereeing an old-timers game in Calgary. I told him he’d sent me a Christmas card when I was about 8 years old. He said he didn’t remember. My sister took a picture of him, then the Rocket said he wanted a picture of him with my sister.
Fascinating Fact #4. My dad took me to a Montreal-Toronto game back in the 1950’s. Somehow he corralled coach Toe Blake in the lobby and asked him to take my hockey book into the dressing room and get Doug Harvey (1947-1969) to sign it. He did.
Fascinating Fact #4. When I had my restaurant, Frank Mahovlich (1956-1974) came in. He told me the Montreal organization was first class and way better than the Leaf organization. We fed him a spaghetti dinner. He didn’t pay for it. After that we called him Frank MaCheapovich.
Fascinating Fact #5. I once had breakfast with old Chicago and various other teams goalie Glenn Hall. (1952-1971.) He told me Gordie Howe (1946-1980) was better than the Rocket. Even so, I still paid for his breakfast.
Fascinating Fact #6. I once talked to the Habs Jim Roberts (1963-1978) when I was about 13 and at a game at the Old Forum (not the new Forum, which the Old became after it was renovated in 1969.) He was nice to me and I decided to start a Jim Roberts fan club. I didn’t because I decided it was too much work and he wasn’t a good enough player.
Fascinating Fact #7. My friend Leo Brosseau said old Hab goalie Bill Durnan (1944-1950) used to come in to his father’s bar in the Ottawa Valley in the early 1950’s. Leo said the guy was an asshole when he got drunk and kept getting thrown out.
Last year at this time, after 17 games, Montreal’s record was a blistering 10-4-3. And not only that, they went on to win the next five out of six games. I was worried management might neglect to plan the Stanley Cup parade down Ste. Catherines past the old Forum.
They carried on into December and by late in the month, their record was a quite lovely 22-9-5. Fans at the Bell Centre were singing that nauseous song far too often. After that, though, with the help of three separate six game losing steaks, they ended up not making the playoffs.
This year, after 17 games, lo and behold, the team is 10-4-3, exactly the same as last year. Fans are singing that obnoxious song again. But will the team fall apart again? Nope. Because instead of David Aebisher in goal, there is Carey Price. As young as he is, he’s going to lead this team to the promised land. (The Forum ghosts, who I talk to, told me this.) And when this happens, the sky will open, the sun will shine, and Montreal fans who have stuck with the mediocrity for so long will wake from their slumber and smile, and Daniel Briere will kick himself in the nuts and have nightmares for the rest of his life.