Tag Archives: Marc-Andre Bergeron

Wild And Woolly LNAH

LNAH

I listened to an interesting piece on CBC radio while driving home from work yesterday, about Ligue Nord-Americaine De Hockey (LNAH), a Quebec semi-pro league featuring teams from Trois-Rivieres, Sorel, Thetford Mines, Jonquiere, Riviere-Du-Loup, Saint-Georges, and new this season, Cornwall, from across the border in Ontario.

It’s similar in some ways to serious senior hockey, where players have day jobs and make their way to games after a hard day’s work. LNAHers are paid in the neighborhood of $300 a game, and fans at the rink can enjoy four dollar beer, two buck french fries, and 3.2 fights a game.

Aside from the fights, the calibre of hockey seems high. The league is packed with ex-juniors, ex-pros from various leagues around the continent, and even some old Habs like Stephane Richer, who toiled for Sorel during the 2004-05 season, Marc-Andre Bergeron with Trois-Rivieres in 2004-05, and Donald Brashear, who continues to dish out knuckle sandwiches with Rivieres-Du-Loup.

Maybe it’s just me, but I say Brashear should just put his skates in the closet and move on to something else. He’d probably make a fine nightclub doorman or mafia enforcer. A video of his most-recent thuggery can be seen in the video below.

Here’s the LNAH standings as of today, January 16.

Équipe PJ V D DP DF PTS
JONQUIÈRE 23 16 6 0 1 33
THETFORD MINES 22 14 5 3 0 31
CORNWALL 23 14 7 0 2 30
RIVIÈRE-DU-LOUP 20 11 5 2 2 26
SOREL-TRACY 23 8 10 4 1 21
SAINT-GEORGES 25 10 13 0 2 21
TROIS-RIVIÈRES 24 7 15 1 1 16

And here’s Brashear doing what he does best, being a goon. This is his shot on Jonquiere’s Gaby Roch that now has Donald suspended. (video via Raph 2117)

From the CP wires, Jan. 11, 2013.

MONTREAL – Former NHL tough guy Donald Brashear was suspended six games by the minor-pro Ligue Nord-Americaine de Hockey on Monday for a nasty attack from behind during a game last week.

Video of the incident showed Brashear punching opponent Gaby Roch in the back of the head from behind, touching off a bench-clearing brawl between his Riviere-du-Loup 3L and the visiting Jonquiere Marquis.

The league, which translates as North American Hockey League but is not related to a circuit of that name based in the United States, is known for highlighting fights.

Brashear, 41, joined the league after his NHL career ended in 2010.

He had 85 goals in 1,025 career games for Montreal, Vancouver, Philadelphia, Washington and the New York Rangers. His 2,634 penalty minutes ranks 15th all-time.

Bruins Lose Game One!

Tampa Bay scored three times in 85 seconds of the first frame and good old Marc-Andre Bergeron tallied a power play goal later on as the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Boston Bruins 5-2 in game one of the Eastern Conference Final.

Those Lightning….holy smokes. They just keep on rolling.

Now it’s time to take game two also.

 

 

Seems Like More Than Enough To Me

Because I lost several billion brain cells during the 1960′s, I can’t figure this one out but maybe you can help.

The Canadiens have said goodbye to Glen Metropolit, Dominic Moore, Paul Mara, and Marc-Andre Bergeron because there’s only so much cap space left, which is 5.6 million. Gauthier is now working on trying to get Carey Price and Maxim Lapierre signed.

But isn’t 5.6 million more than enough to sign these two, plus maybe one other, like Moore? Or am I not getting it because of the aforementioned loss of brain cells? Price made $850,000 last year and Lapierre $800,000, so even a huge raise for both should still keep things well under the cap.

Obviously I’m missing something and I’m hoping someone can explain it to me in simple terms.

Gentlemen, Start Your Moving Trucks

It must be a fairly depressing time for players who remain unsigned with their team and their chances of staying in the city they’ve kind of gotten to know are remote at best.

Glen Metropolit, Marc-Andre Bergeron, and Dominic Moore are in sort of no-man’s land right now, the Canadiens don’t seem interested any more, mostly because of cap space, and this is when these players need a strong and loving wife to stand by their side and kids who don’t mind making new friends at a new school. It’s a tough life, but even the lesser-lights are paid more than Barack Obama and Little Stevie Harper so it’s not like they’re working in the coal mines struggling to make the car payment.

With these guys in limbo, it really brings out the sweetness of a long-term contract. Unfortunately, only stars get long-term deals and these guys aren’t stars. Just blue collar guys thinking about where they’re going to live next fall and wondering if the little lady wishes she would have married Henry the insurance salesman instead, the one who never gets traded and plans on living on the old family farm until his and her dying days. And I can’t say for sure but I’m assuming there aren’t a lot of insurance salesman groupies lingering at the bus stop waiting for Henry.

Tom Pyatt is staying, at least for a year, and he’s a good guy to have around, a hard-working plumber who kills penalties and goes about his business while the big stars are catching their breath on the bench for a couple of minutes.

Being a big star would be nice. There’s more money, and you only have to move your family three or four times in a career instead of ten.

And what about guys who are supposed to be stars but play like plumbers? According to the Gazette, Benoit Pouliot will be receiving a contract offer today, and the Habs have taken their sweet time getting around to this. Someone said the other day the team has waited to send a strong message to the guy that they aren’t happy with the way he played for much of last season and all of the playoffs, so he’d better shape up. You’re not chosen 4th overall in the 2005 draft for being just an ordinary player.

But if Pouliot signs with the Habs, it means the title of my June 25th post is premature. It reads, “Pouliot On His Way Out” and he might not be after all. But I’m not slinking into a corner. I’m coming out with the big guns. If the Chicago Daily Tribune can get it wrong, then so can little old me.

The 1948 headline screamed “Dewey Defeats Truman” but the paper had gone to print a few hours before all the votes in the US Presidential election were counted, and in the end, Truman had won and the Tribune had egg all over their face.

Just like me if Pouliot stay with the team.

Kyle Klubertanz Picked Up By Habs

American-born defenceman Kyle Klubertanz has signed a one-year deal with the Habs and this probably isn’t the most exciting signing Montreal has ever done. With apologies to Klubertanz.

Klubertanz, 24, played last season in Djurgardens of the Swedish Elite League where he tallied 31 points in 55 games. Before that he played a season in Finland (12 points in 51 games) and five games in the AHL with the Portland Pirates where he had no points whatsoever. Although numbers aren’t a good gauge of a defenceman.

Really, I have no idea if this is a great addition or not. Maybe it is.

He’s also not the biggest defenceman in the world, standing somewhere between 5’10 and 6 feet, and weighs 190 pounds. By comparison, we feel Marc-Andre Bergeron is a small defenceman, and Bergeron is the same height and 7 pounds heavier.

Chances are, this is the Hamilton Bulldogs’ newest defenceman. Or maybe he’ll blossom into the new Doug Harvey!

Back In It, Baby!!!

“The boys are going to be just fine, they’ll get it done tonight,” said a very confident assistant coach Kirk Muller, and I believed him. Every word. I had this inner peace after listening to him. This kind of thing is said by every coach before every game, but the way Muller said it was different. It was in his eyes and I believed him absolutely.

And was he ever right.

The Canadiens steamrolled to a massive 5-1 demolishing of the visiting Philadelphia Flyers, they played as fine a game as you’ll see from this year’s edition, and climbed back in the series in a big-time way.

Kirk Muller is a very smart guy.

No one’s talking about Michael Leighton now. The guy had received way too much ink from the previous two games. But now the big guy’s back – Jaroslav Halak, and his red-shirted brothers in front of him played a fire-wagon hockey we rarely see in this day and age from  the CH.

By the time this series is over, Michael Leighton will be mentioned in the same breath as Tommy Soderstrom and Ray Emery instead of Bernie Parent.

Someone said Montreal played in this game 3 like they did in the Pittsburgh and Washington series, but I feel it was a much different story on this night. In those games, Montreal blocked shots, took advantage of a few chances, and enjoyed Halak stopping almost every missile launched at him. 

Tonight, they dominated in all aspects, threw the puck around with precision, swooped and swerved with abandon, had a dozen great scoring chances, and Flyers fans can stop peeing their pants from excitement and concentrate on not shitting them instead.

Roman Hamrlik was a rock on the blueline, and Maxim Lapierre….. Ah, Maxim! You skated and thumped and yipped and yapped and had the Flyers looking to throttle you all night. It was beautiful. Although I can understand why opposing players want to tear your eyeballs out with their fingers and remove your teeth with a pair of pliers.

I’ll go out on a limb and say all Habs fans enjoyed Max immensely on this night. I also figure Flyers fans thought about firing a bullet through their plasma TV’s as they saw Max’s big grins. They were probably so angry they couldn’t wait to get outside and slash some more tires.

The teams ended it all with less than good will, and Don Cherry said later the Canadiens should have been more mellow while holding a four-goal lead because they shouldn’t upset Mike Richards and gang. I say bullshit to Mr. Cherry. The Flyers know now that not only do they have to skate with the speedy Habs, but the Canadiens aren’t pussycats either.

Wasn’t it the entire hockey world except for Habs fans who thought the Flyers were too big and too strong? And now Cherry thinks the Habs should be peaceniks?

Random Notes:

Canadiens got goals from Mike Cammalleri (his 13th), Tom Pyatt, Dominic Moore, Brian Gionta, and Marc-Andre Bergeron.

Bergeron’s power play blast from the blueline is exactly what we want Bergeron to do on a nightly basis.

Several lovely young ladies sat behind the Habs bench.

Shot on goal – Montreal 38, Orangemen 26.

Getting Their Names On The Scoresheet

When you look at the score sheet from the previous game and the Habs listed on it, you see one offensive star – Brian Gionta, and the rest are the grinders, plumbers and journeymen of the team. It’s a beautiful thing. Now, if we can just get all four lines on the score sheet, Pittsburgh wouldn’t have a chance.

Here’s the guys who got points in game four along with Gionta. Tom Pyatt, Maxim Lapierre, Travis Moen, Glen Metropolit, Marc-Andre Bergeron, and Roman Hamrlik.

Habs Even It Up. Gary Bettman Takes a Tranquilizer

Somehow, when we were least expecting it, the Montreal Canadiens became a playoff team. And very soon, they’ll make believers of everyone. It hasn’t happened yet, but it will. All the team has to do is keep doing what they’re doing, and that’s winning. Gary Bettman and NBC are sick to their stomachs, but Habs fans are thrilled.

The series between the little engine that could and the defending Stanley Cup champions is now, like crazy magic, tied after a juicy 3-1 win in enemy territory. And it was done with a bunch of blue collar defencemen rolling up their sleeves after losing the one star the Habs have on the blueline, Andrei Markov. Everyone - forwards and defence -chipped in in this crucial game two, and they got it done.

And everyone who thinks the Canadiens will fall flat anytime soon and are overmatched by Sidney Crosby and company are slowly-but-surely being proved wrong. Alex Ovechkin and the Caps couldn’t do it. Why does everyone think the Pens will be too much?

These factory workers, minus Andrei Markov and Jaroslav Spacek, worked hard and stuck to what Jacques Martin asked them to do, which was to be patient and not get caught out of position. They got great goaltending from Jaroslav Halak after an off-night in game one, and maybe best of all, penalty-killers kllled a slew of penalties and made Sidney Crosby almost invisible.

This team, with hard-core labour which stamps them as blue-collar, along with Halak standing tall, has a chance to knock off the mighty Pittsburgh Penguins. Just like they did to the other mighty team. It’s enough to make us shake our heads in amazement. Heck, I can almost see people taking them seriously if that happened.

They started slow on this night, and it began to make me wonder why I raced home from work to see it. In fact, it looked like the Penguins might score at will. But they didn’t. They ran into blocked shots, great goaltending, and a team that clogs up the ice and frustrates. Before our very eyes, the Montreal Canadiens have become the New Jersey Devils.

But I’m not complaining. They’re doing what they need to do to win games. All of a sudden I’m a Jacques Martin fan. Maybe he’s the best coach in the league after all! Keep doing this, Jacques, and we’ll love you like a brother.

Random Notes:

Brian Gionta had one goal and Mike Cammellari had two. Two small guys who weren’t supposed to be effective in the playoffs, as the experts told us all year. 

If the game wasn’t so important and close, it would’ve been almost funny how Marc-Andre Bergeron screws up in his own end. I like the guy, he’s got the big shot and all that, but somehow he’s got to unscrew his head and screw it back on properly.

Onward to Montreal. And will some great doctor please step forward and fix Spacek’s illness that has kept him out of the lineup for six games now.

I had to watch the game later on because I was working and keeping the economy going while you were lounging about on the couch.

Miracle Completed! Canadiens Remove Caps

Not many gave them a chance, these Montreal Canadiens. Studio analysts laughed and smirked at the mere thought of it. There was no way the Habs, a team who had just squeaked into the playoffs by the skin of their teeth, were going to stop the mighty Washington Capitals, who most thought would go all the way with a high-powered offence of Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Alexander Semin, Mike Green and a cast of thousands. 

But the Canadiens fought back from down three games to one, winning three straight, and a miracle has happened which won’t be forgotten shortly. Thank you, Montreal Canadiens, you made us proud tonight.

The Canadiens won this game 2-1, they held on in the end while down two players, and I’ve just set a new record for holding my breath – 60 minutes. They blocked and stopped and didn’t panic, and carried out a game plan that has - and I’m still in shock just saying it - slayed the big machine.

They did it and it’s time to celebrate. And we’ll enjoy it now and remember how Jaroslav Halak performed in this series, how Hal Gill and Josh Gorges blocked shots, and how the team – everyone – did what they had to do to stop the Goliath that is the Washington Capitals.

What a difference between last year and now. The Canadiens bowed out four straight to Boston, and we kind of knew they might. They went quietly, and we waited for another year to see if things would change. And how it has. This is a team with personality now, with heart, and the whole episode stirs the souls of Habs fans everywhere.

Christopher said all along the Capitals could be had, and Danno swore it would be won in game seven. All Habs fans hoped and believed, and we all knew it was a formidable task at hand. I also remember watching Sportsnet Hockey Central, and Doug MacLean and the others laughed a hearty laugh when the question was raised if the Habs could pull off an upset.

They’re not laughing now. No one’s laughing except us. Canadiens eliminate Washington, and I’m going for a beer.

Random Notes:

Marc-Andre Bergeron opened the scoring on the power play, and Dominic Moore notched the big, beautiful mother of a game-seven winner.

Jaroslav Halak did what we needed him to do. Elevate his game, and provide some of the greatest goaltending seen in a long, long time. It’s what the playoffs are all about.

It’s not going to get any easier, because now it’s the defending champs, the Pittsburgh Penguins, who are up next on the menu. Game one starts Friday. Bring ‘em on.

Habs Live To See Another Day!

The original title was going to be “Habs Crush Washington in Game 5″ which was the title of the piece I was writing in my new movie/YouTube Masterpiece, but this 2-1 Montreal win was anything but crushing. It was a big squeaker, but it was a win – a gigantic, beautiful, heart-stopping victory that sends the thing back to Montreal for a game six, and as we all know, anything can happen when you grab a little momentum.

I wouldn’t even mind seeing some food poisoning from the Caps’ restaurant. Or more on the drug probe involving Washington players that sends the players into a tizzy. And maybe the little flag boy’s dad will kick the shit out of Alex Ovechkin.  

The boys are back in it, they know they can do it, and Washington must be feeling just a little tight right now. “What if we lose on Monday?” the Caps are thinking. “Shit,” they add in unison.

Montreal jumped out to a 2-0 lead with goals from Mike Cammalleri and Travis Moen, but we’ve seen them grab big leads before so it was never time to feel warm all over. Andrei Markov hit the post soon after the second goal and all throughout the night I kept thinking how nice it would have been if it was 3-0.

But it wasn’t. It became 2-1, the Capitals outshot the Canadiens 38-28, and had chances galore to even it up. But two key things happened to prevent Washington from scoring again – Halak was sensational, and Roman Hamrlik and Marc-Andre Bergeron sat on the bench for most of the third.

Sitting these two was one of the most ingenious moves coach Jacques Martin has thought up in awhile.

Random Notes:

Travis Moen had a nice, hard-working game, as did Maxim Lapierre, and Andrei Kostitsyn chipped in a little more than usual. And Hal Gill has been a beauty throughout and I apologize for every joke myself and several thousand other Habs fans have made about the big guy. I’m only now beginning to appreciate the importance of this sort-of-gentle giant.

My wife, who is Russian, doesn’t like Alex Ovechkin at all and prefers Sidney Crosby instead as the league’s best player. So when I told her about Ovechkin spraying the little flag kid in Montreal she just shook her head in disgust. She feels he’s a bit classless, unlike Crosby. I also think Crosby has more dimensions to his game and has better teeth.

And as a side note, a couple of years ago I wrote the Montreal Canadiens and asked them if I could be a flag kid too but they wrote back and told me it’s only minor hockey kids in Montreal who get this chance. First it’s Sam Pollock destroying my dream of being stick boy, and now it’s the organization doing it again with the flag boy thing.

Heck, I even offered to buy my own equipment.