Tag Archives: Mark Recchi

Hab Fixer-Uppers

Maybe only Sigmund Freud could come close to finding an answer to why the Habs, as they were last night and so many times in recent years, can come out to an exciting atmosphere and play like it’s past their bedtime. So uninspired, so freaking lousy.

Freud might have known what the problem is, but he’s dead. So it’s left up to us to understand.

Here’s some of my suggestions:

Whichever restaurants the players eat at, fire the cooks.

Send the wives to Powell River and the kids to an uncle’s so the guys can focus better.

Arrange for an exorcism performed on the dressing room.

Build a new dressing room and start over.

Build a new rink and move.

Have the players look up to the sky and say sorry to dead Habs.

Go back to wood sticks and sweaters with tie-up necks.

Do what many dads do – give a buck for every goal scored.

Decline power plays.

Forget the free hot dogs, chips, and pop at inter-squad games and morning skates. After last night, fans deserve steaks, beer, and morphine.

Start playing Brendan Gallagher while he’s still enthusiastic, and before he starts playing like everybody else.

Issue strong laxatives to players so they can rid themselves of their obvious constipation.

Ask Dr. Recchi if it’s a health issue with the guys and how would he fix it.

If you see PK Subban drive by, throw snowballs at his car.

Wear those striped retro sweaters so the opposition goes cross-eyed.

Set up Walter and Jesse, from Breaking Bad, in the Bell Centre basement and have them start making meth for the players.

Pay the players by the mile, like truck drivers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Last Time They Played 48

While we wait to see what the Habs schedule will look like, have a look at the last time the team played 48-games, which was during the 1994-95 lockout season.

As you can see, the Canadiens never traveled out of the east, they kicked things off on January 21, and they played four games each against the Rangers, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Boston, Ottawa, Pittsburgh, Hartford, Buffalo, and Ottawa, while it was three games against Washington, Tampa Bay, Florida, and the Islanders.

It was also a dismal year for the team. They missed the playoffs for the first time since the 1969-70 season (25 years), won only 3 of 24 road games, and came out ahead in just 11 of their final 32 games.

This with Patrick Roy in nets (with a little help from Ron Tugnutt), and Dr. Recchi scoring and diagnosing. The good doctor had joined the Habs on Feb. 9/95 , with John Leclair, Eric Desjardins, and Gilbert Dionne heading off to Philadelphia.

01/21/1995 at NY Rangers 2 5 Loss
01/25/1995 vs. Washington 2 0 Win
01/28/1995 vs. New Jersey 5 1 Win
01/29/1995 vs. Philadelphia 2 2 Tie
01/31/1995 at Tampa Bay 1 4 Loss
02/02/1995 at Florida 1 1 Tie
02/04/1995 vs. NY Islanders 4 2 Win
02/07/1995 at Boston 4 7 Loss
02/08/1995 at Ottawa 4 2 Win
02/11/1995 at Pittsburgh 1 3 Loss
02/13/1995 vs. Hartford 2 2 Tie
02/15/1995 at Hartford 1 4 Loss
02/16/1995 at NY Rangers 2 2 Tie
02/18/1995 vs. NY Rangers 5 2 Win
02/20/1995 vs. NY Islanders 3 2 Win
02/23/1995 at Florida 5 2 Win
02/25/1995 vs. Philadelphia 0 7 Loss
02/27/1995 at New Jersey 1 6 Loss
02/28/1995 at NY Islanders 1 2 Loss
03/04/1995 at Washington 1 5 Loss
03/05/1995 at Buffalo 1 4 Loss
03/08/1995 vs. Buffalo 2 2 Tie
03/11/1995 vs. NY Rangers 3 1 Win
03/13/1995 at Pittsburgh 2 4 Loss
03/15/1995 vs. Pittsburgh 8 5 Win
03/16/1995 at Boston 0 6 Loss
03/18/1995 vs. Quebec 5 4 Win
03/20/1995 at Philadelphia 4 8 Loss
03/22/1995 vs. Florida 2 3 Loss
03/25/1995 vs. Ottawa 3 1 Win
03/27/1995 at Tampa Bay 2 3 Loss
04/01/1995 at New Jersey 1 4 Loss
04/03/1995 at Ottawa 5 4 Win
04/05/1995 vs. Quebec 6 5 Win
04/06/1995 at Quebec 2 3 Loss
04/08/1995 vs. Pittsburgh 2 1 Win
04/10/1995 vs. New Jersey 2 1 Win
04/12/1995 at Philadelphia 2 3 Loss
04/14/1995 at Hartford 3 4 Loss
04/15/1995 vs. Boston 2 3 Loss
04/17/1995 vs. Washington 5 2 Win
04/19/1995 vs. Ottawa 4 1 Win
04/22/1995 vs. Tampa Bay 3 1 Win
04/24/1995 vs. Hartford 3 4 Loss
04/26/1995 at Quebec 1 1 Tie
04/29/1995 vs. Buffalo 3 3 Tie
05/01/1995 at Buffalo 0 2 Loss
05/03/1995 vs. Boston 2 4 Loss

Good Wood

Ron Green in Orillia sends along an interesting story from TheStar.com – Hockey Is In Tom Scanlan’s Bones  – about a fellow who bought game-used sticks once owned by the 42 players who scored at least 500 goals in the NHL. The sticks were up for auction last June from Classic Auctions in Montreal.

42 is a lot of sticks, especially when you attach the importance of the players who handled them. I have two that belong in this category – Wayne Gretzky and Jean Beliveau. He has 40 more than me, including the Rocket’s, which has me oozing with envy. I’ve always wanted one of Rocket’s sticks.

There’s a few in the 42 I can do without, starting with Mark Recchi, but all in all, it’s a beautiful pile of timber and good for the guy for being the winning bidder.

For the record, here’s the 42 men who’ve scored at least 500 goals, in order of ranking:

Wayne Gretzky – 894
Gordie Howe – 801
Brett Hull – 741
Marcel Dionne – 731
Phil Esposito – 717
Mike Gartner – 708
Mark Messier – 694
Steve Yzerman – 692
Mario Lemieux – 690
Luc Robitaille – 668
Jaromir Jagr – 665
Teemu Selanne – 663
Brendan Shanahan – 656
Dave Andreychuk – 640
Joe Sakic – 625
Bobby Hull – 610
Dino Ciccarelli – 608
Jari Kurri – 601
Mark Recchi – 577
Mike Bossy – 573
Mats Sundin – 564
Mike Modano – 561
Guy Lafleur – 560
Joe Nieuwendyk – 559
Johnny Bucyk – 556
Ron Francis – 549
Michel Goulet – 548
Maurice Richard – 544
Stan Mikita – 541
Keith Tkachuk – 538
Frank Mahovlich – 533
Bryan Trottier – 524
Pat Verbeek – 522
Dale Hawerchuk – 518
Jarome Iginla – 516
Pierre Turgeon – 515
Jeremy Roenick – 513
Gilbert Perreault – 512
Jean Beliveau – 507
Peter Bondra – 503
Joe Mullen – 502
Lanny McDonald – 500

A Great Pick

It doesn’t take a special mind like Stephen Hawking or P.J. Stock to know that the Canadiens did tremendously well with their number three pick. I think we all feel it, if other Habs fans don’t mind me speaking for them a little.

Sarnia Sting coach Jacques Beaulieu, who had both Alex Galchenyuk and first-overall pick Nail Yakupov in his lineup, said Galchenyuk has what it takes to be a better player than Yakupov. It had been full speed ahead for Galchenyuk until he blew his knee out, but his knee is fine now and everyone knows it. It’s one of the reasons the NHL holds the Draft Combine – to get to the bottom of matters like this.

Heck, I think even Dr. Recchi would give him the green light if he examined him.

And as nice as it might have been to have a young stud defenceman like Ryan Murray added to the mix, Montreal is already grooming blueliners Jarred Tinordi and Nathan Beaulieu, the latter being the son of the Sarnia coach. It was time to go for the gusto. A future superstar. A player to warm the hearts of superstar-deprived Habs fans.

It’s the thought of a big and dominant centreman coming aboard that puts a smile on our faces. I don’t know how long it will be before the young fellow earns a spot with the big club, but I hope it’s soon. The sooner the new-look Habs train gets rolling down the tracks, the better.

 

2011 – The Year Of Gomez’s Promise And Other Fine Moments

Another year older and deeper in debt. Etc.

2011 had some fine moments for Habs fans, and unfortunately, some not-so-fine moments. So let’s have a glimpse at what happened in this Year of the Rabbit. And please keep in mind, things aren’t in order here. That would be way too normal.

Carey Price posed with his arms crossed after a win, which upset some and I don’t know why. I thought it was quite creative. Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury mimicked Price a week later but alas, it all ended there.

Saku Koivu returned for the first time after being traded to Anaheim, and that was nice. Unfortunately, Saku’s new team won 4-3 in a shootout.

P.K. Subban was selected for the All-Rookie team at the All-Star game in Raleigh. PK’s smile made us smile, and when he put on Jeff Skinner’s jersey in the shootout competition he made us smile even more. At least I smiled. I don’t know about you.

I held half a dozen or so contests in 2011, with people far and wide winning some good shit.

James Wisniewski took a puck in the face in Edmonton, looked like we’d lose him for months, but he was back for the Heritage Classic in Calgary just a few days later. We would eventually lose Wiz anyways when Columbus gave him a zillion dollars. And speaking of the Heritage Classic, Carey Price put on his new facemask that was so weird that little kids were put to bed early so they wouldn’t see it and have nightmares.

Rearguard Brent Sopel played one year with the Habs, and when he was cut loose at the end and not picked up, ended up going to the KHL and is probably slurping borscht as we speak.

My grandson Adam entered the world on February 3rd and will almost certainly play for the Habs in twenty years.

Also in February, Luci and I went to Vancouver to see the Habs beat the Canucks in a terrific game where we had great seats and a wonderful time. And speaking of Vancouver, Gilbert Brule of the Edmonton Oilers was driving in his car with his girlfriend, near the ferry terminal at Horseshoe Bay, and stopped to pick up a hitchhiker who happened to be Bono from the band U2. I just find that as weird as can be.

Boston won the Cup, as you know, and thousands rioted in the Vancouver downtown area. Several dozen are just now on the verge of having their big court appearances and most say they feel bad. I feel bad too. Because the Bruins won the Cup.

We lost assistant coach Kirk Muller to Nashville affiliate Milwaukee Admirals, Boston Pizza changed their name to Montreal Pizza during the playoffs, Bruin Andrew Ference gave the finger to the Bell Centre crowd after scoring a goal, a tortoise named Gerry La Tortue tried to predict games in the Habs-Bruins series and often failed miserably, and Hal Gill signed a one year, 2.25 million dollar contract.

A woman in Vancouver flashed her boobs at San Jose’s Ben Eager while he sat in the penalty box, Winnipeg got an NHL team again – the ex-Atlanta Thrashers, and Luci and I went to Ontario where we hooked up with some great new and old friends and co-workers in both Ottawa and Orillia, enjoyed a luncheon with NHL oldtimers in Toronto, visited my dad in his new old folks home, stayed with my brother, and went to see the old arena in Orillia where the doors were locked.

2011 was the year of the big Zdeno Chara hit on Max Pacioretty, which fractured Max’s neck which in turn caused many Bruins fans to laugh and jump with glee. It also allowed Mark Recchi to use his medical knowledge to diagnose the situation and conclude it wasn’t as bad as we were led to believe.

Jean Beliveau turned 80 in 2011, Wayne Gretzky 50, Carey Price 24, and Don Cherry 119.

I had an interview in Puck Daddy and Bruins fans accused me of sounding like a Hab fan.

Andrei Kostitsyn slammed Jacques Martin for playing him improperly, Josh Gorges signed for one year, 2.5 million, Erik Cole also inked for 4 years, 18 million, and Roman Hamrlik went to Washington.

Assistant coach Perry Pearn was let go, and the two Randy’s – Cunneyworth and Ladouceur, joined Martin behind the bench.

Vancouver Giant sensation Brendan Gallagher had a great camp and almost made the Habs, Chris Campoli was added to the blueline corps, and Scott Gomez told us he was embarrassed by his previous season, was sorry, and things would be different this year.

Longtime Canadiens trainer and equipment guy Eddie Palchak passed away, Andrei Markov almost played on the Habs’ California trip but didn’t, Jacques Martin was out and Cunneyworth in, Rocket’s star was stolen from the sidewalk at the Forum, the bilingual coach issue has raised it’s ugly head, and I mistakingly ate some toxic maple syrup and lived to tell about it.

So there you have it. I know I’ve missed a lot, but enough’s enough.

And of course, I wish you all a very splendid New Year. May it be your best year ever.

 

 

 

My Thoughts Are With The Bruins

Bruins win the game three race, shutting out Tampa Bay 2-0, and there’s not a lot to say really. All I know is, when I see Tim Thomas I think of him crying about PK Subban after the Bruins had eliminated the Habs. When I see Andrew Ference, who scored Boston’s second goal, I think of him giving Bell Centre fans, including women and children, the finger. When I see Milan Lucic I think of the time he tried to pick fights in the third period after Max Pacioretty was almost killed in the second. When I see Mark Recchi, I think of doctors. When I see Zdeno Chara, I think that he’d be a very average player if he didn’t have his size.

And when I think of Brad Marchand, I have a hard time holding down my supper.

Max And Chara Talk, And PK Annoys

I see that Zdeno Chara has had a chat with Max Pacioretty sometime recently and that’s good. If Chara spoke from his heart, saying he worried for Max and never wanted to hurt but simply erase him from the play, then that’s excellent.

Of course, it isn’t good if Chara warned Max to never, ever push him again after scoring an overtime goal.

Maybe now Mark Recchi will step forward and say he was out of line for saying Max embellished his injury. Or is the former Hab still having trouble removing his foot from his mouth?

Elliotte Friedman on rookie of the year –  He chooses Jeff Skinner, but also had this to say –

“You know who is not getting enough respect? John Carlson.
He led all rookies in ice time, both for the season and per game. He was six points behind Kevin Shattenkirk, who led diaper-dandy defencemen in scoring. Carlson and Karl Alzner became the shutdown pair on a team that changed its system at Christmas and charged at the end to win the East. That’s pretty good.

P.K. Subban’s chances are hurt because he annoys people. That’s unfortunate, because he had a major impact on a decimated blue-line. But Carlson had a better year.”

Carlson had a better year? He had 7 goals and 30 assists for 37 points, plus 44 PIM’s. PK notched 14 goals and 24 assists for 38 points and 124 PIM’s. The Canadiens relied heavily on PK after losing Andrei Markov and Josh Gorges for the season and Jaroslav Spacek for 23 games. PK is such an impact player that the Bruins will be concentrating hard on him as he can be a game-breaker.

And he annoys people? What does that have to do with anything? If Bobby Orr had annoyed some, does that mean he wouldn’t have won all those Norris’? It’s about skill, impact, importance to team, points and other intangibles. It shouldn’t be about whether PK annoys some players or not.

Am I wrong or was Friedman’s statement one of the sillier things you’ve seen lately? Hall of Famers and others throughout the decades annoyed other players too.

Wayne Gretzky used to tell Gary Lupul he was useless and didn’t belong in the league. Gretzky was a known trash-talker and that annoyed others I’m sure. Alexander Mogilny, after being asked by his Vancouver Canucks’ coach (who I won’t name) to do more backchecking, replied, “And how much money do YOU make?’ To me, that’s also pretty annoying.

Ted Lindsay would call Rocket Richard every hateful and racist name he could think of. That must have been tremendously annoying.

But PK’s a rookie and is supposed to behave. The unwritten rule is that you can’t be annoying until you’ve been around a few years. Too bad.

 

Sad And Pitiful Performance

For weeks I worried that I’d miss the big Habs-Bruins game because I’d be zooming across the country instead. Maybe missing the game that was going to be the biggest and finest of the year. The one where we win it for Max and for the standings and show those Bruin bastards, once and for all, just who’s boss.

It was going to be a beauty, one for the ages, and there was a chance I’d only be able to read about it. 

Damn. I could’ve kicked myself for deciding to travel on this day.

But I saw it allright. 

For two periods I sat in Chili’s pub at the Calgary airport, watching in horror as the Montreal Canadiens imploded before our very eyes, and for much of the third I caught it on the plane to Ottawa, declining the little three-dollar ear thingys because there was definitely nothing I wanted to hear at that stage.

Seven freaking nothing. The team and fans embarrassed beyond words. The big game. Carey Price yanked. Cam Neely chuckling in the Bruins’ management box. Way too many penalties to even think about making a push. Scott Gomez? Yeah, right.

It was a most disgusting and disappointing display by the Canadiens at a time when they needed to come out with guns blazing. Guns blazing? Hah! It was more like those little pop guns I had when I was a kid with a cork on a string.

Yes, I worried long and hard that I’d miss it. I suppose there’s a lesson there somewhere.

The only jam I saw above the din of a packed Chili’s was Paul Mara giving it to Mark Recchi. He’s the only Hab I respected tonight. The rest of them….I have no words.

When I left the bar it was 5-0 and when I got on the plane it was 6-0. And then it became seven. The three and a half hour trip was long, extra long, and I wanted to punch the guy in front of me who put his seat back.

I’m ashamed of my team tonight.

Random Notes:

Have arrived in Ottawa after a long day of planes and hockey insanity. Good night.

Recchi Spews (And Other Stuff Completely Unrelated)

I heard on TSN today, before heading to the ferry terminal, Mark Recchi’s blabberings about how the extent of Max Pacioretty’s injury was embellished by the Habs looking for a suspension for Zdeno Chara. I figured this would be the Bruins’ party line once it was discovered that Max was out of the hospital quickly and could be back playing in the playoffs.

First it was Brad Marchand polluting the air a couple of weeks ago, and now Recchi. And they call us whiners!

It only goes to show that some hockey players, as in all walks of life,  just aren’t tremendously gifted in the brain department. Marchand for sure. I just didn’t know Recchi was cut from the same cloth.

And to think Recchi was once a Montreal Canadien.

Below – the first leg of our trip to Ontario – leaving Powell River on a ferry to Vancouver Island. As you can see from the pics, Powell River isn’t exactly Montreal or Toronto. But it’s a lovely town with lovely people. And scattered throughout are Habs fans, although you have to look for awhile.

Click on the photos and enlarge them. In the bottom one of Powell River you’ll notice buildings at the top of the hill. We live just to the left of these with a view of  ferries and tugboats coming and going. The big square condo at the top of the picture is just down the street from us.

We’re in Courtenay now and I’m sad to report that my favourite sports bar has been renovated and is now full of padded chairs with high backs and a fireplace. They’ve ruined a fine place. Big padded chairs and fireplaces should be illegal in sports bars. And instead of a dozen TV’s, there’s just one.

Tomorrow –  Ottawa.

Someday Ottawa will have an NHL team too!

 

Boston Or Philadelphia? Who Do You Want For The Habs?

Who would you like the Habs to play – Boston or Philadelphia?

It’s a tough one. Both teams look pretty solid to me and each has a reasonably impressive lineup, although not as impressive as Washington and Pittsburgh. Boston boasts Patrice Bergeron, elder statesman Mark Recchi, and Milan Lucic (remember when Lucic hammered Montreal’s Mike Komisarek). Michael Ryder and Miroslav Satan can both hurt you with big goals. And don’t forget sniper Marc Savard and the guy who bumps his head on the scoreboard – Zdeno Chara.

Looks like a pretty good squad to me.

Philadelphia is no slouch either. Mike Richards is a bonafide young star and leader, and there’s the ever-dangerous trio of Daniel Briere, Simon Gagne, and Scott Hartnell. Chris Pronger anchors the defence, and everyone knows Chris Pronger was and is a big-time player.

They also have one of the nuttiest shit disturbers in the league – Dan Carcillio, and frankly, I don’t know if I want the Habs to be on the ice with him. He’s quite an asshole, but he draws people into penalties and the bonus is, he’s got fairly good hands. But really, I don’t like his act. That instance a while ago when he lurched his head back like he’d been sucker punched but the closest fist to him was at least a foot away, was ridiculous and unprofessional. Don Cherry goes on about Carcillo constantly and is definitely not a fan. In fact, judging by the way he talks about him on Coach’s Corner, he can’t stand the guy.

Both teams look strong, but Boston has blown a 3-0 series lead. So Boston could be nervous and Philadelphia could come out like gangbusters. But Michael Leighton in the Flyers net has seen just limited action over several months, while Boston’s Tuukka Rask has been strong for the Bruins. (I’m assuming Rask is starting).

Who should the Habs play in the Conference Final? I think I’m picking Boston. They’ve blown that big series lead so must not be playing well). They have a few key injuries – David Krejci and Marco Sturm, and all’s not well right now with the Bostonians. But whatever. Bring on either team. We’re on a mission.