Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Red Fisher at NHL.com,
As long as anyone can remember, even before he was to become everything that was good about this Montreal Canadiens franchise, Jean Beliveau has been special.
Was there ever a player blessed with more grace on and off the ice? He was a quiet leader who led by example. He walked and skated tall—and always will be remembered that way. We rejoiced in his accomplishments and were left limp with grief when he was struck with adversity—on and off the ice.
from Damien Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times,
The Lightning captain, 28, returned home this weekend to play in the 57th All-Star Game commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Canadiens franchise. What’s it like for Lecavalier in a city that craves a French-Canadian superstar for whom to cheer and is buzzing with speculation the Canadiens could try to trade for him? Lecavalier tells us.
Do you understand the fascination among fans and media about having a French-Canadian centerpiece on the Canadiens?
The people, they want a French-Canadian, there’s no doubt about it. They talk about it every summer when free agency comes. Some people say there’s not enough on the team, and they try to get more. It’s part of the tradition. People are fascinated by it. They want a French-Canadian who can play there.
from Red Fisher at NHL.com,
He was the most intense athlete the game has seen.
He was everything that personified greatness. Richard’s eye-snapping career numbers don’t begin to describe what he meant to hockey in general and the Canadiens in particular. Winning at any cost was what he was all about. He was prepared to pay the price for every goal he scored, and no price was too high.
Richard scored important goals, lifting spectators out of their seats everywhere in the six-team NHL, because he was as much The Rocket on the road as he was in Montreal. At any moment, anywhere, he could erupt with another big goal.
“I first saw him in 1942,” Ken Reardon, a former teammate who went on to become a Canadiens vice-president, told an interviewer. “I was playing for an army team. I see this guy skating at me with wild, bloody hair the way he had it then, eyes just outside the nut house. ‘I’ll take this guy,’ I said to myself. He went around me like a hoop around a barrel.”
from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,
In the good old days before cable and glitzy television production, French-language radio broadcasts of the Montreal Canadiens were preceded not by pregame analysis, advertisements and anthems, but by a priest reciting the rosary.
Families would crowd together at the hearths and parlours of Quebec to join in, and it was only after the prayers were finished - usually near the end of the first period - that the airwaves were turned over to hockey.
But as French-speaking Quebec’s attachment to Catholicism has waned since the Quiet Revolution of the 1960s, a new breed of secular saints has emerged: the Habs have taken over as Quebec’s unofficial religion.
from Andrew Ryan of the Globe and Mail,
Canonized by hockey purists, reviled by fans of opposing teams, the Canadiens are a professional sports institution, here and abroad. Travel anywhere in the world and you’ll find someone wearing the red, white and blue of Les Habs.
Hockey’s most storied team receives the tribute treatment in The Montreal Canadiens: 100 Years, 100 Stars (tonight, CBC at 9 p.m.). A TV appetizer to this weekend’s NHL All-Star programming, the documentary parallels the timeline of the Canadiens with the history of Montreal itself. Neither the team nor the city could ever be accused of being boring.
from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,
Welcome to Montreal, All-Star city.
You probably will notice that in city of crater-sized potholes and lunatic drivers that there are no right turns permitted on red lights, that the French lettering on commercial signs is twice as large as the English lettering (although spoken English is permitted to be at the same decibel level as spoken French, so you don’t have to whisper), that the legal drinking age is superceded by a drinking height (sure, officially you have to be 18 but if you can see over the bar, there is an excellent chance you will be served) and that we take our hockey extremely seriously—even that high-end confection known as the NHL All-Star Game.
The reason: The City is Hockey.
A look back at Canadiens legendary anthem singer, Roger Doucet.
from Red Fisher at NHL.com,
“Anything wrong with your foot?” I asked him (Doug Harvey) shortly before the game.
“Naw, just a little stiff,” he said.
“Have you had an X-ray?”
“Yup, nothing there,” he replied.
“You’ve got only three defensemen,” he was told. “What are you guys going to do?”
“I guess we’ll play,” he said with a shrug.
Harvey was on the ice for 51 minutes that night. He was in the penalty box for four minutes. The Canadiens won 3-1. Ten days later, X-rays revealed Harvey had been playing with a cracked ankle all that time.
from John Kreiser of NHL.com,
Montreal forward Alex Kovalev will be wearing the captain’s “C” in front of the home folks at Sunday’s All-Star Game.
Kovalev was named captain of the Eastern Conference team and San Jose center Joe Thornton will wear the “C” for the Western Conference squad when the NHL holds its 57th All-Star Game at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
via Habs Inside/Out,
Captain Saku Koivu, who has been sidelined with a high ankle sprain since early December, will return to the Canadiens lineup for tonight’s game against the Devils in New Jersey.
Coach Guy Carbonneau confirmed Koivu’s return but said he hadn’t decided which player would sit. The choice is between veteran Steve Bégin or rookie Gregory Stewart.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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