Lawrence says that today’s NHL players are way better than the players of say, the 1950’s and ’60’s. You know, he just might have something there. When I think about, why of course, Andrew Alberts, Clarke MacArthur, Derrick Walser, Tanner Glass, and Hal Gill are far superior to Gordie Howe, Bobby Orr, The Rocket, Doug Harvey, and Bobby Hull. What was I thinking?
By the way, I sort of know of what he’s saying. But it’s only because of certain factors. Those metal sticks give the modern boys pretty hard shots. The skates are probably designed by a team of NASA scientists. Goalie pads block entire freeways, and these guys are bigger because scouts and management are prejudice against the smaller guy unless they’re really good like the way I was. But strip away all this modern-day stuff and take the basic guy who doesn’t even know what an outdoor rink looks like, let alone played on one, or stickhandled, which is a lost art, on a cleared off portion of a frozen lake, and he comes down several notches. And if you go back even further than the 1950’s to the 1920’s, guys like Howie Morenz, Cyclone Taylor, and Aurel Joliet had blazing speed and would zip by most of these guys now with no problem whatsoever. And heck, these guys aren’t even alive anymore! That’s how fast they are! Here’s the bottom line to the Lawrence’s of the world. You’re born with it, whether it’s then or now. Orr would still be the best now, as would Richard and Howe. So put that in your pipe and smoke it.
Two BIG things to mention. With the Leafs in turmoil, with GM John Ferguson and coach Paul Maurice both on the bubble and poised to begin applying for Employment Insurance, with the media all over the Leafs like a quarterback on a cheerleader, and with fans calling in to radio talk shows and and complaining about it as they buy their poodle cardigans on Yorkville, then the best, funniest thing of all time happened. The Montreal Canadiens beat them in a shootout!
And what do I think about the Leafs? Blow them up. blow them up real good. Trade Sundin and get a bunch of good players for him. Bring in a long time crusty old GM like Harry Sinden. Rehire Ricky Ley, a good old Orillia boy to work with said crusty old GM. Tell Dave Keon to stay in Florida with his giant fur coat. Put the corpses of Harold Ballard and King Clancy in seats at one end of the rink. Bring back Claire Alexander. Don’t hire me because I’d want them to lose every time they played the Habs.
The other thing is this: Guy Lafleur just said Montreal is a bunch of fourth liners. This is what I have to say about this. HE’S RIGHT. Except for those games from time to time where they look as good as anybody. (A Philadelphia game awhile back comes to mind.) And they’re always better than Vancouver. And anyway, it’s Lafleur, who’s been coming up with beauties since the 70’s. (“maybe I’ll jump to the WHA, Keith Acton’s a puck hog, I’m not playing until they renegotiate my contract.” Keep it up, Guy, it’s good for hockey.
On ebay, there’s a couple of shirts you can choose from to add to your collection. The first one is a guy peeing and it says “Habs piss on the Leafs.” The other simply says “Leafs Suck.” These are two very important shirts that Montreal fans should own. We can wear them to church, and to White House and Buckingham Palace dinners. We can wear them when we go home to mom’s for Thanksgiving. Heck, we can wear them when we’re having sex! (with our wives, pervert). I only bring this up because the team is slumping and they play the Leafs tomorrow.
The team’s in a slump and I’m writing nothing because no one except Lawrence reads this anyway. The best thing I’ve got is this: What did one hooker say to the other? “If I don’t get to bed pretty soon, I’m going home to sleep.”
Other than worrying about the team making the playoffs, or winning the Stanley Cup, is one other thing. That is, they hold the mighty record for least number of losses in a season, an 80 game season, and that number is 8 by the 1976-77 version starring Lafleur, Shutt, Lemaire, Robinson, Dryden, Laponte, Savard, etc.etc. Now Ottawa fans are secretly hoping their shitty version of a good team can equal or better this record. Sens fans should be content with their little record of 5 losses by their team back in 1919-20, but of course, it was only a 24 game season so it’s a lousy record. Here’s hoping Ottawa slumps badly and loses a lot because even though they’re pretty good, they sure ain’t the ’76-77 Habs. Only the the late ’50’s Habs could match that team. Ottawa fans, (many of whom were staunch Habs fans not that long ago and switched, which is inexcusable), must be on purple microdot acid.
First I find out Ottawa beat the team again, then I drank some Neo Citron to make me tired, then I dozed off, and then the alarm went off and and I had to go to work. Does it get any worse than this? These last few games are telling me they might be slumping, so they’d better put together a few in a row or I’m gonna talk to Morenz and the Rocket and the boys at the Bell Centre don’t need the wrath of these guys. But they deserve it. There’s no way I’m gonna let what happened last year happen again.
I didn’t see tonight’s Habs 7-4 win over Boston so I’ll just take Ron Maclean’s word for it that Montreal had over 50 shots and 11 different players figured in the scoring for Montreal. There was also quite a few fights which is always a good thing. At least they woke up after their peaceful slumber in Buffalo. But why do they do that? One game they play like Conrad Black on downers, and the next they play like the 1976-77 team. Maybe some rinks like Buffalo pipe poisonous gasses into the visitors dressing room. Maybe it’s just laziness. Maybe they need me to help motivate Carbonneau. But I digress. They won for goodness sakes. This should be enough. More interesting, Toronto beat Ottawa 3-0. Now there’s a team, Toronto, who needs serious psychological help. Harold Ballard, where are you when we need you?
Let the record show that on this day, Friday, November 17, 2007, the Montreal Canadiens, while playing in Buffalo, SUCKED RAT DROPPINGS FROM A MOULDY RUG.
They lost 4-1 because Kovalev, Koivu, Higgins, Plecanec, and a dozen others played like they’d spent the night playing doctor with Buffalo Bills cheerleaders, overdosing on Buffalo wings, and chug-a-lugging Russian vodka that Kovalev’s mother shipped over.
Why do I even bother.
Fascinating Fact #1. I once phoned old Hall of Famer and ex-Hab Bert Olmstead (1948-1961) in Calgary just to talk about the old days with the Rocket and Stanley Cups etc. He hung up on me.
Fascinating Fact #2. I once sat in an old beer parlour in Ottawa and drank beer with ancient ex-Hab Aurel Joliet (1922-1938). I asked him what he thought about the Rocket and he poo pooed the question. He said his old buddy Howie Morenz (1923-1937) was way better, then his eyes got misty. He signed the cast on my arm and I drove him home.
Fascinating Fact #3. I met the Rocket (1942-1960) when he was refereeing an old-timers game in Calgary. I told him he’d sent me a Christmas card when I was about 8 years old. He said he didn’t remember. My sister took a picture of him, then the Rocket said he wanted a picture of him with my sister.
Fascinating Fact #4. My dad took me to a Montreal-Toronto game back in the 1950’s. Somehow he corralled coach Toe Blake in the lobby and asked him to take my hockey book into the dressing room and get Doug Harvey (1947-1969) to sign it. He did.
Fascinating Fact #4. When I had my restaurant, Frank Mahovlich (1956-1974) came in. He told me the Montreal organization was first class and way better than the Leaf organization. We fed him a spaghetti dinner. He didn’t pay for it. After that we called him Frank MaCheapovich.
Fascinating Fact #5. I once had breakfast with old Chicago and various other teams goalie Glenn Hall. (1952-1971.) He told me Gordie Howe (1946-1980) was better than the Rocket. Even so, I still paid for his breakfast.
Fascinating Fact #6. I once talked to the Habs Jim Roberts (1963-1978) when I was about 13 and at a game at the Old Forum (not the new Forum, which the Old became after it was renovated in 1969.) He was nice to me and I decided to start a Jim Roberts fan club. I didn’t because I decided it was too much work and he wasn’t a good enough player.
Fascinating Fact #7. My friend Leo Brosseau said old Hab goalie Bill Durnan (1944-1950) used to come in to his father’s bar in the Ottawa Valley in the early 1950’s. Leo said the guy was an asshole when he got drunk and kept getting thrown out.
Last year at this time, after 17 games, Montreal’s record was a blistering 10-4-3. And not only that, they went on to win the next five out of six games. I was worried management might neglect to plan the Stanley Cup parade down Ste. Catherines past the old Forum.
They carried on into December and by late in the month, their record was a quite lovely 22-9-5. Fans at the Bell Centre were singing that nauseous song far too often. After that, though, with the help of three separate six game losing steaks, they ended up not making the playoffs.
This year, after 17 games, lo and behold, the team is 10-4-3, exactly the same as last year. Fans are singing that obnoxious song again. But will the team fall apart again? Nope. Because instead of David Aebisher in goal, there is Carey Price. As young as he is, he’s going to lead this team to the promised land. (The Forum ghosts, who I talk to, told me this.) And when this happens, the sky will open, the sun will shine, and Montreal fans who have stuck with the mediocrity for so long will wake from their slumber and smile, and Daniel Briere will kick himself in the nuts and have nightmares for the rest of his life.