Habs Ink Moen; Four Years?


Travis Moen is a plus to any squad …

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Cool the Habs added him to a contract. Bergevin appears to be building his team on character. Aside from hiring Brisebois, the new G.M has accumulated many unshakeable people on the good ( and unsinkable?) ship Canadiens.

Lapointe, Mellanby, Dudley and the recently- signed White and first round pick Galchenyuk all have displayed grit and determination in their hockey lives. None appear to give an inch if push comes to shove. Add Moen, a Saskatchawan born farmer who presumably has fought a few cows in his life, it is obvious what direction this team is headed. Let the skill players play and if they are pushed around – Mr.White and company will beat the jockstraps out of anyone who dares take advantage of Plekanec, Subban and Desharnais.

The new Habs are being modelled after the Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks a couple of seasons ago. It is about time. Too many seasons have seen the ‘team which Pollock built’ pushed so hard that John Ferguson was spinning in his grave like a maddened Rocket. What happened to the glare of the team? This is what Bergevin wants to not only know – the Montrealer wants to find.

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Moen is big. Moen is strong. Moen is the type of guy who will do what he’s told. No questions and no instructions required for Travis. As an added bonus – the man has been around long enough to feel at ease to discover an offensive side of his game. In any job, once the routine becomes easy, a person with ambition rises above the mundane and excels. Moen was that guy last season until Mr. Concussion budded in and placed Moen on the sidelines in the Montreal circus which is hockey.

Moen is no clown. He knows where he was and knows where he wants to be. Montreal is dear to his heart and his heart is in the right place. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder…

After missing fifty plus games last year, Moen’ s heart must be brimming with an eagerness to find out what if? The Habs have given him four years for those ‘ifs’ to find a place in the hearts of Montrealers.

Know what?

He’s already in them …

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Goon – A Belated Review


The hype is over.

Finally, a viewing of Jay Baruchel’s film Goon took place. Following months of avoiding any critiques or commentary- fresh is what was required …

Any great movie, book or for that matter – television drama, requires one thing; a good story. Weak characters can walk around yet without a tale which twinkles the toes, weak characters become weaker and non – existent.

Goon is a good story which begs one question. Why didn’t Baruchel go further with it?

All the elements are present in the film. Characters with some depth and background. A plot which is realistic and an opportune time for the film’s message to hit ‘ a theatre near you’!

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Goon spins a yarn of a lost kid. A man – child who is going through life as a bouncer at a bar. A disappointment to his father and a conundrum to his Mom. With the help of his best buddy, he discovers his calling as an enforcer on a hockey team.

Purportedly, this film is based on a true story. It is hard to believe that any team would allow a tough guy with no skating ability onto the ice for a try – out.  (Artistic licence being the key words). What ensues is the man – child beats up half the team, impresses his coach enough to earn private skating lessons with him and ends up ‘ one step from the big leagues’. Hokey yes. Plausible? Scarily – yes!

From the get – go, Barachel conveys the message of the film through blood. The role of a goon in hockey is not pretty and as our lead character demonstrates; not the brightest bulb on the ceiling …

Through fights and bodychecks, Baruchel conveys a memo. What does the post-it say? Not sure …

It carries an anti – goon / tough guy message yet at the same moment, a pro – goon / tough guy message remains on par with the inaugural elbow. Being a goon is embarassing unless the reason is admirable and team oriented. Evolve into a selfish slug and the role should be banned.

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Realistically, these mixed messages are real life issues which hockey fans, players and owners wrestle with every season. For every goon who protects his mate – there skates another goon who gets suspended for doing a goonish thing. These two elements set up climatic foreshadowing and a reason to stay tuned and not run for a DVD of Wayne Gretzky 101.

Amid a subplot of a self – proclaimed ‘slut’ falling for the hero and a ‘Guy Lafleur’ whose confidence is shattered by goonish hockey – Baruchel tosses every type of hockey player imaginable into the fray. The film Slapshot, penned by Nancy Dowd in the mid seventies, ingrained memorable characters into the minds of hockey fans everywhere. Baruchel attempts to do the same with a modern day version.

Unfortunately for native Montrealer Baruchel, the shock value which Dowd had in her corner is no longer shocking to even a ten year old kid in the year 2012. The language which the players use are too over-the-top; even for a hockey player.

The two inane elements of the film are the announcer and the final scene

The play by play guy is a cross between Slapshot’s Jim Carr and a very bad comedian. Baruchel attempted to make him so absurd it would be funny. Instead, the man is so absurd – he should be shot with a puck to the head. Several times every hour.

In lieu of soiling the ending, an ommitance of the grand finale is honoured. If the ending is cool to a viewer then intelligence must be AWOL.

GOON is a microscope on the seedy slide of hockey. A labcoat must be worn to protect against all the blood and the pain a hockey purist must endure.

Baruchel did a fine job penning a movie about the role of the enforcer. Like the role of most ‘goons’, a clearcut idea of their job is a pebble on a frozen pond.

It is probably why Baruchel did not go any deeper … Trying to remove that pebble would cause a huge splash and Baruchel may have drowned in the process.

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Darche is Done!


It’s sad really …

Why does a guy like Mathieu Darche have to be blessed with no natural skills?

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Jeff Whyte – Darche’s bantam coach, parlayed the same sentiment in a conversation we had last year. According to Whyte, Mathieu had to work very hard to get better all the time.

“Even though he was the captain and had a strong sense of the game, he was one of the weaker skaters on the team. It was sad because he was the best team player and the most gung – ho guy on the team.”

If not for Darche’s work ethic, a stop in Montreal would never have happened. Mathieu would have stalled in one of the many AHL destinations that was part of his climb to a regular spot in Montreal.

Even then, would Darche have played as long in Montreal if his name was Mathieu Smith?

In an environment begging for a French player to calm the masses, Darche was at the right place at the proper time. Once Maxime Lapierre was dispatched to Vancouver, Mathieu’s place was secure due to his connaisance of the ‘mot’ poutine and his willingness to cook it as well.

In the Bergevin era with new guys like Geoffrion and White in the mix, guys who are younger and are blessed with more talent – Darche is expendable. No use in Hab management over – welcoming their offer to the now free agent. In other words – an older hen can lay eggs but a younger one can lay more …

Mathieu comes from a great background. His father is a doctor and his brother J.P is currently studying to be one at the University of Kansas. This following a sucessful career in the CFL and NFL as a longsnapper.

Whatever happens to Mathieu, if a team picks him up or he retires sooner than he thought, one thing is certain. Mathieu Darche will be remembered as a hard working guy who did everything he was asked to do.

The only sad thing is he did not lift a cup in his hometown. Yet.

According to Mr. Whyte, Darche will make an excellent coach one day …

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Whyte should know. He and Mathieu won a couple of championships together …

Thank you Mathieu and good luck!

Ryan White; On Board for a Year


There was a guy once – who skated for les Canadiens.

He arrived as an enforcer. Little skill, big fists and a whole lot of spunk. On top of that – the man was from Boston …

How could a dude from Massachusetts possibly play hockey for Montreal and give a crap? Especially when the Bruins and Habs meet! Yup, the guy was destined to be a fourth line player, get in a couple of fights and following three seasons – he’d be sent adrift into the AHL …

Something funny happened.

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Not only did the dude bring heart to the ice surface, he brought a whole lotta desire to improve. That guy became a very good defensive player, he tallied more goals than most thought he would and went on to be the backbone for a Montreal team on the cusp of a post- dynasty era.

That man’s name was Chris Nilan and recently signed Ryan White is a clone of that man.

Nilan tossed pucks from the penalty box, Nilan smashed signs with his stick. Nilan recklessly challenged EVERYONE to fight. He stuck up for not just his mates – he stuck up for the CH …

In the short time we have seen White sport le bleu, blanc et rouge – we have seen the same behavior. Ryan will take on everyone at any size. He will recklessly ( at times ), attack when he should be taking notes. He will take a dumb penalty and allow a goal on occasion instead of taking his man.

Youth does that. Ask Nilan what his former coach, Jean Perron said to him on many occasion following Chris’ return from the penalty box. Ask Nilan what his coach told him after a game in Boston when he took on the entire Bruins’ bench.

Grab a seat and ask M. Perron who was a catalyst on a Montreal team which won a Stanley Cup in 1986. Perron will smile and say that aside from Patrick Roy – Chris ‘Knuckles’ Nilan was a huge part of that victory.

Today, the 2012 Canadiens signed Ryan White to a year contract. One question remains …

Does Ryan have to ask Chris Nilan permission to use ‘ knuckles’ ?

As in the ‘Pocket Knuckles’ …

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Habs Puck – Up?


A Hab fan knows …

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What appears good is not necessarily good. Especially with first round picks.

Where shall we start?

Eric Chouinard? Lyndsay VALLIS? Don’t say the ‘W’ word … As in Wickenheiser ( Doug)!

There have been so many promises, so many fallen hopes. First round picks and management that have made those picks have been left crestfallen many times over the years. So much so that Sam Pollack is no longer observing the Canadiens from his heavenly perch. No sir – Mr. Pollock has exchanged his blue Forum seat for a more comfortable place watching Red Storey referee the big match in the sky …

In 2012, the Montreal Bergevins possessed the third overall pick in the draft. Given the fact the team has suffered greatly in recent years in the character department, by selecting Alexandre Galchenyuk – G.M Bergevin et al are attempting to fix that problem.

Galchenyuk did not play last season. Much.

He blew out his knee early in the season and his point production along with his presence alongside number one pick – Nail Yakupov was missed. His countryman, Grigorenko, did the opposite. He missed the end of a season following a productive point season in Junior. His absence due to a bout with mono.

Mono disappears. Knee injuries never completely go away …

If you watch the two forwards play the game they love, it is apparent the pair are polar opposites. Galchenyuk has the talent to be a Samsonov as in Sergei. The good Samsonov which won a calder trophy as rookie of the year. Grigorenko – the tools to tread somewhere between Mario Lemieux and Ron Francis.

The knock on Grigorenko? No passion, no desire. All this before he gets rich. Imagine how lazy he would be then?

Galchenyuk has heart. Galchenyuk has desire. Galchenyuk has a broken knee.

When Samsonov started his decline from a great player to an average player. When the word ‘average’ became his moniker, the desire and passion never left him. As a Bruin, a HAB and a Hurricane – Sergei always was one of the most visible players on the ice. The effort was there but teams were smart to defend. Creativity on Samsonov’ s part – not his strong point.

Grigorenko will not be a Samsonov. He may end up as another Yashin yet never a Samsonov. Grigorenko may also become a player who scores in bunches. Think of a Lecavalier with consistency.

Galchenyuk will always be a Samsonov. Which one? A player who hovers between twenty- five and forty points a year with five different teams.

Grigorenko will be a …?

This a Hab fan knows …

What Number will Grigorenko Wear?


Stranger things have happened …

It is too bad Mike Milbury is not a G.M. any longer. If so – the chances of the Montreal Canadiens landing Nail Yakupov would be enormous! Sadly, Milbury has been resigned to rough up Pee Wee hockey players who dare cross his son …

The draft is coming this Friday. The Canadiens, barring a Milbury- esque move by the Oilers or Columbus; will select third. According to a source, the Habs will select Mikhail Grigorenko with their pick – they would be stupid not to.

Consider the choices.

Yakupov will end up number one and become a Gretzky alma mater. Columbus desperately requires a defenceman so Ryan Murray will end up in Columbus. Edmonton also needs someone to keep the puck out of the net, a scenario is the Oilers and Bluejackets flip- flop their picks. Plausible yet unlikely.

Which leaves Grigorenko, Forsberg and Galchenyuk.

Filip Forsberg is a power forward who has said he will not play in the NHL for at least a year. Forsberg is not what the Habs need right now. They have an abundance of power- type forwards. Pacioretty, Bourque, Cole to name a few. The Habs do not need someone to create chaos, they need someone to create open ice. Which brings us to …

Alex Galchenyuk is a big strong talented kid. Some say better than Grigorenko. Think of Mario Lemieux with Bobby Orr knees. That is the problem. The Montreal Canadiens have a golden opportunity to pick a player who can lead the team offensively for many years to come. They have an opportunity to buy a Porsche. Do they need a car with a dented fender?

Mikhail Grigorenko is the perfect fit for the Habs. Young, talented and a natural goal scorer. Take away his bout with mono – the only player of the three who arrives ready to play. Add the fact he has played in Quebec and has an idea of what to expect in Montreal. Patrick Roy was his coach, be sure the former Hab goaltender has spoken to Bergevin et al regarding the kids’ character among other things. Be sure Roy has spoken to Grigorenko of Montreal and what he can reap if he stays focused.

The only thing Montreal must do is to ensure Grigorenko does not fall into the same void Price did. The Habs need to babysit the kid and make sure he is kept away from the nightclubs. This is the reason the team has hired Lapointe et al. Player development means to grab a guy like Grigorenko by the hand until he is able to collect his first Art Ross trophy.

The draft is on June 22.

Stranger things can happen …

Red Fisher’s Top Ten Reasons for Leaving


As most are aware …image

Red Fisher hung up his ‘writing skates’. Mr.Fisher began writing on hockey in 1900, his first story? Guy Lafleur’s great Grandfather’s first goal.

Fisher wrote; ” Damien Lafleur dried out several Indians before finally lifting the cowpuck past an unsuspecting Moose”.

With those words a legacy commenced until the 2012 season.

Here are the top ten reasons Red Fisher decided to quit his post as hockey ‘s greatest sportswriter…

10. Too many Russian names – not enough backspace keys …

9. ‘ If Gauthier speaks to you, and only you’ – it is time to leave!

8. After fifty years, is it too much to ask for the key to the executive washroom?

7. With the addition of Bergevin, Dudley, Mellanby, Brisebois, Lapointe, Lefebvre, Jodoin and Gallant … no way to get quotes since THEY ARE ALL ROOKIES!

6. Really, really wanted Roy to coach!

5. ‘One sec dear …’ Not working with the wife anymore …

4. ‘State of the art glasses’ discontinued by manufacturer.

3. First couple of years bearable but really, the captain of the Canadiens should not have to stand on a box when giving an interview.

2. Hearing aid too strong for Bell Center music …

And the number one reason Red Fisher retired …?

1. Really ‘boring’ since the Kostitsyns left!

Good luck Mr. Fisher – you will be missed!

Hey Mom! Wanna Join the Habs …?


Do too many cooks spoil a broth? Perhaps.

A hockey team? We will see …

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The Montreal Canadiens have hired Sylvain Lefebvre to coach the Hamilton Bulldogs. This former Hab defenceman re- joins Le Club de Hockey Canadien following stints in more cities than a groupie on a good day. No wonder Bergevin hired the dude – the pair can trade tales of suitcase stickers …

Lefebvre was last seen as an assistant coach to Joe Sacco in Colorado. This will be his first head coaching gig and will make him a better candidate to replace Therrien mid- season than his predecessor; Randy Cunneyworth. The Habs have learned something from their past – hire a francophone for the farm team! Nothing like being a boy scout … be prepared is what they teach …

Lefebvre is joined by another former defenceman from Quebec. Martin Lapointe from Red Wings’ fame – has been recruited as the director of player personnel. Lapointe knows Bergevin well and share bieres once in a while.

Bergevin’s motives are clear.

Out with the old regime, in with the new.

Sorta … kinda type thing.

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Aside from Therrien, all the new guys in management are new guys in management; Montreal -wise. Lefebvre was a defenceman in Montreal. Once upon a time, Sylvain was on the same team as Patrice Brisebois. Another defenceman from the team’s past. Brisebois now joins his pal in Montreal once more as director of player personnel in Montreal.

Say what?

Yes – that Brisebois. The Guy who was loved and hated more often than an Adam Sandler character.

Presumably – Brisebois’ racing career is off track. Either that or the man is a glutton for punishment. At least he doesn’t have to touch the Puck and hear the boo – birds call his name everynight. He can hide in his office when things go snakey.

Maybe it is not a question of too many cooks. It comes down to one factor …

How will the Turkey taste?

We will know around Christmas time …

The Cup Won the Kings!


Just like that – the Kings won the Stanley Cup.

Okay, it took a month. After a month – just like that they won the Cup! Okay it took a couple of months … Then, just like that – they won the Cup!

New Jersey was a formidable foe.

Ouch

Unfortunately for the boys from across the Hudson – their trip to the finals was shrouded in a couple of long, tough series. A little fatigue may have resulted in Bernier’s undoing.

If you missed it – Bernier decided to play human missile. He scoped the Kings Scuderi. Placed him directly into his sight lines and took aim. The ‘human torpedo’ worked well.It worked well for L.A.

Seldom in the grand world of hockey is a team given a five minute power play which is not interrupted by a minor during those five minutes. If the entire major is played out – a goal by the team on the power play is a handsome reward. Two goals on the same power play? As lucky as a kiss by the garden gate at midnight. Three goals in a five minute span? Start playing the lottery; a boat sideswiped with vintage champagne is coming your way!

The Kings may want to name their new ship S.S. Stanley …

Quick

If not for the courage of the fearless power play unit; a three hour tour would have been more suspenseful. More nail- biting. More dramatically prepared for an Oscar – winning film. Instead, the script in Tinseltown played out like a spoiled brat movie producer would want it. His way. A Hollywood ending. American film making 101. Late career Brian DePalma- type stuff.

No Scorsese moments for the Devils on this night. No goodfellas to fire tiny bullets into the skates of the deserved Kings. Especially not Jonathan Quick …

Has there been a goalie more deserved of the Conne Smythe trophy since Patrick Roy winked at a King in 1993? Quick was greedy. Quick was thrifty. Quick did everything except jump over a candlestick. He could have done that too …

Les Kings de Los Angeles did not win the Stanley Cup cleanly. If Brown’s knee had been punished against the Coyotes, Phoenix would have been on a power play. Instead, the Kings scored and advanced to the next round. Last night, little Gionta ( the Devil – not the Hab ) was delivered a blow which should have been a penalty. L.A once again dodged the bullet.

A bullet which soared. Piercing the air with streamlined velocity. Invisible in it’s speed as it discovered the target.

Smack in the middle of the New Jersey Devils’ hearts …

Congrats to the champions !

Oh – Oh !


The Devils are at it once again. Just ask the Rangers or the Flyers. Heck, call the Panthers …

Other teams sway. The Devils do not. Their system is relentlessly relentless. The Kings are proving to be the same.

Change the sweaters, a difference would not be noticed. Is that Jonathan Brodeur or Marty Quick? Zachary Brown or Ilya Penner? This final is a throwback to the six team league. Tighter than a girl holding a boy’s hand on fright night at the local movie house. Is it boring, fun or perplexing …?

How about all three.

L.A. won the first two games asleep at the wheel. A start to the finals which everyone hoped was final. A snooze fest. A Nightmare at 103 Elm Street, Newark – New Jersey …

Among the bandwagon- ers in L.A., in front of thousands of spectators who would never know the difference between a frozen pogo and a frozen puck; all that changed. A Jersey squad’s system started to work. A system that does not work with defence. A system that does not win with offence. It’s a system that wins with a rope-a-dope stragedy.

Ali would be proud.

The Devils do not attack a la late eighties Oilers. Parise is no Anderson, Elias is no Messier and Kovalchuk is no Gretzky. What they do is attack like a piranha taunting their foes; one bite at a time …

They nibble until the opposition is tired. The Kings are fed up. Errors will start. Like a dog chained too long – freedom is required, freedom is needed. Frustration becomes the Kings’ enemy. Frustration becomes the Devils’ friend.

Combine all this with the Kings’ sense of slippin’ away, the ‘holding the stick’ too tight, the ‘end this now’ mentality – the Devils are steering the Stanley Cup ride. Fitting that game six is in L.A. This way – Brodeur can win on home ice. In front of the fans which love him dearly. A party which may make his decision to retire that much easier – that much more fun.

This way – Martin Brodeur’s kids can tell their friends; “Daddy’s at it once again …”

Adieu Mon Ami …


Remember as a child …?

Laying in bed, late at night.

The wind from outside causing branches to send hair – raising knocks on the window? Lightning causing the room to light every three minutes with a flash of horror … ?

The world seemed to spin with an intensity that – as a five year old child, seemed too much of a cross to bear. A young heart racing in anticipation of something arriving from the shadows. A demon’s hand removing the safety net a warm blanket provided.

An eternity condensed into a five minute span which clouded visions of innocence into darkened lanes of shadowy depths.

Unable to fend off the tyrannical winds anymore, little feet rise and propel a diminutive body down the hall and into the waiting arms of a comforting caregiver.

In the world of hockey …

Red Fisher was those arms.

Homeless vs. Hockey


He sits.

Back against the cold wall. His soul taps from the inside of his irises. His hand held out for a penny or two …

He sits.

Back against the coach. His stick taps from the inside of two hundred dollar gloves. His hand held out to congratulate a millionaire.

He stands.

Rising on knees worn with malnutrition and sleepless nights under an unforgiving blanket of cold. Enough money to buy a coffee and warmth.

He stands.

Rising on one thousand dollar skates donated by a greedy sales representative from a sporting good company. Enough money to buy a Tim Horton franchise.

He wonders.

What happened to his life. Where are his children and wife. Why did she take everything from him and leave him alone.

He wonders.

What happened to his scoring ability. Where are the goals he once scored. Why did the snapshot which made him rich leave him.

He dies.

His heart finally gives out from poor health and broken dreams.

He dies.

His heart finally gives out from poor line mates and broken passes.

A Puppet in Place …


“Yes sir … I will be good. Yes sir – I will do what you say …!”

If these were not the words that sealed Michel Therrien’s fate as the new / old coach of ‘Les Habitants of former greatness’, then fasten some seat belts Habs fans – it’s gonna be a heck of a four month ride from the start of training camp.

Michel Therrien is not a bad coach. He is nowhere near the calibre of Mario Tremblay in this respect. In fact, on several occasions, Therrien appeared like Scotty Bowman’s long lost French relative on episodes of L’Anti Chambre as opposed to Tremblay’s rah rah ROY rants.

This is the conundrum the Habs, the Hab faithful and all the tiny Hablettes scattered around the Hab universe find themselves with. Michel Therrien is; his own worse enemy.

Hmmm … Sounds very much the same reason some of the hockey minds were opposed to Patrick Roy? Yes but the difference between the two is larger than a young boy’s eyes upon seeing a scantily clad woman holding a Wayne Gretzky rookie card.

Patrick Roy has respect. Therrien does not.

Hockey players are fans of Joan Rivers. They heed her advice to ‘talk amongst themselves’ every chance they get. It is not the old days when a guy like Gordie Howe never spoke to a guy like Maurice Richard. Even if Twitter was available in the fifties; it’s hard to imagine two men with so much loyalty speaking or Facebooking one another on how to make great scrambled eggs.

In this, the modern apocalyptic Bettman daze – players not only speak to one another, by the very nature of the beast created by Bettman; they play on the same team every six months or so it appears.

“Hey …!” Says Carey Price to John Leclair at a Habs alumni dinner. “What’s this guy Therrien like as a coach?”

Leclair, who played for Therrien’s Pens during the 2005 – 2006 season, thinks and says …”Fundamentally he is sound. Everything is ok until the pressure mounts. Then, Therrien makes these wacko decisions which leave everyone confused.”

“I see.” Says Price with concern on his brow. ” What about Roy, would he have been a better choice?”

Leclair thinks for a moment and replies; ” Well Carey, I have no idea what type of coach Patrick is. One thing is certain, the guy hates to lose and when some guys panic – that is the time Roy channels his emotion to winning at all costs!”

The Bergevin Holding Company

Marc Bergevin never won a Stanley Cup by himself. Let alone two of them. Bergevin’s successes have been by committee. Once his playing days were through, Bergevin drank from the Stanley Cup as a cog in a wheel. This is the recipe which Bergevin knows …

This is the recipe Bergevin is attempting in Montreal with the Canadiens. The difference? Chicago had Dale Tallon, Montreal has Dale Tallon’s prodigy. The Black Hawks were obscure in the press. The Habs are the press.

Therrien as a coach has matured since the days in Montreal and Pittsburgh. As a television analyst on RDS he is very composed compared to some of his co – workers. It is relatively simple to be composed as the one guy ( aside from Michel Bergeron ) on the panel with the most experience as a coach. It’s easy to be composed in front of a camera man who smokes Gitanes.

The question remains; in front of 21,000 spectators at Le Centre Bell with a minute left and down a goal – will Therrien leave Cole on the bench and insert Ryan White on a hunch? Will Therrien’s emotions overide his brain? This is what troubles the average bear and the average fan.

Bergevin, Dudley, Mellanby, Carriere and the little Canadiens’ fan who lives down La Gauchetiere lane are the ones in charge. This committee needed a French dude to coach.

Carbonneau is too fiery for their tastes. Carbonneau would not listen to his good pal Gainey – why would he listen to guys he played and scored against?

Patrick Roy needs do his John McEnroe impersonation almost daily. Roy as a goalie and Roy – as a person, are perfectionists. If things do not go his way and the proper way; the puck hits the fan. If the puck hits Bergevin, Dudley, Mellanby and Carriere – too much effort for Roy to run around with his apologies.

Michel Therrien wants to coach in the NHL – badly. Luckily for the Montreal native, the Canadiens badly require a French speaking coach.

Is that right Michel?

“Oui Monsieur, – je veut faire comme tu veut …!”

The Half Man Won


The Montreal Canadiens have hired a new coach. Kinda …

It has been reported that Marc Bergevin will announce the Habs have hired Michel Therrien as the team’s thirty – first head coach. Or is it the squad’s thirtieth? Can a coach be counted twice …

Over the weekend, it was reported the candidates were down to two in Montreal. A pair because a half does not count.

Marc Crawford, Michel Therrien and Patrick Roy / Guy Carbonneau were left. The Habs brass, in their smart ways – opted for the half guy. If Therrien were a glass, he would not be full nor empty. Enough to quench the thirst of the French and not quite for the English, the Scotch or the Irish …

Therrien won the job because the Canadiens are haunted by their past. A legacy which – one by one, eliminated all the men who should have been given the task to steer the Habs to victory.

Carbonneau was the wise choice if the choice was his to choose. ‘Guy! Guy! Guy!’ was the final man to be behind the bench of an Eastern Conference Championship team based in Montreal. Carbo was French and he was well liked except by Bob Gainey. Gainey is gone to Dallas so what’s the deal? Why is a locker not being set up to house the former coach.

Carbonneau is attached to the Gauthier era though no fault of his own. In Bergevin’s view … too close for comfort. Cross off the former Canadiens’ captain from la liste. Comme ca …

Marc Crawford does not speak French very well and is still part of a Steve Moore lawsuit. Plus, his coaching credentials – as good as it gets. Scratch Crawford from la liste. Comme ca …

That leaves the best man for the job. The man who is instilling fear into everyone for the wrong reasons. Patrick Roy …

The Montreal Canadiens changed their upstairs staff. The Montreal Canadiens have forgotten how to win. The Montreal Canadiens do not want a winner behind the bench. Scratch Roy from la liste. Comme ca …

Get out your binoculars. Grab your stepladder. Who is that standing behind the Habs’ bench! It’s Michel Therrien – the half man.

The Canadiens hired a new coach. Kinda …

Really? Are you Surprised?



Your shower shoes have fungus on them. You’ll never make it to the bigs with fungus on your shower shoes. Think classy, you’ll be classy. If you win 20 in the show, you can let the fungus grow back and the press’ll think you’re colorful. Until you win 20 in the show, however, it means you are a slob. – Crash Davis

So Tim Thomas, the Boston Bruin’s ‘reason they won the cup’; is taking a year off …

Surprise? Surprise?

Not really.

Catchers on the field and goalies in the crease. The former, no diamond on the diamond and the latter – no steel pillar between the steel pipes. Physically at times, mentally flexible.

The two positions are the same. Everything happens in front. A different outlook on the game(s) they play. Baseball teammates are facing a catcher while hockey players have their backs to the goalie most of the time. Two directions. Enough to make anyone flakey …

Denis Lemieux

The view makes the athlete a perfectionist. The sight lines enable the full picture. Tic-tac-toe for Thomas, tic – toe for the skater. Because guys like Thomas in hockey or Russell Martin in baseball cannot cope with the loneliness of the position, they start to see things differently. Sometimes – that difference carries over to real life.

My allergy to those fucking fans has returned!- Denis Lemieux

Tim Thomas has carried his views into real life. The Vezina Trophy winning goaltender is unorthodox on the ice and his weird ways are portrayed in his off- ice views. The strangeness works during a game – on the street, in America, not so much …

In the game of hockey, life is fast.

No time for players and / or teammates to analyze the goalies’ comments. During stoppages in play or in the course of a game, everyone has an opportunity to talk to their mates. Everyone except for the goalie. Thomas cannot turn to his buddy and say;” Hey, I am going to skip the White House reception. What is your take on that?” The ruminations have sixty minutes to ruminate.

This is not saying the Bruins’ net minder is wrong on his anti – Obama stance. By the time a thought is passed to a mate in the dressing room, it has deep- rooted seeds. As crazy as it may or not be – it has grown to a foundation that leaves less room for input. In the words of Mick Jagger;

” It’s just that demon life that’s got you in it’s sway!”

Where does that leave the Bruins …?

No chance to win a Stanley Cup. That is precisely where.

Tim Thomas is the reason the Beantown bullies won last season. The Bruins as a team, really – not as talented as people thunk. The only time they were deserved the title of champions, was against the Vancouver. They had an opportunity to play against the Canucks because of Thomas.A cycle which ends now …

Thomas is a late bloomer. Why risk a year off when a year may well be all that is left in the tank?

Only Thomas and his family know. Only Thomas and his family are aware of what is going on behind the net. If an absence is called upon to save his marriage – bravo to the net minder. If a leave of absence is called upon because the net minder is burnt out – sorry, it’s his own fault.

An atlete’s schedule is hard enough. It’s difficult on the player and the loved ones. Instead of going home ( or to the White House ), Thomas brought so much pressure onto him and his family it’s amazing he did not implode at the sixty game mark.

His decisions were selfish and now the Bruins’ organization must pay the piper with a Rask. A Rask which is not a Thomas. A Rask which is not a Stanley Cup winning net minder.

Thomas is taking a year off.

Then again, he is a goalie. Things could change – easily …

Relax, all right? Don’t try to strike everybody out. Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they’re fascist. Throw some ground balls – it’s more democratic.- Crash Davis

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