Tag Archives: Kelly Hrudey

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 End Things The Right Way

It only took 82 games but now we know exactly who the Habs will meet in the opening round of the playoffs. The team we figured all along. Sort of.

Bring on the Bruins, as the Canadiens finished off their regular season in fine fashion, taking out the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 at the ACC, and doing it front of some people with deeper pockets than me (but maybe not you), shelling out a thousand bucks a lower-bowl seat to see an age-old rivalry going at it in their final games of the regular season.

Ryan White opened the scoring for the Canadiens and got in a nice little fight with some gorilla (names aren’t important) that left White battered and bruised but looking good anyway. Except for the swollen cheeks and forehead.

But he got his licks in and he’s become an important foot soldier for Les Habs.

Brian Gionta notched two power play goals, and Tomas Plekanec scored a shorthanded goal late in the game to salt it away. And in all fairness, it appeared that Phil Kessel’s puck crossed the line but was ruled no-goal, and yes, maybe it wasn’t conclusive in two different camera angles, but it sure looked to be with a third angle.

With the contoversial Chicago goal the other night and now this one tonight, can we be sure the guys upstairs were actually upstairs? And I say this while being extremely happy that Toronto’s goal was ruled not in. I’m just wondering if these guys have beer in their war room or something.

Nice to see Montreal end things on a winning note. How much would it have sucked if Toronto had taken it to the Canadiens and made the good guys look bad? Instead, we go into the postseason ready to rock and roll.

Now we have to hit Boston where it hurts – and that’s on the scoreboard. Jump out to early leads and when Shawn Thornton or Nathan Horton or Milan Lucic or the slimy Brad Marchand start getting greasy, just point up to the scoreboard. It’s the perfect age-old jab.

Random Notes:

They were saying on Hockey Night in Canada that Kirk Muller is a much-desired man for the Sens coaching position. It would be a shame to lose him, but he needs to do what he thinks is best for his career. Of course.  But if he ends up in Ottawa my wife might not think he’s handsome anymore.

One other thing to be addressed. I didn’t see the clip of Scott Gomez laughing like crazy during the Ottawa game the other night, but HNIC showed it tonight, and both Mike Milbury and Kelly Hrudey couldn’t quite understand this attitude given that Gomez hasn’t scored since Georges Vezina was playing.

I’m in complete agreement with these two fellows. It upsets me to see a guy, with one of the league’s highest salaries and just 7 goals, who floats much of the time and avoids heavy traffic almost all the time, laughing like that. They say he not prepared to play, and laughing, as Hrudey mentioned, is completely unacceptable.

Rarely if ever in my years as a Habs fan have I disliked the play of a player the way I dislike Gomez’s efforts. If he wants to finally earn some of that big money and have Habs fans on his side at all, he needs to help his team dismantle the Bruins beginning on Thursday. Anything less and he’s a bum and won’t be forgiven.

Carey Price was, as usual, just excellent. He’s the guy who stirs the drink, the guy who’s going to lead his team, and us, to the promised land.

I thought the sign a kid in a Leafs’ jersey held up was hilarious. It read, “Nobody Likes The Habs.”

Jacques Martin recorded his 600th win as an NHL coach. And I’m serious when I say he smiled after game .

Three Big Similarities Between A Cup Winner In 1993 And A Non-Cup Winner In 2010

“You always wonder whether guys are ready to pay the price in games like these. You wonder and then you’re afraid maybe a few of the guys won’t or can’t go higher and farther, and that could be enough to hurt you.”

So said then-forward and now assistant coach Kirk Muller after his team had defeated the Los Angeles Kings in the 1993 Stanley Cup final to capture their 24th, and last, championship title.

Those Canadiens got the job done with just one superstar, Patrick Roy, and a whole lot of hard-working role players who stepped up and got their noses dirty and who stood uninvited in front of LA goalie Kelly Hrudey game in and game out. They managed a magical ten consecutive victories in overtime. They fell behing the Quebec Nordiques two games to none and stormed back to win the Adams semi-final. Then it was a four-game sweep over Buffalo, with three of the games going to overtime, before finishing off the Islanders and then the Kings.

It was Patrick and a cast of construction workers – Muller, Mike Keane, Brian Bellows, Eric Desjardins, Paul DiPietro, Stephan Lebeau, Guy Carbonneau, and a dozen more. It was a measurement on Kings’ defenceman Marty McSorley’s illegal stick in game two with just two minutes left in the game which allowed the Habs to tie and win it and even the series at one apiece. It was an overtime hero on ten different nights, and a big effort by John Leclair throughout, who was called cement-hands in Montreal before he joined the Philadelphia Flyers and scored 50 goals three times and 40 a couple more.

They resembled the 2010 Montreal Canadiens in several ways, beginning with a goalie who stood on his head with a team of mostly non-stars in front of him. The big difference was, I suppose, the 1993 version dug deeper, everyone stepped up, and most importantly, all contributed. “All of us did it tonight,” said Muller. “It was there for us. We…all of us…reached out and didn’t let go.”

Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette said at the time that the Canadiens really didn’t become a team until game 30 of the season that year, when they played the LA Kings, the team they would meet in the finals, in a neutral-site which happened to be Phoenix of all places, long before the city had the Coyotes. The Kings led 5-2 well into the third period when the Habs crept back and Vincent Damphousse tied it with 31 seconds left. That was the beginning, said Fisher.

They also resembled this year’s team in another way, a Markovian way. “They grew even more,” wrote Fisher, “when the team’s best defenceman at that point, Mathieu Schneider, was lost in game 53 with a broken ankle. In their next 13 games after that, they went 11-1-1, and said they had learned in Phoenix that it ain’t over ’till it’s over. And after losing Schneider, they learned that adversity hurts only for a little while when others dig deeper.”

There is also another comparison, and a big one in my book. Jacques Demers, coach of the team in 1993, wouldn’t speculate after the last game on what that team required to repeat, but noted that the 1993 club was one of the smallest clubs in NHL history to capture a Cup.

They were small, had a goalie standing on his head, and one of their best defencemen was injured. Imagine.

Everyone contributed in 1993 in many different ways, and that’s the difference between then and now. There were those now who were stars, (Cammalleri, Halak, Gionta) and some who slept through most of the playoffs. You know who they are and they know who they are. At least I hope they know who they are.

Habs Save Their Energy For The Bruins. You Got A Better Excuse?

PJ Stock, Kelly Hrudey, Jordy, the Queen of England, the mob, various trapese artists, out-of-work reality stars, some tanned surfers in Australia, and several dancing bears all are in complete agreement that the Habs have absolutely no chance in the playoffs.

And yes, the team was fairly dozy tonight against the Pittsburgh Penguins, being outshot 41-30, and giving up two inexcusable shorthanded goals in a lacklustre 3-1 loss. But Carey Price, several times, was spectacular, and that has to count for something. Isn’t it a hot goaltender who takes a team to the promised land? Roger Crozier? Terry Sawchuk? Ken Dryden? Patrick Roy? Never count out any team with a goalie who can stand on his head.

The Habs will play Boston in the opening round and that’s fine. Because when they take them down, it’s going to be sweet music. No one will give them a chance. Not the great guru, PJ Stock, or the dancing bears, or the Australian surfer dudes. Do you think it’s never happened before that a team expected to fall flat on their faces digs deep down and pulls it out? That’s what hockey is. Bring on the Bruins.

Random Notes:

Kelly Hrudey says it should be too easy for the Bruins against the Habs.

Bob Gainey sat Alex Tanguay out tonight, saying he wasn’t hurt, he just needed a rest. The guy was on the shelf for two months, only came back recently, and now he needs a rest?