Tag Archives: Washington Nationals

Fab Habs Lads Edge Avs

Canadiens beat the Avs 3-2 again for the second time in two nights, only this time in regulation. But more about that below the photo. (It also happens to be three straight wins in preseason by the bleu, blanc et rouge, all by the score of 3-2)

The photo below is from last April when we were in Quebec to paint the town red. Well, not exactly paint the town red. Partied quite a bit, though. Well not exactly partied. Walked around a lot and went to a restaurant.

The historic district of Quebec City is sensational, and a handful of miles away is Le Colisee, The House That Beliveau Built, with the new barn being built next door.

Le Colisee holds 15,399 folks, and on this night when the Canadiens and Avalanche did battle, the attendance was………no idea. For some reason, the  Canadiens.com site was blank with no stats. Didn’t anybody want to do it?

Colisee

Jiri Sekac showed some serious moves, scored a beauty, and is absolutely forcing management to keep him. He had an excellent rookie camp, an excellent main camp, and is now excellent in exhibition games.

Feeling good about Sekac.

Sven Andrighetto, also enjoying a fine preseason, tied things in the second after Colorado had opened the scoring in the first, while in the third, the Avs took the lead once again when Montreal’s Gabriel Dumont was in the sinbin for shooting the puck over the glass.

But soon enough, Sekac, in a magical moment, used his skate to free the puck from goalie Semyon Varlamov and did a cool wraparound to even things at two. And then David Desharnais sent a sweet pass that Brandon Prust had to skate like the wind to catch, and Prust burst in and fooled Varlamov.

Unusual to see Prust behave like a left-handed Guy Lafleur.

The Quebec crowd was pro-Avalanche, cheering for them throughout. The Avs were once the Quebec Nordiques, and all I can say is, when the Expos left Montreal, I could care less about the Washington Nationals.

But there’s always been that built-in rivalry between big city Montreal and the quainter Quebec City, so it’s not really a surprise that Quebec fans cheered against the Canadiens.

Joe Sakic was introduced and given a hardy ovation. Pretty sure that wouldn’t happen with Eric Lindros. (If you’re not aware of the Lindros/Nords situation, give it a Google).

Shots on goal? I don’t know. Like I said, Canadiens.com was blank.

As it was in the first game, only six players played who can be considered regulars or semi-regulars – Tokarski, DD, Prust, Gilbert, Tinordi, and Beaulieu. The rest of the lineup was prospect-packed.

Next up, Washington Capitals at the Bell on Sunday night, probably to lose 3-2.

Caps Capped

The Washington Capitals are done after losing to the Rangers 2-1 in the seventh game, and you have to think that Alex Ovechkin will probably go his whole career without winning a Stanley Cup. He’s won just about every award a forward could win, but there might never be the Big One. That’s because the Caps, like the Vancouver Canucks, just can’t seem to get it done after enjoying fine regular seasons. Why is that?

But it’s not something I need to dwell on. I’m not feeling bad for folks in Washington. Maybe if they send the Nationals back to Montreal and the team becomes the Expos again, I might have more compassion.

Now it’s the Rangers and Devils, which should save on plane tickets. Were talking bus rides here. The Bus Series. Two teams, separated by the Hudson River and a cement light standard somewhere nearby that’s the longtime home of Jimmy Hoffa.

Only two more rounds to go.

Go whoever.

 

 

 

 

It’s Sunday. I Should Be Getting Ready To Watch……..

If someone would have had the foresight to blow up Olympic Stadium in Montreal’s east end about 20 years ago, I might be settling in on this quiet Sunday to watch my Expos take on the Cubbies or Mets or Cards or Dodgers, and as usual I’d be concentrating on every pitch, getting wrapped up in my favourite ball team and favourite summer sport.

If Olympic Stadium hadn’t been such a huge echo chamber void of soul and any baseball atmosphere whatsoever, more people might have paid their fifteen bucks to go out and watch the marvelous team housed there. But they stayed away because the place was horrible, with a big orange roof hovering above that sometimes ripped, and seats with such a gradual incline that one could sit just ten rows above the dugout and feel like it was a mile away.

If Montreal politicians would have built a smaller, baseball-friendly park in the downtown area, maybe young Washington Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg might be taking to the mound today in Expos colours and we move closer to our TV’s to watch, or see him in living colour.

If Steve Rogers wasn’t brought in to pitch to the Dodgers’ Rick Monday in 1981 and hadn’t given up the home run that blew the Expos chance to win the pennant and play in the World Series, maybe with magical success such as what could have been, the Expos might still be around.

I mourn the Expos often. Maybe it’s because of all that went with it. My kids were young, I was young, and we were a happy little family in a nice little house in Ottawa. Life was a lovely thing indeed. Now, that lovely little wife I had back then is no longer my wife, and my son and I are having some problems. On the bright side, my daughter, who was so little when Tim Raines was stealing bases and Tim Wallach was picking off liners at third base, has given me three beautiful little rugrats. And these little beauties replace sadness with immense joy.

I miss that team which was so good and so exciting and I think I know how Brooklyn fans must have felt when their Dodgers left for the west coast. And I understand how hearts were broken in Quebec and Winnipeg when their beloved hockey teams left.

Sometimes, in life and in sports, we have to turn a very thick page.

Those Montreal Expos: It Was Fun While It Lasted

I miss the Expos.

 

I miss Warren Cromartie and Tim Raines and Tim Wallach and Steve Rogers.

 

During the 198o’s, I almost followed every pitch. The Expos were one of baseball’s best teams, and for a nice stretch during these times, they were always in the thick of it come September.

 

I listened to Dave Van Horne and Duke Snider on my truck radio as I drove here and there out of Ottawa. And I watched as Rick Monday’s home run spoiled the Expos chances of advancing to the World Series that September of 1981 which became known as Blue Monday. 

 

There was Andre Dawson, Ellis Valentine, Chris Speier, Scott Sanderson. And of course a great catcher and a man who loved the limelight, Gary Carter.

 

I miss Rodney Scott, Larry Parrish, Dick Williams, Woody Fryman, Bill (Spaceman) Lee.

 

But the Expos are now the Washington Nationals, and I pay absolutely no attention to them at all. The Expos are gone. End of story.

 

And or me, the real reason the Expos aren’t in Montreal anymore is because the Big O was a ghastly place, a giant orange cave that echoed and swallowed you up. The seats were set in on a gradual slope, so even though you might be only 20 rows up, it seemed like you were a mile away.

The track that was used in the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal surrounded the playing field, so it created not only a lousy un-baseball-like atmosphere, but also made it that many more feet from the stands, even, I think, from the dugouts.

So no one went. Most games were far from sellouts because the atmosphere wasn’t worth the hassle of driving there and parking. Attendance was dismal in Montreal, and Expos owners lobbied the city to build a nice baseball stadium downtown, (Olympic Stadium was way out in the east end), but were denied, and the next thing you know, they were gone.

 

I suppose Montreal will never see another major league team because usually, once you lose it, your chances are gone.

 

But we had them for awhile, and they sure were good.