Tag Archives: Scott Gomez

Seeing The Island Sky

Below, the Powell River Kings on board the Island Sky ferry at Saltery Bay, south of Powell River, where I worked until recently. (Although the last few years were on shore working the ramp and selling tickets).

The BCHL Kings were on their way to Nanaimo to face the Clippers and were being serenaded by the ship’s first officer. At this writing, the Kings lead the Clippers two games to one in Island Division playoff action.

The BCHL is wonderful hockey and a host of players end up with hockey scholarships throughout North America.

Many go beyond too.

Brett Hull played for Penticton, Carey Price stopped pucks for Quesnel, Sens forward Kyle Turris starred for Burnaby, and most importantly of course – Scott Gomez dazzled with South Surrey.

Thanks to Beatnik for sending me this. I was there when the Island Sky was a brand new ship having just arrived and it’s nice to see it again. I had worked on two other ships prior to the Island Sky – the Queen of Tsawwassen, which is now in retirement, and the Queen of Chilliwack, that sails the inner passage to Prince Rupert.

Ready For Tonight

All set to go with no lingering beer effects, the TV will be nicely warmed-up, and I’m ready to say all kinds of nice things about the Canadiens after they wallop the Florida Panthers tonight at the Bell Centre.

It might prove tough for the gang though, considering they flew back from New York in a snowstorm in the wee hours of Sunday, with the Panthers not having played in a few days and winning their last two games in shootouts against good teams – the Caps on Friday and Wings last Tuesday.

With the Canadiens, all we’re asking for is a win and more scoring from different guys. Two goals in three games isn’t exactly fire-wagon hockey.

But they’ll turn it around because that’s what they do.

The question on everyone’s lips – Will Scott Gomez be in the Florida lineup? It’s a concern. The sniper, who has scored one goal this year and was on track for possibly a two-goal season, hasn’t dressed since Nov. 30 when he was a minus-2.

Fans pay big money for tickets and when Pittsburgh comes to town, they want to see Sidney Crosby. Same with Washington and Ovechkin.

Same with Florida and Gomez.

 

 

Welcome Douglas

Douglas

I see the Canadiens have signed 6’3′, 245 lb. Swedish defenceman Douglas Murray to a one-year, $1.5 million contract.

I’m not going to, as they say in Russia, hang spaghetti on your ears. I don’t have a clue what this means. All I know is he’s big, he’s slow, he played in San Jose for awhile, he was signed by the Pens last year, and even though he’s Swedish, with the name Douglas Murray you’d think he was from Orillia or Milwaukee.

I could go on about how the team continues to get bigger and we should have high hopes for the guy and he’s just what the doctor ordered and all that, but I’m no fortune teller. Heck, I can remember being slightly excited when the Habs brought Scott Gomez aboard.

Anyway, welcome to Montreal, Douglas. You should try the smoked meat at Schwartz’s, Smoke Meat Pete’s, Reuben’s, and Lester’s. And cars tailgate you here, the downtown is fantastic, the women are lovely, there’s lots of road construction, and if your car GPS is slightly old, you’re screwed.

Scott’s In The News

Isn’t it funny how sometimes you think of something and soon after it comes up in some way.

It’s otherworldly. Who can explain it?

Like just the other day, I was thinking about how Scott Gomez used to give me so much to babble on about but he went away, and that was it for The Ballad of Scott Gomez. Not more than a couple of days ago I was thinking about this.

Now suddenly, as otherworldly as it may be, here he is again, like a long lost relative! Like Ilsa showing up at Rick’s Cafe in Casablanca.

Okay, not quite like Ilsa showing up at Rick’s Cafe.

Yesterday I read that Scott had signed a one-year contract with the Florida Panthers. Scott’s got a job. He’s still in the big leagues! I’m happy for him and I hope we’ll be able to start a brand new 2013-14 “When Will Scott Score?” countdown. It was great fun and I’ll always have a place in my heart for Scott for giving me this joy.

The Canadiens recently picked up George Parros from the Florida Panthers. It means the Florida Panthers gave up a tough guy and got Scott Gomez, who smiles and waves his stick menacingly from four feet away. George is kind of the anti-Scott.

But Florida fans will say that at least they have a guy who can bring some offence. Scott and offence go together like exercise and hangovers.

George Parros only scores a couple a year because he gets very little ice time. Scott Gomez, with all kinds of ice time including on the power play, didn’t score in an entire year. Scott takes the puck from his blueline to the next, then bails out. He’s good at that. Smooth as silk for thirty feet.

George will let others carry the puck and do all that fancy stuff. He’s got other things to do.

Yes, I was thinking about Scott and a day or two later he was in the news. It’s weird how that happens.

 

 

Go Downtown, Men

The Habs development camp opened today in Brossard, and it got me thinking. I’m only seven minutes from the rink, and they might need a stick boy!

This is the kind of guy I am. Willing to go to development camp to hone my craft before the big team calls me up for the big stick boy job.

I’ve been told that many Habs live in the Brossard area, and if the wives need me to make them more comfortable, I can be there in minutes. This is the kind of guy I am. Sacrificing my time for the good of the wives.

It also got me thinking. Why would millionaire players live in the suburbs when they can afford a luxury condo downtown? Maybe it’s why many players don’t want to play in Montreal. They’ve never experienced what they should be experiencing. It’s a vibrant downtown, full of this and that. Better than Toronto’s downtown. Better than Vancouver’s. Even better than Orillia’s.

And way better than Philadelphia’s.

Instead, they park themselves in the suburbs where it could be any suburb in North America. It’s not right.

Brendan Gallagher, for example, has been living at Josh Gorges’ place in Brossard. There’s the ridiculously nutty Champlain Bridge to cross, and I’ll bet young Gally is bored silly at home. Gorges and his lady should buy a condo on Crescent or St. Denis, let Gallagher help out with the mortgage, and they might never leave, even after their playing days are over.

And that goes for any of them. C’mon Habs. Smarten up.

Chris Nilan said he lived in Brossard when he played for the Canadiens, hated the traffic on the bridge, and as soon as he moved into the core he began loving his life. Of course, maybe he loved life just a little too much but that’s not my fault.

Was Erik Cole unhappy because he didn’t live downtown? Is it why his smile was wiped away prior to last season and he got ants in his pants?

Maybe guys don’t play well  because they didn’t live downtown. Where did Scott Gomez live?

And is Brossard the reason why the team hasn’t won the Cup in twenty years?

It’s hard to understand. If I didn’t work on the south shore and have to battle the bridge thing, we’d be downtown. I’m certain about this. Coffee and bagels at the corner cafe. Short walks to pubs and bars and maybe the odd licensed establishment.. Old trees and old streets. People-watching. Bird feeding. Walk everywhere. Relive the Richard Riot on Ste. Catherines. Whatever I want.

I’m homesick for downtown and I’ve never lived there.

These players have all this money and they’re missing something fantastic because they want the big squeaky clean mansion in Brossard. They live in the kind of places you have to change your socks so you don’t get the floor dirty and I don’t understand it.

I think they’ve been hit on the head a few times too many.

 

Almost Not Small

Marc Bergevin says the the team is too small. Tomas Plekanec says it isn’t.

I’ll settle this.

They’re too small. But almost not.

There are only two small guys on the Habs – Brian Gionta and David Desharnais, both standing at 5’7. They’re the two who make the team seem small. Without them, the subject wouldn’t even come up.

Francis Bouillon is small on paper, 5’8, but by all accounts is stronger than strong, so he doesn’t count. He’s probably stronger than three-quarters of the guys in the league who stand a foot taller.

Brendan Gallagher is 5’9, but we know what he’s like. There aren’t many around the league, tall or not, that I’d rather have. He’s big. The size chart just doesn’t say so.

Tomas Plekanec isn’t big, and he isn’t small. He’s 5’11. Guys like Pleks are perfect. Speedy and talented and not shrimps. They don’t count when you say a team is big or small. Sidney Crosby is the same height as Plekanec.

This isn’t the smurfs anymore. Gomez is gone, Cammalleri too. There were just too many smaller guys all bunched together once upon a time. But that was then. Rene Bourque, a good-sized power forward at 6’2, helped change the dynamics when he and Cammalleri switched cities.

Guys like Prust and Max and Tinordi and Eller and others are miles from being small. Even young Alex Galchenyuk is 6-1.

It’s a bigger team now. And fast and slick and talented. Fire-wagon hockey. Beautiful.

It’s just the two little guys, that’s all. In warmups, the team looks small because of these two. It’s like the wee guy in Buffalo – Nathan Gerbe at 5’5. That’s too small. Everything’s out of whack when you see a little bugger like that skating around.

We don’t need to be huge. I prefer a slightly smaller and swift skating variety, like we have now. Just a couple of tweaks, nothing serious, and maybe people will stop saying the team is too small. Cause they’re not. Two guys are causing an optical illusion.

Plekanec and the GM are both right. The team is small and it’s not. A slight change, and all’s right with the world.

 

 

Character Comeback In Tampa

The Canadiens held Tampa Bay to just two shots in the third period and fought back from a 3-1 deficit with three unanswered goals to keep the tricolour train a rollin’. A big 4-3 comeback win. What a team this year. It’s amazing.

One of the biggest reasons the Habs have turned it around is the play of rookie Brendan Gallagher, a gutsy little fireball who scored the winner on this night after a scramble in front of the Lightning net. Gallagher hung in and was rewarded, and just for fun, compare the way this guy plays to Scott Gomez.

I’ll let you think about that for a few minutes.

The one downer, on a night when two points were earned in fine fashion, was Brandon Prust crashing awkwardly into the end boards trying to negate an icing, and we wait now for what might be terrible news. It didn’t look good at all, and like Gallagher, Prust has been one of the key guys in these fun times. It would be a sad day indeed if we hear that Prust is lost for awhile. The fingers are crossed.

Comebacks are always fun, unless it’s the other team of course. In this case, the Habs had fallen behind by two goals going into the third, but Brian Gionta, then Boom Boom Emelin, and finally Gallagher, bulge the twine and the gang racks up a real solid road win.

Random Notes:

Montreal outshot the Lightning 29-23.

Michael Ryder had two helpers and he’s getting his points, just not goals. But like we heard throughout minor hockey, assists are just as good as goals.

Tomas Plekanec tied the game at one apiece in the first, converting a beautiful crisp pass from Andrei Markov.

With the great play of Gallagher, we’re allowed to relax a little with Alex Galchenyuk and let the kid develop at his own pace. He’s only been 19 for a month, and down the road he’ll be a star.

Onward to the Miami area for a meeting tonight with the Panthers, and although the game in Tampa was a win to feel good about, we really need Prust to be okay.

 

Habs And Leafs

Just like the old days. Habs and Leafs on a Wednesday night. I grew up with this type of thing. But back then, the Leafs were almost good.

Toronto’s in 7th place in the East with 24 points, which is ridiculous. It’s almost March and they’re sort of still in it. Must have something to do with the short season.

Starting tonight, the Leafs begin their annual spring collapse. It’s the way of the world.

Random Notes;

Michael Ryder’s number will be 73, which means Brendan Gallagher, because he’s a snot-nosed rookie, forfeits it and takes on number 11. Previous Habs number 11 guys include, of course, the legendary Scott Gomez, along with Saku Koivu, Kirk Muller, Ryan Walter, Yvon Lambert, Marc Tardif, Rejean Houle and so on, all the way down to Clayton Frechette during the 1912-13 season.

Approximately 73 Habs in all have owned number 11, which is more than any other.

Number 11’s a nice low number and I feel Gally’s lucky to have it. Same with Brandon Prust with number 8. Considering numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, and 12 are all hanging from the rafters.

 

 

Maurice Richard Sales And Service

The Rocket tried a lot of different things to make a few extra bucks during and after his career because he wasn’t rich like Scott Gomez. They included, along with the usual team duties – beer rep for Dow and Molsons/O’Keefe; a Laurier Life Insurance PR guy; and he owned a pub (Tavern 544/9); General Fishing Lines, which he operated out of his basement; Capri Electronics; and Maurice Richard T.V., a colour T.V. sales and service business. I’m sure I haven’t listed all of them.

Below is an invoice I have from Maurice Richard T.V., from April 28, 1967, to a customer named Yvan Claude Marchand, who had just bought himself a nice, new Zenith for about the same amount as one would pay nowadays.

Television throughout the ’60s had lousy colour. At least any I ever saw. A lot of red and orange, and often, people’s skin would be green or orange or maybe blue. My folks never had a colour TV until well into the 1970’s and I was long gone from the house, but I remember when I was a teen and would see colour sets at friends’ places and was never all that impressed. It’s come a long way baby.

001