Tag Archives: Colton Orr

Boys Beat Buds

It was almost everything one would want from a Saturday night Hockey Night in Canada Habs-Leafs bash.

Guys skating like the wind, back and forth action, some nastiness, pretty goals, tense times. If only we didn’t have to see PJ Stock.

Aside from that and a couple of other things, the night was almost perfect. Leaf fans might not agree but of course that part isn’t important.

The Canadiens win the game 4-2 on two more goals by the red-hot Max Pacioretty, with PK Subban and Tomas Plekanec also bulging the twine. But they led the thing 4-0 before allowing two goals in 22 seconds late in the second period which quickly changed the gleeful merriment and put a quick halt to the tiresome Ole Ole singing.

They did manage to hang on though, there was no scoring in the third frame, and it’s a beautiful thing to see the boys rebound after losing to the Caps Friday night a shootout, which came after a four-game win streak.

Back on track, ending the month of November in fine style. Now it’s December to concentrate on.

Don’t forget, media and fans everywhere have predicted since last season that the Habs will run out of steam as the season unfolds. So it’s one month at a time, get it done throughout, and show these people they don’t know what they’re talking about.

Pre-game saw a terrific little HNIC clip showing Habs-Leafs action from over the years with soprano Giacomo Puccini warbling in Latin or Italian or whatever it was. I’ll take clips of the Rocket and Plante and the gang till the cows come home. Never tire of it, and I always get goosebumps.

The Bell Centre crowd sang the national anthem, Max Pacioretty opened the scoring after receiving a beautiful pass up the middle from PK Subban with Max banging it home with three or four whacks after the initial stop from Jonathan Bernier,

And after David Desharnais won the faceoff back to PK who sent a wrist shot to the back of the net, it was sort of off to the races.

The second period began with the obligatory Parros-Orr staged fight, and then without warning, first Plekanec scored, and then a shorthanded marker from Max Pacioretty, and the Ole singing really kicked in.

I know what the Ole bit is. It’s from European soccer, meant to be a celebration of the game and the happiness involved. I know it’s not supposed to be a smug thing, sung as a “we’ve got it in the bag” sort of thing.

No matter.  It is a smug thing whether intended or not. I don’t like it, never have, and I think it rallies the other team. And anyway, we’re in North America, not Europe, it’s hockey, not soccer, so can’t we find another way to show happiness? How about standing ovations instead?

The singing died down quickly when Toronto scored twice late in the second to make for uneasy times in living rooms and at the Bell, but the boys shut the visitors down in the third and skate away with a terrific 4-2 win that had me and I’m sure a plethora of others on the edge of couches, which is why it’s called “the good old hockey game.”

Random Notes:

Canadiens outshot the Leafs 39-36.

There was a nice feature about Habs goalie coach Stephane Waite before the game, and when asked if he thought the tandem of Carey Price and Peter Budaj were good enough to be goalies of a Stanley Cup-winner, Waite said “absolutely, without a doubt’ which of course is the right answer.

But Ron MacLean (just kidding he would say) piped in when the clip was done with a “somehow I doubt it” which was uncalled for because (a) he missed the point of the question completely, and (b) he’s a moron.

Canadiens are busy. They played Friday and Saturday, then again on Monday (New Jersey), and then Wednesday (Devils again) and Thursday (Bruins).

More and more I see that George Parros isn’t doing what we’d hoped. These staged fight are ridiculous, and what he does otherwise doesn’t amount to a hill of beans.

PK ended with a goal and assist, Max with two goals, and Carey Price assisted on the first Max marker, tying him with Ryan White and putting him ahead of Parros and Douglas Murray in points, who are stalled at zero..

 

 

 

 

Gut-Wrencher At The Bell

It didn’t go exactly as planned.

A Habs-Leafs barnburner to be sure, but three or four things soured the occasion. Oh, the agony and ecstacy of watching your favourite team.

George Parros, in his first game as Habs enforcer, lost his balance while tangling with Colton Orr, his face smashed to the ice, and it was the gut-wrenching sight of the stretcher coming onto the scene.

George has been taken to hospital and now we wait to hear.

Another thing that kicks a good Habs fan in the gut is the fact that the team lost the home opener to those despicable Buds, a 4-3 heart stopper that saw the Canadiens play reasonably well, including Carey Price, who may have faltered a tad on some plays but overall was fine.

But the old gut first took a boot when Max hurt his wrist, had it taped up and came back, but we don’t know for sure how he really is. All we need is for our guy to endure wrist problems over a length of time. He’s one of our top guns. We need him locked and loaded.

And Andrei Markov lost the puck in the opening seconds of a Habs’ power play, the Leafs’ Tyler Bozak burst in on Price, and presto, the blue guys had a 3-2 lead. It’s not something I was going to dwell on. The talk will be about how Markov is slower now, and I was going to defend him and say most defensemen get slower when they’re older and they get by on smarts instead. They’ve been doing it for a hundred years.

But then I checked and saw he’s only 34 so he has no excuse. How come you’re slower, Markov?

Lars Eller isn’t slower. He was outstanding on this night with two goals and an assist and was a dangerous Dane all evening. And linemates Gallagher and Galchenyuk showed flash as well.

There were fights throughout, with Parros and Orr into it for the first time in the second frame, followed by a Moen-Fraser card, and in the third, Jarred Tinordi walloped Carter Ashton. And near the end, Brandon Prust and Fraser got into it.

But the second Parros-Orr encounter came just seconds after the Tinordi-Ashton clash, followed by the stretcher, and we wait.

A glorious night sunk like a hitting of an iceberg. Fun and frolic until disaster struck.

It’s going to be quite a season.

Random Notes:

Toronto outshot Montreal 38-37.

Next up for the Habs – Saturday, when the Flyers show up.

 

Chris Neil’s A Sissy

There was so much talk in the past days about a possible Habs-Leafs playoff matchup, that it almost seems weird that somehow the Ottawa Senators arrived on the scene and just like that, the Montreal-Toronto opening round idea came to a screeching halt.

So it’s the Senators and I don’t know what to think about this. I thought at some point in the season their injuries were going to catch up with them, but they somehow won a bunch of games and made the playoffs and they should be proud of this accomplishment.

I just hope they’re not going to get carried away and say they can beat the Canadiens. That’s just crazy talk.

And if it’s not going to be Toronto, we need a new villain. We won’t have Nazem Kadri or Colton Orr to get mad at, so the natural alternative must be Chris Neil. He did manage to lead his team with 144 penalty minutes after all. The next guy after him was Zack Smith, with just 56 minutes.

Matt Kassian had 47 penalty minutes in just 15 games, and he could be a villain too, but for now I’m going with Neil. He’s tried and true.

Neil looks a bit like a linebacker. Kind of like Biff in Back to the Future. Sort of like a small-time hood. Maybe one of Al Capone’s hitmen. The guy who spent six years in grade ten. Stuffed skinny guys in their lockers. Was possibly a small-town bank robber. He cries during chick flicks. Big Moose in the Archie comics.

I’m sure there’s more. I’ve just reached my quota for one night.

The Canadiens and Senators don’t begin until Thursday, which a long way away. They condense the regular season like crazy and then we wait four days for things to start. And how am I going to think up Chris Neil insults for that many days?

Here’s the full opening round schedule. Another good series, the Leafs and Bruins, kicks off on Wednesday. All teams playoff schedules

 

I’d Have Cleghorn On My Team Anyday

 

I’d like to see the Steve Downie’s and Colton Orr’s of the world go head to head with Sprague Cleghorn. Bring ’em on, any of the league’s tough guys. They’d lose, and blood would be spilled.

Tiger Williams and Chris Nilan and Tie Domi would lose too. Because Sprague Cleghorn, Montreal great rushing defenseman from 1921 to 1925, was one of the meanest and nastiest players to ever play the game. Probably only a small handful of others, like Newsy Lalonde and Joe Hall, would give the guy a run for his money in the savage department.

Guys nowadays would scramble for cover if they went up against Cleghorn. He played in an era when the sport was excessively brutal, and many a player would crash into him and like magic would drop to the ice unconscious after Cleghorn had performed a deadly operation on them. Often a player might do Mr. Cleghorn wrong early in a game and Sprague would bide his time until later on, and in the end, the other guy would skate gingerly off the ice with a large and gruesome gash across his face, courtesy of our hero.

Red Dutton was quoted in Trent Frayne’s The Mad Men of Hockey, saying, “If some of the longhairs I see on the ice these days met Sprague Cleghorn, he’d shave them to the skull. Jesus he was mean. If you fell in front of Cleg he’d kick your balls off.”

King Clancy pulled the old trick of pretending to be a teammate and calling for the puck when Cleghorn was rushing, and Cleghorn fell for it. When the game ended Clancy was walking to the dressing room to the cheers of fans and heard a friendly voice saying “King.” Clancy turned and Cleghorn turned out Clancy’s lights. “Jesus did he hit me a beauty,” said King.

The Toronto St. Pats called up a tough guy, Bill Brydge, who was going to add muscle, and he gave it to Cleghorn – the knee, elbows, stick. Cleghorn didn’t pay any attention and waited. The time came and Brydge ended up with fifty stitches.

After Ace Bailey taunted Cleghorn one night about an offside, the big fellow unloaded on Bailey and down the St. Pats player went. Bailey struggled to get up and the now-aware Bill Brydge grabbed Bailey and said, “Stay down, you crazy bastard. Do you want to get killed?”

He speared, butt-ended, punctured a spleen or two, carved up faces, and pounded players over the head with his fist and stick. Scott Hartnell and Milan Lucic and these guys wouldn’t have a prayer. This was a guy who had Gordie Howe elbows and lethal stick long before Gordie Howe.

Imagine what he’d do to Dan Carcillo?

Cleghorn by all accounts possessed lots of skill, loved to take the puck end to end, and he’s a Hall of Famer, having been inducted in 1958. He was also a dapper gentleman off the ice who liked to wear fine clothes like he was dressing for the opera, and didn’t resemble at all the vicious son of a bitch he was when he had skates on.

Our man Sprague Cleghorn died at age 66 from complications after being hit by a car. He and his brother Odie, who also played for the Canadiens (1918-25), were close all their lives and after Sprague died, Odie also passed away, on the day of Sprague’s funeral.