Friday, December 2, 2011

Open Letter to Mr Geoff Molson.

Dear Mr Molson,

As with any fan of our beloved Montreal Canadiens, if you were to cut my arm you would see that I bleed Bleu Blanc et Rouge and have done so basically since birth. When your company, Molson Breweries decided to sell our Habs to Mr George Gillet I was scared to say the least that our fabled hockey team would fly south like so many others have in recent history. Mr Gillet was a man of his word and did everything he could to steer the Habs into a top 3 money making team by insuring the talent on the ice.

Though we have not won a cup since 1993, we have had contenders year in and year out. We had some ups and downs however we have never been the laughing stock of the league.

Right now we have a team who is playing 500 hockey without an identity. We never know what team is going to show up.. if at all on some nights. It has become very obvious to this fan of le Tricolore that they have given up playing for the current Coach and GM. As well in many ways, this coach to me seems like he has given up on them as well.

Am I a coach? Not at all! However I have been a student of the game for the last 30+ years and I can tell you that winning teams start with someone who can lead, motivate and get every ounce of talent out of his players. We do have a few bright spots on the team but they are overshadowed by those who think the name on the back is far more important than the crest on the front of the jersey.

What we want Mr Molson is a winning team. We want a product that we wouldn't mind paying the prices that YOU have subjected us to.. Tickets to games that are in some cases 400% more than other teams south of the border.. $10 for a 1/2 Party cup of beer.. hotdogs that I would not even give to my own dog.

The only way this is going to happen is with new management and a new head coach. I believe in this team and if you do as well, you will give us people who believe in the CH like we do.

Thank you

A desperate Habs Fan

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Movember is ushered in...

Well hockey fans gone is a very shaky October. Bring on the stashes and a great November. Who would have thought that the Leafs and Oilers would be doing as well as they have? Certainly not I. Then again the Leafs win a couple games and the parade route is always planned straight down Younge Street to the nearest golf course, as it should be.

Last year that this time, Our beloved Habs had a less than impressive record in October. Then magically as the stash grew above Cary Price's lip, we started winning more often than losing and turned the season around. Funny how a little lip hair can do that for a hockey season don't you think?

This year started off bad and before this past week off, we finished up with 3 convincingly solid wins against Philadelphia and Boston. Could this be what the Forum ghosts ordered? One can hope!

This month we are expecting the return of Markov. As I have quipped on twitter recently, I genuinely forget what it's like to have him in the line up. I am not Anti-Markov by any means however his re-insertion into the lineup will take some getting used to which will mean Webber will become a forward again or watch a few games from the Press box.

Another well talked about return is Scott Gomez. Time and time again I have heard sports media pundits as well as some bloggers say he should be buried in the minors. I have to say that is probably the biggest mistake we could ever do. Sure he still has his 1 and only move of skating through the neutral zone only to lose the puck at the blue line. However the Scott Gomez I know is a play maker and a highly skilled passer.

Remember that 6 game losing streak? No one could make a tape to tape pass to save their lives. As well we could not seem to get the puck deep enough past the opponents defense to launch our fore check. Now that we seem to have that fixed Gomez may end up surprising everyone, just as Pearn's firing leading to a 3 game winning streak.

Hey I could be crazy. And The Leafs could go deep in the playoffs too.

(Insert Laugh here)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

You left yet your lips are still moving...

This week we heard again from a voice who retired 2 years ago.. Mr Georges Laraque. The former #17 of our Canadiens has this knack of keeping his name in news articles for everything from fighting to how the league should be issuing discipline. While I am a huge proponent of the right to free speech, I have to admit that I have grown very tired of hearing Laraque's voice in sound bytes every time there is an infraction on ice that requires the league to take a look at.

I seem to remember Mr Laraque holding a press conference to announce that he was retiring from the NHL to pursue a career in politics as an candidate for the New Democrat Party of Canada. While the self professed vegan has found a new love for the colour orange, I really do not see how his comments on hockey matters have anything to do with the changes that need to take place in his riding, province or country for that matter.

While I have the utmost respect for the work he is doing with the people of Haiti, I have no respect for his comments on hockey matters that do not concern him. Mr Laraque, you retired from hockey. So please, enjoy your retirement, hug a tree, eat some tofu and run for office.

I have no interest in what you have to say about Simmonds, Avery, the stanchion or Don Cherry.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Give a new Season, I will tell you no lies.

The final siren was just heard in Quebec city with our Habs winning decisively 5-1 over the Tampa Bay Lightning. The team did what we have been waiting most of the pre-season and that was to play as a team. It took 7 games because pre-season is to see how your prospects are improving and not to see how many games you can run up the score.

One thing is for sure this season, when someone comes out to goon it, Brendan Shannahan will definitely hand out the appropriate punishment for the hit. So, Shanny, we are waiting to see what you will be giving Ryan Malone for that hit on Chris Campoli.

I could sit here and spout off stats and act like a fan boy about the up coming season however I wont. I know nothing about nothing when it comes to this team. I do believe in them and bleed Bleu Blanc et Rouge but really when I think they are going to be awful, they win. When I think no one can touch us we stink worse than hockey gear in the spring.

So I am going to leave it up to the statistitions and fanboys/girls with those tasks. Finally the new season is upon us.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Training Camp is here!

It's the middle of September and our Lions of Winter have returned to Montreal in preparations for the up coming season. It's about time too! It seems like this past summer has gone in slow motion since that OT goal in Game 7 vs The Stanley Cup Champion, Boston Bruins. I took a break from blogging and tweeting and all things hockey for the better part of this past summer though did keep an eye on draft and Free Agent day. All things considered, I think we look really good this year.

What did you do during your summer vacation? Let's see.. Our core is still in tact, we dumped a couple pylons and we signed that top power forward that we have been dying for since Gainey took office. The lost of Roman Hamrlik was a little difficult to digest I have to admit. He posted some amazing minutes in the last 2 seasons with Markov on the shelf as well you could tell how much of an influence he had on our Super hero, P.K. Subban.

The signing of Erik Cole was a prayer finally answered. I know I am not the only one that has wished to see him in a Habs jersey since he first started killing us in the playoffs a few years ago. With Max Pacioretty now back and completely healed from "The hit", look for Cole to be a mentor to Patches this season.

Josh Gorges and Andre Markov (The bad knee twins) are both back from major knee reconstructions. Markov still needs some time to heal. I am really hoping that the Medical staff take it easy with Marky's return... I do not think any of us can stomach a 3rd year without him.

One question that was asked a lot last year was Jaro who? If 72 starts is not enough for you Halakians to finally get a grip and "Chillax", I am sure you will be able to find a team to cheer for 1 province to the west..( They love bandwagon jumpers but you must dress in blue and white). Carey Price really put his money where is mouth is.. he showed a lot of guts and courage to pull of a spectacular season. With the addition of Peter Budaj on the off season I do not see a need for Carey to play more than 60 games this season. We need him as fresh as possible for our deep run into the playoffs.

Speaking of Booing, Scott Gomez is back and from his own accounts he took a different approach to getting ready this season. I really think most fans need another "Chillax" sound byte from him as well. When he was signed, most were expecting the second coming of Rocket Richard. He is a play maker, not a goal scorer. He had the guts to call himself out on the carpet this past summer to his short comings. I will not be surprised at all when we finally get to see the Gomez we traded for as promised.

Last but not least, the AK 46 Conspiracy. Do most of the Montreal Sports writers have nothing better to do than to try and "Babblefish" news articles from Russia? Or wait.. don't tell me they were trying to use Google again. Look Habs fans. The Mainstream Media in Montreal has been doing this crap for years with Andre Kostitsyn. Not too long ago they had both him and his kid brother Sergei allegedly playing with fire with the Russian mob. This is hockey, WWE Raw and certainly not your mother's soap operas. Russian Media has been jealous with North American hockey since they came into the NHL in the late 80s. They do not have enough drama going on in the bush league they call the KHL that they feel the need to create drama and strife in in Montreal. They hated it when Kovalev was here.. don't forget it. This will not be the last time we here about this I am sure.. but do not pay any attention to it..if you are looking for drama in your hockey, I hear the Leafs are thinking about playing this year...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My Life as a Habs fan.

Call it laziness if you will but really when it comes down to it, I haven't had really much to say lately. Mainly because I really didn't want to rehash everything that virtually everyone else has talked about. Sure, I could have blogged about how the hit on Max was so vile and gone unpunished. Or, I could have talked about how the Bruins have taken every opportunity to stomp on MY Canadiens in the media. Really though I really doubt that would serve any justice.

Last night I stared at the ceiling in bed listening to the dog snore, I began to remember what it has been like to be a fan of Les Canadiens de Montreal.

My earliest recollections as a child were Saturday nights in front of the Television with my Dad hearing the voice of Danny Gallavan as he described Le Demon blond streaking down the wing taking a pass from Steve Shutt. The Forum faithful dressed in their Sunday best cheering and screaming; Their butts just millimeters from the edge of their seats.

In the 70's, Les Glorieux were just that, God's chosen. No matter what opponent they were to play, no matter what obstacle placed in front of them. My Habs always found a way to win. Sam Pollack was a Genius, trading for that pick who would turn out to be Guy Lafleur. It wasn't only him that made the Habs of the 70's great. Sure he could skate on water but so could the rest of the team. The water was frozen silly! There have been many great teams since then but no one could ever come close to that dynasty of the 70's.. yes not even the Oilers of the 80's.

After their cup in 79, my family had moved overseas to Germany where my Dad was posted. That was a complete shock to the system for a young Habs fan. Hockey to me was the only thing to do in winter. It was what you looked forward to come October and longed for in the long summer months while playing road hockey out in the sun with friends. In Germany, all they knew was soccer. Only fitting that I would become a fan of another storied franchise, FC Bayern Munich. But I am digressing here.

I can remember at the age of 8, we finally got a TV that would allow us to pick up Canadian Armed forces TV. It was on a 1 week tape delay of course but when you are starving for hockey from home, you will watch games from 20 years ago if you have to. That tv never worked that great. It was a small snowy black and white and due to our location it was hard to pick out the puck due to it's reception or lack their of.

By the Mid 80s we were back in Canada. I can still remember the Good Friday Massacre as the media has named it. The brawl to end all brawls .. World Wars 1-2 and 3 in the same Hockey game. We were visiting my grandparents that easter weekend and I can remember my uncles shouting at the tv while I was in bed. I got up ran in to the living room and to my amazement saw the brawl.. I could not believe what I was seeing. As a kid, I remember there were 4 teams we were to hate and when I mean we were made to hate it was in our Hockey DNA. The Bruins, Leafs, Flyers and that other team from Quebec that we hated more than anything. I hated the Nordiques more than the others because everything we did in my eyes they tried to copy. I was 10 and as a preteen it was sacrilegious to even try to imitate the Montreal Canadiens.

In 86, We were in the playoffs with a rookie unknown goalie by the name of Roy. I can remember that year thinking to myself, if we could have the oilers lose somehow and we got in to the finals, the cup was ours. When we got into the finals that year, I wrote on my math notebook "Les Canadiens vont gagner La Coupe!". Of course you all know by some divine intervention and the blessing placed upon some rookie goalie named Roy, we did just that.

In my senior year of high school the Toronto Blue Jays had somehow made it to the world Series. I had pleaded begged and hounded my Dad for tickets. Sad thing is that he tried his hardest to get tickets but could not. However, Dads are great honorable men. He went to plan B. You see this was 1994, the year The Leafs led by Doug Gilmore had started the season 10-0. What Dad got us was 2 tickets to the first meeting that year between the Habs and the Leafs at the Montreal Forum.

There were many first for me that day. Being 18, It was the first time I shared a legal beer with my Dad in a Bar. We arrived at the Forum around 2pm that day and he suggested a beer. After a few beer we decided it was time to line up for that dash to our standing room positions. I have never ran stairs like that in my life. If only my wrestling coach could have seen how fast I made it up he would have been so proud being first right at centre ice between the reds and whites. Standing there at the Forum cheering on the Habs as they beat the Leafs 5-2, breaking their 10-0 streak. Vincent Damphouse scoring that last goal, a wrister at the top shelf where the peanut butter is kept.

In 05 I made another pilgramige to Montreal this time in the playoffs against the very same Bruins we are facing tonight. Like in 86, we had a young goalie who had the divine Blessing from above to steal that series away from the hated Bruins from Boston. If it weren't for Jose Theordore's heroicts of that series, I would have never been able to feel what it's like to be with 21,721 other screaming fans at the Bell Centre. If the Montreal Forum was a Cathedrial, then the Bell Centre is the Holy of Holies. There is no way any team can come in to our barn and not be nervous or scared. The Roar of the crowd is something so magical so mystical it makes even the most devout atheist question his own creed.

Now that I live almost 20,000 Kms away from this heavenly place, part of me remains there. I may have made a choice to move to Australia and a damn great choice it was. But every year between the months of October and May with my jersey and hat on, my spirit will always find it's way back to Montreal.

Go Habs Go!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Storm rages on...

In the aftermath of last night's 4-1 win over the Boston Bruins by your Montreal Canadiens, fans are finding themselves in utter disbelief and disgrace over the NHL's decision not to suspend Boston's Zdeno Chara for the vicious hit on Habs Power forward Max Pacioretty.

While there has been many nights of blood sweat and tears shed between both teams over the years of this long rivalry, I cannot help but to think back to remember any time in the almost 100 years of these 2 teams going at it where anything like this has been justifiable.   Many have brought up the bad blood brewing between these 2 teams all season long stemming from a gentle push after the OT goal by Patches...

As we were told by countless media outlets before the game, Colin Campbell, Senior VP and Director of Hockey Operations of the National Hockey League was to be in attendance of last night's game due to this little tussle a month ago.

Now we come to find out that due to Colin conflict of interest due to his son Gregory playing for the same Boston Bruins, has elected to recuse himself from all decisions of this matter. Is this really how a league is supposed to be governed? What happened to the focus on hits to the head? Could Patches protect himself going into the stanchion?

Oh yeah.. that is right... The league hired another bozo by the name of Mike Murphy. He states that there will be no supplemental discipline over the incident. I guess a broken neck and concussion is not enough violence.

Meanwhile, Bettmen and Robin (Gary and Colin) are still stuck in the desert beating a dead horse that is keeping a team in an area that CLEARLY doesn't give a rats posterior about hockey. The City refuses to pay for it anymore...

Hey Gary... Pull your head in... or walk!.. Enough is enough... You have ruined OUR sport long enough!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Is this thing on?

Like OMFG HAI! How you been? Wtf happened?

Those are just some of the questions that my closest tweeps have asked. It has been a long, cold 6 months since the last time I have been able to access Twitter and my blog though I have not starved without my Habs!

So... Where have I been? For the last 6 months I have been working in the northern region of Ontario, Canada at a Cold Weather Test Facility... Luckily, this place was still in the Canadiens region... so I did not miss any games and got in a decent amount of ice fishing.. Now that I am home again, I have to say that I am very pleased with what I have seen thus far.

The last time I was able to blog about our Habitants, Carey Price had just given the "Just Chill out" Press conference. To all of you out there who say you had faith in him to do what he has done, I call BULLSHIT!.. Yep.. you heard me right and I did not Stutter! You have all earned yourselves a silver shovel..

Price has been a machine this year. Posting 58 starts (kind of reminds you of a certain Devil), 31 of those turned into W's, Carey has shown us what he can do.. and the kid is still just 23. There will be some at seasons end who will paint comparisons between Price and Le Demon Blon. It took the Flower 3 years and losing his helmet to come into his own. Just like Guy, Carey is in his third season. Although has not removed his mask, he did do something that raised a few eyebrows on the off season by entering the world of Rodeo. There are some who were in awe of his talent and some who mocked him for making less money on a horse all summer than he does in 1 minute of ice time.

There is another who people are in a buzz about. I remember seeing this kid playing out his Junior career with the Belleville Bulls, carrying the team on his back to the Memorial Cup. P.K Subban has been a diamond in the ruff. His success has not come without its ups and downs however if you were to look at the defensive core of Les Canadiens, his poise, attention to detail and sheer determination has enabled him to be talked about in the same breath as other NHL veterans around the league. You know you are doing something right when has beens whine and complain about you!

Welcome back Paul Mara... I hope the vacation we gave you helped!

And Major welcome to the city, team and the world of Habs-Nation to SOPES...Aka Brent Sopel... If you haven't read his wife's blog, do it... here

Nice to be back in the Land of Oz again... Habs over breakfast.. and then to the beach.. the way it should always be.