The Habs; Same Old Song and Dance …


Everyone remembers Rodney Dangerfield?

That bombastic comedian who utilized all of his off-color remarks to their utmost potential. Gaining him a spot not just in Hollywood – in the comedic recesses of the comedy fan’s mind …

Well – he’s back!ffff

After all, have you ever seen Montreal Canadien coach Michel Therrien and Mr. Dangerfield together? Of course not. They are – one in the same …

Michel Therrien is ‘ Back to School‘. A return behind the bench with hockey’s most storied franchise ( unless you live in San Jose – the stories they have …).  Therrien is back and  pretty is not the proper description …

Saturday night, the first game of a season shortened by a lock -out which presumably made the rich richer and the hot-dog stand employees search for work –  a great sign of things to come. Status quo should be the numbers on the back of the bleu,blanc et rouge. La plus ça change – la plus c’est la meme esti colis de … never mind.

If the league gave championships for championship ceremonies, the Habs would win every year as they did when the league provided a silver cup along with French Canadians to this French Canadian team. Once again, the marketing boys proved behind the bench is the place for them . If the on – ice performances and the coaching staff could offer spine – tingling moments like Jean Beliveau holding a torch at the house that Corey built, banner makers in this city would be living on the beach four months a year. Instead, the assemblers of banners past, reside in dingy apartments in Park Extension. Holding material in their hands like a bride would hold her dress following a ditching at the altar.

The home team, Les Canadiens – amid pomp (ous?) and ceremony, played the game as if it were they – the visitors. Opposing teams, in the day of the Rocket, Lafleur and even Naslund, would arrive in this city with their respective two points already deposited in the Canadiens’ bank account on Atwater. A trip to Montreal for a visiting team was not about hockey. It was about the strip joints and the bars. Opposing players took the opportunity to play off – ice since the on-ice battle –  completed (and lost) once they stepped on the plane in their home town.

7846863.bin

Presumably, with a new slogan for this shortened hockey season, Habs’ management are attempting to get the ghosts to move from their cozy movie seats at the Forum. Unfortunately, the ghosts enjoy Tarantino’s flick much more than Therrien / Dangerfield’s  ‘Easy Money‘. Ironic? You betcha.  Because the current players begin a season ‘haunted’  with easy money in the forefront of everyone’s mind.

Easy money because the Habs roster –  filled with guys who will collect their paychecks amid Therrien’s antics. Shenanigans which will lead to more and more bizarre decisions on the part of the new / old coach. Decisions which will enable the players to skate around in a fog like last year. A fact which is none of Therrien’s fault.  He is the French patsy. A ‘how to you say goat in french’?

He is the French coach required to place a revolt in submission. Therrien’s face upon his introduction Saturday night –  a perfect imitation of Mario Tremblay circa la beginning of the ‘run the franchise into the ground’ era. Aka – the money years. Aka – WTF? Damphousse among the legends in the ceremonial ‘wake the ghosts’ ceremony?

Whether or not newly named General Manager Bergevin will see the errors of the team’s ways and avoid the old system as best he can – remains to be seen.

If he can bring a more modern approach to a team which has believed that the defensive style of 1968 is the way to go, the Canadiens will have a chance to compete.   Yet, at the same time,  if he ‘kills all the golfers’ – there will be no one around to play hockey.

Yup – he’s back! Now we know for certain – why tigers eat their young!

Therrien_GETTY-2 copy

Team Canada Shoots Itself against the U.S.A


The Canadian Junior hockey team had a relative easy time advancing to the semi-final game against their cross-continent rivals.

Too easy.

a

The Americans played six games in eight days to gain entry into a game against their arch rivals.. Team Canada, on the other glove,  had a couple of days off. It showed …

The South of the Border boys came out as if they were entering the fourth period against their Quarterfinal foes – the Czechs.  In that game, the Americans outscored Czechoslovakia 7 -0. They were on a roll and that momentum suited up for the first period against the Canadian squad. It was – that obvious …

When a team has a lay-off, in any league from Pee -Wee to Uncle Billy’s Beer Bonanza on Sunday night, they come out flatter than a  girl before puberty. Early Thursday morning, Team Canada was that girl and the Americans were the aggressive older boy. Led by the Montreal Canadiens‘ first round pick – Alex Galchenyuk, the red-white and blew (as in blew up their own citizens) skaters used every move in the book to bypass any defense the pre – teen first period Canadians could muster. The Americans were loose and the Canadians tighter than a wagon filled with Amish virgins ..

End of the first period – Team McCabe 2 Team Subban 0. No low five photos for the Subban clan here folks.

La Deuxieme

It takes two minutes to boil an egg. Apparently, it takes just under three minutes to crack the psyche of a country built on Maple Syrup, Beavers and Hockey supremacy.

Just when it looked like the Northern NHL wannabes had shaken their Russian cobwebs, Team USA‘s Goudreau took advantage of a bad Canadian change and roofed a wrist shot over the shoulder of the Canadian Nation net-minder Subban. If Team Canada was a hot air balloon, the Americans were a heated dart with exemplary precision.

aIf Grandma’s breasts sagged, then Canada’s logo must have been attached as the once perky companions of Grandpa hit the ground – hard. With almost forty minutes left to play, it was not time for Canada to panic. This type of game along with a somewhat deep hole score-wise is dangerous in Junior hockey. Much more than in NHL hockey. These are kids playing on the national stage, not seasoned veterans akin to million dollar contracts and euphorically-priced escorts. Wobble  – and Canada falls down like a Weeble gone bad …

What was that …?

Just past the ten minute mark, it happened. A career Canadian Couch potato’s worse nightmare. Scarier than a Don Cherry dream. Team USA scored again.

Four score and seven minutes left in the second; USA 4 – Team Canada 0. Goalie Subban chased  to the bench regardless of Lincoln’s affinity for the denizens of African descent. Canadian coach Hitchcock, no choice but to yank his net protector like a rotten tooth. A move needed to give his squad a boost, his  goalie a figurehead with a goat’s hide …

La Troisieme

In the words of Elvis Presley: “It’s now or never …”

The only way to go for Canada was up … not away. Away they went …

With almost identical numbers on the scoreboard as Team USA’s third goal in period two, Canada took a too-many-men on the ice penalty. Things seemed bad and they just seemed badder. Then as quick as a Salamander scurries under a rock, hope appeared via the Three Stooges. Okay – one Stooge …

Canadian forward Rattie’s shot from the slot evaded American net-minder Gibson’s shoulder and discovered the crossbar quicker than a Salamand … (never mind). The puck careened to the left of the goal and  Rattie picked up his own rebound and deposited the puck into the net quicker than a teenager cashes a paycheck on a Friday night. Problem? The referee blowed the whistle. He also blowed the call …

Wait a sec …

The referee received advice from the video goal judge or his angry wife. Either way, the disallowed goal was allowed for whatever reason. The goal should not have counted as the referee blew his whistle. Why he blew his whistle is another matter entirely. Suddenly it was 4-1. Canada was back in it …

Then – they were out once more …

Gaudreau netted his tournament leading seventh goal late in the period and Team USA stretched their advantage once again to four. It was the worse defeat for Canada at the hands of the Americans. Team Canada will play for the Bronze medal while the U. S  will play either Sweden or Russia for the Gold on Saturday night …

This win for the Americans was too easy.

a

%d bloggers like this: