Tag Archives: Marcel Dionne

Habs Handled

Canadiens lose 4-1 to the visiting Boston Bruins and maybe the right thing for Marc Bergevin to do is hold a seminar for the boys and invite Mike Bossy, Steve Shutt, Marcel Dionne, Phil Esposito and as many others that can be rounded up on short notice to explain how to get the puck over the goal line.

Seven goals scored in five games. Joe Malone once scored seven himself in one game.

And no matter that Peter Budaj didn’t stand on his head and happened to allow a couple of weak ones. The fact remains that he’s getting absolutely no help from his guys at the other end.

That’s four losses in five games. You’re trying our patience, team. You can stop the nonsense any time now.

The Canadiens dominated the first period, outshooting the Bruins 13-6, with breakaways by Max and Alex Galchenyuk and lots of good chances on two power plays.

But alas, no goals.

And the beginning of the end came in the second period when Jarred Tinordi got tangled up with the puck at the side of the net, and the Bruins popped their first of four on the night.

Of course the Canadiens had a chance to regroup when yet another breakaway cropped up, this one by Plekanec, but once again, a good chance squandered.

And suddenly, before you could say #*&%@#, it was 3-0 when the middle frame came to a close.

Not much else to mention. The third period saw another Bruins goal, and then DD banged one home during a scramble in the crease and all that meant was that Thomas Vanek, who was given an assist, finally got a point for his new team.

Random Notes:

Canadiens outshot the Bruins 36-32.

Next up – Saturday, when the Senators pay a visit. Hopefully that goal-scoring seminar can be arranged before then.

 

Gary Lupul

It was July 18, 2007 when Powell River’s Gary Lupul died of a heart attack at just 48 years old. I was shocked. He was a close friend of mine, and he seemed in good shape. It was a horrible time for many people, because Gary was loved by many.

There were those who didn’t love him quite as much as the rest of us though. Gary’s NHL career was cut short, mostly because he had a love for the good life, and there were some in town who felt he didn’t behave himself properly and blew a promising career. Gary heard these things, he felt bad that some felt that way, but que sera sera. He was simply an outgoing and fun-loving guy who was funny, great with kids, had no ego, and the ladies loved him, although some women in Powell River steered clear of him because of rumours of his struggles. That and I guess because he was often broke. It was their loss. He was an excellent fellow who looked like a stronger version of Hollywood actor Rob Lowe.

Below, Gary with the Canucks, fighting for the puck with Gordie Howe, and taking a faceoff against Marcel Dionne.

Boomer And The Boys Sing Da Doo Ron Ron

At the bottom of this story, Boom Boom Geoffrion, Marcel Dionne, and Rogie Vachon sing up a storm on the Rene Simard Show. Simard was sort of Canada’s answer to Donny Osmond.

I have no other words to describe this. Except to offer my sympathies to the Crystals and Phil Spector.

Boomer was a bit of a singer in his day, entertaining his teammates whether they wanted him to or not, and he appeared at least once on The Juliette Show, which came on CBC after the hockey game on Saturday night. I remember Juliette. She seemed like somebody’s hot mother, which she probably was.

Boom Boom was a fun-loving guy, loved to laugh, and I’ll bet he had a blast doing this with Dionne and Vachon, although it’s tremendously cheesy. I’m sure he was the leader of the pack, and I’m willing to go out on a limb and say he had the most talent of the three.

Boomer was a great guy by all accounts, and as a kid growing up he was a huge Habs fan. He said many times over the years how much he loved the Rocket, not only as a kid, but also when he finally played alongside his boyhood hero.

Imagine, he ended up playing on the team he worshipped, with the player he had idolized.

Dreams do come true.

When Richard was suspended in 1955 for having a slight disagreement with a linesman, which led to the St. Patrick’s Day Richard Riot, Boom Boom sailed past Rocket in the last few games of the season to win the scoring championship and the Art Ross Trophy. The poor guy was booed by Canadiens fans for denying Rocket the title number 9 had never won, and not only booed, but also received threatening phone calls and his kids were hassled at school. I think it’s ridiculous that fans would want Geoffrion to tank so the Rocket would win. Asking a bit much, I’d say.

Geoffrion wasn’t exactly sure in the beginning about the whole idea of beating the Rocket. He was uneasy about it. But Doug Harvey saw it was bothering him, took him aside, and told him he’d better score when he got the chances or he’d have to answer to him.

The fans got over it.

Here’s the video. You probably know but if you don’t, it’s Marcel Dionne on the left, Boom Boom in the middle, and Rogie Vachon on the right.

Who’s On First?

A fun little contest is going on at Informed Bet that I think you might like. Try guessing which player on Detroit, Washington, Montreal, Philadelphia, LA, and Chicago scores their team’s first goal in the opening round and some cool autographed items can be won from Guy Lafleur, Steve Shutt, Frank Mahovlich, Bernie Parent, Marcel Dionne, Kevin Hatcher and Pierre Pilote.

You need to also give some sort of time and period of the goals in case several people guess the same player.

I’m going to give it a shot and thought you might want to also. However, at this point I’m not sure I’ll be choosing Hal Gill or Scott Gomez to open it up for the Habs.

Just send them a message by clicking on the “contact” box at the top right of their page. Are you choosing Gill or Gomez? Maybe Gill?

Are These The 12 Best From Quebec?

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Would it be wrong to suggest that the twelve best hockey players to come out of Quebec are, in no particular order, Maurice Richard, Jean Beliveau, Mike Bossy, Patrick Roy, Doug Harvey, Henri Richard, Jacques Plante, Guy Lafleur, Ray Bourque, Marcel Dionne, Mario Lemieux…..

 And of course, Gaston LeBois?

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Guest Writer Has His Say About Roy’s Sweater Being Raised

A guest writer delves into the ‘Patrick Roy’s sweater being retired’ saga. 

 

Take it away, Jim.

 

“Pro sports are sexy for a variety of reasons, but perhaps their most attractive quality is that they are so readily apprehended. Things are pretty straightforward, excluding the usual geeky obsession with stats – God bless The Schwab, a brilliant trivia geek, but frankly I have to agree with Noam Chomsky here when he says in effect that the brains of such people could be put to much better use.

 

A simple concept that I’m interested in touching on here is that of the relationship between team and player and championships. In all team sports, WINNING CHAMPIONSHIPS is the ultimate goal, the ultimate measure not only of the team but of the individual player. Aguably, winning the Stanley Cup is the most demanding, most arduous, most difficult championship to capture, and being a member of a Stanley Cup championship team is the crown glory of any player. This simple fact is born out by the players themselves who to a man agree that they would trade any number of individual achievements, any amount of accolades just to win one cup – to my knowledge, no player has yet declared they preferred being a star to winning a cup.

 

In this respect, Lanny McDonald and Dave Andreychuk spring immediately to mind.

 

Are individual stats relevant?

 

Of course they are. For example, Marcel Dionne and Mike Gartner were great players and derserved to be in the Hall of Fame even though they did not win any cups. Conversely, many players such as Mario Tremblay and Rejean Houle, who won several cups with the Habs, do not, in my mind, belong in the Hall.

 

In other words, membership in the Hall is very much a function of individual accomplishments in the game, although inductees who have won cups are, I believe, a cut above those who did not – the single most significant yardstick for measuring the greatness of a player is how many cups he has won. Period.

 

However, being inducted into the Hall is not the same as having one’s sweater retired by le Canadien. The Habs are not only the greatest team of all time, they are one of the greatest sports teams of all time. What this means is quite simply that the standards and expectations that apply to other teams and their players are not applicable to the Habs.

 

My point re Roy? Winning a mere two cups hardly qualifies Patrick Roy to be placed in the company of greats such as Beliveau, the Richards, Cournoyer, Plante, Lafleur, – who each has great stats as well as multiple cups. Note that they are all Hall Of Famers, unlike Houle and Tremblay. And the argument that Roy single-handedly won the two cups and therefore merits special treatment not only flies in the face of the win-as-a-team/lose-as-a-team maxim but it is insulting to the great players on those cup teams – look ‘em up!

 

It’s a cliche, which doesn’t mean it isn’t so, to say that teams only go as deep into the playoffs as their goalies take them. Of course goalies are crucial components on any cup-winning team, but this sure doesn’t lead to the conclusion that all cup-winning goalies should have their sweaters retired. But if we assume that Roy did literally win the cup by himself, then, applying the same logic, it’s reasonable to to assume that he therefore lost many more cups than he won. Hey, isn’t Price getting heat for ‘losing’ to the Flyers? Never mind the goalposts and poor shooting of the rest of the team. Hmmm, makes Roy a big choker rather than a big hero, n’est-ce pas?

 

Put him in the Hall, sure. Roy was a good goalie and he did have an impact on the game. But he definitely did NOT accomplish enough as a Canadien to warrant having his sweater retired. It’s a cynical marketing play that diverts attention from the fact that we have not won a cup in 15 years! And please, spare me the bs about the modern game and parity.  The Wings have won 3 in 11 years and could easily have won more and we’re supposed to be happy to make the playoffs. What a shameful betrayal of all the great Hab players and builders who triumphed regardless of the era in which they played. Hell, mug shots of Sammy Pollock and Scotty Bowman belong up there, not Roy’s sweater.

 

In Habland, cups first and persoanl stats a distant second – gotta luv Gainey and Harvey and Robinson and Savard, eh? And yes, the criteria that qualify a player of Hall of Fame induction do apply. As well, intangible considerations other than cup wins are also relevant.: leadership (suck it up, dig down, and play even better), charisma (Morenz, Richard, Beliveau, Lafleur), grit and determination (not a quitter among the sweaters up there now), loyalty (Roy? hmm..), et al.

 

Re Morenz, okay, I’ll be arbitrary here and say 3 cups is the minimum necessary to qualify to even be considered for having one’s sweater retired. I’ll also point out that Morenz, aka the Statford Streak, was called the Babe Ruth of hockey and as such he transcended the sport in much the same way Ruth did baseball, something that Patrick can not lay claim to. Morenz was a star whose brilliance far exceeded that of Roy. Also, unlike Roy, Morenz did not quit the Habs in the throes of a hissy fit over a chilish spat with a patently hostile and incompetent coach who would have clearly been turfed in favour of Roy. Morenz was a true Hab who died well before his time from an injury sustained while wearing the bleu, blanc, et rouge.

 

PS  No player will ever publicy say that other players do not deserve whatever honours team and league choose to bestow on them.

There’s A Lot Of LA Kings Fans Out There: But I’ve Only Met One

Last year while at the airport in Frankfurt, I got talking to a Russian father and son who now live in Los Angeles but were traveling back to the old country for a visit. The son, who was about 16, didn’t want to talk about Russia at all though. All he wanted to talk about was his favourite team, the Los Angeles Kings.

And you know what struck me? The fact that unless you live in California, there are probably very few LA Kings fans out there. I’m pretty sure about this. This kid was going on about his favourite player, Alexander Frolov, and it just seemed slightly odd, that’s all.

The Kings were in the very first group of six teams in the 1967-68 expansion that saw the league double from six to twelve teams. They were joined by the California Seals, Pittsburgh Penguins, Minnesota North Stars, Philadelphia Flyers, and St. Louis Blues.   kings1.jpg

Along the way, there’s been some sorts of interest involving this team. In the late ’70’s, early’80’s, the line of Marcel Dionne, Charley Simmer, and Dave Taylor were a top line in the league. In 1988, Wayne Gretzky was traded from Edmonton to LA, which sparked interest in hockey in southern California. And later on, owner Bruce McNall did time in prison for shady business deals.

But no Stanley Cups. Just a lot of sunburns, golfing, Hollywood parties, and pretty darn good crowds at the Staples Center, or Fabulous Forum, or whatever name they’ve used over the years.

Now today, March 8th, the Habs are in town for a game which is big for them but not so much for the Kings, who don’t have a sniff at a playoff spot. Hopefully though, the young Russian fellow will have his ticket and cheer like crazy for his team.

Those Who Would, And Wouldn’t, Look Good In A Montreal Canadien Sweater

DEFINITELY NOT:

Daniel Briere:  This is a guy who wants to collect his millions the easy way, in relative obscurity, so when he has a bad game no one notices. This is not a Montreal Canadien. I feel he’s a little shy in the cahoonie department.

Trevor Linden:  He tried it, but was a bum there. Wearing the Habs jersey must have interfered with his wet dreams about the wet coast.

Sean Avery:  If Avery ever becomes a Canadien, I’m taking up cricket. GO PAKISTAN!

Todd Bertuzzi:  I shouldn’t have brought this up. Now I’m going to have nightmares all night.

Steve Downie:  Players who try to injure other players is certainly no Montreal Canadien.

He belongs in Philadelphia.

Mike Milbury:  There’s nothing like a supreme smart-ass to play in Boston and not Montreal.

Matthew Barnaby:  Such a mediocre talent. And he’d have that smile on his face after he’d get his head kicked in.  Sean Avery, Jarkko Ruutu, and Steve Downey learned their smile from this guy. I shudder just thinking about him in a Habs jersey.

DEFINITELY YES:

Bobby Orr:  Yep.

Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux:  Yep.

Gilbert Perreault:  This is a guy who should’ve played in Montreal. Talk about a Flying Frenchman. However, he did bail out on Team Canada in 1972, so that’s a big strike against him.

Vincent Lecavalier:  Big strong French-Canadian centreman like Jean Beliveau. His grandfather would’ve been so proud to see him in a Habs jersey.

Sidney Crosby:  If he had had a say in it, he’d be wearing the red, white, and blue right now.

Jean Ratelle:   Another tall, strong French-Canadian centreman. Geez, was he ever out of place in Boston.

Marcel Dionne:  It basically came down to Lafleur or Dionne, as Montreal couldn’t grab both. I’m glad it was Lafleur, but Dionne would’ve looked good in the jersey also.

Valeri Kharlamov:  The great Russian was at the mercy of political bullshit in Moscow and there’s no way he would ever have been released to play in North America. He would’ve looked fantastic in Habs colours, though.

Vladislav Tretiak:  He didn’t hide the fact he would have loved to play in Montreal, but the same applied to him as did Kharlamov. Anyway, Montreal had Dryden.

Pamela Anderson:  With or without the sweater.

Dennis Kane:  If only he was taller, faster, stronger, smarter, with a better shot, and was a better fighter and skater, he would’ve looked FANTASTIC in a Montreal Canadien sweater.