With 30 pounds off.
The picture behind me, from the 1940s, looks like it’s on a slant but it’s not.
As we make our way across the country, I thought I’d change things up slightly and do this instead.
The telegraph below is a tad difficult to read so I’ll type it.
It’s from the Leafs’ Conn Smythe to player Jackie Leclair, dated Sept. 15, 1952.
“You received instructions per your contract to report to the training camp September 14th. Have you any good reason why we should not suspend you for failure to report.”
Jackie Leclair replied,
“Sorry, cannot report to camp. Still playing baseball. Be through on the 20th. Would rather stay in Quebec. Letter on the way.”
Leclair never did report to the Leafs and later on, from 1954 to 1957 (3 seasons), he would play for the Montreal Canadiens where he got his name engraved on the Stanley Cup twice.
I may not be on top of things but the Scientific Habs Information Tracking System (S.H.I.T.S) never sleeps.
As you can see, a a bit of an up and down stretch beginning in late November, but the boys remain in a somewhat enviable overall picture , sitting 3rd in the Atlantic Division, 5th in the Eastern Conference, and 9th overall.
It’s Toronto I’m concerned about, with the bastards just a point behind with a game in hand.
I don’t care what you think, hockey should be over before the heat kicks in. Although there’s probably people who disagree.
However, if you disagree and your favourite team isn’t the Habs, your team sucks.
It’s a fine mantra if you don’t mind me saying so. “If your favourite team isn’t the Habs, it sucks”. A song title, a t-shirt slogan, a tattoo, something to come up with in a drunken argument.
It’s nearing the middle of June. It’s nice and warm out. We should be doing summer things like sitting in dark, air conditioned bars drinking pints.
Of course if the Habs were still going I wouldn’t be complaining about this.
It used to be over in mid-April, back when there were less teams and people decided hockey was strictly a winter sport. But that isn’t the case anymore. Too many teams, so much money for owners to light cigars with.
If the playoffs end in mid-April it means it would have to start sometime in February, and we’d miss part of the annual Leafs collapse that takes place then.
That would suck if we couldn’t see that.
Below is an excerpt from my mother’s 1942 diary when she was 17, typed out by my sister. As you can see, the Cup was won on April 18th. Disregard the team.
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:
New York 72
Just one game at a time, particularly with the piling up of injuries.
If the boys beat Edmonton tonight and the Laffs lose to Anaheim, they finally catch the Torontonians in the standings. The team would also hop over the Bruins with whom they’re tied at 10 points apiece.
Then a couple of tough ones on Thursday and Saturday when Anaheim and San Jose show up to do battle, and if the guys can somehow squeak out a few points, it’s a “break on through to the other side” sort of thing.
With injuries that include key guys Max and Prust, a sprinkling of points would be an absolute points hurricane.
But if Montreal drops one to Edmonton tonight, it’s a very real possibility they suddenly find themselves on a four-game losing streak after Saturday night.
Tonight is crucial. And is it possible to get through sixty minutes without somebody else being helped off the ice?
Take it one game at a game. Where have I heard that before?
I wish Bridgestone’s commercial on TV would go away. It’s the one where they say if it’s cold enough for hockey, it’s cold enough for snow tires, and then show a bunch of cars dangerously sliding around on icy roads. It’s ruining my fall.
Last year I posted a 1957 segment of the old game show “To Tell the Truth”, with Jean Beliveau as a contestant. Here’s another, this time from the 1960s, with Leafs great Red Kelly (inducted into the HOF in 1969) in the spotlight.
Jean Beliveau in the 1957 episode.
What’s the opposite of someone who’s good in math?
I was fine in grade school – adding and subtracting and multiplying like crazy when I wasn’t dropping pencils on the floor so I could look up girls’ skirts. But in high school it was different. All those ridiculous fractions and letters and things squared. People who measure the distance to Pluto might need this. Einstein needed it. But why would a bum like me need to understand the theory of relativity or calculate how long it would take me to fly through space?
I’m going to come right out and say it; my algebra marks hovered somewhere around 12 out of a hundred. All the time. I’m the biggest algebra failure in the history of the world.
I feel bad about this and have decided to exercise my head using numbers. I think it’s important.
Montreal takes on the Leafs on opening night in less than 3,300,000 seconds; the night Leafs’ lug Mike Komisarek begins a season of passing pucks up the middle that become intercepted. Although this is changing by the….second.
In just under 6 million seconds, Gregory Stewart hammers Milan Lucic for the first time.
Around 9 million seconds, Sean Avery will have turtled for the first time when Montreal hosts the Rangers.
In approximately 16 million seconds, Scott Gomez, Mike Cammellari and Brian Gionta will all have passed the 30 goal mark.
Somewhere around 19 million seconds, the Habs will have secured a playoff spot and Carey Price will be awarded a standing ovation.
In 24 million seconds and counting, Montreal will have just won their 25th Stanley Cup.
And in less than 3600 seconds, I’m going to the pub.
This beautiful piece of art measuring more than two feet by three feet, was originally in a Quebec school in the 1940’s. It was used, along with other outdoor scenes, as part of student essays or copying or whatever it was they did with it in class. It’s now framed and sits proudly in my living room, and it brings back many memories of playing on an outdoor rink growing up in Orillia.
What’s funny about it is the Montreal player on the left, handling the puck.
I would say there’s a distinct resemblance to Leafs star Charlie Conacher.