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Don Cherry Must Really Like The St. Louis Blues March 18, 2008

I love the Blues. Always have.

No, not the hockey team, for goodness sakes. Are you kidding? I’m talking about Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, and early Clapton!  Jeez, what were you thinking?


blues.jpgThe really curious thing about the St. Louis Blues, who meet the Habs at the Bell Centre tonight (March 18th) is this: aside from Martin Rucinsky from the Czech Republic, and goalie Hannu Toivonen from Finland, the entire roster is made up of Canadians and Americans. How rare is that?

The team includes 16 Canadians and 6 Americans, along with Rucinsky and Toivonen. And not only that, coach Andy Murray and his four coaches are all Canadian, and the video coach is American.

Don Cherry must chuckle with glee when he pores over the Blues roster in his program.

So my question is this: Was this done purposely, or did it simply just happen this way? And is the reason the Blues sit in 14th place out of 15 teams in the west because they don’t have more Europeans on their roster?

Hey, I’m Canadian through and through. I’m just asking the question. flag.jpg

Tonight’s game, on paper at least, should be no contest. The Blues, like I said, are in 14th place with 69 points. The Habs, with 10 Europeans on the roster, are second in the east with a lofty 89 points. The Blues are a no-name team, with only Paul Kariya, Eric Brewer, Martin Rucinsky, and Keith Tkachuk adding some sort of familiarity.

The Habs sometimes forget to show up. This is what worries me.

Jaroslav Halak starts in net tonight for Montreal. Coach Guy Carbonneau said he was delighted with his game against the Islanders, a 3-0 shutout.

So the young fellow earns another start.


3 Responses to “Don Cherry Must Really Like The St. Louis Blues”

  1. danny Says:


    HI……I heard that HALAK has never lost at the bell center……he,s 8-0


  2. der Habinator Says:


    Don. One word. A simple name, a monosyllabic name, an immediately recognizable name, nothing fancy about it, no honorifics such as `The’ as in `The Donald’ or Don The Great/Dummy (whatever one thinks applies), nope, it stands alone indomitable resolute inimitable, unmistakably referring to one person in the sea of possible Dons: Don.

    So, who? what? is Don? Why does he loom so large in our collective awareness, rule from the top of the Canadian `foothill’ (hehehe) of `celebrities’? There are several possible explanations for Don’s ascendancy. Let’s list four. Feel free to skip the last one although I think that it is, if not the most insightful, it is the funniest.

    First: Don is loud – in all ways: in speech, in opinion, in dress. And in the natural world `loudness’ works (cf the males species of birds, for example), it has high survival value and definitely is attractive to the ladies. For better or for worse, like him or lump him, you notice Don, you respond to Don, you`know’ Don and therefore he frees you to be as loud as him and as opinionated as him, you are free to vent your vitriol. So, in a sense, Don stands out because in the gray often smothering politeness of the Canadian `way’ he liberates us, if only for a short time, from ourselves. Don The Big Mouth is also Don The Great Canadian Liberator. So thanks Don for freeing me to say that if your’e not a Hab your’e a bum!

    Second: Don is simple. Nothing complicated about Don: He is intelligible, we all understand him and we can agree or disagree with him, do both or dismiss the very idea without hesitation, without self-doubt without any vagueness clouding one’s thinking. In this sense Don is truly articulate, truly eloquent certainly infinitely preferable to the practiced vagueness of politicos, the double-talk of ideologues, the bs of a large part of the popular media. So, Don represents virtue, he is honest, committed, deeply caring about what he holds forth on which is hockey and, hhhehe, Canadianinanity. (The accusation by an Edmonton journalist – who sure as hell shoulda known better – that Don uses children’s causes to promote his own self-interest was rightfully dismissed for the smarmy mealy-mouthed crappola it was.) We trust Don, we have faith in his integrity: he comes out and says things that many of us would luuv to say and many of don’t want to hear. So, Don is valuable because he is Canada’s unofficial `Court Jester’ – yes, the fool is also the wise man.
    Yes, I like Don and I value him. Hockey-wise he has three great;, perhaps irredeemable faults: 1) the Leafs 2) the Bruins 3)his stance on visors.

    Third, Don is unabashedly Canadian in all things. How, well, unCanadian. But how relevant in today’s sorry mish-mash of a culture that we’ve let the ideologues foist on us. It is becoming more and more clear that Canada’s official `multi-cultural ideology is so much disastrous bs: of course, it is premised on two big lies: the lie that by emphasizing differences we will all come together as one big haphaphappy family; the lie that Canadians will peacefull accomplish within a few generations what nobody in the known history of the world has by working some mysterious alchemy that somehow magically renders us morally superior to everybody else in the world; of course, we also have a plan (yes, some idiot journalist/ideological shill actually claimed in a mainstream Canadian paper that this was a chief reason why Canada would avoid the mess that has befallen England and the rest of Europe – hmm, will it be(one of those 5 yr plans that piled up on each other in Communist Russia until their collective weight caused the entire mendacious corrupt edifice to come tumbling down in an orgy of violence that continues today?) that helps us to alone stand above the urges and surges, the intolerance and violent impulse to resolve differences that characterize the behaviour of other, less enlightened peoples – hmmm, I thought multi-culturalism was all about `equality’? LOL. As for those who cry out that Don hates French Canadians, what a load of bs. LOL, nobody holds those great quebecois players fom Morenz thru the Rocket Believau Lafleur Roy in greater esteem than Don. Sure, he says some pretty dumb things but certainly no more inflammatory than what one hears on the streets of any given quebecois ville: les autres, tetes-carres, les maudits anglais, & etc etc. As for what we all say about each other on a regional basis (how about: Freeze in the dark, eastern bastards!) …. hmmm. And, let’s not touch on what some of us say about the US or what some of them say about Cheese-eating surrender monkeys …ooops, I mean the French. My point about this is: so what? This pathetic hyper-sensitivity that is promoted by the ideologues is just another denial of how we all work on an obvious level. And, please, spare me the sophistic argument that language is used to dehumanize `the other’ and therefore free the speakers to do as they will to their targets. It’s not the words that are the cause of a conflict – land, oil, food, yes – not words which come after the fact or have been there all along for all because, hey, we are all `the other’ eh? As if we can change our behaviour by fiat – same old bs prpounded by the ideologues who always in the name of virtue, of bringing peace and harmony, finish by inflicting the worst degrees of misery and mayhem on `the others’. (Give me Don any old day!) Hey, with the exception of some minor & aberrant extremism (the FLQ for example) the record of violence by french canadians on the non french is nil. Yeah, despite what some manipulators would have us think, words are not actions …hehehe, perhaps the Quebec language police oughtta take heed of this. Thus, Don is very much a voice of `reason’ and of `unity’, of defining what it means to be Canadian …. and human.
    So, do I think we should be in Afghanistan? No. We got no biz going anywhere and killing citizens of other lands for any abstract `political’ reasons. Will I pull a Jane Fonda? No, I’m a Canadian citizen (therefore privileged & lucky, albeit somewhat disgruntled) and while I have the right to dissent and to express my dissent, I do not have the right to betray.
    So, am I going to talk to, say, a Sikh about his religion, about Ek Onkar (the One that the ancient Greeks were looking for & is found pretty much in all religions & is interesting as such from a comparative viewpoint), about the symbolic meanings of kesh, kanga, kuccha, kirpan, kara? Probably not. Hey, what I want to talk about is the turban – yeah, like everybody else what interests me is what impacts directly on my experience/perception of Canadian culture in this case how it clashes with hockey. Whatever, one may think about this issue, Don frees us to yak about it, to (gasp) actually criticize a minority. I mean, if hockey helmets are mandatory how the hell can Sikhs participate in one of the few activities that enhance commonality amongst Canadians? Obviously, this issue is merely a reflex of heavy-duty issues such as those involving rights, freedoms (to vs from) and cultural identity. Yes, Don’s outspokeness encourages people from all walks and levels of society to actually aknowledge the burrs under their butts, to talk about things, to confront them, to work out possible compromises which is one collective passtime that is necessary (albeit far from sufficient) if we are to survive the mess the usual suspects have inflicted on all of us.
    So, yes, I like the St. Lous Blues which is loaded with Canadian players most of them young therefore give them the same chance to mature as any other set of players. Remember, the best juniors by far for the past twenty years have been and are Canadian boys. Me? I agree with Don’s assessment of Canadian talent – it was a bunch of bull then and a bunch of bull now how we are/were the `bulls’ in the china shop while the Euros were oh-so-talented and creative. Hey, check out some clips of Beliveau not to mention the myriad other highly skilled players that shaped Canadian hockey. That idiotic stereotype was based on one team … hehehe … the Leafs, hardly representative of hockey played at its finest.

    Don: Liberator, Jester/Wise-man, Canadian unifier – not bad for a non-Hab.

    Finally, given all the above, it may well be the case that Don is so visible because, well, he doesn’t exist. That is, he may in fact be a `figment of our collecitve imagination’, something like a Platonic ideal or Kantian ding an sich or an instantiation of a hitheto unknown Jungian archetype. He is & he isn’t. Perhaps the best way to think about Don is to, well, not. He simply is … out there, beyond our ability to understand to come to grips with in a rational reasonable way. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure Don is utterly convinced that he is a tangible presence in the real world. Whether he affirms his existence in a Cartesian way (Ithink therefore I am) or an Existentialist way (I am therefore I think) or a Sinatran way (Dobedobedo) or, Don’s (perhaps?) way (You hear me therefore I am .. hehehe, I’m sure he wouldn’t hesitate to say (tongue-in-cheek) that we hear him therefore we are) is up to him. I am simply suggesting here that the Don we all know & react to is, in fact, not here but there, somewhere in Real Reality divorced from but somehow connected to & shaping & informing the mundane reality in which we all exist …. I think.

    So, Don, whoever, whatever, wherever you may be – here’s a big Thumbs UP back at ya!

  3. der Habinator Says:


    Corrections: replace Morenz with Joliat … somehow are joined in my head; at the end add: …. I think ….I hear?

    Also: another point I want to make re the pc shills is that invariably the ones, the ideologues, who scream the loudest about some perceived wrong are the first to exploit it,in this case so-called racist/ethic slurs – yeah, just a brief glance at the record shows how hypocritical they are. They get all so worked-up so indignant so insulted by what somebody else says but the, usually far worse slagging they do, is claimed to be true, to be merited, to be well-deserved. Even worse, it is these very hypocrites who use this to justify doing harm .. how, well, self-serving, eh? Just like little kids, if they do it everybody else must and besides, mommy/daddy told them they are nice kiddies so they wouldn’t harm anybody who doesn’t deserve it. Yeah, politicos …. kids, a lot of them delinquents.

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