Tag Archives: San Jose Sharks

Being In “Les Canadiens” Magazine

 If you have number six of Les Canadiens magazine from the 1991-92 season, then you have a small story about me.

I was in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) in 1991, right at the time the Soviet Union was falling apart, a mind-blowing and historic time to be sure, and I was visiting a bunch of serious Habs fans who had their own Montreal Canadiens Fan Club. We were at the president of the fan club’s apartment and we sat around drinking tea and talking hockey.

The fellow in the black San Jose Sharks shirt was my translater, and he was a Russian scout for first, the Sharks, and later the Anaheim Ducks.

That’s me in the middle, clean-shaven, with a serious sunburn. And unfortunately, the magazine made one little mistake. The picture of the fellow in the Habs jacket holding the puck isn’t me, although it says it is in the caption below. (It’s Anatoli Brel, who I went with to the meeting).

The story that accompanies the pictures says that “Dennis Kane is the only foreign member of the Canadiens Fan Club in St. Petersburg. As a boy, Dennis was always writing letters to his heros, Doug Harvey, Bernard Geoffrion and Maurice Richard; he still has their lovingly replies.

And then, one day, he came across a newspaper article about Anatoli Brel, a Russian fellow looking for a Canadiens fan with whom to correspond.

After six years of exchanging letters, Dennis decided to go visit his hockey pen pal and meet the fan club people who met once a month to talk about the Habs and bring their statistics up to date. “It was really weird,” he recalls. “There I was, thousands of miles from Canada, on a street in Leningrad (St. Petersburg), and there was this huge Canadiens logo in the window.”

Following that memorable meeting, Dennis received a letter officially confirming his membership in the Canadiens Fan Club…St. Petersburg Chapter! What more could you ask?

Carey Price Stands On His Head In Losing Cause

The first period has ended at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, and the Canadiens hold a nice little one-nothing lead after Brian Gionta blasted one home. And although the Sharks hold a 15-10 shots-on-goal advantage, I’m satisfied, because Montreal has had some quality scoring chances, six in fact. The Sharks, on the other hand, have had ten but I don’t want to talk about that.

And best of all, Carey Price seems to be in a groove, playing with confidence and stopping often in fine fashion this high-powered offence we see from the opposition.

Who knows what the second will bring, but we’ll see in five  minutes…….

The second period began not exactly as planned as the San Jose scored while shorthanded, which always sucks. But not long after, Scott Gomez and the Habs regain the lead. Montreal hasn’t won in San Jose since Nov. 23, 1999, and needless to say, this is a pretty big game, especially considering that Boston, who the Canadiens are in a playoff dogfight with, won tonight.

Tomas Plekanec has been a feisty little bugger, and Carey Price is magnificent, stopping everything in every which way, flipping and flopping, rocking and rolling, slipping and sliding. There’s also been a Sharks penalty shot, several hit goal posts, and some flat-out nastiness. It’s a wild one in this city just south of San Francisco.

That’s it, buzzer sounds, second period over, and the Habs maintain a lovely 2-1 lead. Of course it’s too close, but a lead is a lead. It’s way better than being behind or tied.

Can they do it in the third? ……….

No.

Sharks score two and win 3-2.

Just too many chances by San Jose, and Carey Price couldn’t hold the fort forever. But he was outstanding, the Habs best player on this night, and I can’t remember when I’ve seen him perform like this.

Random Notes:

I doesn’t get any easier. Habs in LA on Saturday night, and the Kings are a good team. Upper echelon team. With young stud Drew Doughty manning the defence.

As mentioned, Montreal hasn’t won in San Jose since 1999, and although they came close tonight, this lousy streak continues.

Canadiens File Off Some Sharks Teeth

I didn’t see the game because I’m in the middle of nowhere that took me a while to get to. But when it got dark and headlights began to give me headaches, I found a motel and stopped. And I asked the lady at the front desk, “do you have internet?” and she did, and so I plugged in, went to the scoreboard, and there it was. The Canadiens beat those mighty San Jose Sharks 3-2.

So it means four in a row. It means Florida and Buffalo both lost. And it means Josh Gorges scored another goal, his third of the campaign. Jaroslav Halak stopped 46 shots and deserves a raise. And the Habs are now only one point behind the fourth-place Flyers. Life is good. It’s a fine Saturday night on the road to somewhere.

I’m sorry I can’t say more. But I didn’t see the game. I can’t say much if I didn’t see any.

Random Notes:

Canadiens don’t play again until Wednesday when they travel to Buffalo. I’m sure the guys are feeling much better about things, although they continue to be outshot in a slightly embarrassing fashion.

If Josh Gorges can score 43 more goals in the next 19 games, he will tie Bobby Orr’s 1974-75 output of 46 goals.

Barack Obama Postpones Swearing-In Ceremony. “Mats Sundin Is Playing That Night,” He Explains

President-elect Barack Obama has announced a delay in his swearing-in ceremony to become the 44th President of the United States. “I should have checked earlier” he told reporters from his home in Chicago, “but on January 20th, Mats is playing in San Jose. And what`s more important, me being sworn in as President, or Mats Sundin playing hockey?”

 

In related news, with the announcement that Mats Sundin had indeed taken to the ice finally, the Taliban have laid down their arms, a ceasefire was agreed to on the Gaza Strip, stocks rose on Wall Street, the bus strike in Ottawa ended, George Bush got a little smarter, and the world in general has become a better place. 

 

 

Habs Look Reasonably Lousy Against The Washington Boudreau’s

Having trouble sleeping? Do you lay awake at night tossing and turning, not able to drift off into dreamland?

 

Well, do I have the solution for you!

 

Just play a tape of the Montreal Canadiens during the first half of their game against the Washington Capitals Saturday night at the Bell Centre. Before you know it, you’ll be sawing logs and waking up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the world.

 

The Washington Capitals aren’t THAT good, are they? They only have two more points than the Canadiens, but tonight (Saturday), they looked like contenders while Montreal looked like pretenders. Oh, the Habs had brief flashes of scoring chances, and yes, Alex Kovalev once again hasn’t scored (only 19 games), but when I think back to the game which ended only a little while ago, I think that if it wasn’t for Habs’ goaltender Jaroslav Halak, the Caps may have won by four or five.

 

This group, led by the whirlwind named Alex Ovechkin and choreographed by NHL coaching-find of the decade, Bruce Boudreau, stifled most Montreal attacks, albeit there weren’t that many. The Caps seem to have as solid a team as most any in the league, but it’s like they’ve flown under the radar so far this season as the Sharks and Bruins get most of the ink.

 

 And I hope you’re sitting down when I tell you this; The Canadiens didn’t score on the power play.

 

I don’t think anyone can defend Montreal’s effort tonight. Am I ever glad I hadn’t decided to fly across the country, get a hotel room, and hurry on down to the Bell Centre and buy a couple of scalper’s tickets for four hundred bucks or so.  That would’ve sucked.

I probably would’ve ended up drinking quarts of beer instead of pints afterward.

  

Game Notes:

 

Too bad Georges Laraque is injured and didn’t play. I would’ve liked to have seen a Laraque-Brasheur dance.

 

And one last and confusing note.

I distinctly remember the Russian National Junior team goalie of a year or so ago named Varlamov who was embarrassingly fat and looked like he should be at the buffet table instead of sprawling around making big saves. But then I see this Caps goalie tonight named Simeon Varlamov, stopping pucks with a  fit-looking 6’1′, 185 pound body.

 

What gives? Is it a different guy, or is it the same guy only about fifty pounds lighter?

And should I see a doctor because I’m getting confused easily?

Number Nine Is Too Sacred For Just Anybody

  When Wayne Gretzky retired, the entire league, every team, agreed the proper thing to do was to retire jersey no. 99 permanently so no other player would ever wear it.

 

This is absolutely reasonable. Gretzky deserves this honour. He was Gretzky, for goodness sakes.

 

But there’s another number out there that deserves the same royal treatment. Number nine.

 

Number nine was the number of Gordie Howe, Bobby Hull, and of course, Maurice Richard.

 

How can you argue with that? Number nine shouldn’t be worn by Steve Downie or Oscar Moller. Number nine was worn by Mr. Hockey, the Golden Jet, and the Rocket, three of the greatest ever, right up there at the top of the mountain. It’s a sacred number.

 

Currently there are 15 teams of the 30 with a player wearing number nine. It doesn’t seem right.

 

I think all but two of these players should surrender their number nine, choose another one, and carry on. The two players, Mike Modano in Dallas and Paul Kariya in St. Louis, have had too good a career to not wear these sweaters. But when they retire, so goes the number.

 

Here are the other 13 players currently wearing number nine.

 

Eric Christensen – Atlanta

Derek Roy – Buffalo

Steven Weiss – Florida

Oscar Moller – LA

Mikko Koivu – Minnesota

Zach Parise – New Jersey

Brendan Bell – Ottawa

Scottie Upshall – Philadelphia

Pascal Dupuis – Pittsburgh

Milan Michalek – San Jose

Steve Downie – Tampa Bay

Niklas Hagman – Toronto

Taylor Pyatt – Vancouver

Micro Look At The Eastern Standings. Leafs Sniffing At The Habs.

The goods news is, Montreal has played less games than most, only 15.

 

The bad news is, they’re in tenth place overall, with Buffalo, Vancouver, Minnesota, Washington, Boston, Pittsburgh, Detroit, the Rangers, and the Sharks all above them, with the Sharks leading the pack.

 

The really bad news is the Toronto Maple Leafs are only two points behind them, although the Torontonians have played three more games.

 

Regardless, the Leafs shouldn’t be in the same air space as Montreal. Vancouver shouldn’t be ahead of them. And I hate it when Boston’s ahead of them.

 

Start turning this around tonight, boys, when you play St. Louis. Otherwise, me and a handful of other bloggers are going to have to take the team over and do the coaching.

Looking At The Standings Because It’s Interesting

Now that the dust has sort of settled on getting the season underway, it’s a little disturbing to see the Buffalo Sabres playing so well. They have the same record as Montreal – 4 wins and a shootout loss for nine points, for goodness sakes. Even with those George Jetson jerseys.

 

The Sabres will come back down to earth shortly. I’m sure they will.

 

There’s good news, though, and the good news is that the Philadelphia Flyers, the team Steve Downey plays for, hasn’t won yet in five games. It doesn’t get much better than that!

 

The Florida Panthers are in Montreal Monday night to play the Habs. I know I say every game that the two points that night are extra important for the Canadiens,  so I’ll just say it again. These two points are extra important for the Canadiens. Gotta catch those Rangers.

 

Florida should be in Hamilton. Or Halifax, or Winnipeg, or Saskatoon, or Quebec City.

 

Why is there hockey in Miami, Florida?

 

I know there’s lots of snowbirds in Florida who are big hockey fans, but that’s not good enough. The team’s drawing only around 12,000 a game, and so now they’re giving away a pair of free tickets as long as you can show a Florida driving license. Miami people need to be at dog races and jai alai tournaments. Not hockey games.

 

Also interesting in the standings is Tampa Bay’s start. They’re winless after five games. And this with two new owners, the firing of coach John Tortorella, and the hiring of Barry Melrose. So it’s not going well for all concerned except Tortorella, who’s now providing reasonable thoughts on TSN. (Except for his prediction of who will win the Cup.)

 

Montreal sits in second place in the east with those bastard Buffalonians, with the Rangers leading with 13. But New York has played several more games than anyone else so the standings are slightly cockeyed. And there’s a handful of teams just behind Montreal and Buffalo, like New Jersey, Pittsburgh, and Washington.

 

San Jose’s leading the west with St. Louis, Minnesota, and Edmonton hot on the trail. Both Edmonton and Minnesota are undefeated at 4-0.

 

And John Tortorella thinks San Jose will win the Cup.