Tag Archives: P.J. Stock

McKenzie Earns An Elmer

Congratulations to the always excellent and insightful Bob McKenzie for winning this year’s Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award, his profession’s highest honour, and which puts him Hall of Fame bound.

McKenzie is an absolutely deserving recipient, a guy at the top of his game, and the Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA) thinks so too.

There’s no word yet on whether P.J. Stock will take home the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for Excellence in Sports Broadcasting.

Below, a letter I have from Mr. Ferguson to Emile Dion in Quebec City, dated 1929.

 

Elmer

Elmer Ferguson, born in 1885 and deceased in 1972, was the sports editor for the now-defunct Montreal Herald, a newspaper in existence from 1811 to 1957. That’s quite a run. 146 years.

Elmer also did color commentary on radio broadcasts, first with the Montreal Maroons between 1933 and 1938, and then the Habs from 1938 to 1967. He worked alongside the late, great Danny Gallivan in later years.

Mr. Ferguson, who has signed the letter using fountain pen, was inducted into the media section of the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1982, and the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award is given each year to a journalist “in recognition of distinguished members of the newspaper profession whose words have brought honour to journalists and to hockey“.

Among those honoured are the likes of Jacques Beauchamp, Red Burnett, Trent Frayne, Red Fisher, Andy O’Brien, Michael Farber, and Roy MacGregor, and now McKenzie joins the pack.

The man mentioned in the letter, Cooper Smeaton, was a referee and the NHL’s first referee-in-chief when the league was formed in 1917. He was inducted into the referee/linesmen section of the Hall of Fame in 1961.

Live From Toronto, It’s Saturday Night

It’s nothing new to see and hear Hockey Night in Canada announcers pronounce their undying love for the Maple Leafs. It’s a bit sickening but it’s nothing new.

In fact, it’s been going on since Don Cherry was young and possibly humble.

On Saturday night, broadcasters Jim Hughson and Craig Simpson, whom I thought were generally fair-minded up until then, might as well have waved Leafs flags as they called the action below.

Throughout the night they praised the Leafs so much, I started wondering how far up Yonge Street the Stanley Cup parade will go.

One of the two said something about how Brandon Prust must be afraid of Dion Phaneuf, but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. It had to be a joke. Everyone knows Phaneuf fights like Ron Maclean.

And I’ve been sick so maybe I was hallucinating and just thought I heard it.

Glenn Healy down at ice level mentioned that the Leafs can’t let Montreal get a point so it better not go to overtime. But I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt too and say he was just stating a fact. But it sounded terrible.

There were lots of examples. Unfortunately, I didn’t write them down.

How about P.J Stock, the Einstein of the airwaves. Carey Price was fantastic in Ottawa, it was said to him. But he did let in four goals, squawked P.J., and which is nonsensical.

The guy can barely talk, and yet he’s a HNIC analyst.

I checked Wikipedia and this was said about P.J. when he was on CHOM FM’s morning show in 2010. “He brought a comedic element to the show by attempting to interview his family’s hamster, Richard Gere.”

Must have been fine and outstanding humour.

Ron Maclean in Lloydminster for Hockey Day in Canada was his usual hokey self. Maclean became a HNIC star years ago because he was able to come up with quick thinking little puns on a regular basis when he and Don Cherry would sign off Coach’s Corner.

He’s rode the coattails of that one particular talent for years.

Cherry, also in Lloydminster, arrived at the rink in a chauffeur-driven car with a slew of mounties waiting to escort him into the arena. Like a king. King of the world.

Announced by Maclean as “Coach of the Year in the American Hockey League. Coach of the Year in the NHL. Seventh all-time most popular Canadian.”

And then Cherry kind of elbowed aside a woman when he was about to walk the red carpet, where he strolled along blessing the faithful.

Cherry, during Coach’s Corner, talked about P.K. Subban’s celebration after scoring the game-winner in overtime in Ottawa, and how P.K. shouldn’t do that. Others, including Sens goaltender Craig Anderson, have whined about the same thing.

They’re all put out about this. But there was certainly a good reason for P.K’s exuberance, which doesn’t seem to be mentioned.

The Canadiens were badly outplayed in Ottawa. They’d blown a 3-0 lead. It was only Carey Price keeping them in it, and in the third period, they tied the game on a flukey goal. A flukey goal that kept them in it even though they should’ve been losing by a country mile.

And then P.K. won it in overtime. A most unlikely win if there ever was one.

That wasn’t a goal to be cool and calm about. It was a huge mother of a goal, he saved the day for his team in dramatic fashion, and the celebration was justified.

Personally, though, I want to thank the original HNIC crew for being so pro-Leafs. Because of that reason, they made me what I am today – a Habs fan. I think I owe Foster Hewit and his cronies a sincere debt of gratitude.

Growing up in Orillia, an hour and a half north of Toronto, it was only Leafs games we would get on TV. My dad would constantly moan and groan about the biased announcing of Hewitt and about the men in the Hot Stove Lounge who would go on and on about the Leafs and barely mention other teams.

We were bombarded by all things Leafs. Way too much to take.

Meanwhile in Montreal, the team was winning five straight Stanley Cups with larger than life names like Richard, Beliveau, Plante, Harvey et al. The Leafs just didn’t seem to have the class and aura the Canadiens did. They weren’t in the same league.

My dad hated the HNIC Leafs love-fest in Toronto (you see, nothing’s changed) and turned up his cheering for the Canadiens by several notches.

And of course I did too. Stupid Leafs, we’d both say. It became easy to hate them, and so easy to love the Habs.

So thanks HNIC. You helped make me a Habs fan. If you weren’t such ridiculous homers, I might have been a Leafs fan.

Geez what a thought.

 

 

 

 

Habs Slay Orangemen

Below, the Philadelphia Flyers congratulate the Montreal Canadiens for being so freaking fantastic.

Bell Centre

Canadiens hand the Philadelphia Flyers a 4-1 loss in game #2, with just 80 more left. The EGG line collects a bunch of points. Carey Price allows just one goal.

I think I’ll just get out the old yellow highlighter and mark a big solid win on my ultra-scientific Habs tracker.

A goal and an assist from Brian Gionta, Lars Eller, Brendan Gallagher, and Rene Bourque. Two assists from Alex Galchenyuk, and singles from Pleks and P.K.

A bunch of guys chipping in. I love that.

Eller has three goals now. Alex Ovechkin has four. Scott Gomez has one.

Carey Price played well, and if I was really picky I’d mention the couple of times he juggled easy shots but I’m not.

It’s a fine win before they climb into the big silver bird and head west for four games. A solid win. Except they went 2 for 9 on the power play.

But I’m in a forgiving mood because they earned two points, which is what it’s all about. It doesn’t have to be pretty, just successful. Like Phyllis Diller bearing a dozen cute and healthy kids.

Random Notes:

Shots on goal – Montreal 34, Flyers 23.

Max Pacioretty sat it out due to the wrist injury he received while playing the Leafs. Hopefully it’s just one game for Max.

A road roller is parked near our place and I’d like to hot wire it and roll over P.J. Stock. I have such a hard time listening to this person. Tonight he said the Canadiens tried to play the Leafs tough the other night but they shouldn’t because they’re not.

The Habs won most, if not all the fights in that Leafs game, right? Or was it just an acid flashback?

Next up – Wednesday in Cowtown. 8 p.m. eastern. Hope the Saddledome’s dried out.

The Canadiens head out on a winning note. Look out Flames, the Habs are coming. And that goes for the Oilers, Canucks, and Jets too. Try valium if you’re experiencing stress and anxiety.

Luci and I were at the Bell today, but it was for a 2 o’clock game between the St. Hubert Gouverneurs and Toronto Bulldogs. The guys are eight years old, can shoot over the net from above the slot, and the Gouverneurs handled the Torontonians 4-1, just like the Habs over Philly.

Eight years old – they got to play at the Bell, they were introduced player at a time by the P.A. announcer, the game was shown live on the scoreboard, and two zambonis cleaned the ice for them.

Awesome – and slightly different from when I was eight years old.

 

 

 

 

 

On The Verge Of Game Three

Now where were we.

When we last left off, the Canadiens had kicked some ass. Senators ass.

Now, in this upcoming Sunday evening game 3, they need to do it again.

Kevin Weekes on HNIC’s Hotstove Tonight mentioned that Brian Gionta has an upper body injury, may require surgery, and may be gone for the season. P.J. Stock informed us that he (Stock) is a great ball hockey player.

I can’t wait for the game to begin so we can watch the linesman kick guys out of the faceoff circle. It’s just great to see. Exciting. Riveting. OUT!, he says with authority. Fantastic.

Hoping Carey Price’s sore mouth isn’t sore anymore. The question is – is the knocked out tooth back in his mouth, and if it is, does he realize it might turn black at some point? Or has he considered selling it on eBay and raising money for his favourite charity?

I haven’t heard of any celebrity teeth collectors, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t any. There’s a guy who collects navel fluff, and one who collects ketchup bottles. Heck, I’ve even heard of the odd person who collects Toronto Maple Leaf memorabilia, if you can believe that.

So of course teeth isn’t out of the question.

I’ve read that the medical term for a knocked out tooth is “avulsed,” if you’re interested.

Looking for a good game from number 61. Number 61 began the season as one of the team’s key blueliners, and we need number 61 to regain that form he showed back then. So c’mon number 61.

Hey Paul MacLean, who’s that number 61? And who’s that number 11 and number 8 and number 76?

The first time I ever spent time on the West Coast, many years ago, I found it extremely odd to watch hockey games that began at four in the afternoon. But I like it now. It’s comfortable to watch the game and still have the evening left. But for a long time I felt that these early games missed the magic of later on. What do you think?

Watched much of the Leafs-Bruins game two. It’s pretty bad, I guess, when you hope the zamboni runs over about 18 players from both sides.

 

 

Go…Uh….Hmmm

It’s been clearly explained to me (thanks Tom), and it becomes this: Ottawa and Boston play each other tonight, and if Ottawa wins, the Habs play Ottawa. If Boston wins, the Habs play Toronto.

So this means I’ll be cheering for………..not sure.

Montreal managed two wins and two losses against the Sens this season, and two wins and three losses against Toronto. Ottawa has Erik Karlsson back and have a hot goaltender. Toronto has several guys who whack themselves over the head with baseball bats when they wake up. They also have the lovely and talented P.J. Stock cheerleading from the sidelines.

Whatever. Bring ’em on. Whoever it is.

Below – P.J. Stock

Kadri

 

Statement Sent In Fine Fashion

My heart is soaring like a Black-bellied Whistling-Duck.

4-1 Habs over that despicable team in Toronto. A statement sent that says speed, skill, and hard work prevail, and just because his team is “bigger and stronger” as Joffrey Lupul tweeted, it doesn’t mean a thing if a big portion of the team are lumbering oafs.

Leaf fans couldn’t wait for these two to meet in the playoffs. Maybe now they’re not so sure. And P.J. Stock said he was so disappointed in the Leafs tonight. Doesn’t he live in Montreal? And if so, why is allowed to?

It was a great night all round. Habs kick ass, they show they can’t be pushed around, and PJ is disappointed.

Best of all, we saw the Montreal Canadiens we knew and loved from earlier in the season, before The Great Slump wrapped it’s warty arms around the boys and squeezed out the vim and vigour. On this night the Habs were alive, led by Brendan Gallagher, who crashed and banged and scored and proved to Mr. Lupul that one doesn’t have to be big or strong, only to have heart and determination and a flair with the puck and a love of goal creases.

And it wasn’t only Gallagher who rose to the occasion. Linemate Lars Eller notched a goal and two assists, and he, like his team, played like the past two or three weeks never happened. Brandon Prust, nursing a bad shoulder, blocked shots like he was Josh Gorges. In the nets, Peter Budaj stood his ground and made the saves when he had to, and the television commentators who questioned Michel Therrien’s decision to start Budaj might not want to be so quick to jump to conclusions from now on.

The team has two good goalies, plain and simple. And Carey Price will show everyone that he’s back, the past while never happened, and was only a classic episode of The Twilight Zone.

A great win.

Random Notes:

I haven’t been able to make heads or tails of who plays who in the opening round. If this team wins or that teams loses and on and on. Maybe it’s easy for you, but for me it’s like some kind of nasty algebra.

Montreal held Toronto to just one shot in the second period, even with the Loafs enjoying the man-advantage. That alone made my heart soar like a hundred birds with long names.

Tomas Plekanec finally bulged the twine after a 12-game drought. Such timing. In the final game of the regular season with the playoffs about to kick off.

Jarred Tinordi, as he’d done Thursday in Winnipeg, used his big 6’6″ body and continued to do the things that will make him a regular for years to come. His big bang on a Leaf body in the first period set things in motion for Gallagher and Alex Galchenyuk to set up Eller to tie the game at one, and after that the boys were off to the races.

Tinordi could be a big factor in the post season. His dad must be proud.

P’K. Subban was sensational in his old hometown, and to me this solidifies the Norris for our young star. We should ask PJ Stock about this and see how he feels about it. Maybe he favours Dion Phaneuf.

Tuesday the second season begins. Hey, the first one barely got started!

 

They’ll Send Chills Up Your Spine

Are you strong enough to sit through these? Can your heart take it?

You’ve been warned.

Chernoble Diaries

A group of wholesome American students visit Chernoble twenty-five years after the deadly meltdown, and find themselves stuck in the god-forsaken place when their car battery somehow becomes dead. Horror ensues as a hideous half-man, half-monster, created from the radioactive air, hunts down the terrified students and begins to eat them one by one. Brad Marchand plays himself as the hideous monster.

Bride of Frankenstein

A retelling of Mary Shelley’s classic tale of a grotesque monster created in a lab, only in this later version, the monster takes a wife who is every bit as ugly and loathsome as he. Audiences shrieked in horror and some fainted the first time Zdeno Charo appeared on the screen as the wife.

Night of the Living Dead

They come alive in the cemetery and roam the streets eating innocent townfolks’ testicles as folks flee for their lives. Director Orson Snail does a masterful job in getting the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team to act as the testicle-eating zombies, although in interviews, Snail has admitted that he really didn’t have to do much. “They were naturals,” he said. “Like they’ve done it before. And we saved money by not needing makeup artists.” Kudos to newcomer Nazem Kadri for his realistic portrayal of the village idiot.

Dawn of the Dead

Audiences in Boston, Toronto, Ottawa, and elsewhere walked out of theatres horrified and disturbed after seeing how the Montreal Canadiens, given up for dead, suddenly emerge and willfully slaughter hockey teams in major cities throughout North America.  “We thought they were dead and buried,” cried shocked patrons everywhere. “I’m probably not going to be able to sleep tonight,” admitted a trembling and red-eyed Dion Phaneuf.

28 Days Later

A group of animal-loving activists free a bunch of chimps from their cages, only to discover soon after that the deadly germs of the primates have quickly killed millions. Unfortunately, by the time the chimps are rounded up and secured, the world has become partly deserted. “I’ll send them out again if you don’t let me be Habs stick boy,” warned the diabolical yet extremely handsome activist Dennis Kane.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Zombies and more zombies. Thousand of them. Smelly, disgusting, gruesome, pus-oozing zombies. Boston Bruins fans played their parts well. “It worked because all they had to do was grunt,” explained producer Alfred Spielberg.

Psycho

The story of a lonely man in a lonely motel, waiting patiently for a female victim to show up so he can introduce her to his mother who lives in the creepy mansion up on the hill. The shower scene is a bone-trembling classic, and director and sometimes hockey coach Sir Ken Hitchcock has theatre-goers shaking in their boots as the heroine, portrayed by troubled star P.J. Stock, is treated rather shabbily to say the least. Matt Cooke is brilliant as both the mother and son, and he still maintains that he didn’t try to actually hurt Stock and Hitchcock during the making, but it happened and he’s sorry.

Carey

Based on the Stephen King novel “Carrie,” it’s the story of a person who is unmercifully tormented and ridiculed, but eventually finds out he has telekinesis powers that become apparent when angry and upset. The final scene, when a tormented Carey wills the arena to explode, is riveting.

 

 

 

 

 

Habs Reign Supreme

Habs 2, Bruins 1. Now that’s hockey!

It wasn’t good when Lars Eller pulled Zdeno Chara off-balance and took a seat in the penalty box with just 57 seconds remaining and his team holding on. The goalie was pulled and it was tense. Even tenser than when Lucy drives in the city.

But they held on, they remain king of the castle, and unless these two teams meet in the playoffs, the Bruins and their fans will have to wait until next fall before they lose again to the bleu, blanc et rouge.

I’d like to thank Milan Lucic for helping out on the Canadien’s winning goal. Lucic gave Tomas Plekanec an extra stick to the head while Pleks was on the ice, and with the big lad cooling his heels in the penalty box, Michael Ryder scored his team’s second goal, which ultimately would decide things.

Unfortunately, Alexei Emelin suffered what looks to be a serious injury after he collided with this same Lucic, who was barreling down the wing. Emelin’s a strong dude but Lucic didn’t budge, and the Habs’s big thumper took the worst of it, maybe twisting his knee in the process, and once again we wait for an injury report on a player.

There’s not too many players in the league who will try to stop a rushing Lucic like Emelin did, and most players would have had their ribs rattled by our big Russian. And Lucic didn’t even go down. I wonder if fans at the Bell Centre could feel the building tremble when that collision occurred. Don’t forget, these guys are the same weight (220 or so), although Lucic has two inches on Emelin.

The Lars Eller, Brandon Prust, Alex Galchenyuk line enjoyed a fine night, and Galchenyuk scored again, his second in two nights. But many guys chipped in. I thought Max played great. Carey Price stood his ground and controlled his rebounds. Michael Ryder continued to light the lamp, and P.K. Subban chipped in two assists.

More and more there’s talk of Subban’s growing chances of capturing the coveted Norris Trophy, and all P.K. has to do is continue to do what’s he’s been doing for most of the remaining ten games and it should be his. You would think the professional hockey writers will get it right, and it’s a good thing P.J Stock can’t vote. What a mockery of the Norris that would be.

Stock needs to be fired from his CBC gig. He’s like a little kid. Even his cronies were snickering. Tonight, it was Stock babbling once again about Subban and this nutty embellishment stuff, and it was Elliotte Friedman stepping in and saying hold on, enough’s enough. This is a guy leading all d-men in  scoring, is in the running as the league’s best on the blueline, and it’s time to stop this innuendo horseshit.

He didn’t say it quite like that, but almost. It’s amazing about CBC. Sixty years doing Hockey Night in Canada, yet they’ve hired people such as Mike Milbury and Stock to talk hockey. The corporation took a true credibility hit when they let Stock open his mouth. How’d the guy get the job in the first place?

But aside from Emelin going down, and Stock opening his mouth, it was a fine and successful night. I’m just feeling bad for Bruins fans. I’ll probably think of them when I’m celebrating at the corner pub tonight.

Random Notes:

Habs outshot the enemy 29-27.

Each team enjoyed just one power play each, which is incredibly weird for a Habs-Bruins tilt. I need to get on Google and see if the planets are out of sync.

Michael Ryder has 18 points in 18 games with Montreal, and Subban 32 points in 32 games.

Next up – Tuesday, when the Caps come a callin’. We can deal with that later. Tonight is a night to savor sweet victory. And again, poor Bruins fans!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Pre-Draft Pep Talk

The young guys are gathering in Pittsburgh for the big Entry Draft, and I’m sure they’re a nervous bunch. What if I don’t get chosen? they ask themselves. But fear not. Mathieu Darche, Raphael Diaz, Josh Gorges, Martin St. Louis, Adam Oates, Curtis Joseph, and heck, I’ll even throw these in – Nick Kypreos, P.J. Stock, and Mike Milbury, were never drafted either. Although I can understand about the last three.

Relax, have a nice lunch, and enjoy the ride. Eat what young, healthy 19 year old’s eat. Some low-fat yogurt, a healthy sampling of fruits and vegetables, and about 17 plates of spaghetti.

Number 3 pick, whoever you are, please do this – become a star quickly and make fans rise out of their seats, couches, and honeymoon beds. Lead the team to numerous victories, don’t bolt to the KHL, play for more than just money, be prouder than proud to wear the uniform of the Montreal Canadiens, be a leader, don’t be a hot dog, punch out Brad Marchand, don’t dive, don’t get into scraps in bars, don’t gamble, try not to smoke, play tough, don’t make any illegitimate children, find time for your fans, read books about the Rocket, honor thy father and thy mother, don’t talk or spit gobs during the national anthem (tiny spit is okay), and down the road be selected to the Hall of Fame.

That’s all we ask. Good luck in Pittsburgh.