Habs On The Road. Bonding With The Blues

I’m only just now looking at the new schedule because I’ve been battling an eyeball situation, but I see that the Canadiens open up on the road, hitting Toronto, Buffalo, and then a three-city west coast swing which takes them to Calgary, Vancouver, and Edmonton.

This might just be what the doctor ordered. All the new faces in the lineup, bonding early rather than later with the old faces on a good old west coach swing. And they get away from the pressure cooker before the pressure cooker is even turned on.

In Calgary, the boys can go out and take in the Calgary Zoo. They can go to the monkey cage and maybe see what myself and a bunch of others saw. A monkey sat behind the glass, looked at us with big eyes, and proceeded to play with himself until his eyes got even bigger. Mothers shielded their kids and scurried off. Japanese tourists talked politely, maybe snapped a few pictures, and carried on in orderly fashion. 

I myself looked at the monkey with great admiration. Imagine all those eyes on you and you don’t even give a shit?

Something like this is invaluable. Scott Gomez and Mike Cammellari and the old and new of the team would have a good topic to bring up in the dressing room when the pressure gets umbearable. Everyone would laugh and loosen up, at the poor monkey’s expense.

In Vancouver, the guys can bond at the Yale Hotel, listening to the best blues in the city, and hoping not to get shot at when they go out on the darkened Granville Street afterwards. Tip to the players – call a cab beforehand and when it arrives, dive into it like you’re Michael Phelps and get the hell back to your hotel.

But the blues is heavenly. And on second thought, that area of Vancouver isn’t seedy and dangerous. Okay, maybe it is.

In Edmonton, the team can band together, old and new, by looking out their hotel window and seeing snow falling lazily from the sky. It’s early October in Edmonton. Almost winter.Very soon it’s going to get so cold you’d think Gary Bettman and Jim Balsillie had just met in an elevator. Or they can go en masse to the West Edmonton Mall at gawk at ladies in bikinis at the wave pool and whisper crude yet very funny remarks to each other that hurries up the bonding process.

Opening on the road is a way to find out if any of the new guys are easy card marks and a new and quick way to make extra money on the side. It’s a chance to find out about players on other teams from which the new guys came from. If Jerome Iginla really likes Michael Bolton or Celine Dion, this can be valuable trash talk on Saddledome ice.

Scoott Gomez can relate Sean Avery stories from New York. Maybe Avery walks old ladies across streets and tips hotel housekeepers. Brian Gionta might show a different side when he punches out the first guy who calls him Tom Thumb.

Very quickly the team will become very close from all these monkeys and snow and the blues. Then they go back for a six-game home stand where they’ll probably kick some serious ass.

14 thoughts on “Habs On The Road. Bonding With The Blues”

  1. I think the road trip to start the season is just what the doctor ordered.

    Take away some of the pressure that exists with the whole new lineup thing in Montreal. Give them some chances to have fun and build chemistry in the dressing room, on the ice and outside of the rink…. by doing team activities…. like going to see that monkey(?)…

    I can’t wait for the season. But I guess I have to.

  2. I can’t wait either. Forget about summer. It’s only two weeks long anyway. They should go see the monkey. Absolutely.

  3. Number one priority is to kick the Leaf’s asses first, that would be a brilliant start. Oh and Laraque pounding Komo would be nice too.

  4. How sweet it would be. And on Nov. 5th, they’re in Boston to do some more ass-kicking. I can hardly wait.

  5. I can’t wait to see how Moen fits in there too… against the Leafs and Bruins…

    And…. I’m also hopin’ Gregory Stewart gets some love and playin’ time.

    Why can’t we start the season tomorrow??

  6. I’ve got a t-shirt that says “the hell with summer, drop the puck.” If only George Laraque picked it up several notches. But it ain’t gonna happen, I’m afraid.

  7. You’re acting like Vancouver is East LA or something. It’s not that dangerous at all. You live in Montreal right? Then you’ll be fine considering it’s probably safer than Montreal or Toronto. Nicer city overall as well.

  8. No, I live in Powell River, just up the road. And I know in general Vancouver is fairly safe but I’m talking about the Granville St. stretch down by the Yale, where in the past and near-present there’s been numerous shootings and gang activity. If you know Vancouver, then you’ll know this area I’m talking about. And I only mentioned this part of the city in my post, not other parts. Just there. I used to live in Vancouver, and I lived in Toronto and Montreal too.

  9. I remember the Granville St area.

    There were colorful characters in that area last time I was out there…. ’bout 10 years ago.

  10. And I love the blues and loved going to the Yale. But then Vancouver friends started warning me about the area late and night and now my wife doesn’t want to go near there. And she loves the blues too. Vancouver really is a terrific city, very beautiful, and I was only mentioning this seedy and dangerous area. So what I was saying was if the team wants to hear the blues, go to the Yale, but jump in a cab quick and get out of there.

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