Tag Archives: Jose Theodore

The Night MT Blew His Team’s Chances

Michel Therrien, as you know, coached the Canadiens once before, from 2000-01, when he replaced Alain Vigneault after 20 games, to part way through the 2002-03 season when he was fired and the team brought in Claude Julien.

That first season under Therrien saw the Canadiens miss the playoffs after going 23-27-13 under him.

The third season saw him fired after a dismal stretch that saw the Canadiens lose ten of twelve games.

But it was the middle year of Therrien’s reign, 2001-02, and in particular the second round of the playoffs, that became the saddest state of affairs.

The team, with a tremendously hot Jose Theodore in nets and a heroic Saku Koivu, who had returned to the team just prior to the post season after his fight with cancer, had upset the favoured Bruins in the first round and met the Carolina Hurricanes in the second round.

Montreal would jump into a 2-1 series lead against the Hurricanes, and were leading 3-0 in the third period of game four when Therrien decided to yell at referee Kerry Fraser when the Habs were already a man short.

Fraser gave Therrien a bench minor for being mouthy, and it was downhill from there.

The Hurricanes scored on the 5 on 3, rallied and won 4-3 in overtime, and then clobbered the Canadiens 5-1 and 8-2 to eliminate Therrien and his deflated players.

Carolina would eventually lose in five games to Detroit in the Stanley Cup Finals after taking out the Maple Leafs in six games in the Eastern Final.

It could’ve been Montreal taking out the Leafs if it wasn’t for Therrien.

It could’ve been Montreal in the finals against Detroit, and although they would’ve been in tough against a team that boasted the likes of Shanahan, Fedorov, Hull, Yzerman, Lidstrom, Robitaille and the rest, at least they would’ve been in the finals, something that hasn’t happened since 1993 when they won it all.

But Therrien screwed it up.

Here’s Kerry Fraser’s explanation of the Therrien bench minor, from a 2011 TSN story.

“The bench penalty that put Montreal down two men was a turning point in the series for sure. The Habs were cruising along at the midway point of the third period and Therrien was feeling pretty good about himself and their chances, all decked out in his bright yellow sports coat. (I mention this because you couldn’t miss him behind the bench.)

“As the Carolina Hurricanes attacked the Montreal goal, Habs defenseman Stephane Quintal  delivered a heavy cross-check to the back of the upper shoulder/neck of a Cane with such force that it knocked the player clear into the back of the net. I was the trailing referee and called it from an open sightline at the blue line. It was an obvious infraction and Quintal went right to the penalty box.

“I was standing at the referee crease, about 90 feet as the crow flies from the Canadiens bench, assessing the penalty when I heard Coach Therrien screaming at me. I turned to see Therrien standing on top of the boards, like a big yellow bumble bee buzzing his wings up and down and hollering, “Kerry, what the *&^%$?”  At this point I really didn’t want to assess a bench penalty to put his team down two men so I thought I would give him a second chance. I pointed to my chest and mouthed the words, “Are you talking to me?”  Therrien nodded his head and shouted for the second time, “Yeah, what the &^%$?” I guess he wanted to make sure I got the point, even on the second attempt.”

 

 

Where The Food Is Good

The Florida Panthers are in last place in the east and have lost five of their last six. A couple of games ago the Panthers were bombed 7-1 by Washington. Their main netminder, Jose Theodore, is on the shelf. So is star forward Stephen Weiss.

This is a game the Habs would very much like to win.

Also, you might recall the last time the Canadiens were in Sunrise, much of the bottom middle section of the rink, absolute prime seating, was empty. So it was interesting that just the other day on Sportsnet, host Doug MacLean asked Panthers analyst Bill Lindsay why there’s always so many empty seats down low. Lindsay replied that in that part of the building, the food out in the lobby is really good and fans like to stay out there and eat.

Yes indeed. Real hockey country.

 

 

Bourque And Galchenyuk Get ‘Er Done

There sure were a lot of snowbirds who didn’t go to the game tonight, and I don’t know why. They lived in Canada during hockey season for most of their lives and rarely or never got to sit in a good seat at an NHL game. Now they live in the Miami area, most of middle lower bowl of the local arena sits empty, and they stay home and watch basketball or play bridge or something. It’s not right in so many ways.

No score going into overtime in Sunrise, with Jose Theodore at one end and Carey Price at the other, stoning shooters and kicking out pucks, and in the end, Alex Galchenyuk burst in, got the puck back on a second effort, somehow got it over to Rene Bourque with a little help from a Panther, and Bourque put an end to the festivities at 2:10 of the extra frame.

So many old-time Habs fans living in Miami missed that.

A fine play by both Galchenyuk and Bourque. It’s nice to see guys drive to the net. A nice shutout for Carey Price. And two more points for Montreal as they complete the two-games in sunny Florida in fine fashion. (Except for blowing a 3-goal lead in Tampa).

Random Notes:

Now it’s back home to prepare for the Flyers on Saturday. Three in a row would certainly make up for their recent three-game losing streak when many of us wanted to lynch them.

Shots on goal – Montreal 32, Florida 26.

All those empty seats were just ridiculous to see. The best seats in the house, row upon row empty. This franchise needs to be moved. It reminds me of the crowds when Montreal would play in Atlanta a few years back. Best of all, the attendance was given as 17021 and I think rink officials down there need to buy a new calculator.

PK Subban had some amazing moments tonight.

It feels like Jose Theodore’s been in the league pretty well forever, and when I look it up, I see that he has. Seventeen years. A nice long career. And he played really well tonight.

If We Can’t See Cleavage, Why Bother?

The producers took away my whole reason for watching the NHL Awards show.

Was there one shot in the entire hour and a half of the audience? We listened to self-described comedian Jay Mohr try to be funny, and when the nominees were read in each category, there were the three in the running standing off to the side waiting for the winner to be announced. We didn’t see proud mom and pop, or lovely wife with tears running down her face, or wide-eyed children watching their famous father, or best of all, seeing wives and girlfriends’ cleavage.

No cleavage. No tears. Just Jay Mohr.

Who the f…… is Jay Mohr? A couple of seasons on Saturday Night Live and a dozen small roles in movies that go straight to dvd? There they go again, bringing in the C-list talent for what’s supposed to be an A-list night.

If we’re not going to see the friends and family in the audience beaming with pride along with several girlfriends who look like they should be walking the Strip asking if you’re looking for a good time, then what’s the sense of this night? If it’s going to be like that, just make it a banquet setting with a head table and Jim Ralph and Dennis Hull being master of ceremonies. 

It’s all we need. We can read about who won at any time.

And speaking of who won:

Henrik Sedin takes home the Hart, Tyler Myers the Calder, Pavel Datsyuk the Selke, and Jose Theodore, in an emotional moment, was presented the Bill Masterton, awarded for perseverance and dedication to hockey, usually after something tough has happened to you. Theodore and his wife had lost their baby last year and that’s as tough as you’re going to get.

Other winners were Ryan Miller (Vezina), Dave Tippett (Jack Adams), Shane Doan (King Clancy), and Martin St. Louis (Lady Byng). 

Highlights?

Pavel Datsuk thanked his team for paying him, which is probably the best line I’ve heard in years from this show. 

Alex Ovechkin, who took home the Ted Lindsay Award voted on by his peers, began his speech, than the producers thought he was finished and brought out another presenter. But Ovie wasn’t finished, he had no idea what was going on, and he just kept babbling away while the other guy stood out there and politely waited. Another sterling moment in the history of the NHL Awards show wanting to look like the Academy Awards. 

Just make it a banquet setting and be done with it.

Magic In Montreal. Halak And Gang Provide Thrills And Spills

When was the last time you saw goaltending like that? And when was the last time you felt such energy, belief, and love for the team from the great fans at the Bell Centre?

The Canadiens made magic in this game six, beating the Capitals 4-1, evening the series, and creating a monstrous game seven. They won the game with heart, desire, and hard work. Jaroslav Halak put on a performance matching Bill Durnan and Jacques Plante to Gump Worsley, Ken Dryden and Patrick Roy. Simply put and understated, Halak put on one of the finest goaltending displays you will ever see.

Add Mike Cammalleri’s two first-period goals, another late by Max Lapierre, an empty-netter by Tomas Plekanec, combined with the penalty killers killing every Caps power play including a two-man advantage by Washington late in the first period, and you have all the ingredients of a greater-than-great win that not only ties the series but brings the whole thing together after all the trials and tribulations of a rocky and depressing regular season.

This was the most outstanding Habs game of the year, regardless of the onslaught by the Caps in the second period. And regardless of the shots on goal (54-22), Montreal didn’t just win because of out-of-this-world goaltending. The team played well – Maxim Lapierre was a demon, and young PK Subban won’t have to worry about paying a restaurant bill in Montreal for awhile. This is the new toast of the town. He was excellent, showing poise and confidence as he skated and rushed with the puck, and seemed to thrive in the Forum-like atmosphere that was thick like fog.

Random Notes:

Rarely do you see a diving call in a game. Montreal had three tonight, two by Lapierre and one by Brian Gionta, and all three were, in my humble estimation, silly, borderline calls.

Will Jose Theodore return to the Washington nets Wednesday?

Woo Hoo! Habs Shock More Than A Few

 

Gaston watches as Plekanec fires home the big winner.

The Montreal Canadiens have just proven wrong three-quarters of the hockey world, plus Las Vegas oddsmakers, by winning game one and not bowing out in four straight as so many had thought.

Most are shocked. Everyone but Habs fans. And right now I’m singin “I’m sittin’ on top of the world.”

It was a nervous and overmatched first period for Montreal as the Caps dominated and bombarded Jaroslav Halak, and things weren’t pretty. Analysts sat back, patted themselves on the back, and reminded themselves about how smart they were.

But in the second, although still not pretty, the Canadiens showed signs of life, and by the end of the second, after getting chances and beginning to handle the puck with confidence, those at the game and watching on TV at home and in sports bars everywhere were surely starting to think that maybe this thing could go either way.

It was more of the same in the third, but by this time, Jose Theodore, his teammates, and all those government workers wearing red in the stands, knew they was in a game. Alex Ovechkin still remained asleep, and the Habs were getting chances. Many chances. It was nerve-racking. I was almost ready to start smoking again.

“You can win this, boys” was the rallying call of Habs fans everywhere, and the players themselves.

And they did. Like a magical, mystical moment, Tomas Plekanec in overtime skated in over the Caps blueline and fired a missile past Jose Theodore. I wanted to jump for joy and swing from the chandelier if I had one. But I must remain subdued and passive, calm, collected, and mature. It’s just one game. Just one win.

ONE FREAKIN’ BEAUTIFUL MOTHER OF A WIN!

Random Notes:

The scorers scored and that’s what we need. Mike Cammalleri in the first, Scott Gomez in the third, and Plekanec in overtime.

Jaroslav Halak was fantastic, especially in the first period when Washington was all over the Canadiens. The defence, led by Jaroslav Spacek and Hal Gill, did a big job. But Nicklas Backstrom was dangerous all evening and this needs to be addressed.

Game two Saturday night. I know better than to say anything about this. We’ve already got the first game and at least a split. I’m not saying any more.

Gaston watched the game carefully and was a treat to be with. Usually he’s a bit of an asshole.

For those not familiar with Gaston, there’s several stories about him under “Gaston” in the Categories section over to the right.

Hey, You’ve Got Our Expos. What More Do You Want?

I hope you didn’t shave today. It’s playoff time. If you did, what were you thinking?

The goalies are set – Halak and Theodore – and the hockey world waits for the Washington slaughter of the Habs to begin. It’s not going to be the least bit fair, no it’s not. The Caps are too big, too slick, too many points in the regular season. Barack Obama cheers for them. They’re perfect. They’re not human. What a team.

Why don’t they just give the Stanley Cup to the Washington Capitals and be done with it?

But the Montreal Canadiens and fans have other plans. Like winning the series, for instance. It’s just going to take some firsts.

They need to win the first faceoff of the game and get the puck into the Caps end and start the momentum. They need the first big hit and the first goal. They need to win the first period, the first fight, and all the races to the puck in corners. And a win in the first game would be lovely although a win in game two would be almost as good. Maybe as good.

They also need to send a 90 mile-an-hour puck into Alex Ovechkin’s teeth.

And about the fights? Be careful with Alexander Semin. He plays the bongos.

Habs can win.  Montreal has the aura, the CH, and the best-looking women in North America. Washington enjoys our Expos and had George Bush living there. 

And yes, I know what you’re saying. The game is played on the ice so forget about the women and George Bush. But the Canadiens are not the worst team in the history of the world, and the Capitals are not the best. It’s closer than what many think. The Habs have good scorers who haven’t scored lately. That’s the biggest problem. If the scorers can get it together, things become much different.

And about Alex Ovechkin. One man has never made a hockey team. Please refer to the 2010 Russian Olympic hockey team.

Detroit didn’t win every year because they had Gordie Howe. Or Boston with Orr, Hull with Chicago, Gretzky in LA, Newman with the Charlestown Chiefs. A lot is made about Ovechkin, but it’s a team sport. He’s a guy who has to be watched carefully, checked hard, trash-talked to, get him off his game. Toe Blake told Claude Provost to shadow Bobby Hull, so whenever Hull jumped on the ice, so did Provost. If Hull was out of the play, Provost stayed with him. When Hull went back to the bench, Provost escorted him. If he would’ve been allowed, Provost probably would have followed him down the hall when the period ended.

Just don’t let Ovechkin get wound up, and fire a few 90 mile an hour pucks near his gap-toothed grin.

If Montreal can gain even a split in Washington, everything changes. The Habs will have new-found confidence, the Caps will see some of their’s disappear, and TV analysts will begin to sing a different tune. The odds in Vegas will change slightly, and Habs fans will believe even more.

It’s game day. I’m ready. Gaston’s going to watch it with me. Dishonest John will have his lucky shirt, I’m sure. Danno will have the Victory shirt ready to go. And I didn’t shave today.

I’m ready, you’re ready. We’re all ready. GO HABS!

For those of you who haven't been introduced, this is Gaston. We go back a long way. He'll be watching the game tonight.

José Théodore’s Infant Son Dies

Canadian Press

The Washington Capitals confirmed Thursday that goaltender José Théodore’s two-month-old son has died.

The son of the former Montreal Canadien passed away last week, but the cause of death remains unknown.

The Capitals issued a brief statement acknowledging the tragedy.

“We are aware of the heartbreaking news,” said general manager George McPhee. “At this time we ask that everyone respects the privacy of José and his family.”

Théodore and his wife, Stephanie Cloutier, also have a three-year-old daughter, Romy.

A native of Laval, Que., Theodore posted a 32-17-5 record last season, his first with the Capitals. He spent the previous two NHL campaigns as a member of the Colorado Avalanche.