Tag Archives: Elliotte Friedman

HNIC Starring Don, PJ, And The Gang

Buckle up boys and girls! Eleven minutes of the Hockey Night in Canada gang preparing for and during the broadcast.

Chills, spills, and thrills. Don and Ron watching the game. Don getting ready to talk about shots from the point. Ron trying to impress us by seeming normal and hoping we can somehow save his job.

Don says he tries to think of what those at home would be interested in hearing. (Note to Don. About 20 million Habs fans wouldn’t mind hearing about the Habs sometimes).

P.J. Stock is there! PJ says he and the others like Elliotte Friedman and Kelly Hrudey gather their thoughts and try to make a hockey conversation that people at home can join in on. (Note to P.J. – We’re sort of joining in, P.J. Does “Why is he on the show” count?)

The last thing we see? Don Cherry leaving and saying goodbye, unaware that the collar of his jacket is tucked inside.

It’s all here – The HNIC gang hard at work. See for yourself. Make sure you go to the bathroom first so you can watch it uninterrupted.

 

Canadiens Win With Pride And Passion

The series is all even now, with the Canadiens beating the Ottawa Senators 3-1, and it was they way they won it that tugs at the heart strings.

Unless you’re a Sens fan of course.

Carey Price bounced back and was splendid throughout. Just when we were ready to ship him off to Palookaville.

Rene Bourque showed he has it in him to be an important power forward, and was a serious presence, banging enemy bodies and providing much-needed offensive spark, which is what a premier power forwards show on a regular basis. If only Bourque could do this game in and game out. Maybe he will from here on in.

Ryan White opening the scoring after intercepting an Erik Karlsson pass, and then showed guts and fire through to the final siren.He wasn’t silly, he was effective, and along with his scoring, managed to get under the Sens skin in a way that saw no trips to the sinbin.

Brandon Prust banged and jawed and skated miles, and again showed wonderful leadership, including keeping Bourque’s spirits up on the bench after Bourque was shaken up.

The list goes on – the sensational Subban, the kids Galchenyuk and Gallagher, and all through the lineup, the Habs were a team with intensity and drive, and they did it all without Lars Eller, Max Pacioretty, and Brian Gionta in the lineup. Personally, I’m bursting with pride for the boys. They weren’t to be denied, they oozed emotion, and emotion goes a long way in big games.

Emotion and a great goalie. And both were on display in fine fashion on this Friday night at the Bell Centre.

Random Notes:

The Canadiens outshot Ottawa 34-30.

Elliotte Friedman mentioned it, and it’s absolutely true. When Brendan Gallagher has one of his many great games, he picks up his teammates, the building comes alive, and magic often happens. Gallagher scored to make it 2-0 before the Sens got on the board, he played hard all night, and I can’t wait to see the Cassie Campbell story on Brendan’s dad, which apparently will be shown on Sunday.

Carey Price took a skate to his mask and lost a tooth, which he promptly took over to Graham Rynbend at the bench. The episode was an important example of Price’s intensity and guts, and he looked like he meant business on this night. It’s not fun losing a chiclet, as you can well imagine.

Throughout this game Price stood his ground, made the saves, and showed the mark of a true champion. Just excellent to witness. And he must be feeling good about the job he did.

Michael Ryder scored Montreal’s insurance marker, after nice work from David Desharnais and Bourque. How great it is when guys are contributing, guys we need. Just very proud of everyone.

All they have to do now is do it again in Ottawa on Sunday.

CBC’s three star selection were Price, Gallagher, and Bourque. Seeing Price as first star will take up several minutes of The Carey Price Story, coming someday to a theatre near you.

Raising The Cup

Cup

Unless these folks in New York decide to come to their senses, quit this nonsense, and give us a lousy 48 game asterisk season, maybe it’s just fine that the Cup probably won’t be awarded this year. The Habs aren’t quite ready yet. Next year they could be, and so thank you Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr and all the wild and crazy gang for not giving us hockey this year, thus allowing the Canadiens to blossom into a force to be reckoned with next year.

In fact, I think I’ll raise a cup right now. My coffee cup.

In the meantime, don’t just watch other sports, check sports betting options and make some quick cash. This is how I’m going to retire to a life of leisure. Betting on sports. I know of no other way.

Here’s what the two sides seem to be down to, from Elliotte Friedman’s fine piece in Friday’s CBSsports site – Bitterness Grows . Maybe you’re trying to make sense of all this, like me, and Elliotte’s explanations below might help somewhat.

Cap: League wants it to be $60 million next year, and Commissioner Bettman is trying keep it low to protect the floor from being too far from the ceiling. The players want $65 million for freer movement.

Contract length: League wants six years (other team’s free agent) or seven (your own). Players want eight overall.

Pensions: Players are determined to get what was previously agreed to. And they should.

CBA length: Both accept 10 years. League wants opt-out after eight, as long as intention to do so is after Year 6. And the CBA ends June 30. Players want opt-out after seven, with the CBA ending September 15.

Variance: League has offered a 30 per cent difference per season, but also that no season in any multi-year deal can be more than 60 percent lower than the highest-salaried one.

Buyouts: There will be two compliance buyouts per team before next season, although both will count against the players’ share of Hockey Related Revenue.

Coming Clean

Whenever I read a story from CBC’s Elliotte Freidman or Bob McKenzie at TSN or any of the other hockey guys telling us about the lockout and how it’s going, I always notice a bunch of comments that basically say the same thing; Who cares. I’ve moved on. Yawn.

So I’m hesitant to talk about it because lots of people don’t care.

Okay, I’ll be honest. It’s a great excuse to stay away because frankly, most of the time I don’t know what they’re talking about. Don’t forget, I was the guy who used to get 10 out of a 100 on my math exams. If I managed 40 out of 100, I felt like Einstein. These words – “fixed targets, make-whole provisions” and the rest is all Greek to me. The only words I know are “He shoots, he scores, Gomez misses the net, Marchand goes for the knees, and Bugsy McSwain takes a dump at centre ice.”

It does seem like the two sides are getting closer though, and it’s possible that hockey will be back in December. If they can figure out that “make-whole” thingy.

Oh, oh. I hear a bunch of “who cares.”

 

Friedman Answers Booche’s Question About PK

The other day I wrote about CBC’s Elliotte Friedman going on about how PK Subban won’t win the Calder Trophy because PK annoys too many people. Max and Chara Talk, And PK Annoys

Today, Booche (Andre Bouchard) wrote telling me he’d asked Friedman recently about Subban’s chances and I’ve decided to show the entire question and answer from the two of them.

Thanks for this, Booche.

Elliotte,
 
From your perspective, how manufactured are the negative sentiments towards PK Subban? Obviously Hab fans are living by the “see no evil speak no evil” side of the sword, but I encounter fans of other teams on a daily basis who scream to the rafters regarding PK Subban’s “lack of respect” and his “dirty” play. I can’t help but think how much these folks have been influenced by another CBC employee.  Will all this negative attention affect the odds of PK being nominated for the Calder?
 
Thanks and keep delivering those Monday 30 thoughts, one of the best regular hockey pieces found on the internet as far as I am concerned.

– Andre Bouchard

Andre,

Glad you like the column.

I do think Subban’s Calder candidacy is being hurt by some of the things that have happened this year. Maybe not fair, but fact. He deserves a lot more credit than he’s getting, considering the role he’s played on a decimated blue-line.

However, it’s not fair to solely blame Don Cherry. Before the season started, I asked 10 coaches and GMs who deal with the AHL to submit players who were ready to make an impact in the NHL. Every one named Subban. Every one. But one person said the only thing he hated about the rookie was that he started things and let others fight those battles. So this kind of thing predates Don’s rants.

Earlier this year, I asked Subban about all of the things he says, and he replied, “That’s me,” adding he feels he needs to be that way to be at his best. If that’s his choice, it comes with consequences. But it doesn’t sound like he’s too worried about them.

– EF

Max And Chara Talk, And PK Annoys

I see that Zdeno Chara has had a chat with Max Pacioretty sometime recently and that’s good. If Chara spoke from his heart, saying he worried for Max and never wanted to hurt but simply erase him from the play, then that’s excellent.

Of course, it isn’t good if Chara warned Max to never, ever push him again after scoring an overtime goal.

Maybe now Mark Recchi will step forward and say he was out of line for saying Max embellished his injury. Or is the former Hab still having trouble removing his foot from his mouth?

Elliotte Friedman on rookie of the year –  He chooses Jeff Skinner, but also had this to say –

“You know who is not getting enough respect? John Carlson.
He led all rookies in ice time, both for the season and per game. He was six points behind Kevin Shattenkirk, who led diaper-dandy defencemen in scoring. Carlson and Karl Alzner became the shutdown pair on a team that changed its system at Christmas and charged at the end to win the East. That’s pretty good.

P.K. Subban’s chances are hurt because he annoys people. That’s unfortunate, because he had a major impact on a decimated blue-line. But Carlson had a better year.”

Carlson had a better year? He had 7 goals and 30 assists for 37 points, plus 44 PIM’s. PK notched 14 goals and 24 assists for 38 points and 124 PIM’s. The Canadiens relied heavily on PK after losing Andrei Markov and Josh Gorges for the season and Jaroslav Spacek for 23 games. PK is such an impact player that the Bruins will be concentrating hard on him as he can be a game-breaker.

And he annoys people? What does that have to do with anything? If Bobby Orr had annoyed some, does that mean he wouldn’t have won all those Norris’? It’s about skill, impact, importance to team, points and other intangibles. It shouldn’t be about whether PK annoys some players or not.

Am I wrong or was Friedman’s statement one of the sillier things you’ve seen lately? Hall of Famers and others throughout the decades annoyed other players too.

Wayne Gretzky used to tell Gary Lupul he was useless and didn’t belong in the league. Gretzky was a known trash-talker and that annoyed others I’m sure. Alexander Mogilny, after being asked by his Vancouver Canucks’ coach (who I won’t name) to do more backchecking, replied, “And how much money do YOU make?’ To me, that’s also pretty annoying.

Ted Lindsay would call Rocket Richard every hateful and racist name he could think of. That must have been tremendously annoying.

But PK’s a rookie and is supposed to behave. The unwritten rule is that you can’t be annoying until you’ve been around a few years. Too bad.

 

Being A Grinch About Gomez

The title of the YouTube clip says “Scott Gomez Funny Interview.”

This interview, which can be seen at the bottom, has stuck with me over the months because when I originally saw it on a CBC broadcast, I thought it was not even close to being funny, was pre-planned and embarrassing, and basically quite stupid. 

Near the end, Gomez starts going on to Elliotte Friedman about wearing a green suit and the Grinch and all that, and as he walked away, which isn’t seen here, he peeks back at Friedman to see his reaction, obviously extremely pleased with himself for being one of the amusing characters of the game.

Gomez seems to have placed a large amount of emphasis on being a great guy. He taps opposing goaltenders on the pads after a nice save, smiles at inappropriate times – like when his team is losing or his teammates are in a scuffle – and doesn’t want to make waves on the ice. He wants to be the funny and interesting Scott Gomez. But in the meantime, he’s not helping his team, and that’s inexcusable.

I’m all for colourful characters in the league. Lord knows there’s not enough. I suppose it really started when helmets became mandatory and players began to look similar behind all the padding. Each year, before the season begins, players are instructed on how to go about an interview, how to say all the right things without really saying much at all. And yes, they’re scared, because if the wrong thing ever gets said and a ripple becomes a tidal wave, then things could go south for a player in quick fashion and there’s a bunch of guys on the farm biting at the bit to take his place.

So eveything and everyone is careful and it’s like listening to cardboard. And it’s why PK Subban, by being himself and a breath of fresh air, is looked at with caution around the league. He’s not like everyone else and no one knows what to think just yet.

But Gomez isn’t PK Subban. The act doesn’t seem to come from within the way it does with the young fellow. And PK plays with burning desire while Gomez doesn’t.

Here’s this nonsensical Grinch drivel which occurs near the end of the interview. Or maybe it’s just me who doesn’t find it funny.

Plus, as a bonus, a couple of others I didn’t laugh at either.

Elliotte Friedman Shares A Good Crosby/Habs Story

I thought Elliotte Friedman came up with an interesting little ditty in his CBC blog Elliotte Friedman. It involves The Kid, The House, and The Habs.

Friedman, in my books, is a star who hasn’t peaked yet in the sports media business.

Here’s what he said. And I think it’s what most have said also.

“(Sidney) Crosby gets ripped for not moving out of Mario Lemieux’s place until now (Joffrey Lupul, for example, did it on Twitter). When the Canadiens were imploding off-ice last season, he talked privately about how nothing similar happened to him for that reason.”

In English, here’s what it meant: Crosby announced a few weeks ago he was moving out of the Lemieux home and into his own place. Lupul made fun of it on Twitter. When the Canadiens were imploding off-ice in February 2009, Crosby and I had a conversation about it. He said that staying at Lemieux’s home for so long was the major reason nothing similar happened to him. He had a Fortress of Solitude, and it protected him from what was occurring with some of Montreal’s players.

CBC’s Elliotte Friedman Says It’s Time To Trade Price

Time for Canadiens to consider trading Price

January 25, 2010 11:31 AM | Posted by   Elliotte Friedman

Last week, one of my 30 thoughts concerned the Montreal goaltending battle. I asked a scout about Jaroslav Halak and Carey Price. He said that if Halak was made available, 10 teams would be interested. If Price was made available, everyone makes a pitch.

Halak’s agent, Allan Walsh, questioned that. So, minutes after Price gave up an ugly OT winner to Andy McDonald last Wednesday night (a game I attended), I asked another scout for his take. After thinking about it for a few seconds, he grimaced and said, “I’d take Price.”

And that is why it’s time for the Montreal Canadiens to trade him.

Franchise goalie

I can understand Bob Gainey’s reluctance. You can see Price’s potential. He’s still only 22. Somewhere in there is the goalie who stoned the U.S. in that famous world junior shootout, then won the Calder Cup in his first two months as a professional.

Also, Price has the size advantage over Halak, and the trend in net now is go big or go home. Look at Marty Turco. He still has incredible passion and desire to play. But, the biggest criticism is that he’s too small. Next year, equipment is to be regulated by the size of the goalie. That’s not good for him.

Gainey could be sending a franchise goalie somewhere else. There’s no worse feeling for a GM.

Still, there is one major thing in Halak’s favour: right now, he is better than Price and gives Montreal more of a chance to win. That should be reason number one. But there are some other considerations, too.

No matter what everyone says about these two guys making the best of it, it’s a bad situation. They both want to be number one, and, what’s worse, each believes they should be number one. When you have a young goaltender feeling his way through his first starting job, he needs an experienced backup (who understands their role) to help with the bad times. These guys don’t have that, and other guys who know a heckuva lot more than me think it has hurt Price’s development.

Price would get full value

Also, Gainey was uncharacteristically outgoing about offering Halak to Philadelphia. There were also discussions with Dallas. Who knows how many others were approached. The fact Halak is still in les bleus-blanc-et-rouge tells us the Canadiens are not being offered enough. Do you think they get lowballed for Price? No way.

Gainey could hold a silent auction. Maybe someone has to take another salary with him. Maybe he gets two or three players or picks. At least, there are some nice options.

Both goalies are restricted free agents after this season, and it’s really hard to determine either man’s value. This allows Montreal to really understand what it has in Halak. Is he a legit number one? He looks like he could be, but nothing answers the question better than starting 25 games in a run for the playoffs.

Most importantly, the organization has to face the possibility that Price simply will not develop here. Look at highlights from three years ago and compare them to now. He simply isn’t the same confident guy. He’s on his second goalie coach, and needs a fresh start.

It would be good for him. It’s a risk, but the return would also be good for Montreal.


Canadiens Suck The Big One

I thought it was Elliotte Friedman, roving reporter for the CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada,, who said the most unbelievable thing tonight but I was corrected and I think now it was Glen Healy who said that for many Montreal fans, Alex Kovalev was as popular as Guy Lafleur.

Or was it Garry Galley?

Bob Cole, however, brought everyone back to their senses when he replied, “I don’t buy that for a second.”

I don’t buy it for a second either. That’s about as far out a statement as you can get.

I mention this because even though it’s not overly interesting, it’s at least more interesting than what we saw tonight from the Canadiens, a team on the playoff landscape bubble but didn’t play like it. In fact, they made the Ottawa Senators look like world beaters in a 4-2 lacklustre loss to the visitors.

How frustrating is that? The Sens showed up, the Canadiens should have stayed home and let the Hamilton Bulldogs give it a shot.

There’s really nothing more to say. Habs lose and Alex Kovalev was more popular than Guy Lafleur.

Random Notes:

Tomas Plekanec and Benoit Pouliot each scored for Montreal. That’s interesting, right?

Senators fathers were at the game. Being the despicable, low-down, dirty rotten bastard that I am, I’ll just mention that it’s too bad their sons didn’t lose on this night.

Sunday night, it’s the Rangers in New York. Will we see a good Habs effort or a bad one? Will the power play get back on track after going zero for six tonight? Will the goaltending be better?

The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind.