Kukla's Korner Hockey
Tim Thompson tribute to Jean Beliveau...
Watch the hit below that caused the concussion...
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,
On this day, as it will be on Monday, too, the Bell Centre is a silent, dignified place of worship, the banners of its greatest players and its 24 championship teams suspended in dim light from the rafters overhead as a kind of CH-crested stained glass.
Jean Béliveau, a legend of La Sainte-Flannelle, never took a National Hockey League shift in the Bell Centre. His 1,287 regular-season and playoff games between 1950-71 were skated a few blocks to the northwest at the Montreal Forum, and in the buildings of 13 opponents.
But now this great centreman, the figure who epitomized uncommon excellence and a gentlemanly grace and dignity on and off the ice through his more than six decades in Montreal, lies here in state.
His flower-draped casket is in the south end, between the blue line and the faceoff circles of the zone the Canadiens defend for two periods each game.
via the Montreal Canadiens,
Live from the Bell Centre as fans pay their last respects to Mr. Jean Béliveau.
The public viewing is from 10:00am to 6:00pm ET today and tomorrow.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
The summation of an athlete’s career, especially those greatest at their sport, always comes down to numbers. So inevitably last week that was the case with Jean Beliveau, the sublime, larger-than-life Montreal Canadiens center, his name etched into the Stanley Cup 17 times, though his unremitting dignity, elegance, and grace truly immeasurable, unquantifiable.
Beliveau’s numbers, including the “4” he wore on the back of his Habs sweater for 18 full seasons, his 10-year captaincy, his bountiful goals and assists, will be easy to summon. They have long been engraved in silver, noted in NHL record books, inscribed on his plaque at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.
Those numbers are the hard facts of what he was, while his dignity, elegance, and grace, the very being of who Joseph Jean Arthur Beliveau was, are left but to the memory of those who saw him play, knew him in his life off the ice, absent his skates, his stick, or iconic CH sweater.
from Mike Boone of Hockey Inside/Out,
It’s still too early to push the Panic Button.
But you might want to make sure it has fresh batteries.
Remember the good olds days when your Montreal Canadiens were the number one team in the NHL?
That was what, 10 days ago?
The Canadiens have lost six of their last seven games. They are third in the Atlantic Division.
And check the rear-view mirror: the Leafs are five points behind the Canadiens – with three games in hand.
Button finger getting a tad itchy?
The legendary broadcasters talk to George Stroumboulopoulos about the great Jean Beliveau.
from Ken Dryden at the Toronto Star,
Every time he was introduced or described, it was with the same word. It’s not something that can be aspired to to be achieved. It is what a good life sometimes, but rarely, bestows. Jean Béliveau had class.
He was my first roommate with the Canadiens. I was his last. He was 39; I was 23. I had been called up only a few weeks before, and on the verge of our Stanley Cup opening round series against the defending champion, Boston Bruins, with Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito, Jean had been told something I didn’t know. I would be the team’s starting goalie.
A voracious reader of historical biographies, a dedicated viewer of classic movies, a devotee of opera and great tenors … this gentleman would be just as happy to discuss with you world events and film stars and a soaring, emotional vibrato as he would be to talk about hockey, the game that largely if very incompletely defined his life.
The passing Tuesday night of Jean Béliveau was a crowbar in the chest of Montreal, an indelicate surgical extraction of the heart of this town.
Today, Montreal is a city at half-staff. We are all wearing a black arm band.
Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette on Jean Beliveau. Read more on Beliveau, written from the heart..
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