Category Archives: Vancouver Canucks

Rick Parks His 18 Wheeler To See The Habs And Senators

The Montreal Canadiens have now zoomed off to Florida to try to forget The Chaos in Kanata, The Nightmare Near Nepean, The Outflank in Ottawa. I remember a few years back when I was humming and hawing about buying tickets when the Habs were coming to Vancouver, but couldn’t get the time off. In that game, the Canucks scored six goals in the first period.

The game in Ottawa was the same thing. Just when we think Montreal might be a serious contender, they get their rear-ends spanked. What a humiliating and embarassing night. Just like in Vancouver a few years ago.

I’m so disgusted in my team right now, I think I’ll just let my trucker friend Rick, in Ottawa, tell it like it is. It’s all yours, Rick. I’m going back to bed.

“Don’t you just hate that?” says Rick.  “The anticipation level rises all week, and then escalates on Saturday afternoon during the Laffs and Wings game. You wipe out the popcorn bowl and refill it with a fresh crop. Pop a cold pint and sit down to the long-awaited game, and BOOM, it’s over in 4 minutes.

“I was kinda hoping Montreal would make a game of it, but no such luck. Ottawa’s top line only played 3 to 4 minutes in the third period, but Montreal still didn’t stand a chance. Son of Fred (Alfredsson) and the boys had already shut them down earlier.

“Things are normal around here – all the naysayers about this team can all sleep in this morning and take the day off. It is scary that a team (Ottawa) depends so much on one line, but as a Habs fan, I guess you already know that. Kovalev disappeared last night after the big hit by Fisher on him – kind of like last week’s game against the Rangers where he started off great and then seemed sucked up by the ice as the game and his body from the hitting wore on.

“I felt really bad for Huet because no one could have stopped the Sens early in the game – they just seemed to unload a month of baggage in the first 5 minutes.

“Anyway, the old ‘which direction is the truck heading is now reversed this week.’

Those Who Would, And Wouldn’t, Look Good In A Montreal Canadien Sweater

DEFINITELY NOT:

Daniel Briere:  This is a guy who wants to collect his millions the easy way, in relative obscurity, so when he has a bad game no one notices. This is not a Montreal Canadien. I feel he’s a little shy in the cahoonie department.

Trevor Linden:  He tried it, but was a bum there. Wearing the Habs jersey must have interfered with his wet dreams about the wet coast.

Sean Avery:  If Avery ever becomes a Canadien, I’m taking up cricket. GO PAKISTAN!

Todd Bertuzzi:  I shouldn’t have brought this up. Now I’m going to have nightmares all night.

Steve Downie:  Players who try to injure other players is certainly no Montreal Canadien.

He belongs in Philadelphia.

Mike Milbury:  There’s nothing like a supreme smart-ass to play in Boston and not Montreal.

Matthew Barnaby:  Such a mediocre talent. And he’d have that smile on his face after he’d get his head kicked in.  Sean Avery, Jarkko Ruutu, and Steve Downey learned their smile from this guy. I shudder just thinking about him in a Habs jersey.

DEFINITELY YES:

Bobby Orr:  Yep.

Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux:  Yep.

Gilbert Perreault:  This is a guy who should’ve played in Montreal. Talk about a Flying Frenchman. However, he did bail out on Team Canada in 1972, so that’s a big strike against him.

Vincent Lecavalier:  Big strong French-Canadian centreman like Jean Beliveau. His grandfather would’ve been so proud to see him in a Habs jersey.

Sidney Crosby:  If he had had a say in it, he’d be wearing the red, white, and blue right now.

Jean Ratelle:   Another tall, strong French-Canadian centreman. Geez, was he ever out of place in Boston.

Marcel Dionne:  It basically came down to Lafleur or Dionne, as Montreal couldn’t grab both. I’m glad it was Lafleur, but Dionne would’ve looked good in the jersey also.

Valeri Kharlamov:  The great Russian was at the mercy of political bullshit in Moscow and there’s no way he would ever have been released to play in North America. He would’ve looked fantastic in Habs colours, though.

Vladislav Tretiak:  He didn’t hide the fact he would have loved to play in Montreal, but the same applied to him as did Kharlamov. Anyway, Montreal had Dryden.

Pamela Anderson:  With or without the sweater.

Dennis Kane:  If only he was taller, faster, stronger, smarter, with a better shot, and was a better fighter and skater, he would’ve looked FANTASTIC in a Montreal Canadien sweater.

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?

Merry Christmas to All Human Beings and Also Vancouver Canucks Fans

Merry Christmas to Lawrence and Sarah and Rob and Patti and Sandy and Jack Kerouac. Merry Christmas to the Rocket, Jean Beliveau, Bob Dylan, the Beatles, dead and alive, to Sophia Loren and Brigitte Bardot, Cate Blanchette, Humphrey Bogart, the female professionals on Dancing With the Stars, the gang at the Ferries, and Ashley Judd. Merry Christmas to Saku and Comrades Alexei, Sergei, and Andrei. Merry Christmas to Red Fisher, Frank, Mike the Head and Diana, Danny, Bruce, Jasmyne, Delaney, Wendy, and Kerry, Bob, two lovely Kathy’s, Susan, and Pam Anderson. Merry Christmas to the guy who stuck his head in the horn speaker at Atlantic City, to the guys who invented foreplay and the printing press, and to DB Cooper who jumped out of a jetliner with thousands of stolen dollars and was never caught. Merry Christmas to Ed Sullivan, Van Morrison, Bruce Springsteen, Gary and Diane, Carey Price, Rick and Marge, Aurel Joliet, and Pit Lepine. Merry Christmas to the staff at Zapravka in St. Petersburg and TC’s in Powell River. Merry Christmas to the nice lady at Wilf’s, Bill Bryson, Guy Lafleur, Mikhail Gorbachev, my kids, my wife Luciena, the cat, to all humans, and also to Canucks fans. Merry Christmas to everyone who likes my column in the Peak and everyone who reads this blog. Merry Christmas to the Montreal Canadiens, who have warmed my heart and also made me want to commit violent acts. Merry Christmas to everyone who likes me, because I like you.

My Friend, Gary Lupul

Several Months ago, my friend Gary Lupul passed away. He was an ex-Vancouver Canuck, a proud Powell Riverite, and a guy I was close to. The following is my column about Gary published in the Powell River Peak, July 26, 2007.


The last time I saw Gary was about a month ago, and he promised to come over to my house for a barbeque after he got back from seeing his daughter in Vancouver.

Now he won’t be coming. He’s gone, and there’ll be no more stories, no more happy visits, no more of a lot of things from this fantastic, down-to-earth, happy-go-lucky guy. A big hole has entered my life and it’s not going to go away.

Some athletes carry a distant persona long after they’ve retired from the spotlight. Some are almost unapproachable. Many have large egos, stroked from their years in front of cameras. But not Gary. This ex-Canuck connected with everyone, from every walk of life. He’d had his own hard knocks, and you could see in his eyes and voice that he had special feelings, a sort of kinship, for those who’d been through tough times. You could also see he was equally at home at the other end of the spectrum, and so he was everyman.

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When you were with Gary, you saw what his larger-than-life character could do. People couldn’t help but smile when he was around. They laughed because he was a really funny guy. He wanted to know how everyone was doing, from the kids to the job, to all of the family. He was interested in everyone, and it was genuine because he had such a huge heart. He was a hard one to go to a hockey game with because he couldn’t sit still. He was always up and about, saying hello to people, mixing with the crowd, and being his friendly self. I used to just give up wondering where he’d gone and watch the game, knowing he’d come back to his seat eventually.

When Gary was scouting in Ontario, he’d phone me from his car from time to time, telling me where he was, filling me in on some of the young guns he’d seen play, or that he was just passing through my hometown, Orillia, and how nice it was. And he always asked about my health and my life, because he cared and I truly felt this.

I watched him weave his magic around children. I saw all the time how much he loved Powell River. And he was puzzled that my team was the Habs and not the Canucks, who he never stopped loving and who were certainly part of his heart and soul.

Years ago, when I was having my own problems, before I remarried and got things back on track, and Gary had yet to get his scouting job with the Canucks, we would spend nights until dawn sharing our thoughts. They were marathon chats, just letting things out, and it was at these times when we really bonded. It wasn’t long ago, on one of those times when he phoned from Ontario, that we talked about how important those all-night talks were, and how grateful we both were for them.

Gary loved people so much, and he worried that because his personal troubles had cut his career short, he hadn’t lived up to everyone’s expectations. But in my eyes, and in all his friends’ eyes, he met every expectation. He was one of the greatest guys I’ve ever known. I’m really going to miss him.

 
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Sandy The Vancouver Canucks Girlie Who Never Agreed That Todd Bertuzzi Looked Like Frankenstein

Every year Sandy and I have a bet on who will finish the season with the most points, Vancouver or Montreal. I won two years ago, and she squeaked in last year. I gave her a nice homemade trophy which didn’t bother me because I’m mature. So I have just one thing to say to you, Sandy. As soon as the Forum gods wake up, and as soon as the trade is made for Vincent Lacavalier, and as soon as Guy Carbooneau gets fired, and as soon as Michael Ryder, Saku Koivu, Alex Kovalev and four or five others get traded, and as soon as the Habs hire me as their hockey writer, and as soon as I win the lottery, and as soon as Pamela Anderson comes to my door to borrow a cup of sugar, then you’ll be begging for tips on becoming a good, solid Montreal Canadiens fan.

But until then, I’m worried.