Tag Archives: Sean Avery

Price Shuts Down Canucks

roll-along

The Vancouver Canucks showed up at the Bell Centre on Wednesday night with fire in their eyes.

They’d lost their five previous games, and were in no mood for screwing around. You don’t mess with a wounded animal.

The Canucks dominated much of the game, especially the first half of the contest, and ended up peppering Carey Price and forcing the Canadiens into 19 giveaways. They were an impressive bunch, these West Coasters.

That’s the good news for Canucks fans.

The bad news is, their team lost 3-0.

Montreal was lousy on this night, and without Carey Price being Carey Price, the Canucks might have ended their drought. But they didn’t, and Les Glorieux’s record now stands at eight straight wins and a 9-0-1 record overall.

It makes my heart swell like Sean Avery’s head.

Sean Avery. The last we heard of him, he was having all kinds of fun in L.A. tormenting homeless people for some reason. Boredom maybe. Personality defect probably.

It was the first period in particular that the Canadiens and fans would like to forget. Outshot 13-3, the team was scrambling, they resorted to numerous icings, and the two power plays they had ended with zero shots on Vancouver’s goal.

Just a poor effort. A discombobulated bunch.

Sometimes I feel the right thing to do is send the wives to Powell River for a week or two, probably several times throughout the season, so the guys can refocus. They need it sometimes.

Midway in the second frame however, Nathan Beaulieu converted a Brendan Gallagher rebound to put the boys on the board, and then with just 49 seconds remaining, Phillip Danault burst down the right side and linemate Torrey Mitchell finished it off.

In the third period, as time wound down, Alexander Radulov swooped in with the Canucks’ net empty, and although the puck didn’t go in, Radulov was given the goal because he’d been slashed during the play.

A 3-0 win when they were lousier than lousy. I guess it’s a good thing.

Random Notes:

Last year at the ten-game mark, the Canucks beat the Canadiens in Vancouver to end the Habs’ nine-game winning streak. This year, at the ten-game mark, the boys made sure the Canucks five-game losing streak became six.

Final shots on goal – Canucks 42, Habs 22.

Next up for the Canadiens – Friday in Columbus.

Now, back to the World Series. Top of the seventh.

 

Ahoy Captain

It’s big stuff, this talk of the next Habs captain now that Brian Gionta has gone back to his home state.

The fact is, I don’t think anyone right now has what it takes for the role. Kind of sad, but in a few years, it’ll probably all become clear.

Of course, if someone is chosen this year, please forget that you ever saw this.

The names are tossed around. There’s Markov and Subban, and Plekanec and sometimes Max, and for some unknown reason, Brendan Gallagher keeps coming up. I don’t know why. But more about that later.

A captain’s not there just to make the fans happy that there is one. He has to have big time respect and admiration from teammates. They have to look up to him and learn from him. He has to lead by example. That’s why you never saw Howie Young or Sean Avery or Sergei Kostitsyn wear the C on any team.

A Canadiens captain needs to take Rene Bourque aside when Bourque is comatose and give him verbal smelling salts. He needs to tell P.K. to sometimes calm down, or chat now and again with Michel Therrien and politely mention that embarrassing P.K. in public might not be the coolest thing.

A leader of men. Classy, smart, and distinguished. The opposite of me.

The coaches rely on him to talk to teammates and guide and advise. He has to be great with the media and fans. He has to get along in fine fashion with the on-ice officials. Ask the zebras about the wife and kids. Explain politely that Brendan Prust’s fist into someone’s face was a natural reaction caused by the other player saying something uncalled for about the referee’s wife.

It would be great if the players voted on the wearer of the C but chances are it won’t be like that. Which could also lead to the delicate situation of the player being a bit of a brown noser, one of management’s pipelines. That sort of thing is for losers.

Of course that only happens with other teams, not the Habs. This is a team that rises above the nuttiness. There’s never nuttiness in Montreal, you know that.

Andrei Markov leads by example, that’s for sure, and the players, I think, truly respect him. He’s a hard worker, which a captain needs to be, and he’s been around since he paired with Sprague Cleghorn. But when it comes to the microphone or the PR stuff, it’s just doesn’t seem to be in him.

I know a bunch of his fellow countrymen, and most are cut from the same cloth. Reserved and not all great around anything remotely  resembling public attention. Except Lucy’s son Denis in St. Petersburg, who loves to ham it up when the camera’s out. But I think he’s an anomaly.

As much as I admire Markov, he’s not completely captain’s material. At least not in my book. But you might have a different book.

Same with Tomas Plekanec. Not great in front of the camera. Kind of a quiet guy I think. Not one to take a rookie aside and tell him to lay off the booze and broads. Or maybe he does, but surely not the way a Mark Messier or the Rocket would have handled it.

And if you say that’s old time, that this is now, so what? Because leaders are leaders, whether it’s 1914 or 2014.

As much as I like Pleks, and as much as Brad Marchand dislikes him, which is a definite bonus, he, like Markov, doesn’t have the makeup to be a true captain.

P.K. Subban will be a fine captain some day. He leads by example, he struts in public, and he’s fired up to win. He’s perfect in many ways. We don’t want a laid back captain. We just had one. But P.K. still has a bit of goofiness in him, probably what a captain shouldn’t have.

As much as P.K. is liked by his teammates, do they look up to him at this point the way young players in Chicago look up to Jonathan Toews, or in Anaheim to Ryan Getzlaf, or Sidney Crosby in Pittsburgh?

Maybe after this season, after P.K. buys a few rounds, wins another Norris, and is voted Most Popular Guy on the Team by his teammates, then it’ll be time to put the C on him. He’s almost there. Just not quite.

The head scratcher for me is why Brendan Gallagher’s name comes up. As great a player he is, with a heart as big as can be, and a guy who would lead by example as a captain should, he’s still a kid. It’s obvious by the one minute interviews we see. He still talks like a kid. He was like a son to Josh Gorges and his wife when Gally rented a room at the Gorges resident.

Of course you could say Sidney Crosby roomed at Mario Lemieux’s house and was a captain at just 19, but these are two different personalities. I’m sure Avs captain Gabriel Landeskog, who was also 19 when given the C, is a man/boy too. There are guys like that. I once had a teammate when I was about 15 who had to shave every day and had this serious man strength. He looked older than the coaches.

Imagine if everyone had his same burning desire as Gallagher. But he’s not captain material because he’s a kid and I don’t understand why it keeps coming up.

Max Pacioretty might make a fine captain, but it seems he gets into areas when he has to re-screw his head back on from time to time. He’s kind of like me in this regard only I probably take longer to recover. It’s not a knock on Max for having his up and down moments. It’s about a captain not having those moments. One who could help Max along when he’s feeling out of sorts.

A captain has to be a big brother. Jean Beliveau was good like this. He knew how to handle all sorts of egos in the dressing room. Max doesn’t seem to have this in his genes, nor does Markov, Plekanec, Gallagher, and P.K., although at least it seems that way to a guy who only watches them on TV and has never been in the room except during the Bell Centre tour.

The captain situation sort of mirrors the team situation. Getting there, but just not quite. I think it’ll be Subban wearing the C in the 2015-16 campaign if he doesn’t screw it up in the meantime by making his teammates want to throttle him.

It’ll interesting to see how this captain thing unfolds. Just wish we had an obvious choice.

 

 

From There To Here

Just a few days ago I was in L.A., and now I’m in Nelson, BC. Such a distinct contrast. It’s like heavy metal to folk music. A Harley and a Moped. Brad Marchand’s nose and normal noses.

I’m here to see my daughter and my four grandkids, and of course my son-in-law, all of whom I can only see once a year. Once a year, you ask? You try driving the 800 kilometre zig zag involved getting here. And don’t try it in winter.

On another note, I read in a magazine yesterday that Pippa Middleton, sister of Kate, and the one who wore that lovely tight white dress that accented her curvacious rear end at Kate and William’s wedding, has been seen out on the town with none other than Sean Avery. Imagine what this must do for Avery’s ego, which is already larger than many planets.

If there is a God, please never let us endure the spectacle of seeing Avery waving to the crowds below from the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

L.A. to Nelson is like Sean Avery’s ego compared to everyone else’s.

Awards Night On The Strip

 

What rivals the Academy Awards, Grammys, Emmys, and Golden Globe Awards?

Not the NHL Awards Show, that’s for sure.

Tonight’s the night we see players wearing uncomfortable tuxedos and their women beaming proudly. We see awkward speeches, hopefully some seriously low cleavage in the audience, and no Scott Gomez anywhere. We’ve also seen Ron McLean completely out of his element as a stand-up comedian, a cringe-inducing time in space if there ever was one, and maybe he’s been told to stay home.

And for those of you who gag at the thought of Nickelback performing, please keep in mind that Robin Thicke sang a couple of years back and I ask you, what’s worse?

I don’t know exactly what it is about Nickelback. Everybody dumps on this Canadian band, but I don’t mind them. Is that uncool to say? Do you like Robin Thicke better?

When I was a truck driver working out of Calgary, I would sometimes deliver cases of food to various stores in Hanna, Alberta, home of the Nickelback guys and Lanny McDonald. I’ve never ever delivered groceries in Robin Thicke’s hometown of Los Angeles.

In the recent past, the Awards show has been at the Palms in Vegas, which must have been uncomfortable for the players, wives, and executives because the Palms is about three blocks from the Strip, which is way too far. Tonight they’ve moved to the Wynn, one of the nicest hotels in the city, right on Las Vegas Boulevard in the heart of the Strip, and where, if rumours are correct, sex has taken place in hotels rooms at various times, although I heard that several years ago and I don’t know if it’s still the case.

The big ones are on the line.

Henrik Lundqvist, Evgeni Malkin, and Steven Stamkos are up for the Hart Trophy, awarded to the most valuable to his team. I say give it to Malkin and hopefully cameras pan in on his girlfriend jiggling as she claps.

The Vezina, judged by general managers as top goalie, have Lundqvist, Pekka Rinne, and Jonathan Quick battling it out. Tim Thomas couldn’t make it because he’s committed to doing a song and dance at the White House.

The Norris sees Zdeno Chara, Erik Karlsson, and Shea Weber on the short list. Give it to Karlsson. He’s already been partly ruined by getting a big seven-year contract from the Ottawa Senators which will zap much of the hunger out of the kid, and now a Norris, which will zap even more. Sens owner Eugene Melnyk predicted that Karlsson will become one of the greatest defensemen in the history of the game, so load the money and awards on him now and we’ll see how this prediction stands up.

And the Bridgestone Messier Leadership Award goes to the league for coming up with the stupidest name for an award.

Other awards handed out tonight include player with the hottest wife or girlfriend, best stick boy, the Bridgestone Gomez Getting The Job Done Award, the Sean Avery For The Love Of The Game Award, and the Nickelback Courage Award for showing up when everyone hates them except me.

The one award that should be a lock, even if I am biased? Max Pacioretty taking home the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy awarded for perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication. Max came back from a broken neck to blossom into a star power forward, and he’s done it with grace and style, never losing a beat after such a tragic event. What a nice touch it would be to see Zdeno Chara present this award.

Tim Thomas Moving On

Tim Thomas is taking a year off. A year at least. The Bruins or some other team, like Toronto, will have to decide at some later date if they want a chubby, slow, ultra-conservative prick to stop pucks for them. If he decides to return, that is.

Maybe he’ll hook up with a KHL team. Hah! That would be like Nikita Khrushchev moving to Haight-Ashbury.

But why is Thomas doing this?

“I just thought that I could travel around the country promoting hockey and peace on earth,” said Thomas. “I have Sean Avery to help me, and I’m hoping Scott Gomez can find the time to come along and show kids how to shoot and score. I’m also excited to announce that I’m now in negotiations with Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld to join my team and spread the message of love.”

I can hear Bruins fans now speaking in angry-yet-intelligent tones. “F^%$#@* you, Kane, you #$&^%$.  Ken Dryden took a year off when he was with the Habs and you don’t mention that. So what’s the difference, you %#$&* scum-sucking #$*&^%?”

And you’re right, Bruins fans. Sorry. But please don’t lump Thomas in with Ken Dryden. It’s just not right.

Footnote and reminder to Bruins fans.

Dryden was drafted by the Bruins in 1964 but shortly after, Boston traded him and Alex Campbell to Montreal for Guy Allen and Paul Reid.

 

Habs Complete Home-And-Home Task

It’s too bad the Canadiens rest until next Friday. They’re hot, and we don’t want any cooling off.

4-2 Habs, marking three in row now for the team we just recently wanted to send to a Siberian work camp. The boys now find themselves on a nice little roll, having first knocked off the Flyers, and then completing a successful home-and-home against the arch rival Bruins.

But I’m not even sure why I’m saying this. You already know this stuff.

That’s good shit. Going from the depths of hell to a place where birds sing and flowers grow, all within five days or so.

Lars Eller continued to show great puck-handling skills, except for the time he put it on Nathan Horton’s stick, who gave it to Milan Lucic, who put it by Carey Price, thus ruining a very possible shutout. But regardless of this one lapse, Eller played a fine and intelligent game, and also managed to score his first goal of the season after Brian Gionta had opened the scoring for Montreal on the power play.

Travis Moen assisted on Eller’s goal, and also tangled with Boston tough guy Shawn Thornton, which is music to my ears. Once again, Moen does his job, goes up against a big boy, and shows all concerned that he means business on a daily basis. Like I said in a previous post, if Moen can add toughness, along with a few points here and there, we’ll see Montreal’s smaller, skilled guys play with much more room on the ice.

It was also nice to see Andrew Ference, the one who gave the finger to the Bell Centre fans last year, take a stupid penalty for punching PK Subban in the face, and while he paid his penance in the sinbin, David Desharnais ripped one home on the power play. Smart move, Ference. You cost your team because you’re an arsehole.

Boston caused us some slight problems when they scored with the goalie on the bench and just 55 seconds left to make it a 3-2 game, but good old Tomas Plekanec found the empty net and drove the final nail into the Bruin coffin. Kind of a Halloween reference I guess.

The comeback trail is in full swing now for the recent sad-sack Canadiens, they’ve found their legs and their heart, and forget about them not making the playoffs, they’re moving up the charts with a bullet. Now it’s that long wait until Friday when they storm into the Nation’s Capital to play the over-achieving Senators.

Nurse some wounds, ice some bruises, hold some sharp practices, and come out flying next Friday in Ottawa. Then do it again the following evening in midtown Manhattan against the Rangers. The team Sean Avery used to play for, remember?

Keep this lovely winning streak going. And what’s that? Boston’s still in the basement? Geez I feel bad about this.

Random Notes:

Shots on goal, Boaston 28, Habs 27

Jacques Martin has told the press that Andrei Markov will start practicing in a week or two.

Much Better

A nice display by the Canadiens Saturday evening as the team dominated and controlled throughout, and a 5-1 lopsided affair re-affirms that the sky isn’t falling and the world isn’t about to end anytime soon.

At least until December 21, 2012, which is when the world comes to an end according to some.

But aside from the fact that the team played well with Scott Gomez continuing along his comeback trail, it’s the antics of Tampa’s Ryan Malone that need to be discussed. The league wants to get rid of headshots?  Then we wait for Officer Shanahan to hand down ten big ones to Malone, who was an asshole all evening, but in particular later on when he provided a dangerous head shot to Chris Campoli that had concussion written all over it.

These things are just so ugly and we’re all sick to death of it. Throw the book at him. This was a very similar hit as to what Malone’s ex-teammate Sidney Crosby experienced, and who still remains on the sidelines.

These hits may never stop. Shanahan can suspend half the league and some will still do it. Maybe Sean Avery was right when he said many of the players in the league are quite brain-dead.

Campoli could have been, or even might be, concussed from this play, and it’s his health we worry about first, and then we consider the fact that he’s our Andrei Markov replacement at the moment and we can’t afford to lose him.

It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out with the league and their ongoing crackdown.

I just glad preseason has now come to an end. I’m tired of it, and we almost lost Gorges the other night when he seemed to twist his knee, and hopefully Campoli says hello to his model girlfriend tonight and remembers her name.

Random Notes:

Brian Gionta opened the scoring while shorthanded when he intercepted a weak Stamkos pass and waltzed in alone. Gomez, Darche, Cole, and Cammalleri were the other Habs marksmen.

Full marks to Josh Gorges for stepping in in support of Campoli. This is leadership and being a team player at its finest.

Nice to see hockey in Quebec, and it’s fairly funny to think that the league might consider abolishing fighting and also might place a team back in Quebec at some point. Because we all know what happens when a team in Quebec and a team in Montreal begin a rivalry. It’s not pretty.

Now we wait for October 6th when the real fun starts. Habs in Toronto. Hopefully Campoli will be there. 

 

You Heard It Here

Andrei Kostitsyn spouted off on somebody’s website. And in the process, the website found itself with a nice juicy scoop.

That’s what I want. A big story broken here. 

How great would it be to report that I’ve found out that former Hab Georges Laraque is actually the love child of Lionel Richie and Aretha Franklin, or Jacques Martin enjoys jello shooters and Eminem? That’s what I need. Something like that. I’ll bet that Belarusian website got a lot of hits after the Kostitsyn sound-off.

Josh Gorges admits he hates ice cream. Is it true? You read it here first.

ABC is pushing Sean Avery to retire from hockey and become a contestant on Dancing With The Stars. “I’m definitely considering it,” Avery told this blog. “I’m just waiting to see who my male partner would be.”

Scott Gomez denies on my site that he’s ever been married to Selena Gomez.

Evangelist Billy Graham reveals that he reads the Bible every night, right after he reads this blog. “I get divine inspiration from this Habs site” says Graham in a Newsweek interview. The Pope said ditto to this comment.

Yannick Weber is a professional yodeler. Now you know.

Hal Gill spills the beans. “I’m not friendly. It’s been an act all along.”

Gary Bettman sat down with me for beer and discussion. “My dream is to have many more Canadian teams,” he told me. Later, after several pints, Bettman admitted that he likes basketball better than hockey.

This is the stuff I need. Just one big exposé. The internet would be buzzing. Maybe even overload and crash.

That’s what I want. A scoop big enough to crash the internet. Is it too much to ask?

 

 

 

 

Questions And Answers From NHL Players

Scotiabank and the NHLPA have come up with a little fun thing to do in the off-season, and as for myself, it’s something I can read while waiting for summer to appear on the west coast, which may or may not happen.

They’re letting fans ask NHL players questions, and if you click The Mailbag you can see a whole of lot questions already sent in, and if you go to Mailbag Answers you can see where players are starting to reply to them.

Looks like fun to me, and I also have questions:

Hey Sean Avery, have you ever wondered why your teammates don’t like you after you said on national TV that most NHL players are dimwits?

Brad Richards, after signing for 60 million dollars with the Rangers, wasn’t demanding lockout protection in your contract slightly greedy?

To most players, why can’t you sign an autograph that isn’t an unrecognizable scribble? Bobby Hull and Jean Beliveau have certainly managed to.

Also to most players, what the heck’s wrong with playing in Montreal?

And Scott Gomez, you’re going to be better this year, right?

 

 

 

 

I’d Be Downtown

I’m so late in getting to this CBC/ NHLPA players’ poll that you’ve probably already been through it and now it’s old news.

But I had to work today. And if I don’t work, I don’t get enough money to buy the team, and if I don’t buy the team, you can’t be part of management. It’s that simple.

The poll, at http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/allstar/poll/, is interesting as we find out what players think about things such as where they would prefer to play if they had a choice, which came down to Detroit at 14%, Vancouver 11%, Chicago 11%, and New York at 9%.

Players are obviously leaning toward teams with success or promise or some such thing..

Toronto’s not mentioned.

Why Montreal isn’t up there in popularity is a mystery to me. I can only shake my head and try to understand.

I believe players miss the boat when it comes to NHL city living, and not just in Montreal. They spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on homes way out in the suburbs. Suburbs that could be anywhere, from coast to coast.

Downtown might be a bit more expensive, but it must be way more interesting. And closer.

Vancouver living could be excellent for a young guy with a million bucks in his pocket, if he’s living the life in Yaletown or Kitsilano or such, in the heart of the city near the harbour in a million dollar pad which will turn into a multi-million dollar pad in a couple of months.

For some reason though, which only NHL wives might explain, most players live in houses on the edges of the city, and then fight traffic back and forth from the rink.

Maybe it’s because players have been looked after for such a long time they have now have no idea how to take advantage of the city they live and work in. It’s a shame. So much money and not sure how to spend it. 

Although you’d have to be a Ranger, New York would be good because you could live in Greenwich Village or Soho or any of the many trendy areas Manhattan has to offer. The yard would suck but the living wouldn’t. And like Vancouver, putting out a million two, which many of these guys can afford, means turning it into three or four million in no time flat. And again, no commuting in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

Just a lot of good restaurants, antique shops, and blues bars. Sort of like an athletic, married Seinfeld.

Los Angeles would be fine too, but again, most of these guys live well out of where the action is, a monster freeway-drive away. I’m convinced I’d live in West Hollwoood, up above the Sunset Strip, living the good life with palm trees and Julia Roberts as a neighbour, with the Strip and its billboards pulsating below.

But they have young kids, you say? So what. Kids are allowed on the Sunset Strip and in Greenwich Village. They grow to be street-smart and parents sleep better because the kids can look after themselves. Soak in some street culture while your dad plays in the NHL.

And I’m sure facts would show that suburban kids can be just as rotten as inner-city kids.

Montreal? I’d live in old Montreal, down by the cafes and clubs. There would be no winter storms to drive home in after a game. It’d be like living in Paris with the Montreal Canadiens just around the corner.

I’d pass the Stanley Cup around as I walked by outdoor cafes on my way to Just For Laughs.

Why is it that players drive themselves to the rink from their homes in the distant suburbs? Why don’t they just hire a driver? The last thing I’d want to do is fight traffic in a late-night snowstorn while I’m plotting how to take out Sean Avery’s teeth with a puck.

Anyway, the poll is interesting, and good old Danno has pinpointed some of the ones with a Habs connection.