Tag Archives: Patrick Kane

High Times for Max And P.K.

377488-pk-subban-max-pacioretty

For those who came here by mistake, don’t follow hockey, and are unsure of who’s who, Max is the one in the blue shirt.

Great news this week concerning P.K. Subban and Max Pacioretty. One who gave and one who received.

First with the Subbanator, who only a few days ago donated a cool ten million bucks (over seven years), to Montreal’s Children’s Hospital.

What a gesture by the 2015-16 Norris Trophy winner and key  member of next spring’s Stanley Cup-winning team. A big-hearted man of the people, and a guy with lots of money.

Rocket Richard gave to charities, visited hospitals, and accepted invitations to countless banquets, not only because certain duties were required, but because he truly loved kids. But in his day, if he’d handed over even a grand to a hospital, his house might have gone into foreclosure.

Whatever. Rocket then, P.K. now – it’s about caring and helping and loving kids and beating the shit out of the Leafs and Bruins.

We now tap our fingers and wait for Erik Karlsson to do something almost as good as what P.K. did. Is it possible? Or is P.K. truly one of a kind?

Maybe Patrick Kane might want to think about doing something like this too.

Next:

P.K. and the boys cast their votes, and Max Pacioretty was chosen by his buddies as Montreal’s newest wearer of the iconic C. A great honour and Max deserves it. He’s a class act on and off the ice, a dangerous sharpshooter, and obviously popular with his teammates.

Maybe his French leaves much to be desired, but hopefully some media folk and fans don’t get their shorts in a knot and just suck it up and let it be.

Habs fans missed having a captain last year, and now the letter is back in place. Max will look terrific when he accepts the Stanley Cup from wee Bettman next June.

Last year I sat with Max, Brendan Gallagher, Brandon Prust, and Tomas Plekanec at a table while they signed autographs, and while Prust and Plekanec hardly said a word and left as soon as they could, Max and Gally were as friendly as can be to all concerned, and stayed afterward and met people connected with the event.

Max’s dad and I have exchanged emails over the past several years, and I might sound like Don Cherry or Glenn Healy here, but I told Mr. Pacioretty a couple of years back that I thought his son would make a fine captain.

And because I mentioned Rocket’s house a few paragraphs ago, here’s a photo of it, situated in the north end of Montreal (Ahuntsic), where he raised a family while scaring the bejesus out of opposing forwards, defencemen, and goalies.

It’s a beautiful house on a corner lot, with a park and river across the street, and the main difference now, compared to when Maurice and his gang lived there, is the upper part, which is completely different than the original dwelling. That and different windows.

I took Lucy to see it, and she seemed impressed that it was Rocket’s house. I stress the word “seemed.”

Peloquin

Here’s the original if you feel like comparing.

20010516-085414-g

 

The Morning After

It’s a little odd attempting a game recap the morning after. My brain’s taking a while. It feels like a bowl of steel cut oats. Sort of a glue-based, chewy mush.

But the United Center clash ended late last night, and I couldn’t wait until later on today. You might think I was a slacker.

It was Toews and Kane, Keith and Seabrook, Sharp, Richards, Versteeg, and on down the line. All the usual suspects. A strong, solid lineup, playing at home against Dumont and De La Rose. Andrighetti, Dowell and Bowman and just a sprinkling of household names like Bourque, Weise and Eller.

That’s not fair.

Except the underdogs had Carey Price in nets, and as the night progressed, the red, blue, and white legs found jump, the chances began, and in the end, the little engine that could skated off with a surprising and impressive 3-1 win, even though they were handily outshot. But not outworked.

It was 0-0 through two periods with Mr. Price coming up big a bunch of times, including getting his mitt on a clear-cut Duncan Keith blast from about twelve feet out. A sensational stop from Price, and it was the Canadiens who would finally break the ice in the third, not Kane or Toews or Sharp, when Rene Bourque, after almost scoring, came up with a nice second effort and banked one off Hawks goalkeeper Antti Raanta.

And when Nathan Beaulieu converted a swell Drayson Bowman pass to make it 2-0, it truly did start to feel like good things might happen on this night for what was technically a bolstered Hamilton Bulldogs squad.

A slight hiccup when Greg Pateryn, looking to impress and win himself a job, whiffed on the puck at the blueline which sent Andrew Shaw in alone, and suddenly it was 2-1 and the Hawks thought they had a life.

But they didn’t, because five minutes later Michael Bournival hit the empty net, and the Canadiens are now four wins and a loss in preseason, and looking mighty fine.

Random Notes:

Shots on goal – Chicago 32, Montreal 19.

Alexei Emelin thumped on several occasions, which is always a beautiful thing. I love the thumps, whether it’s Emelin or anyone else wearing the CH doing it. It keeps other teams from getting too high and mighty.

Next up, Friday night in Ottawa and then the Sens visit the Bell on Saturday.

 

Finns Clobber Yanks

Team Finland demolished the U.S. 5-0 today to capture the bronze medal, and that’s it for the Americans who had begun Sochi  by lookin’ good with a taste for gold.

But it all changed on Friday when Carey Price and company edged them 1-0.

You could see that the Americans weren’t all that into it. Canada most certainly had ripped the enthusiasm out of them, and bronze wasn’t all that worth fighting for, I suppose.

The great Teemu Selanne scored twice in his last of four different Olympics, and maybe this had inspired his Finnish teammates as well.

Or maybe it was Patrick Kane missing on two penalty shot attempts that burst the balloon. Whatever, both the American men and women definitely aren’t crazy right now about how things ended up.

Now we focus on just one more game – the big one, tomorrow at 6 am ET, when Canada and Sweden go for gold. (I thought it was 7 am but they kept saying today it’s 6).

I don’t know about you, but I’m setting the alarm. And if you get up at 6 and it starts at 7, don’t blame me.

 

Good Read In The Star

Interesting piece in the Toronto Star that my boss sent me, regarding the costs of playing midget hockey in Toronto, the small percentage of kids who go anywhere, concussions suffered, the effect of global warming on rinks, and a whole whack of stuff.

Here’s the link – Is minor hockey worth it?

And here’s an excerpt:

The annual cost for a (midget) AAA player is between $10,000 and $15,000, not much less than the tuition for the University of Toronto medical school ($19,546).

The parents of Patrick Kane, the Chicago Blackhawks star, estimated their investment in his minor-league career, which he spent in the U.S., to be $250,000. Given his current salary of $6.3 million per year, it was a good investment. But the cost is high for all elite minor league players, while the odds of playing four seasons in the NHL are roughly 1 in 6,000.

Here’s another:

It is the lament of one Triple-A coach — the players are all skilled, he says, but they lacked creativity. Unlike Guy Lafleur or Wayne Gretzky, they hadn’t logged thousands of hours playing shinny. Instead they log thousands of hours in minivans; a game can be a three-hour commitment when factoring in commute times and dressing time, but it only yields 10-17 minutes of ice time for the player.

In 1972 we accused the Soviets of being skilled but mechanical. The Canadians, by contrast, had flair, we had heart. Now we are in danger of losing both.

Just A Little Pep Talk

Hardly any difference between the Canadiens and the visiting Chicago Blackhawks, who face off tonight at the Bell Centre (7 pm ET).

The teams are so close it’s mind-boggling, as you can see from the top six point-getters on both teams.

Kane – 54
Sharp -47
Toews – 45
Keith – 43
Hossa – 35
Seabrook – 31

Subban – 33
Plekanec – 28
Max – 26
Gionta -23
Galchenyuk – 23
Markov – 21

Hardly any difference.

Can the Canadiens beat this team that has 67 points to Montreal’s 55, with five guys with more points than our top guy?

I’m saying of course they can, because I’m a optimist, always have been, a Habs fan through thick and thin, and although I get angry at them and want to send up the St. Lawrence and out to sea now and again, the only way I know how to be a fan is to stick with them, keep hoping, and on a night when they play the defending Stanley Cup champions, cross my fingers and hope the power play clicks and guys who’ve been in scoring funks put it together.

Making they’ll play great! Put three solid periods together. Turn the Bell Centre into a riproaring madhouse, with everyone whoopin’ and hollerin’.

C’mon Canadiens, give us one of those games. We know you can do it.

 

Some Cool World Juniors Ticket Stubs

The World Juniors are about to kick off on Boxing Day, and today I’m mentioning the 2009 tourney held in Ottawa because my friends JW and Heather in Ottawa were there and they gave me a set of their ticket stubs, which I thought was extremely nice. But they always have been a very kind and giving couple.

Canada won gold in 2009, their fifth consecutive, by beating Sweden 5-1 in the big game. PK Subban was one of two defencemen named to the all-star team, and the three leading scorers that year were Cody Hodgson with 19 points,  John Tavares, 15, and Jordan Eberle with 13.

PK ended in 9th spot with 9 points (3 goals, 6 assists) which is still excellent.

The tickets feature players from different years, such as Czech Republic star Tomas Plekanec, who played in both 2001 and 2002, and Sidney Crosby in 2004 and 2005.

Others players featured on the tickets are Patrick Kane 2007, Nik Antropov 1999, Jonathan Toews 2006-2007, Roberto Luongo 1998-1999, Dany Heatley 2000-2001, and Jack Johnson 2006-2007. And the gold medal ticket is a real bonus.

   

Pouliot On His Way Out

Judging by Pierre Gauthier’s remarks in today’s Gazette, Pouliot Exits Picture, Benoit Pouliot’s days of wearing  a Habs uniform are now over, and those folks who ranted and raved about sending Guillaume Latendresse to Minnesota for this guy were absolutely right.

There were some real hard-assed comments on this site when that trade went down, but I said it was a good thing as Latendresse was such an underachiever and we got a player who only just needed new scenery. But in the end, it turned out that Pouliot wrote the book on underachieving.

It began fine enough. He was a smoothie with what seemed like good hands, and he basically notched points almost as frequently as Lats was doing with the Wild. I even mentioned that he reminded me just a little of Jean Beliveau but it’s possible someone may have slipped some mescaline into my beer at this time so never mind about that.

Yay, I thought. A big, smooth francophone putting the puck in the net for us. See ya, Lats. We got a good one now.

It only lasted for awhile, though. As the season hit the dog days of the schedule and beyond, Pouliot just stopped doing what he had started. Latendresse wasn’t missing a beat with his new team, and soon enough I began thinking about how right these people were who hated the deal.

In the playoffs? Forget it. Those kids skating around with flags before game-time had more of an impact on most nights than Pouliot did.

How can this be? Voted top rookie in his initial season in the Ontario Hockey League, drafted 4th overall by Minnesota, was a member of the 2006 World Juniors. It just screamed “star material.” Then a bust in Minnesota, and in Montreal, the unforgivable: In 18 games in the playoffs, when the Canadiens needed all hands on deck, Pouliot managed a whopping zero goals and 2 assists.

If guys like Pouliot and Andrei Kostitysn had done anything in the playoffs, maybe we wouldn’t have had to endure clips of Patrick Kane bringing the Cup into LA bars and on the Leno show, and enjoyed watching Scott Gomez take it home to Alaska or Travis Moen to a wheatfield instead. But it wasn’t to be because Pouliot and a few others let us down. 

We see disappointing young players from time to time. A blue-chipper, for some reason, never lives up to his potential and endures a short and lacklustre NHL career. That’s fine when it happens to other teams. Don’t mind it at all. But when it happens to my team, it’s unacceptable.

If Pouliot lands on his feet with another team and ends up becoming a scoring machine, it’s going to give me serious indigestion.

Quote Of The Day

Quote of the day comes from Canucks coach Alain Vigneault in the Vancouver Province regarding Ryan Kessler and Patrick Kane playing against each other now that they’ve become friends from the US Olympic team.

“Not a chance,”  Vigneault said when asked if Kessler might not play hard against his new buddy. “Kes doesn’t like Canadians, he doesn’t like Frenchmen, there’s not a chance he’s going to like Kane once he plays against him again.”

I’m assuming Vigneault means Kessler doesn’t like opponents on other teams.

The full story from the Province is right here

If only Kane played for Montreal. And there’s a pair who’d better not.

I’m late getting this posted today because I was at a first aid course where I almost ate a vegetarian sandwich instead of the good stuff but fellow student Karen saved me, thank goodness. I thought the cream cheese was chicken.

But this isn’t important. What is, is Montreal plays Chicago tomorrow night and must win, otherwise another slump could be starting and I’m tired of this roller coaster ride and having to think about whether the coach and GM should be fired or not. Chicago’s in their own slump which needs to continue of course. They only have one player I feel is worth mentioning, Patrick Kane, and that’s only because he has such a fantastic name. Otherwise, I hope he gets mononucleosis.

In other news, the dastardly Steve Downie, who just returned from his lengthy suspension for blindsiding Ottawa’s Dean McAmmon, should simply be booted out of the league after cold-cocking Toronto’s Jason Blake in the face the other night. Some players play tough, others play rough, but it looks like Downie is just one of these nightmares that come along every so often. If he doesn’t watch it, he’ll become as hated as Sean Avery. So far, though, he hasn’t perfected Avery’s shitty smile. But he’s trying and that’s not good.

If either Downey or Avery ever get traded to Montreal, I’m gonna take up cricket. GO PAKISTAN!

One other thing. There’ll be one more day of first aid where we’ll be practising transporting victims all strapped down with neck braces and all that jazz. It could come in handy some time if I’m at a Philadelphia game and Downey hurts someone else. I’ll be able to help take the player off the ice. I’ll be the one waving to the crowd.