Tag Archives: Hockey Night in Canada

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.

 

Only 5.2 Billion

The big news of course is Rogers (Sportsnet) buying the TV rights for hockey games across Canada for the next twelve years, including four years and beyond of Hockey Night in Canada. For 5.2 billion dollars.

CBC will still do the games, but Rogers collects money other ways. Whether or not Don Cherry and Ron MacLean continue remains to be seen. It’ll be up to the Rogers people but I’m guessing they will be. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, people still watch.

If Cherry stays, I’m hoping Hazel Mae replaces MacLean.

As they were saying on Prime Time Sports, this is a great thing, this massive deal. Hockey Night in Canada could have died if Rogers didn’t do this. CBC’s taxpayer dollars can’t handle 5.2 billion.

The big question is, will Habs fans see every Habs game like now? What about RDS? Can I get TVA? Where will certain broadcasters go? Will PJ Stock and Glenn Healy have to send their wives back to work?

I grew up with Hockey Night in Canada. It’s important to me.

 

 

 

 

 

Scientific Tracking System Not New

You may think that my Scientific Habs Tracking System (SHTS), which I do every year using high-tech yellow highlighter and ultra modern computer page link, is something new.

Heck, I used to do it often, long before computers were invented, using the very fine method of red star for a Habs win, blue for a loss, and a straight red line for a tie on an Esso schedule.

Below is the only one I have left from those days, the 1966-67 season, which also happens to be the year the Toronto Maple Leafs won their last Stanley Cup by beating Montreal four games to two.

Look at the run Montreal went on in March and April, losing just once, in Toronto of all places.

The standings for 1966-67 were:

Chicago 94
Montreal 77
Toronto 75
New York 72
Detroit 58
Boston 44

018

019

Mellanby Joins Habs’ Front Office

Scott Mellanby has been hired by the Habs as director of player personnel, and as I have no idea if this will prove to be a good move or not, all I can say is this former player played 21 years in the NHL, with Philadelphia, Edmonton, Florida, Toronto, St. Louis, and Atlanta, and during his time in Florida, he murdered a rat with his stick which led to plastic rats being thrown on the Panthers’ ice.

Mellanby, born in Montreal, is also the son of former Hockey Night in Canada producer Ralph Mellanby, who was one of Don Cherry’s biggest boosters.

All in all, Scott Mellanby has hockey running through his veins, and hopefully he’ll add great value to the complex rebuilding puzzle in Montreal. For me, at this stage of the game, any change is a good change.

As director of player personnel, what’s he going to suggest to Marc Bergevin about Scott Gomez, and which young buck is he hoping to land in the upcoming June draft?

 

Doug Loses To Doug Jr.

This is a nice 1960 commercial featuring Doug Harvey and son Doug Jr. playing a new table hockey game put out by Imperial Oil celebrating Hockey Night in Canada’s 25th year. The game could be bought for a whopping five bucks.

I spoke to Doug Jr. on the phone several years ago when he owned a restaurant in Charlottetown, and when I asked him what it was like growing up with such a remarkable dad, he said it was completely normal and just like any other family, except for the fact that Jacques Plante, Maurice Richard, Dickie Moore, Jean Beliveau and rest would come over for visits. Which is a little bit different than when the guys from my dad’s paint shop came over to our place after first stopping at the Legion for a few pops..

Big thanks to Beatnik for sending over this neat clip.

Canadiens Fall To Falling Leafs

It could’ve been a beauty of a night.  A glorious night to make life even more miserable for the Toronto Maple Laffs.

The Canadiens could have added a serious blow to the Leafs hopes of playing in the post-season, with Toronto coming in with a 1-9-1 record, a record that got coach Ron Wilson fired, and everyone feeling quite lousy about themselves. Randy Carlyle’s debut behind the Toronto bunch could’ve been deliciously ruined. It could’ve been a nice night for the paying customers, who haven’t seen a ton of wins at the Bell Centre this season, and it would have given Darth, who was at the game, something to cheer about.

And hell, I’ve always loved seeing Montreal stomp on the Leafs on Hockey Night in Canada.

Yes, it could’ve been a beauty of a night. Instead, it sucked the big one.

Ex-Hab Mikhail Grabovski scored the winner and the insurance goal for Toronto to once again rub salt in the nose of his former employer and the Habs, in losing 3-1 on this night, have their own pitiful record to worry about. Never mind about the 1-9-1 record the Leafs had going into this. Montreal has two wins in the last 10.

So tonight it was the battle of two teams in freefall.

It just wasn’t to be as the Canadiens scored one feeble goal and allowed Toronto to score three, two of which were in the third period, a period when Montreal usually blows it and once again they did. Overall this season, the Canadiens have been outshot by a margin of 71 to 48, and of course It’s been one of the giant achilles heels in the Habs story this season, letting things slip away in the final 20 minutes. How come they can’t play 60 minutes?

Random Notes:

Erik Cole opened the scoring on a nice play between him and linemates David Desharnais and Max Pacioretty. Such a great line. One of the few things, along with the penalty kill, that we can boast about.

Brad Staubitz got into a dandy scrap with Mike Brown, and I give the edge to Staubitz for more punches thrown, although I didn’t count them.

Shots on goal were a ridiculous 42-22 for Toronto. I have no words for this.

Don Cherry on Coaches Corner was all worked up over Brian Burke not having any players from Ontario on the team. It was a lively rant and I agree, a few local guys are always a nice touch. The other Ontario team, the Ottawa Senators, have five players from the province in their lineup. But maybe I should stop here. I don’t want to get into the issue of Habs and Quebec-born players.

The Canadiens now start their annual Western Canada swing, playing in Calgary on Tuesday, Edmonton on Thursday, and Vancouver Saturday. As far as I know, Luci and I will be at the game in Vancouver.