Category Archives: Montreal Canadiens

More of the Mind Blowing “Fascinating Facts!”

Facinating Fact #1.  Montreal drafted Mark Napier instead of Mike Bossy.

Fascinating Fact #2. Scotty Bowman, when coaching the Habs in the 1970’s, would usually be a real  miserable soul after the team had won. But when the team lost, he was a nice, happy person. The general consensus was that Scotty liked to play games with his players’ heads, and it was a big reason he was such a good coach. (If that makes sense, please fill me in.)

Fascinating Fact #3. I was a milkman in Calgary for awhile and Doug Risebrough was one of my customers. His wife, who looked after the milk situation, gave me a very little tip at Christmas.

Risebrough played 13 years in the NHL, with both Montreal and Calgary. When he was eating his Cheerios with the milk I had faithfully delivered, he was coaching the Flames. I remember years before, in Ottawa, when the Habs played somebody else in a pre-season exhibition game at the old Civic Centre, the buzz in the papers was the new promising rookie who would be playing that night in his first NHL game. That player was Doug Risebrough.

Fascinating Fact #4.  CBC television host George Stroumboulopoulos, is a good, solid Habs fan.

Fascinating Fact #5.  I played on the same Midget team as Dan Maloney for one game in Barrie after our Orillia team got eliminated and three of us were loaned to Barrie. I remember he was big, and a real leader even then. We were about 16. I also spent an afternoon with him hanging out and playing pool.

Dan Maloney played for four teams (Chicago, LA, Detroit, and Toronto) over 11 seasons, and eventually went on to coach. He was really, really tough.

Fascinating Fact #6.  I have a beautiful old ticket stub from Game 8 of the 1972 Canada-Russia Summit Series at Luznicki Arena in Moscow.

Fascinating Fact #7.    Rumours are flying that Scotty Bowman (although he denies this) could become a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs organization.

Typical. Montreal grooms them (Bowman, Cliff Fletcher, Dryden, Risebrough, etc.) and they become suits elsewhere.

Fascinating Fact #8.  Toe Blake’s real first name was Hector. He got the name ‘Toe’ from his younger sister who pronounced the last part of Hector as toe, as in “Hectoe.”

Fascinating Fact #9. Turk Broda, who was the Toronto Maple Leaf goalie from 1936 to 1952, had the nickname “Turk” because as a child, his neck would turn red like a turkey when he got angry. His real name is Walter.

Red Fisher Or Queen Elizabeth: Who Will Step Down First?

Okay, a small setback in New York Saturday night ,  4-1 being the score for the Rangers, or the Hell’s Kitchenettes as I like to call them. But it’s okay to lose from time to time to keep everyone on edge and not get too complacent. This is the power of positive thinking.

But there has to be a big rebound Tuesday in Long Island. The boys were pretty listless. Why is that?

Carey Price let in 5 goals in Hamilton against the Rochester Americans on Saturday, so things weren’t good on this particular night on different levels. In fact, the only ray of sunshine in the whole thing was Dany Heatley separating his shoulder in Ottawa and will be out four to six weeks.

I’d have a lot more to say about all this if only Red Fisher would retire and hand the reigns over to me to cover the team at home and on the road. I feel like Prince Charles, waiting for mum to finally take the retirement package.

Coming shortly: THE NIGHT I DRANK BEER WITH AUREL JOLIET!

What It Takes To Be A Good Montreal Canadiens Fan

A GOOD MONTREAL FAN:

Won’t have another favourite team also.

Will have a real dislike for Toronto and Boston, and probably Ottawa.

Won’t stop rooting for them if you live in, or close to, another NHL city.

Will feel lousy anytime the team loses.

Is proud to say you’re a Habs fan in any circle of people.

Will never admit that Howe was better than Richard.

Really, really wishes they’d win the Cup soon.

Will say that Harvey comes right after Orr for greatest defenceman, even if you’ve never even saw a film clip of him.

Really misses the Forum.

Really misses Claude Mouton.

Really misses Danny Gallivan and Rene Lecavalier.

Never bets against them in sport select-type lotteries.

Won’t sing that wretched song when the game is close.

Mike Komisarek Is On The Hit Parade, But The Song Isn’t

I thought it was Larry Robinson out there. But it wasn’t. It was Mike Komisarek, taking care of those nasty Boston Bruins in a way you’re supposed to, by crashing and crunching and slamming and blocking. If Komisarek continues like this, he’s going to be one of the scariest in the league to play against.

Komisarek coming into his own is good news for the Habs and Habs fans. He’s not quite 26 years old, is 6’4″, and weighs 241. The perfect guy to slam opponents’ faces into the glass, bend ribs, crush heads, and scare the bejeesus out of lesser men. With him around, Koivu, Kovalev, Higgins, and the rest feel slightly more at ease.

Montreal pounded Boston 5-2 and it was a beautiful sight. I have only one complaint, and you might have heard this before from me but I’m not letting up until this foolishness ceases. Montreal was leading comfortably 3-0 in the second period and it started. That wretched song again, being sung by Habs fans IN BOSTON. You’ve heard it before, this obnoxious, incessant, vomit-inducing Olay, Olay, Olay, Olay song they sing when the team’s winning. But 9 times out of ten, the other team comes back and scores, and often wins, because the song is sung too early and it’s a big jinx as far as I’m concerned. Last night, just after it started, Boston, naturally, scored. Then, naturally, they scored again. MONTREAL ALMOST LOST BECAUSE OF THIS SONG THAT I DISLIKE MORE THAN SEAN AVERY. And probably Steve Downey. 

Please people, quit singing this song. It’s smacks of smugness, arrogance, and over-confidence. If you have to sing it, please wait until the final minute when the team is winning by 3 or 4 goals. Thanks.

Next up, the Rangers on Saturday night. Time to pull away even further. Sean Avery is hurt but he might be faking so he doesn’t have to play against Mike Komisarek.

The Boston Bruins Are Not As Nice As You And Me

Montreal plays Boston tonight and I’m coming clean here. I’ve never liked the Boston Bruins. They’re like lawyers and politicians. Or Martha Stewart and Nancy Grace. Just not likeable. Terry O’Reilly, Mike Milbury, Stan Jonathan, Bobby Schmautz, Ken Hodge, Wayne Cashman, Phil Esposito, mouthy coach Don Cherry. Not likeable. And slurring, drunken fans. Not likeable.

And nothing’s changed over the years to change my mind. They’re like a team full of Sean Avery’s and Steve Downie’s.

However, during the 1972 Canada-Russia series, I cheered for Espo, Cashman, and the other Bruins on the team. Otherwise, they were not likeable.

My wife asked me once who I disliked more, Toronto or Boston, and I couldn’t answer. When Montreal plays Toronto, then it’s Toronto. When Montreal plays Boston, then I dislike Boston the most.

Don’t you think Bobby Orr would’ve looked good in a Habs uniform?

In other news, former NHL’er Sergio Momesso had his house burglarized and his 1986 Stanley Cup ring with the Habs was stolen, along with three of his jerseys, Montreal, Vancouver, and St. Louis.

You wonder what goes through the minds of these thieves. I mean, why would anyone want a Canucks jersey?

I’ve Got Nose Hairs Older Than These Kids

When Guillaume Latendresse scored the winner last night against Chicago, it created several important things. It allowed the team to keep pace in the east. It allowed them to avoid another slump. It allowed them a rare home game win. And it allowed me to forget my aches and pains from my nightmarish first aid course.

Bob Gainey says he’s happy with the team’s first half performance (except for losing important faceoffs), and so am I. This is a good young team. And when I say young, I mean young. This is a team that has to stand outside the liquor store and ask strangers to buy a bottle for them. These are guys who still peak down the stairs late at night when their parents are having parties. And when the club honours former greats like Jean Beliveau, Dickie Moore, and even Guy Lafleur, these kids wonder why vets from the first World War are dropping pucks at centre ice.

Here’s some of the kids from Romper Room.

Maxim Lapierre – 22, Guillaume Latendresse – 20, Sergei Kostitsyn – 20, Andrei Kostitisyn – 22, Jaroslav Halak – 22, Corey Locke – 23, Kyle Chipchura (just sent down to Hamilton, but he’ll be back) – 21 years old, and Carey Price (also sent down to Hamilton but he’ll be back because he’s gonna be a star) – 20.

 In all, Montreal has 19 players under 30, with most from their early to mid 20’s. This is a young team. The elder statesman is Patrice Brisebois, who’s 36. I hope these youngsters are polite to Patrice and don’t laugh when he talks about the old, pioneer days, way back in the ’90’s.

Fergie Was One of the Best. A Real Montreal Canadien

John Ferguson was a lot of things.

He was one of the most popular players to ever wear the Montreal sweater, according to one who would know, Dick Irvin. He was a serious lacrosse player, mostly in Nanaimo, BC. He was assistant coach on Team Canada during the 1972 Summit Series. He was deeply involved in horse racing. He was coach and GM of the New York Rangers, and GM of the Winnipeg Jets. But most of all, he was a great fighter for the Habs in the 1960’s, who could also score goals. Twelve seconds into his very first NHL game with the Habs, Fergie got into a fight with Boston tough guy Ted Green, and won. He was a coach’s dream.

Fergie was one those guys who would cross the street if members of the opposing team were walking his way. He avoided playing in golf tournaments if players from other teams were participating.  And he would only be involved in hockey schools if all the other instructors were Montreal players.

“We played for the sweater,” John Ferguson once said, and because he said that, he’s one of my all-time favourite Montreal Canadiens. I even saw him and Eddie Shack go at it once when I was at a game at Maple Leaf Gardens, and it brought down the house. It was one of those great, delicious bench-clearing brawls, and Shack and Fergie were the headliners, two rival gladiators with a glorious dislike for each other. They went punch for punch, Leaf fans screamed for his blood, and it was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen, right up there with Brigitte Bardot standing by the fence in “And God Created Women.”

John Ferguson Sr. was one of the best. He died on July 14, 2007, at only 68. His son is the GM now for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

If only Kane played for Montreal. And there’s a pair who’d better not.

I’m late getting this posted today because I was at a first aid course where I almost ate a vegetarian sandwich instead of the good stuff but fellow student Karen saved me, thank goodness. I thought the cream cheese was chicken.

But this isn’t important. What is, is Montreal plays Chicago tomorrow night and must win, otherwise another slump could be starting and I’m tired of this roller coaster ride and having to think about whether the coach and GM should be fired or not. Chicago’s in their own slump which needs to continue of course. They only have one player I feel is worth mentioning, Patrick Kane, and that’s only because he has such a fantastic name. Otherwise, I hope he gets mononucleosis.

In other news, the dastardly Steve Downie, who just returned from his lengthy suspension for blindsiding Ottawa’s Dean McAmmon, should simply be booted out of the league after cold-cocking Toronto’s Jason Blake in the face the other night. Some players play tough, others play rough, but it looks like Downie is just one of these nightmares that come along every so often. If he doesn’t watch it, he’ll become as hated as Sean Avery. So far, though, he hasn’t perfected Avery’s shitty smile. But he’s trying and that’s not good.

If either Downey or Avery ever get traded to Montreal, I’m gonna take up cricket. GO PAKISTAN!

One other thing. There’ll be one more day of first aid where we’ll be practising transporting victims all strapped down with neck braces and all that jazz. It could come in handy some time if I’m at a Philadelphia game and Downey hurts someone else. I’ll be able to help take the player off the ice. I’ll be the one waving to the crowd.

The Rocket, the Montreal Canadiens, and Rich Man, Poor Man

This year, Montreal’s Andrei Markov will earn 5.7 million dollars patroling the blueline. Teammate Roman Hamrlik will be close, at 5.5 million. Captain Saku Koivu stands at 4.7 million.

In 1940, Montreal’s Ken Reardon was paid $4000 for the season. Junior Langlois in 1959 made $7500. Jean Beliveau, who the Canadiens practically got down on their hands and knees to sign in 1953, was paid an unheard of $25,000, but that was what he’d been making with the senior Quebec Aces and the Habs had to at least match it.  And Rocket Richard was paid $5000 for his first season, in 1942-43, and earned a total of $350, 000 over 18 star-studded seasons with the Habs, ending in 1960.

This year, Francis Lemieux, a centreman who has yet to crack the Habs lineup, earns $461, 667. That’s $111, 667 more than the Rocket made in his lifetime.