Tag Archives: Bobby Smith

Halifax Wins The Big One

Congratulations to owner and president Bobby Smith and his Halifax Mooseheads for defeating the Portland Winterhawks 6-4 today to win the Mastercard Memorial Cup in Saskatoon.

Halifax’ Jonathan Drouin and 17-year old Nathan MacKinnon were outstanding for the winners, and should have no trouble whatsoever paying the bills for the next 20 years. MacKinnon scored three times and added two assists, while Drouin contributed five assists.

The Colorado Avalanche, who won the draft lottery a month ago, have the luxury of choosing between MacKinnon, Drouin, and Portland’s great young defenceman Seth Jones, which is a nice dilemma to have.

I’d choose MacKinnon, as many would. He’s just too explosive and smart to let slip to number two, but to be honest, I haven’t seen enough of all three to be absolutely sure. Maybe Jones is still the odds-on favourite. Those big, mobile d-men are a nice commodity.

Halifax had dominated the first period, jumping into a 3-0 lead, but in the second, Portland seemed to find their game, and chipped away until it became a 3-2 nail-biter.

But in the third, Halifax tallied three more times and the Hawks just twice to make it close for awhile, and the Nova Scotians were full marks overall for the well-earned title of best in the CHL.

Owner Bobby Smith was a beauty of a hockey player. Tremendously intelligent, big, and crafty in a Jean Beliveau sort of way, with hands as soft as can be. As a junior with the Ottawa 67s, he set a record of 192 points in one season, a record that still stands to this day. He would spend seven years with the Montreal Canadiens in the 1980s, crammed between stints with the Minnesota North Stars, and Smith would hoist Lord Stanley’s mug with the Canadiens in 1986.

Smith’s Montreal numbers included 505 games played, with 172 goals and 310 assists for 482 points.

 

 

Big Numbers, Huge Numbers

Alex Galchenyuk scored again on Sunday as his Sarnia Sting edged the Oshawa Generals 3-2, this coming a night after his three-goal showing in Peterborough, and so while I should have been working, instead I used the boss’s computer and calculator and came up this: (with the help of Miss Vicki, who seemed to know what she was doing).

Galchenyuk has 20 goals and 49 points in 28 games, which, if Miss Vicki is correct, means that he’s on track for a 48-goal season, 119 points in total. That’s fine work for a guy who only played two games last year because of a knee injury. And who knows, maybe he’s just getting revved up and could finish with much more.

I gotta tell you. Keeping a watch on Galchenyuk is much more fun than my Gomez watch.

And before I continue down the junior path, it seems that ECHL players, which Gomez is one of right now, earn an average of $500 a week. With Gomez, that’s more like it.

A 130-point season for Galchenyuk would be great. I think we’d all be happy with that. But have a gander at these numbers:

Bobby Smith holds the OHL record for 192 points during the 1977-78 season, and Ernie Godden, playing for the Windsor Spitfires in 1980-81, scored a total of 87 goals! Godden would be chosen 55th overall by the Leafs, but only played five games with Toronto and that was it for the NHL. Maybe because he was small at 5’8 and 160 pounds, that his career screeched to a sudden halt.

In the WHL, Ray Ferraro holds the record for goals with 108, while Rob Brown (remember him?) had 212 points during the 86-87 season with the Kamloops Blazers.

And of course I save the best for last.

In 1983-84, Mario Lemieux managed 133 goals and a total of 282 friggin points.

Bonus stats!

In the 1971-71 season, Guy Lafleur scored just three less than Mario’s record, nailing 130 goals while with the Quebec Remparts. And Sidney Crosby’s best year with Rimouski saw him net 66 goals and 102 assists for 168 points.

 

Roy, Robinson, Gretzky, Messier – In Ottawa

On Friday, September 19, 1986, the Montreal Canadiens played an exhibition game against the Edmonton Oilers at the Ottawa Civic Centre.  I lived in Ottawa at the time but sometimes, as was the case here, real life gets in the way and I had to work and couldn’t go. Just like the time I had a couple of front row seats for Roy Orbison at the National Arts Centre and was out on a truck run, got back late, and missed that too.

But my buddy Frank and his son Robin went to this Habs-Oilers clash, and brought me back a program.

This was a charity event for the Canadian Cystric Fibrosis Foundation, and two beauty teams went at it that night. Montreal had won the Stanley Cup that previous spring, and boasted Patrick Roy in nets, along with guys like Bobby Smith, Larry Robinson, Guy Carbonneau, Bob Gainey, Chris Chelios, and Stephane Richer.

The Oilers were pretty well in a class by themselves. They had won the two previous Cups, in 1984 and 1985, and the two after, in 1987 and `88, with a lineup of Wayne Gretzky, Grant Fuhr, Paul Coffey, Glenn Anderson, Mark Messier, Jari Kurri etc.

Edmonton won the game that night 8-3, so maybe it was good that I missed it.

Patrick Noises

Rumblings have begun about Patrick Roy soon becoming the new Habs head coach, and I don’t really want to get into it until it becomes more than just rumblings.

I will say this, though. I wasn’t happy with Patrick when he quit the team in 1995 after being embarrassed by coach Mario Tremblay, and I wasn’t thrilled with the domestic abuse charges, and it wasn’t great hearing about some of his blowouts at the helm of the Quebec Remparts, including the directing of his goalie son to skate the length of the ice and pulvarize the much smaller goalie at the other end.

He has a certain fire, and I suppose that can be good. But I really don’t know how Patrick would do at the helm, and we’re just going to have to wait and see if this rumour actually comes to pass before we blow too many brain cells thinking about it.

Frankly, if we’re going to have a bilingual ex-Hab come aboard the Habs train, I’d prefer Bobby Smith, majority owner and recent coach of the Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL.

The Habs In 1986 – Getting Noses Dirty, And Winning It All

It’s certain the Montreal Canadiens of 1986 weren’t a dominant team in the league, or a great team like the Habs of other years. Heck, they weren’t even as good as several other teams in these playoffs. But they won the Stanley Cup and the rest didn’t. And they did it through a blend of old, new, and a goalie who stood on his head.

Montreal’s 1986 Stanley Cup win over the Calgary Flames was the 23rd time the team had drank from the old mug, and surprising as it was for all the armchair quarterbacks and hockey experts of the world, there were actual reasons why they were able to do this drinking.

Patrick Roy standing on his head was a very good reason. The rookie won the Conn Smythe for his performance in these playoffs, and one stop in particular may just have saved the day for the Habs. Coach Jean Perron had called a timeout with the game winding down and Montreal leading 4-3, when just 30 seconds after the timeout and only 14 seconds left, Jamie Macoun thought he had it tied when he fired and waited for the red light. But Roy pulled out the most important big stop of the series to maintain the lead. “I wasn’t on the ice when Roy made that save,” grinned Bobby Smith.  “When he made it, I was on my feet yelling: ‘Roo-ah! Roo-ah!’ This smile is going to be on my face until September.”

But Roy wasn’t the only reason the Canadiens came through. It was simply an amazing and unheralded bunch.

Ryan Walter for example, who played with a half-healed broken ankle, and played like a demon. Team doctors said with astonishment that if it was the regular season, Walter wouldn’t have even skated for another three weeks. Walter later explained, “Adrenaline is an amazing healer with a Stanley Cup in sight.”

Guy Carbonneau, playing with a serious knee injury.

Chris Nilan, who sat out the last two games with a damaged ankle, said of journeymen Serge Boisvert and Steve Rooney, who had filled in, “I’m glad it gave these guys a chance to get their names on the Cup. They deserved it because they worked like hell and never opened their mouths.”

Brian Skrudland, who was knocked out cold early in the final game, put the Canadiens ahead, 2-1, for good in the second period and never missed a shift. Later, in the dressing later, he blurted out, “You don’t know how much being a part of this means to me.  Since I can remember, I’ve always cried when the Canadiens and Saskatchewan Roughriders lost.”

Gaston Gingras, a player who was made fun of in previous years because of miscues and a big shot with no control, was a big-time player in the finals, scoring three large goals. No one made jokes about Gingras after this series was over.

Craig Ludwig, a solid defenceman, with a back so bad he could hardly get out of bed in the morning.

Claude Lemieux, the target of every player in the league, losing two teeth and creating havoc and playing like a man possessed whenever he stepped on the ice.

Rick Green, who performed so well on the blueline he was considered the best defencemen in all of the 1986 series, including those from the other teams. And Green had been a scapegoat because he and Walter had come to Montreal in an unpopular trade that saw Rod Langway, Doug Jarvis, Brian Engblom and Craig Laughlin sent to Washington.

Bob Gainey and Larry Robinson, thinking their time may have passed and wondering if they would ever win another Stanley Cup – and they played big and won again. 

Coach Jean Perron saying this 1986 team was the best defensive team in Montreal history. “When you don’t have great scorers you have to be great defensively. When we hang up that banner in the Forum, it will be screaming ‘defence…defence.’ ”

And there were others who made their mark too; Mike McPhee, Smith, Mats Naslund, Lucien Deblois and Mike Lalor to name a few, and Chris Chelios in just his second full year in the NHL.

Montreal would win again in 1993 and that would be it. Until this year, when they get solid efforts from the unexpected, and Carey Price comes through like Patrick Roy did back then.

Stan Fischler Tells Us About Chris Chelios And Other Habs In 1988

I pulled this book from my bookcase because it was there and I was bored. It’s called Breakaway 88-89. written by Stan and Shirley Fischler, and it’s billed on the front cover as “The Essential Viewer’s Guide to the NHL.”

 

“I wouldn’t think of broadcasting a game without consulting Breakaway” gushes John Davidson. “If it’s not in my briefcase on a road trip, I’m in trouble.”

 

Don Cherry adds, “Everything anyone would want to know about the 1988-89 season.”

 

Here’s some of what Fischler wrote. Just keep in mind that it was Fischler who said Carey Price is a bum.

 

“There is so much conflict inside the Montreal Canadiens’ dressing year after year that one sometimes gets the feeling that the United Nations’ Security Council should be convened to handle the matter of who’s right and who’s wrong with the Habs. Consider:

 

-On a trip to Chicago, Chris Chelios engaged coach Jean Perron in a public argument on the team bench at Chicago Stadium.

 

-A mutiny threatened when Chelios accused teammate Chris Nilan of telling young defenceman Mike Lalor that the other backliners planned to convince Perron to employ only five defencemen – excluding Lalor.

 

-Perron angered French-speaking players on his team by declaring that some francophone Canadiens tend to think they’re big shots and need to be cut down to size.

 

-Nilan openly criticized Perron, asked to be traded and was dealt to the New York Rangers.

 

-Veteran defenceman Larry Robinson told friends he was tired of all the politics on the team and also took Perron to task. Eventually, Perron was fired.

 

Smartest Hab – Bobby Smith

Most entertaining/quotable – Craig Ludwig

Most overrated – Chris Chelios

 

Patrick Roy: He often falls prey to the inherent drawback of that style – flopping is not a precise science (as opposed to playing the angles), which makes it tough for him to duplicate his success.