Tag Archives: BCHL

Habs Drenched By Hurricanes

hurricane

I think it takes a special talent for a team sitting at the top of the heap to lose to a team at the very bottom and look tremendously mediocre while doing so.

Yes, those wild and crazy Montreal Canadiens, bowing to the lowly Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 in Raleigh, a team 20-some points behind them.

They can’t be feeling good about this. If Jean Beliveau was captaining this team, he’d politely and respectfully give them all a mighty fine and gentlemanly dressing room tune up.

But the Canadiens have that special talent to play down, having also lost to the 28th place Oilers, the 25th place Avs, and the 22nd place Canucks (and were bombed 6-1 by the Avs and 5-1 by the Oilers in the process).

The only good that came from this night was Daniel Carr, called up from St. John’s in place of Devante Smith-Pelly, who notched a wraparound goal in his very first shift of his first NHL game. That’s the kind of thing I’ve dreamed about doing off and on for about five decades or more.

It’s with great pride to announce that Carr played the 2009-10 season here in Powell River, at the barn not far from my house. However, I didn’t go to one game in 2009-10, so that’s the end of this feel-good story.

But I would like to say one thing. The BCHL is an underrated league, with lots of talent like Carr winding up in the NHL. You’d be surprised by some of the names, like Brett Hull, Paul Kariya, and even Carey Price for a season before heading to the WHL.

There’s been a whack of them. Even Scott Gomez for those three Gomez fans out there.

Carr’s goal in the first period got things rolling, but the Canes would even it up on the power play on a smooth finish by Jeff Skinner who simply flipped it over a sprawling Mike Condon.

In the second, Sven Andrighetto would give Montreal the lead after converting a nice pass by Jeff Petry, but two minutes later Joakim Nordstrom tied things up again, and into the third we went.

Carolina would take the lead briefly, but Michel Therrien’s coach’s challenge saw the goal ruled no-goal because of goalie interference. Whew, we thought. But it made no difference, because the Canes would score another anyway.

Later on, with Tom Gilbert in the box for tripping, Skinner, with his second of the night, won it for the home team.

It’s not the first time Gilbert watched a nightmare unfold from the sinbin. There was that fathers trip recently when he did the same sort of thing. Now, whenever Gilbert goes home during the off season, he’s grounded.

The Canadiens lose their second straight, or 3 of 4 if you want to go that route. And they sleek off into the night, hoping they don’t get beer pored on them by drunken and disgruntled Habs fans because they couldn’t play well enough to beat the team tied with Calgary and Edmonton as league’s worst.

Random Notes:

Eric Staal hit several posts, missed several open nets, and scored the goal that was called back. This is the guy who’s the subject of trade rumours, with Montreal being a possible destination.

Staal would be a nice addition, although we already have plenty of guys who can’t hit wide open nets.

And speaking of Staal. he was sent to the box with just over three minutes remaining for flipping the puck over the glass, but the Canadiens, with Condon pulled and enjoying a two-man advantage, still couldn’t get it done.

And because of that very thing, they didn’t deserve to win this thing.

Shots on goal – Habs 38, Canes 29. The previous game against Washington, which was also a 3-2 loss, they had 35 shots to the Caps 19.

Next up – Wednesday, when the Bruins show up at the Bell.

 

 

 

Seeing The Island Sky

Below, the Powell River Kings on board the Island Sky ferry at Saltery Bay, south of Powell River, where I worked until recently. (Although the last few years were on shore working the ramp and selling tickets).

The BCHL Kings were on their way to Nanaimo to face the Clippers and were being serenaded by the ship’s first officer. At this writing, the Kings lead the Clippers two games to one in Island Division playoff action.

The BCHL is wonderful hockey and a host of players end up with hockey scholarships throughout North America.

Many go beyond too.

Brett Hull played for Penticton, Carey Price stopped pucks for Quesnel, Sens forward Kyle Turris starred for Burnaby, and most importantly of course – Scott Gomez dazzled with South Surrey.

Thanks to Beatnik for sending me this. I was there when the Island Sky was a brand new ship having just arrived and it’s nice to see it again. I had worked on two other ships prior to the Island Sky – the Queen of Tsawwassen, which is now in retirement, and the Queen of Chilliwack, that sails the inner passage to Prince Rupert.

A Night To Remember

The 2014 Winter Auction is coming up soon at Classic Auctions, and one of the lots we’re putting up are the three Charlestown Chiefs jerseys worn by the Hanson brothers in the movie Slap Shot.

There should be a fair amount of buzz about this.

And mentioning the auction is a good way of getting to my Hanson brothers story.

The Hansons came to Powell River in the late-1990s to do their schtick before a Powell River Kings/BCHL game, towing along the back of the zamboni, pretending to be unruly, and generally being very amusing for the fans.

Before they went up to the arena, they came into the little sports bar my friend and I owned, all decked out with their taped hands, horn-rimmed glasses, and Charlestown Chiefs jerseys, and ranted about “old time hockey”.

It was prearranged and they did it for free.

After the game, two of the three Hansons (Jeff and Steve Carlson), came back to the pub, I locked the door, and the three us sat at the bar and drank beer and talked hockey until 5 am. They were both tremendously friendly guys, completely down to earth, and I remember them talking a lot about how they thought Jaromir Jagr was such a great player and how Paul Newman was a wonderful guy.

We drank a lot of beer that night, I had to open the bar a few hours later with a hangover, and the Hanson brothers left town for another gig in another town. All in all, a fine night indeed.

I might be talking to them on the phone soon, and if so, I’m going to ask if they remember that night in Powell River. Maybe they won’t.

But I’m hoping they do.

Linden In Powell River

Trevor Linden is coming to Powell River on Oct. 19 to give a speech at the theatre, then head on down to the rink to meet the local junior team, the Kings, and drop the puck before their clash with Cowichan Valley.

His timing can’t be worse. The day before he comes, the Habs are in Boston and I know I’ll be busy talking about that and how PK smashed Brad Marchand’s nose with an elbow and Alexei Emelin sent Andrew Ference flying, with head going north and body south. The day after Linden’s visit, the Caps pay a visit to the Bell and I’ll be getting ready for that and how they need to grab a couple more points in the standings while stopping Ovechkin with no problem whatsoever. Both games should provide thrills and spills and …………..

What? There’s no hockey?

Oops. Is my face red.

I think it’s great that Linden will be in town, coincidentally, on the birthday of former Italian hockey star Lucio Topatigh, and also of Jacques E. Brandenberger, the inventor of cellophane. Not to mention Disco Sally, the now-deceased New York dancing grandma. The 19th is quite a day all round, as you can see.

Linden had two mediocre seasons as a Montreal Canadien back in 1999-2000 and 2000-2001, missed a whack of games in both years, and only netted 25 goals over the two seasons. It wasn’t a memorable stint in Montreal, but he was always a Vancouver Canuck in his heart throughout his career anyway, even though he played for the Habs, Caps, and Islanders along the way. There’s no denying his sixteen seasons on the West Coast is what he’s remembered for. That and his charity work. And I suppose I should mention that he was President of the NHLPA during the last lockout in 2005-05, even though I don’t want to.

His heart was with the Canucks, which is fine. If I played for the Canucks my heart would be with the Habs. Regardless, welcome Trevor Linden. Enjoy Powell River.

And regarding Powell River, how about this! Justin Bieber to meet Powell River boy

 

 

Way To Go, Bournival And Shawinigan!

Habs prospect Michael Bournival set up Anton Zlobin in overtime as the Shawinigan Cataractes beat the London Knights 2-1 to win the 2012 Memorial Cup.

Good for Shawinigan, and for Bournival, who came to the Canadiens via the Colorado system, with Ryan O’Byrne going the other way. We want our young guys to come through in the clutch, and to me it’s just more good news on the Habs newly-paved road to respectibility.

I don’t see enough junior hockey, although I’ve always loved and appreciated the talent and enthusiasm these young guys bring. Powell River has an elite BCHL team and I rarely go. I don’t know why. I can’t explain it. Is not having enough time a good enough excuse? At least I follow the World juniors closely every year.

Way to go, Shawinigan. They were only there because they were the host city, and they won it all. Hip, hip, hooray!!!

 

Excellent Hockey On An Excellent Day

Luciena and I went for a long walk on Sunday afternoon, it was sunny and my beer gut needs exercise, and we ended up at the arena to see the BCHL Powell River Kings and Victoria Grizzlies do battle in a lively tilt that saw Victoria score in overtime to win 4-3.

These kids are awesome. There’s some huge guys out there, 6’5 and such, and in general, everybody skates like the wind and some of them can rifle a shot like almost anyone in the bigs. They’re not quite up to Shea Weber and a few others maybe, but you know what I mean.

These teenagers are serious hockey players, some, from time to time will end up in the NHL, and many are offered great hockey scholarships to Canadian and US schools.

I don’t go to these games enough and I should. It’s very enjoyable, it’s 15 bucks, and you get a birds-eye view.

I do have one complaint though. The Powell River Paper Kings, as they were called ten or twenty years ago, wore Habs uniforms, with a “P” instead of the CH. It was kind of like seeing the Baby Habs out there. But alas, ten years ago or so they switched to green, white, and gold, the same colours as the senior Regals, and that was it for the beautiful Habs uniform.

Here’s what they looked like. It was glorious.

At the rink, I also noticed these signs on the steps. It’s one of the last reminders of the little sports bar my friend and I once owned here in this great little town. It hasn’t been ours in more than a decade but it’s still slightly bittersweet to see these little signs and to know that the place closed its doors, probably permanently, a couple of months ago.

Local Guys Make Good

I’d like to give a big shout out to three Powell Riverites after Canada West beat Canada East 4-2 in in the World Junior A Challenge held in Langley BC the other day.

For those unaware, I live in Powell River.

Head coach of the Powell River Kings, Kent Lewis, was behind the bench for the gold medal team.  Kings forward Evan Richardson scored one of the West goals in the final. and goaltender Sean Maguire is also a King and was voted to the tournament all-star team.

I don’t know the two players but I know Kent Lewis, and he’s a gentleman and a fine hockey man. Who knows, maybe he’ll become a bench boss in the NHL some day. Maybe he’ll replace Jacques Martin!

This tournament featured Tier 11 Junior players from Canada West and Canada East, along with teams from Sweden, Russia, the U.S. and the Czech Republic, all going head-to-head, and I wasn’t there but my friend Wayne was, and he said it was fantastic hockey which you can well imagine.

These teenage players in Tier 11 hockey don’t usually go the route of Major Junior players, who focus on making it to the pros. Tier 11 guys end up with university scolarships instead, although there have been exceptions. Brett Hull came out of the British Columbia Hockey League from the Penticton Knights, Milan (POS) Lucic was a member of the Coquitlam Express, and Carey Price donned the pads for the Quesnel Millionaires before he moved up to Tri-City. There’s been a bunch of ex-BCHLers who made the bigs.

The Powell River Kings used to come into the restaurant I owned in Powell River in the late 1990’s and you can’t believe how much these young guys can eat.

Anyway, congratulations to Kent, Evan, and Sean. It must have been a fantastic experience.

The Powell River Barn

The local rink is primed, shined, and ready to go. In fact, when I was there taking this picture, about thirty teenage guys, fresh and alive, with all their hair and before divorce and bills ravage their souls, were gathered about in some sort of organized confusion. Many wore white shirts and ties, and it appeared to be only one thing. That the Powell River Kings, a powerhouse, elite club in the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL), are about to start things up soon.

It’s great hockey, although I admit I haven’t been up there in awhile. And I know I’ve been missing something special because the Kings are good. Real good. In fact, this club is presently one of the top Tier 2 junior clubs in Canada.

The Powell River Regals make this their home too, and anyone who follows senior hockey has probably heard of the Regals, winners of three Allan Cups in the past 15 years and finalists once. They dominate most teams they play, and only seem to lose when several of their key guys are unavailable because of jobs and such. They’re going through some rebuilding right now and it may take awhile to find their former glory. But I have faith they will. They’ve always managed before.

It’s a cool building, with a beautiful swimming pool, weight room and concert hall etc, and replaced the old arena in 1975, which of course old-timers felt tinges of sadness about. People still talk about the big Regals and Quebec’s Val d’Or clash for the Hardy Cup in 1970 when the Regals won the five-game series on home ice in the old barn, and they talk about it with chests swelled. It was a big moment in Powell River, and I’ve heard that some fans watched from precarious perches in the rafters with the place bursting at the seams. But the old arena ran its course, and the new one took over.

This fine building is now called the Hap Parker Arena, which suits me much better than the original name, The Recreational Complex, and it’s a fitting tribute to Parker, now deceased, who was a mover and shaker in Powell River hockey circles for decades. He was THE man behind much of the rich history of the Regals and I was lucky enough to visit him once in his home where he showed me clippings and photos of Powell River hockey from over the years. I also stood beside Hap and legendary NHL goalie Glenn Hall during an Allan Cup game when they argued over the quality of the officiating.

For a short time myself and a buddy owned a sports bar in Powell River, and we had a board sign exactly where you see the RONA sign in the photo. And it was here that the great old NHL referee Red Storey, while on the ice at an old-timers game, announced to the full house with his microphone that Kane’s Pub served excellent spaghetti.

And this is the place where the Hanson brothers did their schtick on skates, and then two of them, Steve and Jeff Carlson, came back to my pub, I locked the doors, and we drank beer and talked hockey all night.

Gomez

If someone continued to dump on me about my work production, I’d be getting mightily riled. So why do I go on about Scott Gomez?

I’ve been very hard on Gomez lately because he’s, well….. not doing enough. On the ice at least. Maybe at home he’s a ball of fire, fixing the dryer and cutting the lawn and scrubbing the oven. I hear he has some nagging injuries now and I’m sympathetic indeed, but it doesn’t give him an out for the other parts of his season.

He just isn’t helping the Canadiens like he should, aside from his ability to carry the puck in sweeping motions from his end, deep into the other. Gomez does this well, and he’ll often find a teammate and get him the puck and at times, things happen from this. That’s what he does but it’s not enough. Not when the team needs more.

But I need to refocus. Scott Gomez might be an extremely nice person. I saw (on TV of course), Larry Robinson give him a warm hug before the New Jersey game a while back and any friend of Larry Robinson is a friend of mine.

I admit I admired his unusual bent-over skating style when he played for the South Surrey Eagles in the BCHL and came to Powell River. And there are times now when he’s reasonably effective. Not often but I’m just saying.

I don’t know why I expect more from him, aside from the large contract and the fact that he won the Calder trophy a decade ago with the Devils. And yes, the team gave up on Saku Koivu and added him. 

The reality is, except for the 2005-06 season in New Jersey when Gomez managed 33 goals, his career has shown that he’s not any kind of a scorer at all. Never has been. He’s now in his 12th year in the NHL and his goal totals have been 19, 14, 10, 13, 14, 13, 33, 13, 16, 16, 12, and now just 7. So even though he’s slightly off-pace for a normal Gomez year, he’s not far off.

Last season with the Habs he managed only 12.

This is not Guy Lafleur.

I guess all we can expect is that Gomez takes the puck from his end to the other, sometimes make a nice pass, and sometimes kill a penalty. If he really hasn’t been a goal scorer all along, why should we expect him to be one now? 

That’s not being too negative, is it?

Scott Gomez has seven goals in 63 games. These players below scored almost as many in just one game. (This also isn’t being too negative, is it?)

    
Name? Nationality? Team? Date? Goals?
Joe Malone  Canada Montreal Canadiens 01917-12-19 December 19, 1917 5
Harry Hyland  Canada Montreal Wanderers 01917-12-19 December 19, 1917 5
Joe Malone  Canada Montreal Canadiens 01918-01-12 January 12, 1918 5
Joe Malone  Canada Montreal Canadiens 01918-02-02 February 2, 1918 5
Newsy Lalonde[3]  Canada Montreal Canadiens 01919-03-01 March 1, 1919 5
Newsy Lalonde  Canada Montreal Canadiens 01920-01-10 January 10, 1920 6
Joe Malone  Canada Quebec Bulldogs 01920-01-31 January 31, 1920 7
Mickey Roach  United States Toronto St. Pats 01920-03-06 March 6, 1920 5
Joe Malone  Canada Quebec Bulldogs 01920-03-10 March 10, 1920 6
Corb Denneny  Canada Toronto St. Pats 01921-01-26 January 26, 1921 6
Newsy Lalonde  Canada Montreal Canadiens 01921-02-16 February 16, 1921 5
Cy Denneny  Canada Ottawa Senators 01921-03-07 March 7, 1921 6
Babe Dye  Canada Toronto St. Pats 01922-12-16 December 16, 1922 5
Red Green  Canada Hamilton Tigers 01924-12-05 December 5, 1924 5
Babe Dye  Canada Toronto St. Pats 01924-12-22 December 22, 1924 5
Punch Broadbent  Canada Montreal Maroons 01925-01-07 January 7, 1925 5
Pit Lepine  Canada Montreal Canadiens 01929-12-29 December 29, 1929 5
Howie Morenz  Canada Montreal Canadiens 01930-03-18 March 18, 1930 5
Charlie Conacher  Canada Toronto Maple Leafs 01932-01-19 January 19, 1932 5
Ray Getliffe  Canada Montreal Canadiens 01943-02-06 February 6, 1943 5
Syd Howe  Canada Detroit Red Wings 01944-02-03 February 3, 1944 6
Maurice Richard[5]  Canada Montreal Canadiens 01944-03-23 March 23, 1944 5
Maurice Richard  Canada Montreal Canadiens 01944-12-28 December 28, 1944 5
Howie Meeker  Canada Toronto Maple Leafs 01947-01-08 January 8, 1947 5
Bernie Geoffrion  Canada Montreal Canadiens 01955-02-19 February 19, 1955 5
Bobby Rousseau  Canada Montreal Canadiens 01964-02-01 February 1, 1964 5
Red Berenson  Canada St. Louis Blues 01968-11-07 November 7, 1968 6
Yvan Cournoyer  Canada Montreal Canadiens 01975-02-15 February 15, 1975 5
Darryl Sittler  Canada Toronto Maple Leafs 01976-02-07 February 7, 1976 6
Darryl Sittler[5]  Canada Toronto Maple Leafs 01976-04-22 April 22, 1976 5
Reggie Leach[5]  Canada Philadelphia Flyers 01976-05-06 May 6, 1976 5
Don Murdoch  Canada New York Rangers 01976-10-12 October 12, 1976 5
Ian Turnbull  Canada Toronto Maple Leafs 01977-02-02 February 2, 1977 5
Bryan Trottier  Canada New York Islanders 01978-12-23 December 23, 1978 5
Tim Young  Canada Minnesota North Stars 01979-01-15 January 15, 1979 5
John Tonelli  Canada New York Islanders 01981-01-06 January 6, 1981 5
Wayne Gretzky  Canada Edmonton Oilers 01981-02-18 February 18, 1981 5
Wayne Gretzky  Canada Edmonton Oilers 01981-12-30 December 30, 1981 5
Grant Mulvey  Canada Chicago Black Hawks 01982-02-03 February 3, 1982 5
Bryan Trottier  Canada New York Islanders 01982-02-12 February 12, 1982 5
Willy Lindstrom  Sweden Winnipeg Jets 01982-03-02 March 2, 1982 5
Mark Pavelich  United States New York Rangers 01983-02-23 February 23, 1983 5
Jari Kurri  Finland Edmonton Oilers 01983-11-19 November 19, 1983 5
Bengt-Ake Gustafsson  Sweden Washington Capitals 01984-01-08 January 8, 1984 5
Pat Hughes  Canada Edmonton Oilers 01984-02-03 February 3, 1984 5
Wayne Gretzky  Canada Edmonton Oilers 01984-12-15 December 15, 1984 5
Dave Andreychuk  Canada Buffalo Sabres 01986-02-06 February 6, 1986 5
Wayne Gretzky  Canada Edmonton Oilers 01987-12-06 December 6, 1987 5
Mario Lemieux  Canada Pittsburgh Penguins 01988-12-31 December 31, 1988 5
Joe Nieuwendyk  Canada Calgary Flames 01989-01-11 January 11, 1989 5
Mario Lemieux[5]  Canada Pittsburgh Penguins 01989-04-25 April 25, 1989 5
Mats Sundin  Sweden Quebec Nordiques 01992-03-05 March 5, 1992 5
Mario Lemieux  Canada Pittsburgh Penguins 01993-04-09 April 9, 1993 5
Peter Bondra  Slovakia Washington Capitals 01994-02-05 February 5, 1994 5
Mike Ricci  Canada Quebec Nordiques 01994-02-17 February 17, 1994 5
Alexei Zhamnov  Russia Winnipeg Jets 01995-04-01 April 1, 1995 5
Mario Lemieux  Canada Pittsburgh Penguins 01996-03-26 March 26, 1996 5
Sergei Fedorov  Russia Detroit Red Wings 01996-12-26 December 26, 1996 5
Marian Gaborik[6]  Slovakia Minnesota Wild 02007-12-20 December 20, 2007 5
Johan Franzen[7]  Sweden Detroit Red Wings 02011-02-02 February 2, 2011 5