Tag Archives: Stephane Richer

We’ll Take Fifty Please


I was reading Le Journal de Montreal the other day, or trying to read it. It helps me learn a bit of French. I find the cartoons work well.

In Saturday’s paper was this drawing which I like, and which happens to have a Stephane Richer poster on the wall.

Stephane Richer scored fifty goals for the Canadiens twice – 50 in ’87-88, and then 51 in ’89-90.

It’s been twenty-four years since Montreal had a fifty-goal scorer. Twenty-four years since we had someone who knew how to light the lamp on a regular basis.

We’re not even close to having a guy who puts terror in the hearts, eyes, and groins of opposing defencemen and goalies.

The opposition isn’t the least bit uptight now from our guys who jump over the boards, except for P.K. Subban who sends missiles from the blueline. The team is small, is 29th of 30 teams when it comes to regular-strength goals, and our leading point-getter, P.K. isn’t even a forward and is 64th in the league with 36 points.

Our top goal-scorer, Max Pacioretty, has 21 which isn’t bad, but he won’t come close to fifty. Tomas Plekanec, next in line, has 16 and may or may not reach 25.

We have two superstars in our midst – Subban and Carey Price, who’s a goalie. Although Price has two assists, which ties him with Douglas Murray and Ryan White.

I want a guy at the top, or near the top, in scoring. A guy fans in other rinks buy tickets to see.

He’d be so good, even CBC announcers would say nice things about him.

Fans in the seats would point him out to their sons and daughters. Look, they’d say, there’s Gaston LeBois. He’s the best.

Instead, we have guys who go games without a shot on net. They can’t find the back of the net but they always manage to find their pay cheques.

This isn’t THE Montreal Canadiens. Not even close. The is the Montreal Journal de Montrealers. Featuring the women from the fashion and society pages.

We need a big scorer, and I know it’s easier said than done. But I could care less. We need one. End of story.

Could it be Alex Galchenyuk? Maybe. He’s just turned 20 years old, and we won’t really know what we have in him for a few more years.

And if it’s not him, how many more years before one comes along? Twenty? Forty?

Here’s the Habs who managed to light the lamp 50 or more times:

Stephane Richer – 51 – 1989-90
– 50 – 1987-88
Guy Lafleur – 50 – 1979-80
– 52 – 1978-79
– 60 – 1977-78
– 56 – 1976-77
– 56 -1975 76
-53 – 1974-75
Pierre Larouche – 50 -1979-80
Steve Shutt – 60 – 1976-77
Bernard Geoffrion – 50 – 1960-61
Maurice Richard – 50 – 1944-45

Gaston LeBois – 61 – 2029-30

Wild And Woolly LNAH


I listened to an interesting piece on CBC radio while driving home from work yesterday, about Ligue Nord-Americaine De Hockey (LNAH), a Quebec semi-pro league featuring teams from Trois-Rivieres, Sorel, Thetford Mines, Jonquiere, Riviere-Du-Loup, Saint-Georges, and new this season, Cornwall, from across the border in Ontario.

It’s similar in some ways to serious senior hockey, where players have day jobs and make their way to games after a hard day’s work. LNAHers are paid in the neighborhood of $300 a game, and fans at the rink can enjoy four dollar beer, two buck french fries, and 3.2 fights a game.

Aside from the fights, the calibre of hockey seems high. The league is packed with ex-juniors, ex-pros from various leagues around the continent, and even some old Habs like Stephane Richer, who toiled for Sorel during the 2004-05 season, Marc-Andre Bergeron with Trois-Rivieres in 2004-05, and Donald Brashear, who continues to dish out knuckle sandwiches with Rivieres-Du-Loup.

Maybe it’s just me, but I say Brashear should just put his skates in the closet and move on to something else. He’d probably make a fine nightclub doorman or mafia enforcer. A video of his most-recent thuggery can be seen in the video below.

Here’s the LNAH standings as of today, January 16.

JONQUIÈRE 23 16 6 0 1 33
THETFORD MINES 22 14 5 3 0 31
CORNWALL 23 14 7 0 2 30
RIVIÈRE-DU-LOUP 20 11 5 2 2 26
SOREL-TRACY 23 8 10 4 1 21
SAINT-GEORGES 25 10 13 0 2 21
TROIS-RIVIÈRES 24 7 15 1 1 16

And here’s Brashear doing what he does best, being a goon. This is his shot on Jonquiere’s Gaby Roch that now has Donald suspended. (video via Raph 2117)

From the CP wires, Jan. 11, 2013.

MONTREAL – Former NHL tough guy Donald Brashear was suspended six games by the minor-pro Ligue Nord-Americaine de Hockey on Monday for a nasty attack from behind during a game last week.

Video of the incident showed Brashear punching opponent Gaby Roch in the back of the head from behind, touching off a bench-clearing brawl between his Riviere-du-Loup 3L and the visiting Jonquiere Marquis.

The league, which translates as North American Hockey League but is not related to a circuit of that name based in the United States, is known for highlighting fights.

Brashear, 41, joined the league after his NHL career ended in 2010.

He had 85 goals in 1,025 career games for Montreal, Vancouver, Philadelphia, Washington and the New York Rangers. His 2,634 penalty minutes ranks 15th all-time.

“The Hockey News” From 1988

In a box in my closet I found a few old issues of The Hockey News from 1988, and here’s a sampling of things mentioned:

“We’re so used to this against Montreal, but we’re not complaining.” – Quebec Nordique GM Maurice Filion after an apparent tying goal was waved off against Montreal Feb. 29.

Consumer crusader Ralph Nader lobbied NHL president John Ziegler in an attempt to keep ticket prices down. FANS (Fight to Advance the Nation’s Sports), a group headed by Nader, cited the average ticket price for an NHL game at $7.87, which Nader said was “the most difficult to justify of all the major sports.” (Note from me – Originally I thought this had to be a typo, so I dug through old ticket stubs and I see that it was very possible. I have a Habs-Bruins stub at the Forum that was ten bucks. And various other stubs I have from the late 1980s ranged from ten to fourteen and upwards around twenty bucks. So maybe $7.87 isn’t completely farfetched. Just seems too cheap, that’s all).

“When Borje and the other Swedes went to the NHL, took all the crap and didn’t come home in a box,” said Mats Naslund, “we all knew we had a chance to play in the NHL.”

After Steve Yzerman scored his 50th goal – against Sabre goalie Tom Barrasso – he fished the puck out of the net. Then, inexplicably, he tossed it into the crowd on his way back to the Detroit bench. “I just thought someone else might appreciate it (as a keepsake) more than me,” Yzerman said. “I have the memory of it, and I’ll never forget it. I don’t need the puck. But he was destined to get it anyway. Jacques Demers chased down the fan who caught it, and traded him another puck and a stick for it. The coach planned to have the milestone puck mounted.

“Obviously, the fans in Minnesota don’t care about the playoff race.” Boston Bruin GM Harry Sinden, after 9,591 people showed up at the Met Center to watch Montreal and Minnesota play a 2-2 tie March 14.

Joe Sakic took it right down to the wire for a photo finish that not even the Western League stewards could decide. The Swift Current centre scored four goals in his team’s last regular-season game March 19 to tie Moose Jaw’s Theoren Fleury with 160 points. The WHL has no formal tie-breaking procedure and declared Sakic and Fleury co-champions. It’s the first time in WHL history two players have tied for the scoring championship.

Originally drafted by the Sabres in 1980, Randy Cunneyworth explains his failure to stick in Buffalo rather succinctly. “Square pegs don’t fit into round holes.”

“It’s funny,” said Stephane Richer. “In the past few games it seems that everything I shoot is going in or any time I make a pass to my linemate he scores.” Richer scored on four of 10 shots in a 7-6 overtime win at Los Angeles March 5. Among the goals was the game-winner, making it 44 goals in 65 for number 44 as he helped Montreal to a league-high eight consecutive victories.

Springfield Indians (AHL) center Bruce Boudreau had his 20-game point streak snapped by Maine in a 4-2 loss Feb. 28.

Leafs suffer double-digit embarrassment – a humiliating 10-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets at Maple Leaf Gardens.

Roy, Robinson, Gretzky, Messier – In Ottawa

On Friday, September 19, 1986, the Montreal Canadiens played an exhibition game against the Edmonton Oilers at the Ottawa Civic Centre.  I lived in Ottawa at the time but sometimes, as was the case here, real life gets in the way and I had to work and couldn’t go. Just like the time I had a couple of front row seats for Roy Orbison at the National Arts Centre and was out on a truck run, got back late, and missed that too.

But my buddy Frank and his son Robin went to this Habs-Oilers clash, and brought me back a program.

This was a charity event for the Canadian Cystric Fibrosis Foundation, and two beauty teams went at it that night. Montreal had won the Stanley Cup that previous spring, and boasted Patrick Roy in nets, along with guys like Bobby Smith, Larry Robinson, Guy Carbonneau, Bob Gainey, Chris Chelios, and Stephane Richer.

The Oilers were pretty well in a class by themselves. They had won the two previous Cups, in 1984 and 1985, and the two after, in 1987 and `88, with a lineup of Wayne Gretzky, Grant Fuhr, Paul Coffey, Glenn Anderson, Mark Messier, Jari Kurri etc.

Edmonton won the game that night 8-3, so maybe it was good that I missed it.

Game Day

It’s game day, the Habs are in Tampa to meet the Lightning, and I guess I don’t really mind so much if they lose, but I at least want to see them play well while doing so. In fact, I’m praying they only blow a one-goal lead instead of the normal two.

So many nights this season, the team has been flat and soulless and uninspired, and now that it’s pretty well too late to worry about any playoffs, just seeing them give their all and battle like proud men would make it a worthwhile three hours of watching, which is time I could spend looking for my cat’s lost hedgehog toy.

But having said that, if they can win 19 straight, they’re back in the thick of things!

Also, if Scott (The Promise) Gomez can manage just 2.5263 goals per game from here on in, he’ll have 50, which would be the first time a Hab notched this many since Stephane Richer scored 51 during the 1989-90. But I’m not holding my breath. Not after buddy Andrei Kostitsyn was shipped out, which might slow down Gomez’ torrid pace somewhat. And like I said in an earlier post, The Promise will be promising big things for next year so we should just be content with that.

It seems Blake Geoffrion will be making his debut in a Canadiens uniform. I don’t mind saying that it’s going to tug at my heart strings to hear the name Geoffrion skating for the Montreal Canadiens again. Although it’ll be slightly different from “and it’s Geoffrion, over to Beliveau.”


Guy Lafleur And The Boys Knock On Norwood’s Door

Story from the Peterborough Examiner. Norwood is a little town near Peterborough one would drive through if one were to drive from Ottawa to Orillia.

Canadiens alumni


Feb. 26, 2010

It was standing room only last Saturday night at the Asphodel Norwood Community Centre as close to 600 people crowed the stands to watch a Montreal Canadiens Alumni hockey team play, or rather trounce, our a team of Norwood Alumni players.

Hockey legends such as Guy Lafleur, Richard Sevigny, Yvon Lambert, Sergio Momesso and Stephane Richer and more took to the Norwood ice for a good-natured and fun game against a group of Norwood’s greats including Tully, Hughes, Heffernan, Smale, Lamey, Rogers and others.

As an added bonus Dennis Anderson from Peterborough and Norwood’s rising sports star Nick Orton had the privilege of donning Habs’ jerseys to play with the Canadiens.

Before the game many guests had the Montreal team busy team signing autographs and posing for pictures.

Diehard Habs fan and Community Centre manager Greg Hartwick, who organized the visit, said “It was a great evening; the Montreal team was exceptional and very accommodating. They are a great bunch of guys.”

During the second intermission, the Norwood coaching staff was forced to call in reinforcements to help with the lopsided score; the senior tyke team took to the ice to play against Montreal.

This group of six and seven year olds did very well and scored two goals against the ex- NHLers, bringing the final score to a slightly more respectable 10 to 3 loss for Norwood.

As a side note, the Montreal alumni team has never lost a game. Norwood is one of only three stops in Ontario that the team will make this year. The team was so impressed by our facility and hospitality that they asked when they might get to come back. So, if you happened to miss them this time, you might just get another opportunity in the future.