Tag Archives: Yvon Lambert

Great Gift From Marc, Great Goal From Lambert

The other day, owner and founder of Classic Auctions (and my boss), Marc Juteau, came into my office and gave me a beautiful vintage style (with fight strap) Yvon Lambert store model sweater, signed on the crest, which came from a Lambert charity golf tournament.

It was really nice of Marc to do this, and I greatly appreciate it.

When we talk about the unreal night of May 10, 1979, game seven of the semi-finals when Don Cherry and the Bruins were called for “too many men on the ice”, we first think of the  Habs power play that followed, capped off by Guy Lafleur tying the game and sending it into overtime.

Nine minutes in, it was Lambert winning it after taking a pass from Mario Tremblay.

Lambert wasn’t finished there either. Two weeks later, he would net the Stanley Cup winner against the New York Rangers.




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.



Have You Ever Been To……?

We really need a general manager in place pronto in Montreal. Not just because the draft is coming up fast and we have the number 3 pick to decide on, and not only because he has to hire a coach and figure out how to ship out Scott Gomez, but also because we need something to talk about here.

I think the GM should be a female. Some nice, sexy, low-cut clothes, a smile and a wink, a gentle stroking of the arm, and she’ll have Glen Sather so screwed up he’ll take back Gomez in a New York minute. And throw in some cash for good measure.

Doug Risebrough’s name has come up and we could talk about the time he ripped Marty McSorley’s sweater to shreds when Calgary played Edmonton. Or when he, Mario Tremblay, and Yvon Lambert were three of the finest plumbers on some of the finest Habs teams ever.

We really need a GM and coach in place so we can agree and argue and plan how we’re going to win the Cup with these guys on board.

Until then, have you ever been to Malibu?

Malibu is only a few minutes along the Pacific Coast Highway heading out from Santa Monica. The houses aren’t spectacular from the highway, but the back of them, along the beach, show their true beauty. They’re also are in the 20 million range if you’re thinking about living there.

Moonshadows, in the second picture, is the restaurant where Mel Gibson got plastered, then got in his car and was promptly stopped by a cop, charged with a DUI, and began a slurring rant about Jews and others.

Although the houses along the beach are owned and lived in by movie stars and high-priced lawyers and such, regular people like you and me can access the beach at several barely-marked paths which you have to look closely for. These billionaries certainly don’t want a lot of riff-raff taking over their beach and talking hockey, that’s for sure. But we can hang out whether they like it or not.

When you go, spread out a towel, gaze at the water, then turn around and notice the hired help at these 20 million dollar places polishing the silver on the decks and washing windows. Live and lounge like a rich movie star on the white sand with the surf crashing before you, then get back in your car and drive several miles to your Motel 6 and hope your TV works and the sheets are clean.


Say Hi To Carey And PK On Sunday

So what happens is this. The boys take to the ice on Saturday night and clobber the visiting Tampa Bay guys, then those of you living in the Montreal area can wake up on Sunday, go to the bank, withdraw $555.00, then head over to Boisbriand to meet Carey, PK, Travis and Josh. Oh yeah, this includes your guest as well.

Danno sent this link along, and he asked if this kind of money for a photo and autograph is normal. Well, it’s not normal. It’s ridiculous.  And I can’t stand it.

I can give you another example. Gordie Howe was in Powell River several year ago for an autograph signing at a local grocery store. I didn’t go but my friend Jordy did, and here’s what he told me. A signed Howe jersey cost $500, and you had to supply the jersey. A signed stick was $200 and yes, you supplied the stick. Pucks and other miscellaneous items were also $200 and yes, you supplied the puck etc. And a signed photo was $60, and guess what, you supplied that too.

These companies pay these players a huge lump sum and then recoup their money by gouging, and I mean gouging, the public. At least that’s how it usually works. But lots of people pay these kinds of prices so there you go.


B’s Waxed To Complete Collapse

If I were a Boston Bruin, I might not want to tell anybody this summer that I am. For only the third time in playoff history, a team has blown a 3-0 series lead and lost the seventh game as the Bruins fall to the Flyers 4-3. And to rub salt in the wound, the Bruins held a 3-0 lead in this final game and blew it too.

The winning goal, by Simon Gagne, came with a Boston player in the box ‘for too many men on the ice.’ And like TSN said, 31 years ago tonight, in 1079, Don Cherry and his Bruins lost the historic ‘too many men’  classic when first Guy Lafleur and then Yvon Lambert created a lasting nightmare for Cherry and his team. 

Philly and the Habs in the eastern final. I’m confident the Habs can do it, but I absolutely, after seeing this game, wish the Habs would have met the Bruins. The Flyers should be tough.

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.

Pointu Was Great (And Creative) On And Off The Ice

0075The Globe and Mail called Ken Dryden’s book, The Game, “the sports book of the year, or maybe the decade, or maybe the century.”  Dryden took us into the inner circle of the late 1970’s Montreal Canadiens, when they were the best team in hockey, poised to win their fourth consecutive Stanley Cup. It’s a great book, written with humility and intelligence, and I know many of you have already read it. I just wanted to share a few things that I really like.

I’m sure Ken Dryden had a little smile on his face as he wrote about Guy Lapointe, affectionately know as “Pointu”.  Dryden says in the early to mid-1970’s, except for Bobby Orr, Lapointe was the best defenceman in the NHL.


In the shower, (Yvon) Lambert is singing. Lapointe grabs a bucket and tiptoes to the bathroom sink like a cartoon spy. He fills the bucket with cold water, and peers around the corner of the shower. Lambert is still singing. Lapointe winds up; we hear a scream. Lapointe dashes back into the room and quickly out again, dropping his bucket. Lambert, still lathered up, races after him, screaming threats.  Losing his trail, Lambert stops to pick up the bucket, fills it, and resumes his search. Finally he finds Lapointe hiding in a toilet stall; he backs him into the room. Naked, sobbing, pleading pathetically, Lapointe falls to his knees, his hands clutched in front of him. Lambert winds up to throw the water, then stops: in Lapointe’s hands are Lambert’s clothes.

The laces to my skates have been shredded into macaroni-size pieces too small for knots to hold together. I look up at a roomful of blank faces. Before I can say his name, Lapointe, who cuts my laces twenty or twenty-five times a year, though I have never seen him do it, gives me an injured look. “Hey, get the right guy,” he shouts.

“Hey Reggie (Houle),” he shouts, “That was a helluva play ya made last night.” Houle goes silent; we begin to laugh. “Yup,” Robinson continues slowly, drawing out each word, “not often ya see a guy on a breakaway put it in the crowd.” Lapointe snaps down his newspaper. “Don’t let it bother ya, Reggie,” he says sympathetically. “No harm done.” Surprised, we all look up. “The goalie just woulda stopped ya anyway,” he says, and we all laugh harder.

“Ah, I’m full,” Lapointe announces, wiping his face with napkin. “Anybody want my ice cream?” Shaking their heads, murmuring, everyone says no. Finally, after looking around, certain that no one else wants it, “Um, yeah sure,” I say tentatively, ya sure ya don’t want it?” Lapointe shakes his head, and hands it to me. I take a bite. Before I can taste what I’ve eaten, the room explodes with laughter – sour cream with chocolate sauce.

“Calisse, now I done it,” he groans. “Kenny, who’s a good lawyer? I need some help.” He looks genuinely worried this time.                                                          
“Call a guy named Ackerman,” I tell him earnestly.                                        
“What?” he says. “Ackerman,” I repeat louder, and suddenly I know what’s coming next. “I’m not deaf,” he says indignantly, and walks away laughing.

Now That I Know How To Become Bobby Orr, Can I Have A Second Chance?

It’s something I’ve always wondered. Why do some people end up being so talented they can make it to the NHL, or NBA, or write the great novel, or win gold in the Olympics, while most of don’t come within a country mile. Did they work harder than the rest of us? We’re they born with the proper alignment of muscles and tissues?  Or were they simply born with the the right genes that the rest of us didn’t get? And if  they were just born with it, it doesn’t seem fair at all.

Lord knows I worked plenty hard as a kid to get to the NHL. Outdoor rinks before and after school. The same for indoor practices when I got older. I took shot after shot against boards propped up against snowbanks. Running at the track and tennis in the summer to get those legs in shape. No lack of desire, that’s for sure.  But I didn’t even come close. And then you hear that some, like Yvon Lambert and Butch Bouchard, didn’t even play organized hockey until they were fifteen years old. It wasn’t like they worked harder than me.

And what about the extreme cases? How did Bobby Orr become Bobby Orr or Gretzky become The Great One, or Tiger Woods becoming what he’s become, or any athlete who rose above the rest? Were they born with it, or did they just work harder than the rest of us? Did Wayne Gretzky work harder than Kyle Wellwood, for example. Did Wellwood work harder than me?

David Brooks talks about this in the New York Times. He talks of Mozart, and how his early abilities were far from special, how he wouldn’t have stood out among today’s top young performers. But he says Mozart had the same thing Tiger Woods had – the ability to focus for long periods of time and a father intent on improving his skills. Mozart got his 10,000 hours of practice in early and built from there. Just like Woods did, and Gretzky. Brooks says top performers spend many more hours rigourously practicing their craft. So as much as I thought I practised a lot, it probably wasn’t near enough.

The article goes on to say that the mind wants to turn deliberate, newly learned skills into unconscious, automatically performed skills, but the mind is sloppy and will settle for good enough. By practicing slowly, by breaking skills down into tiny parts and repeating, the strenuous student forces the brain to internalize a better pattern of performance. Then a young athlete or writer, for example, finds a mentor who provides feedback, views the performance from the outside, corrects the smallest errors, and pushes the person to take on tougher challenges.

“The brain is phenomenally plastic. We construct ourselves through behaviour. It’s not who you are, it’s what you do.”

Apparently the rest of us didn’t do enough, and that’s why you and I never became Bobby Orr or Wayne Gretzky, or even Kyle Wellwood. But the article never does explain how someone like Lambert or Bouchard can make it to the bigs only a few years after starting to play the game. Maybe there’s no explanation for that.