Bring On The Broad Street Broads

Daniel Briere didn’t want the pressure that goes with being a Montreal Canadien, so he signed with the Philadelphia Flyers instead. This young French Canadian star would have been a huge hero in Quebec. He would have been a star in the kingdome of hockey, Montreal. If he had a great seven years or so with the Habs, he’d be treated as royalty there for the rest of his life.

But Briere wanted no part of this.

I don’t think he has the balls to be a star in Montreal.

Now he has to play the Habs in round 1. Then, when the series ends, he can crawl back into obscurity.

I watched the Flyers play four times against Montreal this year, and also in game seven against the Capitals, and I don’t see much. Mike Richards needs to be stopped. Steve Downie’s going to take a lot of penalties and has a brief history of cheap shots. Defenceman Derian Hatcher has been around since the 1970’s, hasn’t he?  He’s slow. I can see Kovalev and the Kostitsyns’s burning him on a regular basis. Briere’s their leading point getter with 10 points so far in the playoffs. He’s a slippery bugger, but he’s small, and the Habs need to quickly make him inconsequential.

Montreal just needs to remember what they did in game seven against the Bruins. Attack instead of being attacked. I think it’s simple.  

Game note:

Game one begins Thursday night 

 

 

Please Don’t Paint Us All With The Same Brush. Those Hooligans Aren’t Habs Fans.

I woke this morning and saw the news. The news out of Montreal that following the beautiful 5-0 game that rid us of the Bruins, Montrealer’s rioted in the streets, looted, burned police cars, and in general, carried on like mindless fools.

So this is an open letter to everyone, from Habs fans everwhere. Those who carried out such boorish behaviour ARE NOT MONTREAL CANADIENS FANS. I repeat, ARE NOT MONTREAL CANADIENS FANS. They’re a bunch of drunken, idiotic, low IQ’d, stupid, low-class, brain dead, low-life hooligans who can’t get a girl or function in society, who pick their noses and eat it, and who still poop their pants from time to time even though they’re twenty five years old. 

These fools, who wouldn’t know Jean Beliveau if he personally delivered their welfare cheques, saw an opportunity to show off their talent for lighting matches and breaking windows. They are, for lack of a better phrase, quite stupid. The only hooking and holding they know is when they spend twenty bucks to buy the girl of their dreams for half an hour.

These greaseballs have been trying all their lives to be in the papers, to break a window and steal an umbrella, to torch a police car and hope for applause. 

I seriously wish there was a shoot-to-kill edict issued. It would be kind of like bringing down the rat population. 

Think about it, Montreal police force, for after the next round.

Montreal fans, real Montreal fans, sat back last night and reflected. Montreal fans felt relief and satisfaction. They celebrated as mature, normal, hockey-loving adults and young adults. They thought about what went wrong during the series, and what went right. They thought about the next round, about the Rangers and the Flyers.

Montreal fans went to bed proud, happy, and unbelievably relieved.

THEY DIDN’T LOOT, BURN, AND FIGHT.

Montreal Remembers Their Game Just In Time And Puts Stake In The Bruins

 GAME 7

 It wasn’t their best game of the season, but it was certainly their best game of the playoffs. By far their best game. A beautiful 5-0 shutout. It’s like getting rid of a big boil on your nose.

Monday night, game seven, we saw the Montreal Canadiens we had become used to throughout the regular season. They attacked. They skated. They played with poise. And that’s the way they should have being playing all along in this opening round. 

Maybe they’ve learned something from this stressful seven game experience with the Bruins. From now on, we do the attacking, not the other guys. 

So what happened for the Montreal Canadiens, down and out after blowing a three games to one lead, with the Bruins carrying all the confidence and momentum going into this deciding game? How could they come out in game seven, find the game they were desperately looking for, and skate away with a mouth-watering 5-0 shutout to eliminate the pesky Bruins?

Carey Price kept them in it early in the game, and then it was like a lightswitch went on. The Canadiens suddenly remembered how they won the eastern conference. Everyone stepped it up, they attacked, and the Bruins became no match.

Alex Kovalev was flying, so were the guys who had been in a funk – the Kostitsyn’s, Tomas Plekanec, Chris Higgins, Mark Streit, and about ten others.  Carey Price, who went from giving up ten goals in two games to none when it counted the most, in game seven, was fabulous, and showed he doesn’t rattle in a pressure cooker.

Guy Carbonneau was no longer outcoached by Claude Julien, and whatever he did to get the team to open it up like they did, he’s got to bottle it and feed it to his players in the second round.

And what a difference Saku Koivu makes when he’s in the lineup.

The Bruins were good, fought hard, they stressed out me and most Habs fans, and I’m glad they’re out of there. I’ve had enough of Zdeno Chara and his shorter teammates. They were good, but Montreal showed that when they’re firing on all cylinders, they’re better. 

So it becomes this – If Philadelphia eliminates Washington, then Montreal plays Philadelphia in the next round. But if Washington wins, Montreal takes on Sean Avery and the New York Rangers.

I don’t care who it is. Bring em on!

Just play every game like Monday’s game, boys, and you’ll take out either one of them.

 

The Night We All Said Thank You To Maurice ‘Rocket’ Richard

I feel just a small break from the stress of the Boston-Montreal series is needed right now.  Montreal fans were so optimistic going into round one, but the team hasn’t played well, and going into game seven Monday night, Boston carries all the momentum and good feelings.

So I feel we need a change of pace, go back to our roots, and check in with the maestro,  the hero of so many, the man who wore the CH not just on his sweater, but also on his heart, the great Maurice ‘Rocket’ Richard.

On March 11, 1996, following a game between Dallas and Montreal, the Canadiens and fans said goodbye to the Montreal Forum. The lights were dimmed, and Montreal Canadien captains from over the years walked onto the Forum ice. Emile Bouchard, Jean Beliveau, Henri Richard, Yvon Cournoyer, Serge Savard, Bob Gainey, Guy Carbonneau, Pierre Turgeon, and of course, number nine, Maurice Richard.

A torch was lit and was passed to Butch Bouchard. Bouchard then passed it to the Rocket, and the emotional fans in the beautiful old building, the wondrous Forum, erupted in an explosion of cheers, tears, memories, and thank you’s to the greatest Hab ever. Fans weren’t only saying goodbye to the old building, but were also saying thank you to the Rocket, who had done so much to create the mystique that is the Montreal Canadiens, a man whose deeds, fire, passion, success, and humility continues to make all Montreal fans, young and old, proud of the team, and a man the emotional Quebec Habs fans embraced and clung to through rocky political and cultural times in the province. 

The Rocket was my boyhood hero, stayed that way long after he retired, and remains my hero even today. I met him once, but that’s a story for another day.

Here’s a small clip of that night in 1996, when Montreal Canadiens fans, in a 16 minute standing ovation that left most in tears, said thank you to The Rocket. And he wasn’t even sure why. Because he would always say, “I’m just a hockey player.”

Enjoy. 

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1FvJzhg2nE

Let’s Just Bury Game Six And Concentrate On Game Seven

  GAME 6

The picture is now crystal clear. Boston has figured Montreal out, and Montreal doesn’t know how to figure Boston out. Claude Julien understands how playoff hockey works, adjusted nicely, and his team has delivered.

Tonight, it became a 5-4 Bruins win, and it was a game that surely has left all Habs fans grumbling and more than slightly pissed off.

Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau has not been able to light a fire under his boys, and so again, in this game six, it meant four Boston goals in the third period, the same as in game five. It meant five goals scored again by Boston, the same as in game five. It meant that again, Montreal was flat, their power play was flat, and although Chris Higgins and Tomas Plekanec finally broke out of their scoreless draught, it was a non-effort by almost everyone on the Montreal team.

Or maybe it wasn’t so much a non-effort by Montreal, but a better effort by Boston.

So I don’t want to but I have to ask this one question, a question which makes me uneasy, but I feel must be addressed. Are there too many Europeans on the Montreal Canadiens to understand what it takes to win in playoff hockey?

The playoffs aren’t the regular season. And for a couple of decades now, we’ve seen many examples of players from across the pond not understanding the importance of the Stanley Cup, unlike North Americans, especially Canadians, who have this emotion implanted in their hearts and souls.

I hear from Canucks fans all the time how the Sedin twins, from Sweden, are the furthest things from playoff performers. 

If you say this is bullshit and I’m out of line, then where have the European Habs gone?

Russian-born Alex Kovalev, mentioned as a possible league MVP, has brought his game down a couple of serious notches and is no more the straw that stirs the drink during Montreal’s once daunting power play. The Kostitsyn’s, from Belarus, can’t crack Boston’s playoff checking. Tomas Plekanec, from the Czech Republic, was an offensive marvel during the regular season, and now is playing like he’d rather be some place else. Switzerland’s Mark Streit is playing like he belongs in the American Hockey League.

Even Russian Andrei Markov, frequently called one of the top defensemen in the entire league, has posed no threat whatsoever.

This is a very disappointing turn of events. It was such a short time ago that talk of a Stanley Cup was rampant throughout Hab universe, but now this is a team hanging by a thread, playing scared, playing tight and nervous, while Boston is a team of happy campers, feeling good about themselves, and can’t wait for game seven Monday night.

Of course Montreal can redeem themselves in one game and make everyone forget they haven’t deserved this series. They can win still, make no mistake about that. They’ve been a team of surprises all year, and now it’s time to pull one last trick out of their bag.

But so far, and it pains me to say this, I haven’t seen a Stanley Cup contender from my Montreal Canadiens.

 

Al Jazeera, A Fan Mugging, Bin Laden, And Some Excellent Excuses For The Habs

I think it’s important that you should know that:

The Middle-East newspaper Al Jazeera prints the NHL standings.

This is the paper that Bin Laden and his band of bearded brutes use when they want to send a message to the wicked west.

Is it possible that Bin Laden reads the NHL standings?

Could Bin Laden be a Habs fan?

This is my own opinion, but I would have to guess that Bin Laden grew up cheering for the Broad Street Bullies, is now rooting for the Bruins, and also likes Sean Avery.

I wonder if Bin Laden and his greasy pranksters clip the standings out of the Al Jazeera sports section and have a hockey pool every year.

There’s a rink in a mall in Dubai where locals skate and play hockey. Maybe Bin Laden and pals get together at 11:30 Wednesday nights for their beer league game.

IN OTHER NEWS:

In a shocking display of poor sportmanship, the Boston Bruins have refused to let the Montreal Canadiens win easily, which explains why several Montreal Canadiens still haven’t arrived for the series. “I haven’t tried because I thought Boston was supposed to not try,” explained Montreal forward Christopher Higgins. “Somebody should have told me.”

 “It’s not right,” added Michel Ryder. “They’re skating fast and checking us and everything. Boston’s not playing fair. They’re cheating.”

“Nobody told me it was going to be hard,” complained Tomas Plekanec. “And anyway, I was really good in the regular season, and now you want me to be good in the playoffs too?”

IN EXTRA OTHER NEWS:

A Montreal fan got beat up in Boston the other night. It’s impossible that he may have deserved it. Okay, so maybe he was wearing his Habs jersey, and maybe he was yelling “Go Habs Go” at the top of his lungs, and maybe he told these Bruins fans that their team sucked, and maybe he was drunk and got right in their faces, and maybe he drooled all over them, and of course he wasn’t loud and obnoxious on someone else’s turf.

 

 

 

 

 

Game 5: Nightmare At The Bell Centre

  GAME 5

Montreal has given us a lot of great and exciting moments this year. Tonight wasn’t one of them.

In a game where the Canadiens could have eliminated Boston and had a nice rest in preparation for the next series, they came out and smelled up the joint. Now they’d better look themselves in the mirror, and take a good, long, hard look.

If they can’t adjust in a close checking series, how do they expect to be successful if they can actually get by Boston and meet other close checking teams?

However, will they actually get by Boston?

Is their game only one-dimensional, a game that is free-wheeling and one which allows Kovalev, the Kostitsyns, Higgins etc. to play only pond hockey and nothing else?

Did they make the mistake of believing their own press clippings that said how great they are?

Will Tomas Plekanec, Chris Higgins, Michael Ryder, the Kostitsyns, Latendresse, and most of the team decide to actually play some playoff hockey before it’s too late? Especially Higgins. Hello 911. I’d like to report a missing person.

Although Carey Price has been so good in this series, it was his gift of dropping the puck in front of his goal, right on the stick of a Bruin, who then scored, which began, and probably caused, the complete collapse.

This team can seriously infuriate me.

I also see that Saku Koivu is the true leader of this team, and if he can skate, which he can, he needs to be in the lineup two days from now.

And now that the Bruins know they can win this series, what’s going to happen Saturday in Boston? Which Montreal team will show up, the great regular season one, or the lousy playoff one? 

Game note:

Montreal stunk 

Rick The Trucker Is Back, With More News From His 18 Wheeler

Sorry about the small print. I don’t have a clue why this happened. Please read anyway, because Rick the Trucker is back. Just get closer to the screen, that’s all.

 

Rick the Trucker, who spends are a large portion of his life truckin Highway 417 between Ottawa and Montreal, is back with more on the what’s happening on the front. Rick’s been on these pages before, he’s like my roving reporter, and he’s always got this great perpective because while he’s truckin, he’s got the late night sports talk radio blasting in his 18 wheeler.

Rick’s a Senators fan, but he’s still a great guy anyway.

Here’s more from life on Highway 417:

“So I’m driving back from Montreal tonite and get into Ottawa radio range just at the end of the second,,tie game, announcer says Ottawa held their own, killed off some penalties blah blah blah,,so I got the hammer down to try and get home and maybe catch some OT on the tube or something and then BAM, game over in the first 90 seconds of the third, back off the pedal, cruise home while listening to the remainder and dream about watching cricket with my Habs friends by the end of the week,,JUST KIDDING bout the habs fans.I,unlike some other people,do not pick on people for the teams they cheer for,unless it’s the blue team of course,,jab jab!!!

Anyways,heard some good stuff on Montreal radio 2day,,,Lot’s of calls from people who made the trek to Boston for game 3,,some rough stuff in the stands but sad to say,tickets were very easy to obtain, it wasn’t a sellout. It’s sad to see the glorious Bruins tradition slowly sliding down, it wasn’t a sellout and a good percentage were Habs fans. Funny thing,when the Habs fans sang oley oley, Bruins fans sang back “your gay, your gay.”

Chris ‘knuckles’ Nilan has been on the radio everynite in Montreal during this series,always a good chat,was real happy to see fans from his old team showing a presence in his home town,,,forgot to tell you,,that ignorant prick on that 110% show who made that Kostfuckupolis comment was fired after that comment last month.

Don’t know if you get Vancouver radio where you are or even if you do, are the Van.fans as commited to hockey as much as Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal fans?  I’ll tell you, spending all my time between here and Montreal is hockey overload. Same stories,same predictions,same excuses, just different cities but it’s still a blast,,,,,,I’m ordering tickets for cricket matches,,when are you available??????

ENJOY the ride!!!”

Montreal, With A Big Shutout Win, Made Me Very Happy Tonight

 GAME 4

Whew. That was as blue collar, lunchpail as you’re ever going to see. It was playoff hockey, tough, close, hard- working, well-earned chances at either end. And Montreal won the big one, a 1-0 shutout, and it doesn’t get any better, or any more beautiful than this. Up three games to one and going back to Montreal.

It’s amazing how stressful hockey can be. And how satisfying when the right team wins.

Today I was talking to the local newspaper publisher, a woman who’s always been a tom boy and a hockey fan. She’s a big fan of the local senior team, but she said she didn’t like NHL hockey much anymore. “Too many low scoring games,” she said. “Too boring.”

I wonder if she watched tonight. This low scoring, 1-0 game was anything but boring. It was back and forth, tremendously intense, with non-stop hitting, and with a main sub plot starring Mike Komisarek and Milan Lucic having their private parties.

Montreal made adjustments tonight. But they need more. They stopped Boston’s offence, but their own offence is still a concern. Higgins and Plekanec in particular still haven’t gotten it together, and although I keep mentioning it, they’re obviously not listening to me. What, they don’t read the blog?

And the Kostitsyn’s aren’t playing with the swagger they showed during the regular season.

The good news is that the lone goal scored, by Patrice Brisebois, was a power play goal. Like I said yesterday, the power play’s been their bread and butter.

Three down, thirteen to go.

Game note:

As much as the Boston Bruins give me heartburn,  the Rangers’ Sean Avery gives me slow burn.

 

Montreal’s Biggest Game Of The Year Is Tuesday Night

Right now it matters little that Pittsburgh is poised to sweep the Ottawa Senators, or that Calgary has a shot at doing away with the favoured San Jose Sharks. Or that Dallas is surprising last year’s Stanley Cup champs, the Anaheim Ducks.

All that matters is game four in Boston. Montreal can ill-afford a loss to the newly-renewed Boston Bruins. Because it would be a loss that not only ties the series, but also creates even more momentum for the Bruins.

I’m sure Guy Carbonneau and his coaches are working hard to overcome Boston’s recent adjustments, which have seen the Bruins bottle up Montreal’s attack, and Alex Kovalev especially. For me, it all boils down to the power play. Get that back on track and the series will end quickly. 

One Montreal writer said recently that he doesn’t know why, but the number five is a big number this year. For instance, Montreal won game two, 3-2, which totalled five.

So keeping with that, our Habs can win Tuesday night, and then game five (there’s that five) back in Montreal.

And any long series is never good in the scheme of things, as the road to the Stanley Cup is a long- distance marathon, and Montreal needs to end it as soon as possible to be fresh and healthy for the second round. But I’m not getting ahead of myself. That would be bad luck. And smug.

The Canadiens absolutely need their power play to return. It’s been their bread and butter all year. They need to unravel the ropes the Bruins have tied around them. And in general, they need a big night from everyone, especially the first line.

Every game for the last month has been a huge game for Montreal. But none are bigger than this upcoming game four. 

Am I nervous? Of course I’m nervous. I’d be nervous if the Habs were up three games to nothing. But I also believe in my team.

Go Habs! You’re gonna do it.

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