Tag Archives: Add new tag

I’m Not Speculating On Speculation

I refuse to be brought in to the speculation game, about who Montreal might trade and trade for. I’m not Bob Gainey and I’m not Kreskin. So I don’t know, and you don’t either. None of us know what the Habs have in mind.

 

I don’t know if you’ve ever read Bleacher Report, which is a sports site that lets regular people become sports writers. It’s a site that covers all sports, written by dozens of staffers, so if you can’t get hired by a newspaper, you can always write for Bleacher Report.

 

Anyway, someone from Bleacher Report is now saying that Montreal is interested In Vincent Lecavalier, and Tampa Bay is interested in trading him. And the writer goes on to suggest that all the Canadiens have to do is part with Mike Komisarek, PK Subban, Tomas Plekanec, and Chris Higgins, or some combination thereof.

 

Maybe it’ll happen, maybe not. It’s only speculation.

 

They even started a poll which asked, “Will Lecavalier go to Montreal?” with 52.4% saying yes and 47.6% saying no.

 

Rumours abound, and not just at Bleacher Report. We hear everywhere about Toronto’s Tomas Kaberle heading to Montreal, about Alex Kovalev and Saku Koivu heading out, about Jaroslav Halak being part of a package, and about young quality Habsters like Sergei Kostitsyn being eyed by others.

 

I’m not going to get sucked into this. Whatever happens happens. If anything will happen at all. And I’m not crazy about the thought of losing PK Subban.

 

All I know is I don’t want the team disrupted. They’re doing fine. 

 

And yes, Vincent Lecavalier would look good in a Habs uniform.

 

 

Habs Stop The Skid By Beating Detroit. And My Theory Of Why.

A giant piano has been lifted ever-so-slightly off the backs of the Canadiens after a reasonably solid 3-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings, of all people. Can’t beat the Islanders and the Hurricanes, but of course the Wings.

 

That’s the Montreal Canadiens. Full of surprises.

 

But I think it’s not a surprise. I think the team banded together after the Ryan O’Byrne goal-on-his-own-net nightmare, and they saw the media and bloggers giving it to their teammate, and whether they knew it or not, it took their chemistry to a whole new level. It’s like they feel it’s them against the world now.

 

This is my theory. We’ll see how they play Friday in Washington, and then against the Sabres back home on Saturday. If they don’t play great, then please disregard the theory.

 

GAME NOTES:

 

Not to pour cold water on this big night, but when is Alex Kovalev going to score? It’s eleven games now without a goal. I don’t want to see this guy traded. I want him to create some magic like he did last year. And on his DVD.

If this enigma ever gets going, then just watch the Habs take off.

 

The Kostitsyn boys, especially Sergei, are also stuck in neutral. I wouldn’t be surprised if Sergei is being considered for demotion to Hamilton.

 

Ryan O’Byrne gave the puck up to Johan Franzen, then let the guy do a little dipsy-doodle on the big defenceman for Detroit’s only goal, which, of course, ruined Carey Price’s shutout bid. 

I wonder if O’Bryne is thinking he should’ve stayed in school and got a job where ten million people don’t watch you screw up when you’re working.

 

NHL Powers-That-Be Are Not Rocket Scientists

That sound you hear is the sound of hockey fans all over the world losing interest in the 2007-2008 NHL season.

NHL brainiacs are probably quite intelligent people in many things in their lives. Some might be able to rebuild car engines, others might do complex math equations, while others might be able to fix broken plumbing.

But when it comes to running the show, these same people are really stupid.

It came first when the NHL season was stretched to 82 games. Because already, we know the playoffs are going to go into late spring, early summer.

But now we’ve been waiting since Monday for the first game of the Stanley Cup finals to begin on Saturday. Almost a week later.

Don’t these people understand that with summer comes outdoors stuff? There’s barbeques, beaches, camping, lawn cutting, sitting outside, baseball, campfires, gardens to attend to, things to build, things to fix outdoors, going for walks, sleeping on the hammock.

Hockey goes on the backburner very quickly.

So it’s up to these people to hold our interest because it’s in their best interests. If no one’s watching, then advertisers won’t advertise. Seats won’t get bought. Merchandise won’t be sold. Fans just might go away and stay away.

All because these people, Gary Bettman, Colin Campbell, NHL General Managers and owners, are really stupid.

If they are really forced to stretch this out, then come up with a plan B. Just don’t go away and expect us to stick around. This week, there could have been classic playoff games to watch on regular cable TV. There could’ve been documentaries on the Stanley Cup, the Detroit Red Wings, and the Pittsburgh Penguins. We could’ve learned more about Evgeny Malkin, Henrik Zetterberg, and Pavel Datsyuk.

They could’ve force-fed us hockey on different levels and forced us to stay interested.

There should’ve been a big build up all week to the final showcase. But nothing. Zero. Except for the usual TSN, Sportsnet spewing.

How can they not realize they’re losing viewers by playing right into summer with big gaps in between? Can they be that stupid? 

It’s fine and dandy for hard-core Detroit and Pittsburgh fans to gear up for the final. But two cities does not make a league, or television ratings.

Surely at some point, these people should clue in. Shouldn’t they?

Kate Smith Was One Of The Better Players On The Flyers

 This is Kate Smith. Born 1907 in Virginia, died 79 years later in 1986.

Kate used to sing God Bless America at Philadelphia Flyers games in the 1970’s. Sometimes she was on tape, and from time to time, she actually showed up live and in the flesh. The Flyers won two Stanley Cups with her singing, and they thought she was their good luck charm.

Kate was one of their best players. At least more civilized than Dave Schultz and his fellow goons who took thuggery to a new level, something which the much more talented players around the league were not accustomed to. It’s pretty hard to show your skills when you’re looking at a sucker punch when you least expect it.

And she was much better looking than the Sign Guy with his frizzy hair who held up silly signs for every occasion during Flyers home games.

This gangsterism lasted a mere two years. The Flyers tried it in the 1975/76 series against the Habs and learned quickly that muscle and skill is much better than just muscle. Schultz and the boys were no match for Larry Robinson, Serge Savard, and of course Lafleur, Lemaire, Shutt, Dryden et al. Montreal took over, and this ridiculous reign of terror came quickly to an end.

And the Flyers have done very little ever since.

So it wasn’t Kate Smith. It was simply that Montreal showed the Flyers how real hockey was played.

 

There’s Still A Chance I Can Become A Montreal Canadien

I’ve had enough of this. The world is passing me by. I’m missing my chance. So I’m doing what needs to be done.

This is the letter I mailed off this morning. (seriously)

To:

Club de Hockey Canadien

Centre Bell

1260 De La Gauchetiere Ouest

Montreal, Quebec

H3B 5E8

 

Dear Sir or Madam,

This letter is regarding the two young kids at the beginning of the game who are dressed in Habs uniforms, carry flags, and skate around the Bell Centre ice.

I would like to apply for this position.

I’m only assuming that there is no age limit for this task, but they look quite young and I am 57 years old. But I assure you I would carry out these pre-game activities to the best of my ability, in a serious and professional manner.

I realize that you probably have all your young kids already scheduled for this season, but this is fine for me. Next year works well also.

Even though I live in a semi-isolated place on Canada’s west coast, I can be in Montreal on short notice. I’m even available for a couple of games if one of the kids phones in sick.

The Montreal Canadiens have always treated their fans in a first-class manner, even though I wrote, as I’m doing now, but was denied the chance to be stick boy for one game in the early 1960’s. (Although Sam Pollock did send me a nice note saying why).

Thank you very much for your consideration. They say dreams do come true. Now’s your chance to make it happen for me before I join the Rocket and Boom Boom in heaven in another twenty-five years or so.

Sincerely,

Dennis Kane.

 

Resume:

Been a loyal, unwavering Habs fan for more than 50 years.

Am a good skater and was a smallish yet shifty right-winger for Orillia’s Byer’s Bulldozers Bantam team.

Will buy my own uniform if you don’t want to do that.

My wife would be proud. And you have no idea how proud I’d be.

Hold On To Your Hats. Habs Fans Are In For A Joyous Ride

Most of the hockey world has weighed in on the state of the Montreal Canadiens and how they’ll do in the playoffs. And frankly, most of them are wrong, most of them are overpaid, and most of their mothers wear army boots. And some TSN computer-generated program picked the Habs to go to the finals but lose to San Jose.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Milt Dunnell, Elmer Ferguson, and Jim Proudfoot rose from the ashes to offer their opinions too.

And the common consensus, the recurring theme is this – If you stay out of the penalty box so the Habs don’t get to unleash their fierce power play, and if Carey Price folds because of no playoff experience, then Montreal can be beaten.

Montreal is so much more than what people, other than Habs fans, are giving them credit for. It’s a young team, faster than lightening, with a system that allows for quick breakouts, and with a steady defence that includes the duo that some oppposing players have said recently is the best defence partnership in the league – Andrei Markov and Mike Komisarek.

The team has depth, youth, speed, experience, leadership, closeness, passion, a spirited fourth line, a coach-of-the-year candidate, great fans, spiritual guru Jean Beliveau, and a city of hockey ghosts who have been waiting for years for something like this to happen. The team led the league in goals scored, had the best power play, and got stingier as the season wound down when shorthanded. And if something happened to Carey Price, the team can call on Jaroslav Halak, who was the American Hockey League’s top goaltender three years straight before being called up to the big club.

We’re going to take it one series at a time, beginning with Boston. And if Montreal can go all the way this year, I believe this would be the most special Habs team since the 1970’s. More magical than both 1986 and 1993.

Hold on. It’s going to be great!

In games played tonight, Wednesday night:

Pittsburgh shut out Ottawa 4-0, which is really no surprise since Ottawa’s been in a nosedive for awhile now.

The Rangers went to New Jersey and went away with a 4-1 win which is a bit of a surprise because the Devils are usually pretty stingy (and boring) at home. I’m hoping for the Devils. I don’t want to see Sean Avery any more.

Colorado and Minnesota are tied 2-2 late in the third, and Calgary’s beating San Jose 3-1 early in the third.

But I’ve got to get to bed. Sorry.

 

 

 

 

 

It Sure Wasn’t Hard Becoming A Habs Fan

I’m asked from time to time why I cheer for the Habs and not the Toronto Maple Leafs, seeing that I grew up only an hour north of Toronto, in Orillia. The answer’s easy. The Montreal Canadiens were a gift from my dad.

My dad’s 87 now, and of course, still watches hockey. He’s been a hockey fan all his life, followed the Leafs when he was young, and he once wrote a letter in the 1930’s to Ace Bailey who lay in a hospital after Boston’s Eddie Shore clubbed him over the head, ending his career, and nearly killing him.

Bailey’s wife wrote a thank-you note to my dad in return.

But slowly, my dad began to turn. The Toronto Star and Telegram both plastered their papers with Leafs stories and my dad began to wonder about the almost invisible other teams. It was always “Leafs, Leafs, Leafs” as he used to say. Foster Hewitt was the definitive homer, and this rubbed dad the wrong way. And dad, being the introverted type, cringed when he read or heard about the goings-on of brash, loud, and arrogant Leafs owner Conn Smythe.

In the fifties, with television entering households, it was only Leafs game shown, and when the Montreal Canadiens played in Toronto, my dad liked what he saw on his TV. There was the Rocket, Beliveau, Harvey, and Plante. Stanley Cups began to be won by the Habs on a regular basis beginning in 1955, and the Leafs just kept plodding along. The Canadiens had something the Leafs didn’t.

When I was a boy, my dad started a big Montreal Canadiens scrapbook for me. He helped me write fan letters to the the Rocket, and at one point, the Rocket sent me a Christmas card. He took me to Maple Leaf Gardens a couple of times, and once, when we were early and stood at the gate, the entire 1958 Montreal team walked right by us.

He bought me a hockey book which he mailed to Montreal asking for autographs in, and it was mailed back signed by the entire 1958-59 Habs – Richard, Plante, Toe Blake, Beliveau, Geoffrion etc, and the only one missing was Doug Harvey. When we went to a game at the Gardens, he brought the book with him, took it down the the Montreal dressing room corridor, saw Toe Blake standing there, and asked Blake if he would take the book into the dressing room and get Harvey to sign it.

Believe it not, Blake did just that. My son has the book now.

So of course I became a Habs fan. They’ve been magical for me, and the magic has never gone away. It’s been a lifelong love affair.

And it’s all because of my dad.