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My Goalie and your Goalie were Hanging Out the Clothes …

The referees in the NHL are adding to the ferly.

Constance Keene ( sitting ) , Rick Keene ( Habs sweater ), Three brain-dead cousins

During the course of last night’s losing effort against the mighty Maple Leafs – the Habs were victims once again to what appears as an anti – Canadiens blanket. A comforter that is not only keeping the heat on the Habs , a duvet that appears as transparent as the Forum ghosts that have never really made the transition to the Bell Center.

The Canadiens’ captain  – Brian Gionta, skated in front of the Leaf net minder James Reimer. The Leaf goalie was clearly rubbed the wrong way by the Habs’ diminutive forward. The goalie’s mask went one way while his head moved in an entire different direction. Two minutes for goalie interference. No problem. A punition is a punition ( unless of course you are involved in Montreal’s construction industry). Gionta went to the box to ‘ feel shame ‘ for two minutes.

Fast – forward as if someone pushed the simulate button in Playstation 3 ‘ s popular NHL video game. The former Hab – Mikhail ( why did we trade this guy ? ) Grabovski , bowled over Carey Price with much more force than Gionta ‘s family could muster. Price’s bright pink mask flew into the air faster than a Scissor Sister’s leg during a video shoot. To worsen matters , Grabovski decided to sit on the Habs’ first – round pick longer than it took Liberace to fix his hair. Two minutes right ? An eye for an eye and a mask for a mask ? Not in Bettman’s league . A league that somehow is mad at Les Canadiens and the trend shows no sign of ending.

Doug Wickenheiser ?

Rewind to last season . Zdeno Chara practically sent Max Pacioretty’s head into the expensive seats and received nothing but a Stanley Cup in return. During this season’s pre- season game against the Lightning of Tampa – the Habs’ newly acquired Chris Campoli was almost left as headless as Ichabod Crane’s horseman. The play was reviewed and the distributor of the hit (Ryan Malone) received nothing. Nada. No suspension . Not even a miniature version of Lord Stanley’s chalice. What’s wrong here? What did the Montreal Canadiens do to the hockey Gods?

Is Maurice Richard skating on thin ice in the great rink in the sky …? Have Boom – boom Geoffrion and John Ferguson given too many elbows to the noted official St. Peter ? Perhaps Jacques Plante ‘s bizarre ways have had him sent to the Devil’s playground ( Hell not New Jersey )? It seems more likely that it is what the Habs’ organization has not done. Right here. On frozen earth …

Doug Wickenheiser was the Habs’ first – overall pick in 1980. The big forward was chosen over Denis Savard . Through no fault of his own – Doug never panned out in the NHL. As a superstar. He netted 25 goals with the Habs before being traded to St. Louis where he evolved into a decent checker. Doug ‘s career seemed on track when he was hit by a car. Wickenheiser was not a lucky man. After battling back from a broken leg among other things sustained when hit – Doug was diagnosed with cancer. Sadly he passed away in 1999 at the age of thirty – eight.

The Montreal Canadien organization paid homage to Doug as did all the teams in the league with a moment of silence. Perhaps Wickenheiser is the one ghost that is missing among the other ghouls that haunted the Forum. Les Canadiens should add Wickenheiser’s name to their Ring of Honor. He was a first – round pick who displayed more courage than most. An example to young and old hockey players. A man who fought more than he should have to play in the NHL. Maybe the curse and the wrath of the NHL will be lifted against the Habs as Doug Wickenheiser takes his place in the line-up in heaven’s version of the Montreal Forum.

Fifteen Games Remain in Martin’s Hab Career ?

The red , white and blue clock in Jacque Martin’s office is starting to tick pretty quick these days. Les Canadiens are not functioning as a unit. One game the defense appears on a slant while another game brings ineptness from the offense. Last night , it was the defence’s turn to lose the game.

Price was left alone on too many occasions as the Leafs fought back three times.

" Hmm ... I don't know where the Defence was ..."

Eventually they would win 5 – 4 in overtime after Grabovski won it for Toronto with a pretty individual effort. An effort that left twenty-one thousand spectators wondering ; ” Where’s the defense ?”

Something unusual in Jacque Martin’s scheme of things …

* Habs play Florida Monday .

They also traded Brock Trotter along with a seventh round pick to Pheonix for Petteri Nokelainen and Garret ( I don’t like spiders and snakes ) Stafford. Nokelainen was the 16th pick overall in 2004 , has had four knee operations and has been traded three times. Along with giving announcers fits trying to pronounce his name – Petteri will fade away … 

Palushaj was sent to Hamilton to make room for Micheal Blunden– at 6′ 4 the Toronto native is a tougher player than Aaron will ever be.

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