Tag Archives: Erik Karlsson

High Times for Max And P.K.


For those who came here by mistake, don’t follow hockey, and are unsure of who’s who, Max is the one in the blue shirt.

Great news this week concerning P.K. Subban and Max Pacioretty. One who gave and one who received.

First with the Subbanator, who only a few days ago donated a cool ten million bucks (over seven years), to Montreal’s Children’s Hospital.

What a gesture by the 2015-16 Norris Trophy winner and key  member of next spring’s Stanley Cup-winning team. A big-hearted man of the people, and a guy with lots of money.

Rocket Richard gave to charities, visited hospitals, and accepted invitations to countless banquets, not only because certain duties were required, but because he truly loved kids. But in his day, if he’d handed over even a grand to a hospital, his house might have gone into foreclosure.

Whatever. Rocket then, P.K. now – it’s about caring and helping and loving kids and beating the shit out of the Leafs and Bruins.

We now tap our fingers and wait for Erik Karlsson to do something almost as good as what P.K. did. Is it possible? Or is P.K. truly one of a kind?

Maybe Patrick Kane might want to think about doing something like this too.


P.K. and the boys cast their votes, and Max Pacioretty was chosen by his buddies as Montreal’s newest wearer of the iconic C. A great honour and Max deserves it. He’s a class act on and off the ice, a dangerous sharpshooter, and obviously popular with his teammates.

Maybe his French leaves much to be desired, but hopefully some media folk and fans don’t get their shorts in a knot and just suck it up and let it be.

Habs fans missed having a captain last year, and now the letter is back in place. Max will look terrific when he accepts the Stanley Cup from wee Bettman next June.

Last year I sat with Max, Brendan Gallagher, Brandon Prust, and Tomas Plekanec at a table while they signed autographs, and while Prust and Plekanec hardly said a word and left as soon as they could, Max and Gally were as friendly as can be to all concerned, and stayed afterward and met people connected with the event.

Max’s dad and I have exchanged emails over the past several years, and I might sound like Don Cherry or Glenn Healy here, but I told Mr. Pacioretty a couple of years back that I thought his son would make a fine captain.

And because I mentioned Rocket’s house a few paragraphs ago, here’s a photo of it, situated in the north end of Montreal (Ahuntsic), where he raised a family while scaring the bejesus out of opposing forwards, defencemen, and goalies.

It’s a beautiful house on a corner lot, with a park and river across the street, and the main difference now, compared to when Maurice and his gang lived there, is the upper part, which is completely different than the original dwelling. That and different windows.

I took Lucy to see it, and she seemed impressed that it was Rocket’s house. I stress the word “seemed.”


Here’s the original if you feel like comparing.



Price – Like We Knew He Would

A sharp looking, bow tied Carey Price took the stage at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas to collect three biggies at the 2015 NHL Awards, and only one question remains unanswered. Why didn’t wife Angela smile more?

Price collected the Ted Lindsay Award for outstanding player as voted on by other players, the Vezina as league’s best goalie, decided by the 30 GMs, and the Hart Memorial Trophy for league MVP, voted on by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association.

Serious awards indeed. And now we wait to see if Pricer rides a horse into the lobby of Caesars Palace later on tonight after getting down at Bill’s Saloon where Big Elvis sings nightly. At least I think the big guy is still going strong. He looked slightly out of shape when I was there five or six years ago.

Price also shared the William M. Jennings Trophy with Chicago’s Corey Crawford for fewest goals allowed during the regular season (189).

Way to go, Carey. How come Angela didn’t smile more?

If I could produce the NHL Awards, I’d change two little things. The  laugh attempts and the music. Show clips of Stanley Cup wins and throw in some Slapshot, and most of the room, and us at home, are happy.

Instead of cue cards and awkward silliness, go for the important stuff, like the Jonathan Pitre segment. The young fellow suffers from a rare and painful skin disease called Epidermolysis Bullosa, and members of the Ottawa Senators, including Bryan Murray, came on stage and gave him gifts like a trip to next year’s All Star Game in Nashville.

Memories to last his lifetime, which, like Jonathan said on stage, could last until he’s 100.

Every year I hate this awards show. The entertainment sucks. Forget the laughs. Forget the music. Am I dead inside?

Rob Riggle, also known as obnoxious real estate agent Gil Thorpe on Modern Family, gave his all, I suppose, and I don’t want to be critical of this fellow. It must be a helluva tough gig. You get up in front of a room full of hockey players and executives and see how you do.

It’s gotta be a tough crowd to say the least. They just don’t laugh a lot, these hockey people. Not in a place like that. Maybe at the golf course or a father-son banquet.  Maybe if Tina Fey and Amy Poehler stepped in. Or Jim Ralph or Dennis Hull.

Chris Daughtry, from American Idol a few years back, sang with his band and not one goosebump showed up on my skin. And when he ordered everyone to stand up, they did. Only they didn’t want to.

Daughtry ordered the room to “get up. I mean it, get up”, and so they did, They stood there, of course, with a serious lack of swaying or bic lighter lighting, and I think it was only Ted Lindsay and Glen Sather who shook their booties and did a couple of splits in the aisle.

I hate when bands order us to stand up. We’ll stand up if we want to. And it’s usually when we like the band. So shut the %$#& about standing up, Daughtry, you mediocre, ultra ordinary American Idol fourth place finishing arena rocker.

A serious lack of cleavage was noticed throughout the proceedings. There were glimpses of it on the red carpet, but the wives and girlfriends in their seats within camera range were all buttoned up. It was a disappointment that ranked up there with P.K. Subban not winning the Norris (Erik Karlsson did).

Speaking of Karlsson, his dark-haired girlfriend was a ravishing beauty. Va va voom! And during his speech, he mentioned that when he gets home every night, she always treats him the same. I’ve been wondering about this ever since.

All in all, a normal NHL Awards Show that featured not a whole lot, aside from Carey Price winning some monumental awards and the Jonathan part. We’re proud of our goalie, and for me I thought he was terrific when he spoke about encouraging First Nations kids to be all they can be.  Way better than Chris Daughtry singing and ordering everyone to stand up.

On a personal note, I can relate, in my humble way, to what Price experienced on this night, having also captured an MVP award and various other big time honours during my life.

I just don’t like to talk about it much, but just this once I’ll bring it up.

Robin Hood




I was worried about a couple of things. And then I wasn’t.

Of course there was that 1-0 lead Ottawa had, and were wearing our guys down with some serious banging and new-found vim and vigour.

And I was worried that I’d have to endure Sens fans and media go on for the next two and a half days about how the gang from Kanata is back in it, and how Erik Karlsson took the bull by the horns and led his team to victory.

But Dale Weise had something to say about all that.

With the Sens holding on to a 1-0 lead well into the third frame after Clark MacArthur had beaten Carey Price midway through the first, it looked dismal for the boys, who were hit hard and often, and who simply couldn’t solve Craig Anderson any which way.

They also went 0/6 on the power play, which is basically the same old song and dance, and for all intents and purposes, they seemed quite done.

But Dale Weise, switched to the fourth line with Brandon Prust and Torrey Mitchell, tied things at 14:13 of the third, and in overtime it was Weise again, sending a shot from the left side that Craig Anderson, in nets in place of Andrew Hammond, should have snagged but didn’t.

Weise’s heroics puts his team up three games to none, and even the most optimistic of Sens fans might have to concede the fact that their team is probably done.

I say good riddance anyway.

Ottawa opened the scoring after PK Subban took a Patrick Wiercioch stick to the head with no call on the play, and later on, Erik Karlsson nailed Nathan Beaulieu at centre ice with a check to the head, also with no call.

The explanation from Don Cherry regarding the Subban stick to the head? Because he’s Subban. Which might be the case, but shouldn’t be. And Beaulieu sat on the bench for all of the third, plus the overtime, possibly because of the illegal hit which should have sent Karlsson to the showers.

Montreal’s power play was as pathetic as it’s been all season, all six chances including one in overtime when they had a chance to make amends. But it wasn’t to be of course.

All this after the PP looked fairly formidable in the previous two games.

But whatever. Because even though the Senators bashed and bruised, including the handing out of 27 hits to Montreal’s 16 in the first period alone, they still find themselves in the deepest of holes, and are now on life support.

Ain’t life grand!

Random Notes:

The Canadiens outshot Ottawa 49-34, but were outhit 61-36.

Now we wait until Wednesday for game four. But we wait while feeling high, and Sens fan feeling low.




Sliced By Sens

Reasonably lousy effort from the Canadiens in Ottawa Thursday night as they drop a 4-1 decision to the Sens after being outchecked, outhit, and outshot, and outplayed.

And of course, after a Habs power play that had come alive the previous night and scored three times, on this night it was back to reality as the team went 0 for 4, which is what we’re more accustomed to. Can’t expect a fine power play two games in a row, can we?

The Sens were the better team, which sucks to say considering my utter disdain for them. They had the Habs bottled up throughout, lined up like a wall when play was coming toward them, and Bobby Ryan and company must have had their fans wondering all evening why they’re not able to perform like this on more of a regular basis.

But as well as Ottawa played, if the Canadiens hadn’t been so soft around Dustin Tokarski, they might’ve been able to make a game of it. Soft and casual play in Montreal’s end led to the Sens first two goals, while an Erik Karlsson blast made it 3-1. Ottawa would also score on the empty net, while at the other end, Montreal’s guns were seized up.

For the Canadiens, Max would make it interesting early on when his 21st goal of the season (and 6th straight game with at least a goal) would tie it at one apiece. Jiri Sekac has a couple of great chances, including dinging one off the post. And Lars Eller skated miles all night and found himself with several great chances (although on one of Lars’ chances, he should’ve tried burying it instead of passing it across into traffic, which made me yell at the TV and scare the cat who already has health issues).

Mostly though, as a whole the boys stunk. But we’ve seen this before, doses of mediocrity mixed with in with runs of solid play that continues to see them at or near the top of the class. We’re a greedy bunch, us fans, and watching Le Tricolore fall flat against some bums up the road definitely smells.

Random Notes:

Ottawa outshot the Canadiens 35-26.

Dustin Tokarski came up big several times and did his job. Now Toker might ride the pines until February 8th, the next back to back situation. But rust can never sleep.

Next up – Saturday, when the really good Islanders visit the Bell.



What Was That?

I’m sitting here trying to wrap my head around what we all just saw. Kind of at a loss for words.

One thing’s for sure, the Canadiens were pathetic.

They also won.

Carey Price was unreal, with 44 shots peppered at him, maybe 15 of which were ultra-tough, and he sprawled and dived and stuck gloves and pads out and looked like Vladislav Tretiak during the 1975 New Year’s Eve game.

P.K. Subban scored the winner in overtime, and the Canadiens grab two big points. Price (and PK’s goal) was the good part.

The rest of the night sucked rancid rats.

This was a game that folks will be talking about for awhile. It was nothing short of ridiculous, but you had to see it to know what I’m talking about.

I suppose I could give a brief rundown to those who decided to forgo the Habs-Senators tilt to grab a Gallagher at McDonalds. But it’s hard to type when I can’t stop shaking my head.

Montreal jumped into a 3-0 lead in the first period when Travis Moen sent Tomas Plekanec in on clear-cut breakaway when they were killing a penalty.

Max upped it to 2-0 shortly after on the powerplay, and then David Desharnais made a nice little move to make it 3-0.

Three goals on five shots. A glorious night to be a Habs fan. 3-0. Maybe it’ll be 6-0 at the end! Ole Ole!

But without warning, a puck that changed direction made it 3-1, still in the first. And then Erik Karlsson found himself with a wide open net and just like that, it was 3-2.

Shots on goal – Ottawa 19, Montreal 7. But the Canadiens were still winning, as weird as it was.

In the second frame, Carey Price was once again as good as he’s ever been, coming up big on Michalek, Ryan, Stone, and I stopped writing down the others after that.

And suddenly, and with lots of warning because it was so one-sided the boys should be ashamed of themselves, Bobby Ryan tied it at 2:44 and somebody else, and I don’t care who it was, put the home team ahead 4-3 with 1:20 left.

As pathetic as you’ll see from the Canadiens. I thought they were dead or seriously hungover in Philadelphia, but this one takes the cake. I could smell Sens fans’ smugness all the way from St. Hubert.

But as bad as it was, as one-sided and ridiculous as this game was, Tomas Plekanec tied it after being sent in on a nice pass from Brian Gionta, and although he didn’t score, I want to give a big shout out to Jared Cowan, who was chasing him and knocked the puck into his own net by accident.

To think of the Sens fans’ disappointment at that moment warmed the cockles of my heart. But it wasn’t over…………until overtime that is, when P.K. Subban got the puck to sneak by Anderson and the boys skate away with a 5-4 win!

It was like being on the receiving end of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, all the tommy gun bullets missed, and you walked out of the warehouse safe and sound.

Basically, it was a horrendous night. A truly stupid night that somehow ended with the Canadiens winning.

The only two excellent things were Carey Price standing on his head and showing once again how good he is, and the lovely vision of Sens fans grinding their teeth and throwing beer cans at the wall.

The Canadiens need some serious tweaking. That was as bad as it gets, and there’s been some serious stinkers this year. But this was unreal. They looked like a junior team. They floundered, they were outworked and outmuscled.

And they still won. After blowing a 3-0 lead. After having 44 shots peppered at them. WTF?

Random Notes:

Only two penalties on the entire night, one for each team. Just part of the overall weirdness.

Shots on goal – 44-23, including 19-7 for the Sens in the first, 19-10 in the second, and 6-5 in the third.

But Carey Price and P.K. Subban came through, and although it’s a win and two points and keeps the Senators from inching closer, it was still pathetic and unacceptable, and I can’t wait for some sort of change to occur.

I’m sure there’s a ton of teams that would dearly love to have Rene Bourque and Daniel Briere.

In the Austrian league.

Now it’s on to Toronto. Gawd, what’s next?





Habs Snuff Sens

Solid win Thursday night at the Bell Centre as the boys lance the Senators boil and close off the preseason on the right note.

3-1 Habs. The guys played well. At a rink in the downtown core where it should be instead of 45 minutes east of the city in a pasture.

Ottawa grabbbed a 1-0 lead in the first period after Andre Markov wasn’t forceful with a bouncing puck in the crease, and this sort of thing needs to change. We’ve seen too many pucks cross the line behind Carey Price after mad scrambles. A puck in his crease means holding our breath until it leaves. It’s not healthy.

Alex Galchenyuk, chosen third star, tied the game after stripping a Sen of the puck near the blueline, converting a Daniel Briere pass from behind the net, and showing the good hands which will catapult him into superstardom in the not too distant future.

The Canadiens then jumped ahead in the second when Tomas Plekanec surprised Anderson with a blast, finally giving our boys the lead.

It’s more fun watching games when the team is leading. Have you ever noticed that?

Max salted it away after another Briere pass from behind the net, and it seems there’s some fine chemistry with Briere on the Max and DD line. Luci noticed it. And when that happens, it’s real.

Brian Gionta returned and made a clear impact on things. He was smart and poised and assisted on Pleks’ marker.

Carey Price was solid and stopped 29 of the 30 shots that came his way. He tried to shoot it into Ottawa’s empty net with about a second left, it wasn’t hard or high enough anyway, and it’s something he needs to work on. If we’re going anywhere this season, we need more offence from Carey Price.

So there you go, Sens fans. It wasn’t that proverbial piece of cake this time. And if you say you didn’t have Erik Karlsson, we’ll say we didn’t have Alexei Emelin. Different kind of D-man. Important in his own way.

Random Notes:

Shots on goal – Ottawa 30, Habs 25.

Leafs next Tuesday to get the party underway. Great to have a solid win beforehand.

At this time I’d like to express my sadness on the passing of Denis Brodeur. A legendary photographer, he was the Habs official lensman for years, and because he’d enjoyed a fine senior and minor league career, and even an Olympic goaltending stint, he would sometimes suit up as practice goalie with the Habs in the 1950s.

Denis produced quality photos over the years with the Canadiens and Expos, and I know a fellow who has about a hundred Grand Prix photos shot by Denis that I’ve never seen but which he says are amazing. And of course he snapped one of the classic Paul Henderson goal photos.

Denis was 82. By all accounts he was a great man.



Subban And Karlsson

Some of my buddies I was with in Ottawa this weekend said that when comparing PK Subban and Erik Karlsson, it’s ridiculous to even talk about. It’s a no-brainer. Karlsson is way better.

Do you feel that?

These are two different defensemen. Karlsson methodically takes control, makes the plays, and is always dangerous. When he came back from his injury last year, he wasn’t overly impressive, but before that he was a major force on all parts of the ice, especially in enemy zone, and he gets back smartly the way Bobby Orr used to.

P.K. is a whirling dervish and dangerous in his own right. Full steam ahead, flamboyantly possessed, with the enthusiasm of a kid playing on the pond. He skates like the wind, has the big shot, and plays like he’s about to physically explode. He rushes and gets back quickly too, but he seems to end up on the ice more, makes more mistakes, and isn’t the cool cucumber Karlsson is.

Is it better to have a special player like Karlsson – smart, in control, often dangerous, and a guy who seems to do everything well? Or like P.K., who raises fans out of their seats with his dynamic rushes and bone crunching open-ice bodychecks, who’s the big man on the power play, the one who on most nights creates a buzz in the rink like no other player?

One of my friends complained about P.K.’s habit of submarining people. And my brother also said recently that what he didn’t like about Subban was his turtling and lack of enthusiasm when it came time to drop the gloves.

Are these valid points?

What if P.K. corrects a few things here and there and becomes even more dynamic? What if he wins the Norris again? What would my friends say?

My wish is this. Along with being such a media darling and doing a great job on sports panels, I wish P.K. would take boxing lessons and show the hockey world he’s added fighting finesse to his arsenal. Maybe George Chuvalo can put him in touch with someone.

I don’t know what Karlsson can do in the fisticuffs department. Can he scrap?

I’m anxious to see how both young stars develop. C’mon P.K., I gotta deal with these Sens fans. Help me out here.

Tale of the Tape


24 years old. 6′ 206 lbs, has played 3 full seasons, 202 games, with 32 goals, 82 assists, 302 PIM.


23 years old. 6′, 175 lbs, 3-plus seasons, 233 games, with 43 goals, 120 assists, 124 PIM.



Leak Says Subban

Puck Daddy reports that Nick Kypreos from Sportsnet has gotten wind of a leak that says P.K.Subban has won the Norris Trophy, beating out worthy foes Ryan Suter and Kris Letang.

As suggested in the article, leaks help to get winners to the award shows. Makes sense to me I guess. It’s the NHL after all.

Of course P.K. deserves it. He was dominant. I think he’ll win it next year too. Even with Erik Karlsson in the mix.

I can’t stay long here. We’ve stopped for the night in Princeton, B.C., and maybe because it’s in the middle of nowhere that the internet was terrible at our $60 motel room. So I’ve brought my laptop to the local pub where I’m having a couple of pints and hoping the battery doesn’t go dead.

What a scenic yet pain in the ass highway from Hope to Princeton. Lots of curves and bends and gravel trucks going ten miles an hour..

There’s a big table beside us of about 20 really old people in town for some sort of convention, and I really wanted to ask them if I could take a picture of them with Gaston but I decided they might not see the humour in it and call the cops.

When I’m that age, I hope to go to conventions too. Just not in Princeton.

Princeton seems nice though. Clean. Although if I was a teenager here, I have a crystal meth habit in no time.

I’d better sign off here while the computer still works. Tomorrow it’s Nelson to see my daughter and Ryan and my four grandkids. My daughter just recently drove out of their driveway and ran over their rottweiler.

Titan is now in rottweiler heaven.


It’s been clearly explained to me (thanks Tom), and it becomes this: Ottawa and Boston play each other tonight, and if Ottawa wins, the Habs play Ottawa. If Boston wins, the Habs play Toronto.

So this means I’ll be cheering for………..not sure.

Montreal managed two wins and two losses against the Sens this season, and two wins and three losses against Toronto. Ottawa has Erik Karlsson back and have a hot goaltender. Toronto has several guys who whack themselves over the head with baseball bats when they wake up. They also have the lovely and talented P.J. Stock cheerleading from the sidelines.

Whatever. Bring ’em on. Whoever it is.

Below – P.J. Stock



Therrien Frontrunner At NHL.com

Danno sends over the news that NHL.com has Michel Therrien as the odds-on favourite for the Jack Adams Trophy as coach of the year. Chicago’s Joel Quenneville and Ottawa’s Paul MacLean are the runners up.

You can see it here.

Quenneville had his club on that massive unbeaten streak, earning at least a point in their first 24 games, and the Hawks remain a force to be reckoned with. In Ottawa, Paul MacLean has steered his Senators team through injury woes to hold on to a playoff spot, although it could slip away at any time. Losing Erik Karlsson was as big a blow as can be, and I’m not one to rave about enemy players, but Karlsson’s a beauty.

For me, Therrien as coach of the year is a no-brainer. Everyone knows the story. A team goes from basement to penthouse in miraculous fashion. Habs fans had run out of patience and Therrien and GM Marc Bergevin went about fixing it for us. A rags to riches story, coming soon to a theatre near you.

Therrien’s been tough, (Ryan White understands this all too well), but he’s made this team consistent and a true contender. He’s even calmed P.K.Subban down, with the help of defensemen coach J.J. Daigneault, and instead of this major tweak hurting his game, Subban is Norris-bound.

The Jack Adams should be Michel Therrien’s. He’s earned it. There’s a handful of big-time awards this team could collect this year and unless you hate the Habs, it’s all very exciting.