Category Archives: Patrick Roy

Guy Should Have A Blog

Guy Lafleur should have a blog. Imagine the insights we’d get!

Guy could tell us all about his troubles with Jacques Lemaire, about why the team hasn’t won the Cup since 1993, why Rejean Houle didn’t get enough in return for Patrick Roy, why Steve Shutt was hard on rookies, what he thinks Michel Therrien is doing wrong, why sometimes there’s not enough foam on the Bell Centre beer. All kinds of stuff.

Imagine the readership he’d get. We’d rush to open his blog to see what he says. It might be the most fascinating blog in the history of blogs.

“You can’t keep guys like Vanek and Pacioretty on the team,” Lafleur now says. “They should stay home if they’re not willing to pay the price. Your team won’t win with players like that who disappear under adversity.”

Guy would get a million hits for that story alone. Advertisers would flock to him. He’d be the king of bloggers.

Lafleur was basically talking about game six of the Rangers series that ended the Habs year. New York threw a blanket over the Canadiens and that was that.

The problem, I think, is that some of the true greats like Lafleur sometimes expect others to step it up in superstar fashion, and I guess lately he’s been stewing about the team, Max and Vanek in particular, not pulling out all the stops in that final game.

Max, however, had scored the winning goal in both the Tampa and Boston series which eliminated those teams, so it wasn’t like he was going through the motions. He’s enjoyed some fine moments. But Guy was focused mostly on game six of the Rangers series when all the boys, not just Max, were stuck in mud.

Vanek, I still don’t know. Guy might have a point there. The guy had helped kickstart the team into another level when he joined them, but was definitely a disappointment in the postseason, not just game six but throughout.

But he’s probably gone anyway so it doesn’t matter what Guy says about it.

Some guys think out loud like Guy, others don’t. Bobby Orr’s teammates in Boston said that if they weren’t playing well in big games, they’d look over at Orr in the dressing room and he’d be glaring at certain guys. No words, just two eyes. If Orr was glaring at you, it wasn’t good.

Lafleur’s very much like Maurice Richard in some ways. Rocket sometimes couldn’t contain himself either, and after too much criticism in his ghost-written newspaper column, sometimes about other players and teams but particularly about league prez Clarence Campbell, Rocket was told to forget the column or else.

But no one could tell Guy to forget his blog. He could carry about things and Gary Bettman or Geoff Molson couldn’t say a thing.

C’mon Guy, start your blog. Get it all out, right or wrong, and make some serious coin doing it.

 

 

Vanek And Gang Come Through

Win one for Patrick was the rallying cry for the Colorado Avalanche. His team was going to play a big offensive game, promised Patrick.

And they lost 6-3.

It’s one of my happiest moments in this long season. A huge win and two more big points.

They did it with energy and lots of time in the Avs’ end. And Thomas Vanek finally broke through in dramatic fashion by scoring three times.

Two wins on the weekend and a huge mother of a win tonight. Patrick loses, Habs win, Vanek breaks out, and it’s just a feel good story all round.

It looked dire in the beginning though, with 18-year old Nathan McKinnon opening the scoring, and then it became 2-1 Colorado in the second after Vanek had previously tied it.

But the second period also saw the puck often in the Avs’ end, the Canadiens showed lots of energy, and when Travis Moen took a pass from a sprawling Brandon Prust, wheeled in reverse and backhanded it home to tie the thing at two, it was game on.

Everyone in the building – fans, both teams, Patrick, all knew that the Avs weren’t about to have their way.

This was a game that had playoff vibes. It was important. And the Canadiens came through.

Prust blasted one home in the third, the Avs tied it, but then the Canadiens power play, and in particular Vanek, went to work and just like that, it was 5-3 for the good guys.

Dale Weise, who was involved in a scrap in the first, salted it away with an empty netter as the clock wound down.

Most impressive was the fact that the Canadiens never sat back, didn’t go into their defensive shell, and kept things interesting in the Colorado end all night.

That’s what we need to see from the boys. They’re a skating team, and when they’re flying they can get things done. Forget the New Jersey-style. Put the pedal to the metal.

Prust ended with a goal, an assist, and second star.  First star Vanek with three and his linemates DD and Max each collected two assists. Moen scored his beauty, Emelin had two assists, and Weise was an assist short of a Gordie Howe hat trick.

Just a great night. A wonderful night. Unless you’re Patrick Roy, that is.

Random Notes:

Maybe the miracle on Saturday night really did light a fire.

Shots on goal – Habs 36, Avs 28.

Montreal went 2/3 on the power play, and this is the Vanek factor at work.

Next up – Columbus Blue Jackets in town on Thursday. Once again, can’t wait.

 

 

 

Two Big Points In Buffalo

Dustin Tokarski and company blank the Buffalo Sabres 2-0 on Sunday night, and although it wasn’t a classic, the Canadiens were in control for the most part and they have to feel good about that.

Score four goals in less than five minutes on Saturday, and have their third-string netminder pull off a shutout on Sunday. That’s Habs magic to me.

Just a mighty successful weekend that sees the gang remaining nicely lodged in playoff shape instead of slipping and sliding and having us all wondering if the post season is in the cards or not.

The Canadiens, with this win, jump ahead of Toronto into second place in the Atlantic Division, bump Tampa Bay down to a wild card spot, and are a lofty third overall in the east.

Third overall. It’s amazing.

But there can be no serious faltering. That’s when we get mad at them and we hate that.

Both goals In Buffalo came midway through the first, with Dale Weise scoring his first as a Hab and Brendan Gallagher notching his seventeenth. And for Toker between the pipes, it was his first NHL shutout.

Now the task at hand is to prepare for Patrick and the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night. How sweet it would be to win this and there’s no reason why they can’t.

The boys have picked it up, and although some fans are getting impatient with Thomas Vanek, I don’t think it should be the case.

Vanek’s getting solid chances, he and linemates DD and Max have been dangerous often, and whether or not he’s scored, a new and important dimension has been added with him in the lineup even though it’s not always obvious.

Random Notes:

Habs outshot the Sabres 32-28.

Lars Eller skated well and showed confidence. Same with Weise.

And speaking of confidence, PK certainly had his moments. Fine moments. In particular, one play late in the game when he dazzled with the puck on his feet and stick. If only he would’ve scored.

Sabres For The Third Time

Canadiens face the Sabres in Buffalo tonight (7:00 pm), and after the drama of last night, the boys should play with big time passion.

One would think anyways.

Unless they were so pumped from last night none of them could sleep and tonight they play like it.

Carey Price is staying behind to get some added rest for his knee before Patrick Roy’s gang arrives on Tuesday, and why not? A few extra days to get the knee shipshape is smart.

And beating Patrick and his pupils would be incredibly satisfying for all concerned. Including us of course.

I just hope Price didn’t damage it slightly more last night.

The Habs and Sabres have squared off twice before in this year, beginning on November 27 in Buffalo when the Canadiens won 3-1, which was their fourth straight win at the time.

It was also the night Douglas Murray and behemoth John Scott went toe to toe and although Murray fared well, his face ended up a bloodied mess.

The second time these two teams met was on December 7th, a game Luci and I were at, and which ended in a 3-2 win for the Canadiens, although they played poorly.

At that point the boys had won 9 of 10 games and had caught Pittsburgh for first place in the east, but it was the beginning of some mediocre outings for the team which had been going so well up until then.

The Canadiens would lose their next three of four, get into some maddening “win one, lose one” sequences, and even get to a point not long after when they lost six of eight games.

After that December 7th game against Buffalo and up until now, Montreal has won 17 of 37 games, which has kept them in the thick of things, but isn’t exactly overwhelming.

Hoping we can look back at the March 15th comeback win at the Bell as the beginning of great things for the Canadiens. Which means a big game  tonight in Buffalo to get the ball rolling.

 

 

 

Patrick Had It Planned?

A different angle to the Patrick Roy saga has come to light, thanks to a new CBC interview with former goaltender Mike Vernon.

I first listened to this after Robert Lefebvre has put it up on Facebook, and it really puts a new slant on the night of Dec. 2, 1995 when Patrick let in nine goals against the visiting Red Wings.

Patrick was eventually pulled, he skated to the bench, stormed by coach Mario Tremblay, and told Habs prez Ronald Corey that he’d never play another game for the Canadiens. He was traded to Colorado shortly after.

Everyone blamed Tremblay (and GM Rejean Houle) for sabotaging the goalie, for humiliating him by leaving him in net for far too long. Saint Patrick had been humiliated and not treated with the proper respect. It just wasn’t right.

And then we have the Mike Vernon interview.

For the first time, this has come out. Vernon, who was playing goal for Detroit, says he was sitting in a coffee shop earlier in the day when Patrick, whom he didn’t really know, walked in, sat beside him, and began complaining about the pressure and stress of playing in Montreal. He explained how difficult it was because of the media, fans, and such, and Vernon’s reply was to to tell Patrick that he needed to get out of there. He needed to get traded.

That night, Patrick went out, allowed nine goals, and forced the trade.

It looks like it was his own doing. It seems he may have very well let shots go in that he normally would have stopped. All part of the master plan to get out of Montreal.

The radio interview with Vernon can be heard here Mike Vernon talks about Patrick with the Patrick part somewhere around the eight minute mark.

This is huge news. Patrick tanked to force a trade.

 

 

Canadiens Dumped In Denver

Peter Budaj loses his first of the season, P.K. Subban has definitely seen better nights, and the Canadiens start the month of November by dropping their first two games.

Time to right the ship before they find themselves in a mess of trouble.

It began with a couple of first period fights, one between Ryan White and Cody McLeod, and two minutes later a heavyweight tilt between George Parros and Patrick Bordeleau, with the two big boys falling to the ice at the end of the tussle providing us with a split second vision of George cracking his head again.

He didn’t crack the noggin, thank goodness. But his wife must be in the habit of covering her eyes.

Quite a job George has. Fight for no real reason and risk another head injury. We don’t need this good Princeton boy to end up like Mohammed Ali.

Colorado opened the scoring in the second period, and then the Hab player most deserving to score, Brendan Gallagher, did just that on the power play in the third period to tie things up. But P.K. Subban left a man open in front of Budaj, and then gave the puck away behind the net which led to another, and that nice 1-1 tie that had us thinking they just may get it done vanished into thin air as it quickly became 3-1, and finally 4-1 with an empty-netter.

Now it’s the tough St. Louis Blues to contend with on Tuesday, and then the rival Sens on Thursday.

It won’t be easy, but you know the Habs. They love to surprise us with their Jekyll and Hyde routine. We may see a spirited club firing on all cylinders, or the winless November will keep rolling along.

It’s tough to be a Habs fan.

All in all the Canadiens weren’t terrible, but way too many guys are quiet now, and players continue to miss the net on great, close-in chances. It’s maddening. Hit the net, boys. You only get so many good chances in any game and when you do, at least make a rebound happen. Maybe you should try straight blades.

Random Notes:

Colorado edged the Canadiens 31-30.

Max played a fine game, skated like the wind, and rang one off the cross bar. He and the kids were the best Habs by a long shot. Gallagher especially was a Tasmanian Devil.

Good night. Did you put your clock back?

 

 

Habs Visit That Patrick Fellow

Habs vs. Patrick Roy and his Colorado Avalanche in what should be a great night if Montreal can beat those Denver dudes.

I’m hoping Patrick gets so upset he loses his mind, jumps on the ice, and reinforces the widely-held fact that there’s a serious streak of craziness in him. He’s a loose cannon, but I still hear on talk radio and such that down the road Patrick will be behind the Canadiens’ bench.

I hope he never is, although a lot of people feel differently and my opinion isn’t overly popular with some. I’m just not a big fan of the guy. And he’ll probably be on his best behaviour tonight because I’m sure he’d love to coach the Habs in the near future.

I wonder if Michel Therrien feels that too.

I bought Patrick’s 12″ figurine when it was in Walmart several years, and I paid almost $30. Now I see that it’s in the $250 range. This I like about Patrick.

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Habs Whacked By Wild

It was almost a heroic road game. Down 2-1 in Minnesota after two periods. Down 3-1 in the third. Then they tied it up.

And then they lost 4-3.

Damn. A point or two down the drain because Jason Pominville was left wide open near Carey Price with five and half minutes left. Which was enough to send 20 Habs dads, who were there on their annual road trip, to find the nearest watering hole to drown their sorrows.

Drown their sorrows? I don’t think so. Their kid plays for the Montreal Canadiens. They’re happy. It’s the rest of us who think the game sucked.

The Egg Line was pesky for much of the evening, and although Eller, Galchenyuk and Gallagher once said that they’re not crazy about the name “EGG”, what else can it be? Kids?

Maybe they’re not crazy about that either. Anyway, it’s not their call. We decide on the name, not them.

Carey Price wasn’t sensational but not terrible either. At least better than the Steve Mason/Ray Emery duo who combined to allow seven goals in the Washington Capitals’ 7-0 slaughter of the Flyers Friday night.

Brendan Gallagher tied the game at one against those Wild, in the third P.K. blasted one home on the power play to close the gap to 3-2, and not long after, Brian Gionta tied it up and the dads and Habs fans of the world were happy.

But soon after, it all went down the proverbial toilet.

Can’t win ‘em all. Wish they could but of course it’s asking too much. Just win on Saturday, several more in a row after that, and all’s forgiven.

Random Notes:

Habs outshot the Wild 31-25.

Andrei Markov assisted on all three goals, P.K. had a goal and assist, and Alex Galchenyuk assisted on Gallagher’s opener.

George Parros returned from injury with his mustache shaved off. Maybe he should grow it back after being minus-3 in his almost five minutes of ice time.

David Desharnais remains frozen with just one assist so far this year.

Next up – Saturday evening in Denver to take on Patrick Roy’s red-hot Avs. How great it would be to see the bleu, blanc et rouge stick it to Patrick’s pupils.

Apparently Max will be suiting up, once again coming back from injury sooner than expected. Maybe he can help pull DD out of his ridiculous slump.

Habs Dunk Dallas

Great way to close out the October part of the schedule as the Canadiens edge the visiting Dallas Stars 2-1 on goals by Michael Bournival in the first and Rene Bourque in the second and find themselves with a tidy eight wins and five losses, good enough to be way up near the penthouse.

Imagine that. Way up near the top. It’s just so much better than hovering around the eighth and ninth spots.

Pretty proud of the boys right now. They’re finding ways to get it done with key guys on the sidelines. And Carey Price and Peter Budaj are combining to stop ‘em when called upon. Although Price was a tad asleep on Dallas’ lone goal, a shot from far out that might have been screened or might have simply caught Price by surprise.

Whatever it was, our goalie was slow to react.

But it’s nitpicking. Our backstoppers are keeping pucks out of the net in a big way  – one tonight, none on Monday, two from the Sharks, one from Anaheim. Really impressive.

Now the Canadiens take a little trip, first to Minnesota for a Friday night tilt with the Wild, and then to Denver to meet Patrick Roy and his Avalanche on Saturday, which should be fun. The Avs are red hot and need to have cold water poured over their collective heads.

Shots on goal – Dallas 27, Montreal 24.

Great night, lively action, the boys were skating well, and it’s a big two points.

All’s well on the Eastern Conference front.

 

 

 

And The Habs Goalie Is…….

Is this Carey Price? What do you think?

From Les Canadiens magazine:

What made the season even more remarkable is that he had to overcome all forms of adversity simply to remain with the team, and as much as his employers insist he was their only choice to start the playoffs, there were occasions in the season – early and late – when there were small signs that he didn’t have the full confidence of people around him.

For good reason, too.

The kid doesn’t play well on some nights, and the sneak, little whispers start. There must have been nights when he heard them or, at the very least, read them in the eyes of players sitting near him in the dressing room.

During the regular season, for example, he experienced considerable difficulty putting together two good games in a row.

Outwardly, at least, there was no sign from him that he felt any of the pressure, or was influenced by any rumbles of discontent. That, in many ways, describes what he is all about.

“There were times when I was feeling pretty bad during the regular season, ” he said, “particularly when the team was going bad late in the season. I know a lot of people were unhappy. I was unhappy, but that’s also when a lot of people helped.”

“One of the people who helped him a lot,” says the Canadiens GM, “is his father. He comes from a very good family, and that always helps.

“I spoke to him a lot last season,” he said, “and I’m sure I’ll speak to him a lot next season when things aren’t going as well as they should be. I talk to him about my technique, but that’s nothing new. Ever since i started playing, he would talk to me about my game.”

“Near the end of last season, he would tell me things like I was holding my glove too high, or that I was going to the ice too much.”

“The great thing about him,” says a teammate, “is that he doesn’t let anything bother him. He doesn’t change.”

“I try to stay the same. I tried to stay the same last season. I try to relax and not let things bother me.”

It’s Patrick Roy, after winning the Conn Smythe Trophy and Stanley Cup in 1986.

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