Category Archives: habs

Why I am in Montreal

The most important is this


Nicholas said after the game that the best place to watch hockey is Montreal!

The other is:


Heck even the pizza is better:


Although sharkie is cooler than Youppi!


Look the Shark Tank is awesome but the bell center is to the shark tank as vail is to Tahoe …

Watching hockey in that stadium the frustration of knowing that this Habs team isn’t good enough to win is irritating in a way it is not in San Jose.


So I am sitting at home watching the game between SJ Sharks and Phoenix Coyotes.

And the announcers are saying that there are no defensemen in the East that can move the puck other than Zdeno Chara.

Well, what about Markov?

This guy gets no respect.

He’s got 55 points.

He’s the quarterback of the best power-play in the NHL.

He’s the lynchpin of the transition game of the best offense in the NHL..

And he’s considered worse than Zdeno Chara?

Give me a break…

Don’t Retire Patrick Roy’s Number

It’s 1995..

And Patrick Roy is getting embarrassed by the Detroit Red Wings 9-0. And he’s begging Mario Tremblay to pull him from the net.

And Mario doesn’t.

And so Patrick Roy announces that he’s done with Montreal.

And Rejean Houle trades him.

And the dark times begin …

And now we wonder if we are going to retire his number?

And he’s probably the third or fourth best goaltender that ever played for Montreal (Bill Durham may be the third). And he’s the reason we won in 1993. And he’s most of the reason we won in 1986.

But you know what, he quit on Montreal.

I don’t care about his antics. I don’t care about the fights. I don’t really care about whether he was a good human being. He was a great hockey player. And his greatness demands that we retire his number.

But I can not ever get over his quitting on Montreal.

Yeah other players held out, and were traded but they did it for the money or because things went bad between them and the team. And when they quit they always said the right things even when they were relieved to be out of town.

Only Roy demanded to be traded because he was *too* good for Montreal.

Only Roy decided that the Montreal Canadiens were not worthy of his services.

So maybe that makes him a great player, and maybe that makes him a legendary player, because he thought he was better than the Montreal Canadiens.

But you know what?

He will always be the guy that quit on Montreal. He will always be the guy that walked out on us.

And as far as I am concerned, that’s why he will never get his name on the rafters. Because he betrayed the team. And when we retire a jersey we’re making a statement about the kinds of players we want on our team, and we don’t want quitters.

So when they’ve retired Koivu’s number, and when they retire Chelios’ number and when they retire Lapointe’s number, and when they retire the number of every minor leaguer that ever wanted to play for the Montreal Canadiens and couldn’t, and when they retire the number of every kid who ever played pee-wee hockey dreaming of playing in the Montreal Forum or Bell Center, and when they honor every fan that ever bought a ticket, when they honor every mother and father who let their kids play hockey and told them about the Great Montreal Canadiens, and when they honor every attendant, journalist, fan who made being a Montreal fan so great, maybe, just maybe,  we’ll find an inconspicuous spot in the rafters for the guy that decided that he was too good for us.

But until then, he is not welcome.

Habs 8 – Bruins 0

After 15 years of futility it is fun to watch Montreal thoroughly dominate someone.

The Bruins are not a bad team, it’s just their style of play is uniquely unsuited to the Montreal Canadiens. Essentially they rely on a physical game that prevents many chances. That style works well if you are dealing with a team that does not have precision passing like Montreal. That style would also work well if the Bruins goaltending is good.

The latest game was proof. The Bruins were able to stay in the game because of their excellent goaltending. The Habs had the kinds of chances they typically get against Boston, but this time Thomas was on the ball.

I do not expect the Bruins to lose another eight to the Canadiens, but it would be fun…

And the fans roared!

In 1993, Montreal won the Stanley Cup by defeating the LA Kings in a memorable 5 game series.

I remember that playoff year vividly. I knew we would because I had seen St. Patrick play against the Bruins, and I knew he was not going to let this team lose. I was so confident of our victory that I bet a NY Ranger fan and a Pittsburgh Penguin Fan a 6 pack of beer that we would win.
But ever since 1993, Montreal Canadiens fans have had very little to cheer about.

The team never reached the utter abyss of incompetence, but when Valerie Bure and Oleg Petrov are the best you have to offer for your young talent, and Rejean Houle and Mario Tremblay are destroying your franchise, things look bleak.

Actually things looked so bleak, that for this Montreal fan, watching hockey had become depressing. It was like looking at a tired over-the-hill athlete who once was great, wheezing and panting trying to compete. It was brutal and painful and sad.

And even when we won, it was still sad. In 2002 when Jose Theodore was standing on his pinky (not his head) to get an unbelievably crappy Montreal team into the playoffs, I remember watching the game and thinking the only person on that team that belongs in the NHL is the goalie, this Russian dude Markov and Koivu. Everyone else could be replaced by Detroit’s AHL team. And you knew that as long as Theodore could withstand the barrage we would win, and he won 6 games that we had no business winning that year.

And I remember that I was so happy that we made the playoffs in 2002, because we had missed the playoffs for three straight years! And I would run home like a lunatic to catch games and I knew that my team sucked, but maybe things had started to change… But once I saw that team, I knew, I knew that they still sucked. So I was happy, but it looked like my aging star was reaching back for one last gasp at glory …

And then Gainey became the GM. And all of a sudden things looked better.

In 2004 we beat the bruins, but this time, it wasn’t just Theodore standing on his head. There were actually other players on the ice that could play this game of hockey. And we signed Kovalev. And things looked better.

And then there was last years’ collapse. More to the point, there was last year’s putrid defense. How can you claim to be a hockey team when you can’t score on 5×5 and your top players are -20+? The team was fun to watch but at there was still no hope. Too much of the team was tied to a collection of aging veterans. Veterans who could only get worse, not better. And was Cristobal Huet really that good?
And now we beat the New Jersey F. Devils and our nemesis Martin F. Brodeur (who we declined to persue in 1999 when he was an RFA and maybe that’s why he has chosen to dominate us so thoroughly). And it’s not a fluke comeback. It’s a not 2-1 squeaker that could have gone either way. It’s a 4-0 dominating victory. Our goaltender blocked the shots, our defensemen held the Devils to the periphery, our forwards did whatever they wanted in the Devils zone.

And it wasn’t some aging collection of veterans, or some fluke victory, but the natural outcome of young players getting better, and a team that has been playing better and better by the day.

And you suddenly knew that after 15 years, we had a good team, a team that we did not have to dread following, a team that could make you look forward to April, a team that you enjoy watching, a team that could make you proud to be a fan.

After fifteen years of looking at the bottom of the standings, being embarrassed to cheer for your team (had we become the Toronto Maple Leafs) because cheering mediocrity was beneath a Habs fan when the Montreal fans gave the team a 2 minute standing ovation, and RDS and VS decided to shut up and just let us hear the fans roar, it wasn’t because the team beat Brodeur, it wasn’t because Price had a shutout, it was because after 15 fucking years in the wilderness, our beloved Habs were back.