Tag Archives: JC Tremblay

1974 Team Cyrillic

The picture below was sent to me from a friend in Leningrad in the mid-1980s.

Team Canada 1974, stars from the rival WHA, taking on Kharlamov, Mikhailov, and Tretiak two years after the big one. (results at the bottom).

Rick Ley, second in the top row, was a boyhood friend growing up in Orillia, who knocked my front tooth out by accident when throwing a baseball. And he borrowed my hockey gloves and never gave them back.

Five players suited up at one time or another with the Habs – JC Tremblay, Rejean Houle, Ralph Backstrom, Marc Tardif, and Frank Mahovlich.

Three players on this Team Canada ’74 squad also played in the historic 1972 Summit Series before bolting to the WHA  – Paul Henderson, Mahovlich, and Pat Stapleton.

1974

Down the left side are coaches Billy Harris, Bobby Hull, and Pat Stapleton.

Top row left to right – Don McLeod, Rick Ley, J.C. Tremblay, Mike Walton, Rejean Houle

2nd row – Brad Selwood, Andre Lacroix, Tom Webster, Gordie Howe, Marty Howe

3rd row – Mark Howe, Ralph Backstrom, Tom Harrison, Rick Smith, Paul Shmyr

4th row – Paul Henderson, Serge Bernier, Bruce MacGregor, Marc Tardiff, John McKenzie

5th row – Al Hamilton, Frank Mahovlich, Gerry Cheevers

USSR Wins Series 4-1-3

A Night At The Station

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to everyone. On this day you’re an Irishman no matter what your roots are, and that’s a good thing. Except for the hangover you might have tomorrow morning.

I’ve talked many times about the Richard Riot that took place on March 17, 1955, and today, instead of going on about what you already know, I’d like to show a recent comment here from a fellow named Eric Buch.

Here’s what he wrote. It’s just one sentence, but it’s a beauty.

“The first game that my brother ever went to see at the Forum at the age of nine (March, 1955) featured the “Richard Riot” – tear gas, cars turned over and store windows smashed for many blocks down Ste. Catherine Street.”

I felt that was so fantastic. Imagine, the first time you go to an NHL game and you find yourself in the middle of history being made.

Eric also tells us about the time his teacher took the class down to the Westmount station one night to meet the Habs, and lo and behold, they all showed up.

Again, here’s Eric:

“Every year she would take the girls in her class to see the Ice Capades at the Montreal Forum and the boys to a Montreal Canadiens game. Her husband was a conductor for Canadian Pacific Rail and was able to find out which station the Habs would be leaving from to head to their next game. We went to Westmount station just before midnight (we were about the only ones there) and, sure enough, within minutes the entire Canadiens team came into the waiting room. It was Nirvana – seeing our hockey heroes, talking with them and getting their autographs – and a night that I will never forget.”

“By my calculation, it would have been January or February of 1965. Beliveau was the Captain and other players I recall meeting that night included Richard (“Pocket Rocket”), Backstrom, Rousseau, Laperriere, JC Tremblay, Cournoyer, Provost, Ferguson and ‘Gump’ Worsley. They don’t make ‘em like that any more.”

 

Habs Roll Along

What a terrific bonus it is when the backup comes in for the ailing starter and wins both games, the second being a nice fat shutout. And what a bonus it is, after a young spark plug goes down with an injury, that another young spark plug carries on and helps get the team on the board when the score was tied 0-0 in the third period.

And then there was Max, notching his first of the season on a brilliant……..well, not quite, goal that put the game out of reach. More on that in a minute.

Peter Budaj and the gang take out the Carolina Hurricanes 3-0, and find themselves number two in the east, just a point behind the Pittsburgh Sidneys. It’s now six wins in the last nine, the guys are going good, and I’ll go as far as saying we like it like this. Yes, they were in our bad books after losing three straight recently, but that was then, so long ago. It’s now lodged deep in the far recesses of our memory banks and the gang is presently forgiven.

Don’t forget team, we love you, win or tie.

It wasn’t a barn burner by any stretch, this meeting with the Raleighites. (Raleighonians?) The night was mostly a tight checking affair that lacked any thriller effect, but at least the crowd got their money’s worth in the third when Alex Galchenyuk dashed in and helped Brandon Prust open the scoring. It was reminiscent of Rene Bourque’s overtime winner in Florida when Galchenyuk burst in and got the puck over.

Seeing this driving to the net makes my heart soar like a Ryukyu Woodpigeon. It’s what the team needs to do, and didn’t do much of last year. It’s terrific that they’re making enemy goalies and defence work now, and it’s mostly led by the kids, a new guy who’d come over from the Rangers, and a guy named Bourque whom we thought was a dud, at least I did, and is turning out to be a beauty.

Just a different-looking squad now. It gives us great hope.

Soon after the Prust opener, Tomas Plekanec beat Cam Ward to ease things somewhat, and then Max Pacioretty, looking for his first of the season, bounced one in from his side of the red line, the puck did a little dipsy-doodle, and suddenly, Max had his first and the team held a 3-0 lead.

There’s nothing like a lucky bounce to possibly get the motor running for Patches. Hopefully, one crazy puck will lead to a bucket of goals from here on in.

Random Notes:

Shots on goal – Montreal 26, Canes 19.

Max’s goal was similar to the way J.C. Tremblay would sometimes light the lamp. The difference is, Tremblay was actually trying to score when he attempted these. Max was as surprised as anybody on his.

Next for the Habs – Tuesday night, when they make their way to Manhattan to meet the Rangers. This will be Brandon Prust’s first clash with his former team and we should see a big game from this key guy.

Carey Price caught a stray puck while sitting on the bench and tossed it to someone in the crowd. It was a nice, funny moment, with smiles all around.

The team is second in the East, which makes them first in the Northeast, a point ahead of Boston. This see-sawing will likely continue for awhile, but as long as the boys keep winning, things are bound to open up just slightly.

So the new task at hand is this – never lose. It’s the only way.

 

 

 

Less Smiles, More Unpleasantness Please

The fantasy draft is over, the skills competition has wrapped up, we just have to get through what passes for a game, and All-Star weekend will draw to a close.

My prediction for today’s game? Hmm. I’d say Team Chara over Team Alfredsson. Maybe a low-scoring affair – 31 to 24. And later on, Botox salesmen will be present to give players free samples to help them remove wrinkles caused by those lovey-dovey smiles they’ve been wearing.

John Ferguson is punching heaven’s walls right now.

I just wish I could have had a slapshot like these guys when I was a smallish-yet-shifty right winger for Orillia’s Byers Bulldozers bantam and midget squads. When I was in Orillia last year I asked an old teammate Gary Cooper how he managed to have such a great shot back then, and he said he tried to tell us but we wouldn’t listen. He said the secret is for the stick to hit the ice several inches before it touches the puck, something we could see last night when Chara and the boys were whistling them in.

If only I would have listened to Gary Cooper. I could’ve played for the Habs. Or if I would’ve had the misfortune to be chosen by Boston, I could’ve stayed and helped the Orillia Terriers win the Allan Cup. But I didn’t listen to Gary and it’s been a struggle ever since.

And if I may, I’d like to suggest a couple more events for the skills competition. Wouldn’t it be fun to see players stand at one goal line and try to shoot a wrist shot over the glass at the other end? Gordie Howe could do it.

How about bouncing the puck toward the goal from outside the blueline, like JC Tremblay used to do. JC would score two or three goals a year by pulling off this little trickery, and no one else could do it as well. Seems like a bonafide skill to me.

Lets just get the peace and love out of the way and get back to business. The business of the Habs beating Buffalo on Tuesday, making it three in a row, which hasn’t happened since late October, and continue up that wobbly ladder.

And I’ve changed my prediction for today’s game because probably 31-24 is just too ridiculous. I’m saying 19-18. That’s more like it.

 

 

 

Habbing Hot Fun In The Summer

Early 1960’s article in Hockey Pictorial, asking members of the Montreal Canadiens how they planned on spending their summer.

Terry Harper was going on a western tour for Molsons and the Canadiens, and bringing along the wife and kids. Terry was born and raised in Regina, so a western tour would have been right up his alley. Kind of a way of getting home and having Molsons pay the shot, I suppose.

John Ferguson was going to work in a Boys’ Detention Home in Nanaimo, BC, and if I was one of those boys in the home, I’d be very polite around the Mr. Ferguson. The last thing I’d want to do was make him upset. Fergie also plannned on playing some lacrosse while on Vancouver Island, and by all accounts, he was a great lacrosse player.

Ralph Backstrom was going to hang out at the resort he bought near Buckingham, Quebec, a nice little town not far from Ottawa and full of Irish, English, and French townsfolk, and Dave Balon thought he’d sell a little real estate and play golf. The way salaries are today, I’m pretty sure Balon wouldn’t have to worry about selling real estate if he was lacing them up now.

JC Tremblay and his wife were expecting a baby, as were the Claude Provosts. What, these guys had sex with their wives? If they played in Toronto, Punch Imlach would’ve been pissed because they weren’t concentrating on hockey.

The Mystery Of The Programs, Dammit.

This has absolutely nothing to do with the Stanley Cup finals taking place right now, but I decided to post this because, well….. I decided to, dammit.

In 1974, when the best from the renegade World Hockey Association played the Russian National team in the series that followed the original ’72 Series, the Russian program distributed at Luzhniki Ice Palace looked something like this. This isn’t one but it looked like this.

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But I have this other one at home, a Russian program from the series, and it’s made of glossy paper, unlike the normal one, and it’s got this cool photo of Moscow with Luzhniki in the foreground. It’s still has the lineups and game dates, but it’s completely different.

Unfortunately, Team Canada, with players like Bobby Hull, Frank Mahovlich, Gordie Howe, and JC Tremblay, didn’t fare well, winning one, tying three, and losing four to basically the same powerful Russian squad that surprised Canadians in 1972.

0022  0031

Those TSN Guys Sure Can Be Kidders Sometimes.

This came out in the Edmonton Journal, written by John MacKinnon, and it’s quite amazing. Somehow, some place, the TSN gang must have got together and dropped some acid. MacKinnon’s story is entitled…

“Habs’ Dream Team Falls Flat With Imagination Shackled”  

So, in honour of the Montreal Canadiens centenary, TSN has assembled the “Ultimate Canadiens Team,” and it’s pretty much a laugh riot.

The TV folks put Jean Beliveau at centre between Dickie Moore and Maurice Richard on the first line. Fair enough. Then things got weird.

Saku Koivu between John Ferguson and Bobby Rousseau on the second line was an odd decision, and Brian Skrudland between Andre Pronovost and Jim Roberts on the ‘energy’ line, was a stretch, no offence to those splendid gentlemen, Cup-winners all.

The checking line of Guy Carbonneau between Bob Gainey and Claude Provost is OK, if you really need a checking line on a fantasy team. But the sublime Doug Harvey partnered with Mike Komisarek as the top defensive pairing? Ted Harris and Craig Ludwig as the third duo?

Michel (Bunny) Larocque backing up the incomparable Jacques Plante in goal?

Obviously, TSN was using some sort of ghost roster format to sort through 100 years of excellence. The network tried to inject a dash of realism — a questionable measure when the point is to indulge in fantasy — by limiting the number of Hockey Hall of Famers on the team to eight.

Still, an all-time assemblage of Les Glorieux with none of Guy Lafleur, Jacques Lemaire, Howie Morenz, Aurele Joliat, Henri (Pocket Rocket) Richard, Joe Malone, Yvan Cournoyer, Newsy Lalonde, Guy Lapointe, Chris Chelios, Jacques Laperriere, Emile (Butch) Bouchard, Tom Johnson, Sprague Cleghorn, Lorne (Gump) Worsley, Frank Mahovlich, Pete Mahovlich, Georges Vezina, Bert Olmstead, Dickie Duff, George Hainsworth, Ken Dryden, Patrick Roy, Steve Shutt, J.C. Tremblay, Rod Langway, Mats Naslund and Boom-Boom Geoffrion suiting up is mighty light on glory.

So how do you get to the right answer? That’s not so easy.

In this company, 50-goal scorers Pierre Larouche and Stephane Richer, or two-time 40-goal man Mark Napier, sit far down the list.

Others who wouldn’t make the cut:

Vincent Damphousse, Kirk Muller, Bobby Smith, Hall of Famer Buddy O’Connor, who centred the Razzle Dazzle Line, on and on.

To simplify, you could go with an all-native Montrealer team and start with the Richard brothers, Geoffrion, Lemaire and Moore up front with Harvey, Savard, Bouchard and Cleghorn on the back end, and the Gumper and Jose Theodore (Hart and Vezina Trophies in 2002) in goal.

How about the entire ’59-60 team, which capped off the five-in-a-row dynasty, or the ’76-77 edition, the best of the four-straight gang of the 1970s. You wouldn’t be wrong, either way.

Selecting Fergie, Skrudland, Harris and Ludwig ahead of a busload of Hall of Famers might be a bizarre conversation starter, but sifting through the Canadiens greats is quite a discussion, no matter how you attack it. With no right answer, finally.