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We’re Not All Part Of Leaf Nation: Especially Habs Fans March 5, 2008

Since I started this blog, the following topic has been bugging me, especially since I don’t have any specialty channels to see the Habs more often. It alway seems like the Leafs are the priority.  William Houston of the Globe and Mail does a nice job saying just what I was thinking. Here’s his fine column.  

  We don’t all live in Leaf Nation you know

From Wednesday’s Globe and Mail

With a month remaining in the NHL’s regular season, Hockey Night in Canada should be moving to increase its coverage of the Canadian teams outside the centre of the hockey universe.Leading up to last Saturday, the two leading NHL stories in this country were the dismissal of John Paddock as coach of the Ottawa Senators and the surprising success of the Montreal Canadiens, who gave the starting goaltending job to rookie Carey Price, who won his first two games.Despite the cheery optimism of Mats Sundin & Co., the Toronto Maple Leafs are unlikely to make the playoffs.Still, the conversation on the most recent Hockey Night focused almost entirely on the Leafs, 12th in the Eastern Conference.

The first intermission Coach’s Corner: Not a word about a Canadian team outside Toronto. Heavy discussion about Leafs rookie Jeremy Williams and Sundin’s decision to stay in Toronto.

Second intermission Hotstove panel: More talk about the Leafs — speculation about Sundin and the next Leafs general manager. Nothing about Ottawa, Montreal or the other NHL teams in Canada, except Vancouver, which was mentioned in passing as perhaps a destination for unsigned Swedish star Fabian Brunnstrom.

To be fair, Hockey Night aired a feature on the Canadiens during its afternoon Pittsburgh Penguins-Senators telecast. And the pregame show carried reports on Ottawa and Montreal.

However, in the important slot of 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. (ET), when one million-plus viewers tune into the CBC, the Leafs dominated the conversation.

This seems self-defeating, because when the playoffs start, Hockey Night will be hoping that one million or more viewers become interested in, and watch, the Senators and the Canadiens, as well as the Calgary Flames and the Canucks, assuming they make the playoffs.

Don Cherry controls the subject matter of Coach’s Corner, but Hockey Night has the ability to increase the relevancy of the Hotstove outside Toronto.

Montreal-based P.J. Stock makes the occasional appearance, but on most Saturdays the three commentators are from Toronto. The programming mandate for Hotstove is originality and that is accomplished by the Toronto panel some of the time, but a good amount of the content also consists of speculation or information that has been touched on elsewhere.

Hockey Night made the right move last week when it increased the distribution of the New Jersey Devils-Canadiens game to include Manitoba-West as well as Quebec. But a bolder statement would have been to place the Habs in Atlantic Canada as well, limiting Leafs-Washington Capitals to Ontario.

The CBC will decide later this week on the distribution of the two 7 p.m. games for this Saturday, Devils-Leafs and Phoenix Coyotes-Senators.

If Toronto picks up two wins this week, perhaps placing Devils-Leafs in most of the country makes sense. If not, Coyotes-Senators would be the better choice.


10 Responses to “We’re Not All Part Of Leaf Nation: Especially Habs Fans”

  1. Beatnik Says:

    Why is it that some think that the only thing fit to print or telecast in Canada is all about the Montreal Canadiens and that god forbid anyone dare comment on other Canadian” teams that make up this league. Keep in mind Montreal balked at expansion only for the reason it would cut into their “CTV telecast” game revenues. So it seems that they still want all of the attention.

  2. Dennis Says:

    Beatnik, I’m gonna break your knuckles, stretch your arms and legs, pull your teeth out with a pair of pliers, feed your dogs red licorice, and send you back to Greenwich Village broke and destitute for these unbelieveable and slanderous accusations about the NHl’s most classic team.

  3. Beatnik Says:

    1. exhibiting prejudice or bias
    2. causing harm or injury

  4. Lawrence Says:

    Good points Beatnik.

  5. danny Says:


    hi there Dennis….i know i know…Don Cherry never has much to say about the canadiens,maybe bad memories,or language issue i dont really know,i think maybe he cant roll the R with his tongue for those hard to pronounce french names,but in my house when i am not working i get to watch every canadiens,s games so DENNIS….when i,m off work and you are too,i invite you to come over and watch a MONTREAL CANADIENS game with me,i have a 55 inches screen tv for those important games you crave to watch,

  6. der Habinator Says:

    First, Beatnik: clearly, he is suffering from a personality disorder, neurotic if not borderline hysteria. Everybody is afflicted with a certain degree of Cognitive Dissonance ( the diff between what is vs what we think/want the reality to be) but obviously Beatnik is lost in his own world. He has, of course, confused the Habs with the Leafs, how sad to be so, well, out of it. Hmm, he could be a victim of Habaphobia – a kind of anti-fan that only cheers for a particular team (in this case the Habs) to lose but doesn’t care who emerges victorious. A clear indication of extremely low self-esteem. I won’t be surprised to learn that after the Habs add #25 to their collection Beatnik, in a fit of despair, cuts his hair, shaves his bear, dons a polyester suit in pastel shades, & takes a job filing tax returns for the gov’t. Or, maybe, he will opt for a uniform & become a prison guard – they get clubs & even better for Beatnik they get to use them.

    Second, if U think Don & co are bad, ha!, U never had to live through a broadcast or endure a segment with Foster Hewitt. Those who remember will I am sure shudder at the horror of that xenophobic monster of the airwaves – some people have a verbal habit of interjecting eh or u kno every few words, for this dood it was Leaf/Leafs every second word! Yup, it was far far tougher to be a Hab fan in the `old days’; sigh, what we endured living in south western Ontario can only be described as a form of cruel & inhumane mental torture. Imagine in addition to those cheap-shotclutchn’grabbelovedoftherefs teams there was Foster Hewitt, Punch Imlach in his birdshatupon fedora, Harold Ballard & the hordes of those mindless mangeurs de twinkies called Leaf fans. On the upside, for the most part despite the horrendous reffing we baffed them around like the little catnip meeces they are!

    Third, Don. I’ll inflict my take on u re Don another time. Hehehe, I’m in the middle of a pkr T & I’m doing much better than I thought … might even win 39 cents or, gasp, $2! So, gotta go.

  7. Dennis Says:

    I’ve been around so long, I not only remember Foster Hewitt’s broadcasts, but I also remember when Billy Reay coached the Leafs, and Frank Mahovlich was a rookie. I grew up in Oriilia, Ont., in the heart of Leafs country. It’s why I’m a Habs fan.

  8. der Habinator Says:

    Dennis, U therefore know well what it means, the burden one must bear being a civilized monsieur, refined & sophisticated, marooned in a sea of blue & white barbarians. Leaf fans are akin to Plato’s cave dwellers in that they have been conditioned to believe that bad hockey teams playing bad hockey is gud and even when it is clearly demonstrated otherwise, they only persist more avidly in their myopic support of the shadows on the walls of their blinkered minds. Sigh, Leaf fans are knock-down proof that nothing has changed since the Greeks (the ancient ones that is), that the saying, plus ca change plus c’est pareil is, alas, all too true.

  9. Nemo Says:

    I live in Vancouver and I need to find a place to watch Habs games but it’s always Canucks and Leafs… wtf

  10. Dennis Says:

    You gotta get the RDS french channel, then you can see every game and listen to the silken-throated Pierre Houde. I hear you about Canucks and Leafs. So you just gotta get the french channel and put the Canucks and Leafs out of the head completely. That;s what I did and even though I don’t speak french, it’s my favourite channel.

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