A crazy day in Habsville…
I’m honestly not trying to mention the Habs this often but when a team makes the news off the ice as much in one day as they did yesterday, a few thoughts come up.
First of all, I am extremely relieved to hear the great Jean Beliveau is reportedly in stable condition after suffering a stroke on Wednesday night. Aside from being one of the greatest players and captains in hockey history, he is maybe even more known for his unwavering class.
Nicknamed Gentleman Jean, the 78-year-old legend won 10 Stanley Cups and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1972. He set the highest of precedents for how a professional should act, on and off the ice.
To this day he rarely misses a Canadiens game, sitting three rows behind the players bench. I wish him the speediest of recoveries and hope to see him back in his seat as soon as possible.
For a quick bout of the Goosebumps, tune in Saturday night when the Habs take on the Rangers at the Bell Centre. At some point in the first few minutes of the game the arena announcer will probably mention Beliveau and then you can just watch the Habs’ faithful take the building down.
Even Leaves’ fans have to admit nobody cheers for their beloved like passionate Montrealers. They may boo the league’s best power play off the ice if they go two man advantages without a goal but they sure know how to honour greatness and the five-minute eruption that will ensue Saturday evening will prove it.
So long, Georges…
During Wednesday night’s game on TSN between the Habs and the St. Louis Blues, analyst Pierre McGuire was livid as to why Georges Laraque was not dressed to play against the league’s leader in team fighting.
At the time, my answer was, “Because he wouldn’t fight anyone anyway, unless maybe they continuously told him tofu sucks.” As it turns out, Bob Gainey’s answer was, “Because we would rather pay you your full salary to go anywhere but here, than let you pull that historical sweater over your slow, talentless shoulders one more time.”
Paraphrased of course.
Initially I didn’t know what to think. Most everyone knows now that Laraque’s family is from Haiti and this has been a very hard period of time for him. At first that was all I thought about; how could they do this now? But after a few minutes of thinking about that I realized the move was a long time coming.
Gainey even said in a press conference afterward they had a day picked out last week but external circumstances prevented them from going through. Good of them to hold off but you have to ask yourself: How badly do the Habs not want Laraque around if they deem a whole week to be enough grieving period for his home country?
He was really angry at first and called the organization “classless” but has since calmed down and put things into perspective. Laraque says he’ll be back in the NHL someday soon but will take this time now to focus on raising money for Haiti relief.
The Habs will go back to getting pushed around by other teams, while all their offensive-minded personnel are busy playing a defensive “system” that makes me wish I could be watching something less boring and drawn out, like one of my niece’s dance recitals.
Speaking of pushing around…
Mike Cammalleri was ready to take his frustrations out on teammate Max Lapierre at practice yesterday, with a camera catching the Squid attempting to get at the young fourth-liner. My only question at the time was why was Travis Moen trying to stop Cammalleri from knocking Laps flat?
After following up his breakout ‘08/’09 season with a whopping eight points and -12 rating thus far, I’m pretty sure getting absolutely waxed by someone 5’9” and 182 lbs could only be seen as a positive.
This is actually the second time the Squid has gone after a teammate at practice this season, with Josh Gorges falling victim earlier in the year. I guarantee there will be some geniuses out there, who will start to question Cammalleri as a teammate and wonder if he’s a problem in the dressing room.
I personally would like to allow him free access to pick any 10 underachieving members of this hockey team, players or coaches, line them up and punch them each square in the face.
Or maybe they can try going bowling, hey Carbo?
To all those fans and critics who blame every single goal and every single loss on goaltending, please stop taking up precious Internet space. Honestly, when you know THAT little about hockey but feel you just have to speak up, I’d rather you just yell, “Touchdown!” after every goal and then tighten the strap on your helmet.