Tag Archives: Winston Churchill

Canucks Blow Series Lead

For Vancouver Canucks fans, it wasn’t supposed to be like this. Because as sure as
death and taxes, the Stanley Cup was coming to Canada’s west coast this year.

It still might happen. But it’s not as sure as death and taxes. Not after losing their
last two games by scores of 8-1 and tonight 4-0.

The Canucks are in a slight bit of trouble. All year long they’ve been a team of strength and consistency, never really slumping, never really looking bad. But they’re a group out of whack right now, who can’t solve Tim Thomas, who can’t get a huge night from the Sedin boys, and Roberto Luongo has allowed 12 goals in two games. The Green Men are looking greener.

It’s just not good right now for the Canucks and their fans. Maybe the team needs a talk with Dr. Phil, or listen to Winston Churchill speeches.

But never fret, it’s not over. The series is tied at two with game five back in Vancouver. The Canucks have got them right where they want them. Sort of.

Oscar-winning acting on the ice was mentioned by the HNIC crew several times, and I’d like to add my two cents.

Enough already with this over-reacting to situations, hoping to draw a penalty. Alex Burrows, Andrew Ference, Maxim Lapierre, Kevin Bieksa and others all at one time or another have tried to pull the wool over the referee’s eyes by trying to make a hit appear worse than it is.

Performances worthy of a Hollywood audition involving getting shot in the knee-cap and acting it out.

I hate this stuff. It reminds me of what we see during soccer matches. A player gets kicked in the shin, cries out like he was shot by a cannon before being carried out on a stretcher, and five minutes later he’s back out running about and looking like a million bucks.

This series is becoming what a series should be. Close, with lots of nastiness and disagreeing. It’d be a bummer if a game is decided after a player pulls his best Robert de Niro impersonation and draws an unwarranted penalty.

Game five is Friday night. It’ll be very interesting how the Canucks react after these excruciating bombings in Beantown.

I hate seeing the Bruins and their fans so happy.

I Want A Habs Version Of 24/7

Finally got to see Part One of 24/7, HBO’s fascinating look at the behind the scenes goings-on of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals, two teams going in different directions, and one team with a coach who drops a ton of F-bombs as he gives his inspirational speeches in the dressing room and behind the bench.

It’s a lead-up to the Winter Classic on New Year’s Day, and I can’t wait for Part Two next Wednesday.

Glimpses behind the scenes is one of my favourite things, and 24/7 is all about behind the scenes. Hangin’ out, Christmas party, practical jokes like Crosby and the boys taking the furniture out of a rookie’s hotel room and leaving it in the hallway. Team dinners, kids, fans, getting sewn up, and plane trips where we see most of the players playing video games.

I couldn’t be an NHLer. I don’t know how to play video games.

Best of all was Bruce Boudreau blasting his team after another loss. Not surprisingly, he heard it from his mother later on about the couple of hundred F-bombs he let fly in this documentary.

I thought his speeches were great. The hockey version of Winston Churchill and John F. Kennedy.

Maybe not.

And the Caps continued to lose anyway.

The whole thing was fascinating and I wish someone would do the same thing about the Habs. How great would it be to see the Canadiens off the ice, as Ken Dryden described so wonderfully in “The Game?”

And I wonder if Jacques Martin swears as much as Bruce Boudreau.

Morenz And Joliat Probably Weren’t Invited. (But Maybe They Were)

We’re in Santa Maria, population 90,000 and home of Robin Williams and Kathy Bates, because we didn’t make it to Santa Barbara, another hour down the road.

And the reason we didn’t make it to Santa Barbara is because we spent hours at the Hearst Castle north of here at San Simeon.

Did you know that some people just have way too much money? William Randolph Hearst certainly did, because he built this big honkin’ castle that took 26 years to almost complete, with 60 bedrooms and pools indoor and out that I’m sure rival any pools Julius Caesar dipped his toes in.

This guy makes Scott Gomez look like a homeless pauper.

Hearst was the founder and publisher of the San Francisco Examiner, and also dabbled in the movie business. Friends who came to stay at this place included Winston Churchill, Charlie Chaplin, Hedda Hopper, Joe Kennedy (father of JFK), and anyone else who had any clout and pockets full of dough in the roaring twenties and dirty thirties.

President Calvin Coolidge’s wife got stuck in the private elevator for hours when they visited.

Hearst also asked married couples staying at his place not to have sex, although he had bedrooms for his wife and also for his mistress, Hollywood starlet Marion Davies.

I thought about asking the tour guide if Hearst was a Habs fan and did Howie Morenz and Aurele Joliat ever come over for martinis but I decided against it. I’m sure Howie and Aurele were much too busy scoring on the ice to have time to score in the pool.

One more note; On the grounds outside the castle, workers were setting up gazebos and music equipment for a party this evening. A party which would include tycoons and Hollywood stars, and it was only costing each person $10,000. I asked Luciena if she thought we should go and she said yes, of course, are you kidding? But we opted for Santa Maria instead.

Tomorrow will be a big day. Hollywood, baby. But I’m worried that if I’m discovered by a movie producer or director for a leading role opposite Catherine Zeta-Jones or Julia Roberts, who’s going to feed my cat back home? (Forget about the Frankenstein and hideous monster remarks. And no, that’s not me in the photo at the top. Very funny.)

It Puts A Little Knowing Grin On The Side Of Habs Fans’ Mouths

We’ve told Ottawa Senators fans to be ready for a crazy roller-coaster ride with Alex Kovalev, because we’ve been there, seen that.

Never has there been more of an enigma in hockey than Alex Kovalev, and once again he wakes people up to the fact that sometimes, when the stars are lined up properly, the guy is sensational. And I stress the word “sometimes.’

The guy hadn’t scored in ten games, which happens when you’re Alex Kovalev. And then, because you’re Alex Kovalev, you score four goals and add an assist in a game against the Flyers.

Winston Churchill must have met a lot of Kovalev-types in his day, and when he spoke of Russia, he could’ve been talking about number 27 for the Ottawa Senators. “I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest.”

I suppose Churchill meant that to get Kovalev going on a regular basis, he has to be loved by everyone nationally. That ain’t gonna happen, so Sens fans, prepare for another Kovy slump coming up soon.