Talkin’ Bout A Few Of The Guys
October 16, 2011 in 1972 Canada-Russia hockey, Bobby Orr, Carey Price, Colorado Avalanche, Guy Lafleur, Henri Richard, Howie Morenz, Jean Beliveau, Ken Dryden, Montreal Canadiens, PK Subban, Ralph Backstrom, Toe Blake Tags: 1972 Summit Series, Bobby Orr, Carey Price, Earl McCrae, Erik Cole, Frank Mahovlich, Guy Lafleur, Henri Richard, Howie Morenz, Jacques Martin, Jean Beliveau, Ken Dryden, PK Subban, Punch Imlach, Ralph Backstrom, Scott Gomez, Scotty Bowman, Toe Blake
Yes, indeed, P.K.Subban picked up the puck in glorious fashion in his end, whirled and dashed to the oohs and awes of me and many others, and promptly lost it to the enemy, who then took off and scored on Carey Price. It was a young man’s mistake, learned from years ago when he most certainly had his way with other teams in small buildings.
It’s a tough thing. Do you harness his energy, or do you let him be P.K? This is a young fellow still learning his craft, and with this free-wheeler, this sort of thing is bound to happen from time to time. You just hope the goalie is there to back him up.
You can be sure there were times when even Bobby Orr and Flower and Howie Morenz all lost the puck on a big exciting rush. P.K. may even do it again and I’m fine with it. I just don’t want to see him play tentative and with less enthusiasm. He wouldn’t be P.K. if he did that.
Carey Price was quite mediocre at best in this Avalanche game, but he’ll get his game together very soon. He’s showed many signs so far, but still hasn’t played like the Carey Price we know and love. The consistently great Carey Price. A lot of blame, though, goes to the players in front of him. Lots of opposing players are getting way too many good chances.
Price ‘ll be fine though. Look at Ken Dryden. He was far from great in the 1972 Summit Series but he was a great goalie. It’s the same with Carey. We see some brutal nights.
Erik Cole says he and Jacques Martin don’t talk and I don’t care if they do or not. Cole’s a big boy making millions, and coaches can be difficult and complex creatures. Toe Blake’s favourite whipping boy was Ralph Backstrom, who was a sensational third-line centre for the Habs. And he was only third-line because Jean Beliveau and Henri Richard were the centres on the first and second lines. Toe was hard on him, and Ralph got so mad at his coach one day he threw a skate and it stuck in the door. Ask Frank Mahovlich about Punch Imlach. And Scotty Bowman was miserable and didn’t talk to anybody.
C’mon Cole, don’t let it get to you. And one assist in four games doesn’t cut it.
Scott Gomez – ditto. One assist in four games doesn’t cut it either. I know we’ve accepted that you’re not a goal scorer, you’re a playmaker, but you’re on track for another lousy season. You’d shown so much in preseason. What happened?
Sadly, I’ve just heard that Ottawa columnist Earl McCrae has passed away. I loved reading his stuff when I lived back east, and after I had moved to the west coast, and before the internet came along, a friend would send me ten or twenty of Earl’s columns at a time because I missed him. Earl could be outrageous, funny, deadly serious, really smart, and simply a wonderful writer who entertained me and countless others. He was also a member of the Elvis Presley Society in which he swore, tongue-in-cheek, that Elvis was alive and well in Tweed, Ontario.
So long, Earl. Thanks.