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

16 thoughts on “We’ll Take Fifty Please”

  1. Another insightful commentary, Dennis – right on target. For the past 25 years, I have begged for a day when I would open the morning paper, turn to the sports section, and see a player with “Mon” after his name when I scan the Leading Scorers. Never happened…. As you’ve pointed out, team ownership/ management seems disinterested in taking any steps to rectify the situation. It’s a real shame.

  2. Eric, this is why I drink beer.
    And don’t they understand? I haven’t got 40 years left. Maybe just 35. So they better get crackin’.

  3. Love, love, loved Guy Lafleur! Those were the good old days. Guy flying around the ice…hair blowing in the breeze and scoring goals galore. Me and my big sis jumping up and down screaming with joy with each goal. At least we still have those memories because they just don’t make them like that anymore Dennis.
    So sad…. 🙁

  4. I wonder if it would be a bad idea to have PK play as a forward some of the time like Big Buff (Byfuglien) does?

  5. Not that he’ll score 50 goals but I see Higgins got his 14th tonight. That would put him what, 3rd on the Habs? What I don’t understand is why this team can’t find players to stand in front of the net, other than Galley of course. I mean, tell a guy that’s where you go and if he doesn’t then he doesn’t play. Why doesn’t this happen? Maybe that’s a characteristic they should be looking for when they evaluate draft choices. Gallagher proves it isn’t always size that counts but a willingness to go to the hard places. On this team he’s the only one and that is a huge problem.

  6. D-John, that’s one of their biggest problems that you point out. No one wants to go to the front of the net. Such a soft team. Small and soft. Drives me crazy.

  7. During a recent CBC telecast someone pointed out that Pacioretty was on pace for 39 goals this season and if he could reach 40 he would be the first Canadien to do so in 20 years, since Damphousse’s 40 in 1993-94. Unfortunately he’s now down to a 36 goal season pace.

  8. Does the league maintain statistics for most shots missed high and wide by at least a metre? I think we’d dominate that list. In close we lob shots softly into the goalie’s belly, from aim for the rafters.

  9. Yes Christopher, our boys are tremendous at missing the net. If there was an all-star competition to see who could miss the net, our guys would do great. And yes, they’re also good at shooting into the goalie’s stomach. I think it’s an art. Ovechkin and Stamkos aren’t good at it.

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