Tag Archives: Ottawa

It’s A Beautiful Day!

I’m in a good mood. A great mood. I feel like whistling. The sun is shining brightly, birds are singing, I had a good sleep, and my porridge tasted terrific. I hope you have a wonderful day too. You deserve it.

I also hope the Ottawa Senators crash and burn and suck and get blown out and are ridiculed and humiliated and their coach gets his mustache stuck in a combine harvester.

I hope anthem singer Lyndon Slewidge pokes himself in the eye when he does that finger thing at the end of the song.

I hope Senators fans whine and fret and cry and yell at the referees, and in general, feel hopelessly lousy and depressed as their team smells like the sanitation truck that empties out the sewage system on the ferry boat.

I hope Ottawa bars sit deathly quiet as hockey fans quietly nurse their Pink Ladies, long after the televisions have been shut off.

Yes, it’s a fine day. I feel like whistling.

 

Ottawa’s A Fine City

I really like the city of Ottawa. I lived there for 17 years, all over the place, and I became a real Ottawan. There was that apartment on Carling near Britannia and the one downtown on Gloucester St. There was the high rise on Alta Vista, the place on Morrisette, that other place on Meadowlands, the brand new $39,000 townhouse in Barrhaven, that nice little brick house on Browning, and there might be more once I think harder about it.

I arrived with nothing and gradually built a nice life there. I have fond memories.

People joke about Ottawa. How boring it is. How the the sidewalks are rolled up at 6 pm every night. How it’s the town that fun forgot. I never found it boring. I got married there and my kids were born there. I had great friends, excellent parties, a job I enjoyed, went to a pile of concerts at the NAC and Civic Centre, and could get in the car and easily drive to Montreal or Toronto or to the old hometown Orillia four hours away.

It was all nice and comfortable, and I look back and often think that I should never have left.

But having said all this, I dislike their hockey team. A lot. I had left by the time the Senators franchise kicked off, but an old friend of mine in Ottawa (not J.W.), who was my Habs buddy, suddenly and inexplicably became a Sens fan and promptly rubbed it in my face when his new team beat the Canadiens. He thought it was great, and he’d been a lifetime Montreal fan up until then. We used to make treks to the Forum together. And he dropped them like a hot potato.

This might be the biggest reason of all that I love seeing the Sens lose.

The Senators are without some key guys, which I don’t feel bad about. Erik Karlsson, Jason Spezza, Milan Michalek, Jared Cowen, and goalie Craig Anderson are all on the sidelines, and somehow this team has still managed to win their last four games. The nonsense has to stop. It’s smoke and mirrors right now. If the Senators carry on in some sort of winning mode with basically an American Hockey League team filling in, I’m going to be really pissed.

The mandate now is to see Habs kick some ass tonight.

 

 

 

 

Drinking Beer With Aurele Joliat

It’s not the first time I’ve posted this. And it might not be the last.

joi

Ottawa’s Prescott Hotel, in the mid 1980’s, was one of those classic old beverage room with a Ladies and Escort door, and a regular entrance. It smelled of stale beer and cigarettes, and the trays of beer were served by guys in white shirts who looked like they were on day parole.

It was my kind of a bar.

It was also the Wednesday night bowling team’s kind of bar, a place where the members, which consisted of a bunch of young guys and one really old guy, got together after a big night out at the bowling lanes.

I’d just read about the bowling team and the really old guy in the local paper, so I went down to the Prescott. Because it’s not every day that you get a chance to drink beer with Aurele Joliat, star player of the Montreal Canadiens in the 1920’s and 30’s, and good buddy of Howie Morenz.

In the Prescott, I spotted Joliat right away.  It didn’t take much to figure this out, as he was about 50 years older than the rest of the bowling team. So I went over and asked him if I could buy him a beer and he grumbled something and said the f word a few times, but he joined me and we ordered our beer.

For the first fifteen minutes or so, he was just an old grouch, plain and simple. He pooh poohed the Rocket when I asked him what he thought, saying Richard couldn’t lace Morenz’s skates. He grumbled about today’s hockey, saying they were all a bunch of pansies who would never had cut it in the old days. And on it went.

But then he started to change. I think he could feel that I was genuinely interested in the hockey of his day, and in his team, the Montreal Canadiens. He became soft-spoken and kind, and he showed interest in me and my life.  He grew sentimental when talking about Morenz, and signed a photo I had brought of him and Morenz arm in arm, and wrote, “To my pal, Howie Morenz 1924-37.” I had a broken wrist and he also signed a book I had brought along, “To Dennis and his broken arm. Aurele Joliat.”

The evening began with an old man who was testy, not really nice, and almost belligerent, and it ended with a man who was a kind and caring gentleman.

I drove him home and he thanked me and said goodbye, and I wish now I would have continued this new friendship. I would have loved to have seen his old photos, and maybe that little touque he wore when he starred for the Montreal Canadiens, all those years ago.

Habs Looking To Sink The Sens

sens

The Ottawa Senators are at the Bell Centre Saturday night, and it’s a game Montreal must win to continue their gradual climb up the ladder of success. And there’s no reason why they shouldn’t win. Look at the sad sack bunch they’ll be playing.

This is a recent photo of the Senators at Scotiabank Place, wearing their retro-jerseys and minus big guns Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek who were injured and didn’t want to make the long, arduous trek to the rink, along with several others who ran out of gas driving all the way out there, plus Alex Kovalev, who sometimes shows up and sometimes doesn’t.

It’s also quite a homely team.


JW Speaks

A couple of days ago I wrote about an old friend, JW, who was a good, solid Habs fan for years but began cheering for the Senators instead when Ottawa finally got a team in the early 1990’s. Sorry JW, Can’t Do It

I’ve never understood it, never will. And I know several just like him.

JW has replied and now has his say:

Never have I seen a response like this to a topic on Dennis’ blog so you all listen now as JW speaks.
Yes I was a Habs fans for all those many years. But as a fan of the greatest game on earth I longed for a team that I could live and die with in my own home town.
I put money down early as a show of support for this franchise and when it was awarded purchased season tickets.
Our home opener was against the Habs and quite frankly I wasn’t sure how I would react. But when Neil Brady scored that 1st goal and I stood and cheered my brains out the answer was obvious. I was a Sens fan above all others.
In 15 years in this city I have by my own estimates supported this team in a dollar amount that exceeds 30,000. Why for heavens sakes would I make this kind of financial commitment and cheer for a team 2 hours down the highway because I was once a fan? Would you? I doubt it.
The emotional high that comes with supporting a team to the end, win or lose is priceless. I did not jump ship. I went with a team that won all of 10 games that first season, built themselves through the draft and competed for the Stanley Cup. That window of opportunity has past but I look forward to the future years as we build again.
I’m a home town fan of a team that plays in this city. Why would I be anything else.
Cheers all!! JW


4-1 Win In Ottawa Puts Habs In Playoff Spot. Now They Have To Stay There

I’ve decided to do something different tonight. I’ve decided not to bother with all the ins-and-outs of what happened in the big 4-1 win in Ottawa tonight.

You know how it all played out. You saw the shots on goal margin, the great saves by Halak, the nice Plekanec-to-Cammalleri goal and the pinball shot by Marc-Andre Bergeron. You saw Scott Gomez become a huge penalty-killer, and you hardly saw Alex Kovalev in his Sens uniform because it was one of those nights when Alex decided to go on coffee break..

He’s been known to do that on occasion.

You also saw Jaroslav Spacek go down with an injury, and pretty soon if these parade of injuries don’t stop, I’m going back to church and start asking questions. I’m owed. Owed big time. I was an altar boy for goodness sakes. All those early mornings during summer holidays when I had to get up at the crack of dawn to do the altar-boying. That time when I set myself on fire lighting candles. Or how I almost tripped several times in front of a church full of people because my robe was too long.

Hey, Man upstairs. I’m owed. So enough with the injuries already.

I also read the other day about a crazy trade rumour involving Edmonton and Montreal. Whoever wrote the story (in a CBC article) came up with this: Sheldon Souray and Andrew Cogliano for both Kostitsyn’s. This is probably just a silly rumour but I’m mentioning it because in this blog, it’s all the news that’s fit to print.

Random Notes:

To all the Habs fans who became Senators supporters and tossed the Habs aside like an old oily rag when Ottawa got a team, please don’t cry in your corn flakes.

Habs were outshot 46-27. I have no comment on this, except good for Jaroslav Halak.

Thursday, Pittsburgh’s in Montreal.


A Win In Ottawa Means Much

If the Habs can sock it to the Senators tonight in Ottawa, they will catapult themselves right into seventh place, tied with those same Ottawans.

It was only the other day the Canadiens were in twelfth, so seventh is a nice, tidy little spot to be.

Oops. Back To The Drawing Board For A Couple Of Tweaks

It’s ten pm in Ottawa and most citizens have already been in bed for several hours because they’ve worked hard at their government desks all week and are pooped. Except for hockey fans, who stayed up later than normal to watch or listen to the big game, the Senators-Canadiens game. And especially Habs fans in Ottawa, who live life to the fullest, burn the candle at both ends, and walk little old ladies across the street.

I listened on CJAD thanks to Moey and I heard the boos for Alex Kovalev from the many Canadiens fans in the Ottawa stands. But Kovy, like it was scripted, opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal to quiet things.  Booing an ex-Hab is a love-hate thing for me. I understand that they’re now the enemy, but they had played hard trying to help the team win when they were in Montreal. Maybe they should be applauded instead of booed. But then again, they’re now trying to beat the Habs, so maybe they should be booed heartily and told their mother wears army boots.

Scott Gomex, in a pre-recorded interview with Rick Moffat, told how Larry Robinson and other old Habs instilled in the New Jersey dressing room the mindset of winning and the swagger that goes with it. “We’d walk in to a rink with the thought that we’re going to win and there’s nothing you can do about” said Gomez. He and Gionta and the other Devils learned this mostly from Larry Robinson because he’d have them sit around and he’d tell old Canadiens stories, how hard the stars worked, and about all the different Stanley Cup wins. Ah, Robinson. There’s a guy I’d like to see back in the Habs organization.

Jaraslav Spacek scored on the power play, which is a good sign because one of his duties this year is replacing Mathieu Schneider as a scoring threat from the blueline on the power play. And without going into the gruesome details, Montreal fell behind 3-1 in the second. And then, 4-1.

And then 6-1.

Random Notes:

A goal and an assist for Alex Kovalev. His mother wears army boots.

Not great: Carey Price, but even Jacques Plante had off-nights.

Nice to see: Ryan O’Byrne again showing some feistiness. I’ve been saying for two years now that the big guy should play nasty.

Next up, Bruins, Sunday in Quebec! It’s also on RDS.

No Markov Or Schneider Against The Really Old Senators

0012Both Andrei Markov and Mathieu Schneider won’t play tonight against Ottawa but are expected to suit up tomorrow against New York. At least this is the information I stole from the Gazette. Not having these two defencemen in the lineup is never great but not the end of the world, as the Senators are an old team, as you can see by this recent photo.

Jaroslav Halak is expected to start in goal.

Homogenized country singer and ex-American Idol champ Carrie Underwood is expected to be in Montreal to cheer on her big squeeze, Mike Fisher. The happy couple are seen here in the parking lot of the Carlingwood Shopping Centre in Ottawa, enjoying a brief time away from the glare of the bright lights.

0032