Dennis Kane’s Excellent Montreal Canadiens Blog

Changing Daily, And Full of Stuff You May Or May Not Remember

Pittsburgh and Detroit Go For The Cup. This Is Good, I Suppose. May 19, 2008

Two real good teams are going to tangle for the Stanley Cup. I’ve got no complaints about this. It’s not like it’s the Florida Panthers, Carolina Hurricane, or Tampa Bay Lightening. Or even, dare I say, the Anaheim Ducks.

No, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings are a solid matchup and two good hockey towns to boot. Pittsburgh had an NHL team in 1925, the Pirates, which lasted until 1930, and the city’s had the Penguins since league expansion in 1967.

Detroit’s been in the league since 1926 when they took over the Victoria BC franchise. The city and team like to call itself Hockeytown, which is a little off. If Detroit’s Hockeytown, then Montreal and Toronto must be Hockeycities.

And if the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit doesn’t start getting more fans in the seats, the nickname might have to be changed to ‘Used to Be Hockeytown.’

This leads me to my second complaint. It’s fine that Gordie Howe is called Mr. Hockey, but isn’t that for others to label the man? My personal opinion is, he shouldn’t be signing autographs as “Gordie Howe, Mr. Hockey.” Doesn’t that make him just a little bit full of himself?

Gordie Howe is considered by not all, but many, as the greatest ever. Greater than Gretzky, Orr, Richard, and Lemieux. It’s a judgement call. Hall of Fame goalie Glenn Hall told me Howe was the best there was.

He doesn’t need to blow his own horn. Let others do that for him. Let others call him Mr. Hockey.

And I say this with the utmost respect for Mr. Howe.

Am I wrong for thinking this? I’m pretty sure Mario never signed as Mario “The Magnificent One” Lemieux, or Orr as Bobby “The World’s Greatest Defenceman” Orr, or Maurice “Hero of a Province” Richard.

This year’s final is a sexy affair because of so many stars involved. Crosby, Malkin, Hossa, Staal, Malone, Zetterburg, Datsyuk, Franzen, Lidstrom, Draper. And the guy who played on the original 1926 Wings, Chris Chelios.

It’ll be good. I may even watch some of it.

The thing begins Saturday in Detroit.

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Other Habs May Be Resting In The Off-Season, But I Can’t. Also, Sean Avery Gets A Little More Light-Headed. May 5, 2008

  Although the players will be saying their goodbyes and heading back to the cottages in Sainte Leonard and Sault Ste. Marie, or the dachas in Novopolotsk and Togliatti, I, however, will be continuing my workouts and strict discipline in preparation for when I’m called up as flag guy next season at the Bell Centre.

One thing I don’t need is an injury, so I’ve decided to sit when I’m drinking beer, and also to do as little as possible at work. Can you imagine when they call me to be flag guy and I have to tell them I pulled a muscle while dancing at the Moose Hall, or I’m too exhausted from doing too much for the Man at work?

Also, the photo above isn’t really me. But it kind of gives you an idea of what I’ll look like in my Habs uniform on flag night. In real life, I have legs and a neck.

IN OTHER NEWS:

Sean Avery spent his last playoff chances of the year in the hospital, and missed his team’s (New York Rangers) elimination.

There’s no truth to the rumour that the reason he was hospitalized was for the removal of his ego, which was growing at a dangerous rate.  There might be, however, some truth to the rumour that Avery was the least popular patient in the New York hospital.

TEAMS I HATE THE MOST IN THE NHL:

That would be the Flyers, Bruins, Devils, Leafs, Senators, Panthers, Hurricane, Lightening, Islanders, Rangers, Avalanche, Canucks, Wild, Stars, Sharks, Kings, Blues, Blue Jackets, Red Wings, Blackhawks, Oilers, Thrashers, Capitals, Penguins, Flames, Ducks, Predators, and Coyotes.

I like the rest, though.

WHO WILL WIN THE STANLEY CUP?

Oh, is hockey still going on?

 

 

 

 

Montreal’s Tomas Plekanec Saves The Day In Buffalo March 29, 2008

I’m so tired I feel like I’m getting sleep-deprivation torture in a Saudi prison. It’s because I’m going to bed fairly late and getting up at 3:30 am to go to work. And today, at the ticket booth, I had trouble getting a guy’s credit card to work because the system was acting up, and finally, after it did work, the guy drove away and sarcastically said, “Thanks, you’re a real pro.” So I said “You’re welcome, you’re a real asshole.”

The Montreal-Buffalo game is on and it’s the end of the first period. Nothing really has happened so there’s nothing to report. So while I’m waiting for something to happen, I might as well say what I’m gonna say, and that is, “Mike’s an elevator mechanic. There’s a job that has it’s ups and downs.” BADDA BIN, BADDA BOOM!

Sorry. (This marks the eight thousandth time Mike has heard this.)

Montreal needs this game so I hope they’re regrouping in the dressing room. They need first overall for that prime spot in the playoffs, where they’d play in the first round, hopefully, Boston.

Buffalo is scratching and clawing for the final playoff spot, and if they reach it, they could play Montreal in the first round. So this is a team that’s desperate and hungry.

It’ll be interesting how this all plays out. Right now though, I’m tired.

A couple of small observations. I like the original Buffalo Sabres’ uniforms better than the ones they wear now. The ones now look like a cross between the Pittsburgh Penguins, Boston Bruins, George Jetson, and the Los Angeles Rams football team.sabres.jpg

But I really like how low the cameras are placed at the HSBC Arena. It’s just like the old days in Montreal and Toronto. And these cameras are about a mile closer than the ones in Tampa Bay.
Second period’s over. Kovalev just tied it up 1-1, finishing a nice Grabovsky play. I’m also thinking about what der Habinator said about Pete Rose should be in Cooperstown and I think so too. I also found it interesting what Mike said about how it would take an elevator mechanic 48 years to make the same money as what Patrick Roy turned down. Kinda makes you think.

Holy smokin arseholes! Tomas Plekanec scored two goals in the last two and a half minutes of the game to tie it, then Chris Higgins wins it in overtime.  They won it even though Habs fans in Buffalo sang the olay song. Maybe the song works after all.

Tomorrow night, it’s up the Queen E to Toronto. And I was thinking. If the team wants to make a side trip to Orillia before they need to play Ottawa on Tuesday, several of them could probably stay at my dad’s house on Elmer Ave. They’ll have to be quiet though. He’s 87 and goes to bed at seven. And they could go out for drinks at the Atherley Arms. I’m sure the peelers would get a charge out of it.

Montreal’s back on top in the east with 98 points. They finished with 90 points last year.

 

Montreal Beats Philly On Hockey Night In Canada, And Dennis Breaks Down The Nationalities For Your Reading Pleasure February 17, 2008

Unlike their lousy performances against Toronto, Ottawa, and the two Florida teams recently, Montreal played a nice, tight game against Philadelphia tonight on Hockey Night in Canada, and won 1-0 with Carey Price earning his first NHL shutout. Ottawa lost to New Jersey, which puts the Habs just two points behind them, the closest they’ve been all year.

So life is good, for 24 hours at least, when they play the Flyers again, only in Philly instead. Imagine if Montreal wins this game too? It’d be like peeking through a keyhole at Pamela Anderson, Angelina Jolie, and Sophia Loren cavorting in a hot tub. It’d be like Pamela, Angelina, and Sophia seeing me peeking through the keyhole, and waving me in.

It’d be that good!  Well maybe not as good as that, but pretty darn good.

On Coach’s Corner tonight, Don Cherry got into a rant about good Canadian players taking a back seat far too often to European players. This is the thing I like about Cherry. He defends the Canadian boys, says Canadians are the best, just like he speaks highly of our Armed Forces people. And for anyone from another country reading this, no offence. Don’s being patriotic. And good for him. You would be too.

Anyway, for your reading pleasure, here’s a breakdown on Montreal players and where they’re from:

Montreal has:

10 Canadians. ( Begin, Kostopoulos, Lapierre, Latendresse, Ryder, Brisebois, Dandenault, Gorges, O’Byrne, and Price.)

4 Americans.  (Higgins, Bouillon, Smolinski, and Komisarek.)

2 Russians.  (Kovalev and Markov.)

2 from Belarus  ( Andrei and Sergei Kostitsyn.)

2 from the Czech Republic.  (Plekanec and Hamrlik.)

1 from Finland.  (Saku Koivu)

1 from Switzerland.  (Mark Streit)

And 1 from France.  (Christobal Huet.)

 

Wearing The Sweater With Pride, And Beating Philadelphia February 15, 2008

Jean Beliveau, Henri Richard, and Yvon Cournoyer have come out in public and said young guys coming up now with the Habs don’t understand what it means to wear the jersey. This follows on the heels of the Ryan O’Byrne nightmare. The three have said that you have to wear the CH with honour and dignity, or words to that effect.

Honour and dignity was the second thing I thought of after the incident came out in the news. The first thing I thought of was about how they’d just got slaughtered by Ottawa and now they’re probably going to lose to lowly Tampa Bay because they’ll be sluggish from partying. Which they were, and did.

But enough said. Now we turn to the dastardly Philadelphia Flyers for a home and home Saturday and Sunday. Philly has 65 points, maybe 67 depending on tonight’s clash with Tampa Bay, but they’ve been in a bit of slump recently. Montreal has 69 points and have also been in a slump. So they’re close.

And Montreal may be better drinkers but there’s no way of knowing, really.

I also have a confession to make. I’ve been quite hard on Flyers rookie Steve Downey in previous posts, but I heard a story about him lately that has made me change my thinking a little. When Steve was eight years old, he and his dad were driving home from a hockey practice and were in a car accident. Steve’s dad was killed.

So I’m going to let up on him from now on. As long as he doesn’t run someone else in a game and cause an injury.

Evening update!  Philadelphia just lost 5-3 to Tampa Bay, their fifth straight loss. This can mean one of two things. The Flyers will suck Saturday night, or they’ll break out and play like crazy. Or both teams will suck. Or both teams will break out.  Or…..never mind.

 

Another Point Of View Regarding Ryan O’Byrne Comes Into The Picture. February 14, 2008

To all the Fish:Even though this incident has made good fodder for selling printed rags and running rumourmills, it’s kinda funny (but not in a ha-ha way) how RB was immediately tagged (even by so called journalists) as quite possibly being guilty until he could be proven innocent…or until the charges were dropped as was the case.At least his teamates knew enough to stick up for him in the interim.Did it occur to anyone that the “Lady” in question might have actually ASKED him to hold her purse as she went to the washroom before leaving ( Meet you outside…wink…wink)…and then she just found a chivalrous bouncer to believe a rather common and very distressed claim of a stolen purse, and then tacked on her added claim for a lousy 20 bucks in order to make the (unpressed) ‘charges’ more material in the eyes of the police ?So much for balancing a story based on conjecture, and a single bar patron’s claim….huhHere’s another possibility: Does anyone think that perhaps some chick in a club might actually be capable of stirring up trouble for someone…With a high profile pro athlete no less?How does that possibility compare to (let’s say) a hardworking rookie defenseman who’s pulling down a half-mil, suddenly deciding that risking a blossoming career for 20 bucks, and a free phonecall, while OPENLY/VISIBLY sporting a non matching purse…is somehow all worth far more to him…than his entire future.

Aren’t there enough journalists and fans out there who could at least mention that something smells fishy about that whole scenario…If not actually dig in and investigate before making (self) rightous moralistic statements…In print no less?

Hmnnnn….Maybe the players in question were all blind drunk that night at the start of a regular season roadtrip, and the fairminded bouncers were just looking out for a distressed patron with nothing to gain from such an act of defamation…Hmnnnn. The local franchise certainly would benefit from having a fan cause such trouble…NAhh….That would be as reprehensible a concept as commiting petty (not “grand”) theft.

Is it really so much more beleivable that top rung NHL players are going to be out drinking with each other until they are beligerent and stupefied, and then pulling teenaged pranks in front of the rest of their teamates? Perhaps even picking fights with otherwise benevolent bouncers and the non-egotistical types of career law enforcement officers that normally pull night shift duty in a bar district…You know…Those same hyper-intelligent, power-tripping meatheads who enjoy flexing their authority at the doors of bars, and the slightly more intelligent types who finished highschool in order to become gun-toting police officers in the state of Florida. I’m sure that those types of fine, mild mannered self-satisfied authority figures would never have any desire to assert their ego’s upon succcesful pro athletes…at any chance they get. I’m sure that Florida cops and bouncers are far more even headed and judicious at 3AM than any pro defenseman who’s out with team-mates and peers.

Hmnnn…Funny how many people simply assumed that the chick in the bar was telling the truth, without so much as a hint of a hidden (victimizing?) agenda ….and then those same people simply bought the ensuing drama…hook…line…and sinker

 

 

A Day In the Life of Ryan O’Stupid And The Team: It’s Game day in Tampa Bay. Are They Still Hungover? February 13, 2008

IT’S 5PM EASTERN TIME on the day of the game in Tampa Bay and I’m wondering if most of the hangovers are gone now from the Pursegate fiasco. I hear that Ryan O’Stupid will dress tonight but Tom Resistingcopoupolos won’t. Is it just me, or in O’Stupid’s mug shot, does he have a bit of a smart-ass smirk on his face? Red Fisher, the man I’m going to take over for someday, says in the Gazette that it’s unbelievable how stupid some players are today.

IT’s 7:05 PM ET, game time, and no sign of any hangovers yet. Of course, it’s hard to tell because they’re only standing there as the anthems are played. Tom Resistingcopoulos is a scratch tonight. I wonder if his new prison tattoo is bothering him.

FIRST PERIOD’S OVER and with a late goal by Tampa, it’s now 2-2. Montreal needs to talk things over in the room, have a few beers, and  maybe have a quick nap. It always worked for me after a big blow out.

There’s a large sign behind the glass that says ‘Hey O”Byrne, You Dropped Your Purse.’

SECOND PERIOD’S OVER and Montreal’s flat as flat can be. They’re just lucky they’re playing Tampa and not Ottawa. It’s still 2-2. Montreal needs to have a few more beers in the room and try to shake the hangovers. You know, hair of the dog and all that.

GAME’S OVER and Montreal loses 3-2.  They basically stunk tonight. I wonder why? In all seriousness, how could they celebrate so heartily in Tampa after getting humiliated in Ottawa like they were. And I’m not joking about the hangovers. How is it possible to prepare properly for Tampa when you’ve been up half the night partying, and surely would be tired all the next day, and possibly even game day.

I’ve got nothing left to say. I’m very disappointed in my team.