Wednesday, October 22, 2008
You either love ‘em or you hate ’em, but the CBC network & those who make up the Hockey Night in Canada team are sometimes enough to get on the nerves of even the most patient of people.I’m a Habs fan, and as most of you may know, as a group we are generally not the biggest fans of CBC for the way they have treated the Canadiens in the past…
But I personally give them credit… the past 2 years or so, I have seen them put a huge effort into winning over some of the Habs fans by giving us a few more games and treated them a bit more fairly during their broadcasts. But I’ve been getting a little frustrated lately…
1) Have any of you noticed these cbcsports ads on nhl.com?
I saw one about a week before the season opener for Montreal, and it said something to the effect of – Montreal plays Toronto to kick off their Centennial Season… and this frustrated me to no end… How did they not notice our first game was against buffalo?!?!?! They sure missed that one!
Then today I see this new one “Spezza, Heatley in action versus Toskala and the resurging maple leafs”… and I burst out laughing… RESURGING???!?!? … then I thought maybe I’d been out of it lately so I went to Yahoo! Sports to check my facts… This is the record of the Leafs their past 5 games:
Anaheim – Overtime loss
Pittsburg – Loss
NY Rangers – Overtime loss
St. Louis – Overtime loss
Montreal – Loss
I have been trying to sympathize with the Leafs and their fans and I even see they have something going for them this year… but to say they are resurging is a bit ridiculous…
2) Don Cherry… Some days I like him, some days I can’t take him… but I always do enjoy watching him. First of all he’s really rude and overbearing with Ron, who just grins and bears it. I’d love to see the day that he’d stand up to him… Oh well, I’m not holding my breath. But people listen to him, and he too has been improving with his Habs related info… he went from bashing us, to completely ignoring us… but hey an improvement’s an improvement! Though he does have his once-in-a-while mentionning of his love for our captain “Kovo”, (yes, Kovo…) and how Price is one of his good old Canadian boys.
Despite my sarcastic angle here, he’s good at his job, and I do appreciate his work.
3) Yvon Pedneault… Yvon was a staple on RDS and now that he’s here at CBC, I can’t help but feel sorry for him… it seemed like the other commentators didn’t really appreciate his expertise, but considering the problem is due mainly to the language barrier, I understand where they are coming from. He seemed a bit shy and stand-offish, but trust me, it was just the fact that he was overthinking his words… I think his value to HNIC will grow with experience in English broadcasting.
Well that’s my rant for the day… I in no means meant to insult anyone or dissuade anyone from watching CBC… I really don’t mind them at all, I even like them… But as I mentionned before, sometimes things get on the nerves of even the most patient of people.
When Luc Bourdon passed away last year, it really affected me. I couldn’t comprehend how someone so young and so talented, could just be gone so suddenly. He had just turned 21, and he died the day before my 20th birthday. It got me to thinking… this is someone who had theoretically acheived his major goal in life, playing for an NHL team as well as representing Team Canada and winning multiple gold medals. All I could think was what could I say for myself? What had I ever acheived in comparison? What was the point of it all? Luc’s death made me take a long hard look at myself, and made me realize the importance of going after your goals, and stopping at nothing to succeed. In that way he helped me find the courage to make some major changes in my life, and for that I will always be greatful.
Today, when I went onto habsinsideout.com (part of my usual routine) and saw the Alexei Cherepanov had passed away, I had a different reaction at first than the one I had had when I found out about Luc. It was one of complete and utter shock. When I found out about Luc, I couldn’t believe it, but I felt complete sadness right from the beginning. With Alexei, I have never felt such a horrible feeling of shock in my life. Another young, talented player. Another loss.
You’d think we would be used to loss by now. We see it daily, are even desensitized to it by the media and yet sometimes you just get this horrible slap in the face.
I am now feeling intense sadness… thinking about how much he accomplished, but of how much more he still could.
The one source of comfort for me is that he died playing the game that he loved, even scoring a goal that game. He was a fierce competitor, an undeniable success and an amazingly happy and gracious person. My thoughts go out to his family. Пока Алексей. Мы тебя любим.
I must admit, the Leafs surprised me tonight… this coming from an avid Habs fan, who has felt nothing but disdain for them in the past.
In a 6-1 game, you may think that there probably wasn’t much that Toronto put on the table, but for the first time in a long time I saw potential.
I think that mainly came from Ron Wilson who seems to exude a confidence, not only in his players but in his own ability to make them believe that they can be great.
You can’t really talk about the team as a whole, because it’s piecey at best… but some of those pieces are developing or may someday develop into really talented, even coveted players: I’m talking about the Stajan’s, Steen’s and Schenn’s of the Leafs. The management finally seems to be taking a page from Gainey’s book and looking to get players through the system instead of making an impulse buy here and there.
I’m not saying that they are anywhere near becoming a contending team… they have a ways to go… but I saw a spark tonight… an undeniable spark.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
We think we’ll never see the day that we’ll have too many good players on the team…
I mean look at the Leafs… we trade them Grabovski and now he’s their number one center. It makes you wonder what is going on in that organization…
Regardless, I look at the Habs this year and they seem to have an excess of excellence! They still need to cut 4 players and it’s hard, when players who were thought of as locks to play in Hamilton turn up the heat and play their hearts out in the preseason.
A perfect example of this is Max Pacioretty. This guy is just incredible. He seems to have such skill & hockey sense at such a young age, and with his play should be a shoe-in for a spot on the Canadiens roster. But no matter his determination and work ethic… it seems there is little, if any space for him.
I mean as I see it, up front we have:
And Price & Halak in nets…
That leaves 3 spots on a 23-man roster, two of which will certainly go to Laraque and Brisebois. That leaves Chipchura, Max Pac, Dandenault & Weber (as well as Denis, but I’m thinking he’ll be in Hamilton quite soon).
Assuming Dandenault doesn’t get traded, he seems like the guy that they’ll keep for that 3rd spot because of his experience & leadership. He’s one of the fastest (if not the fastest) skaters on the team hands-down, and he doesn’t mind being shuffled from defense to forward and back again.
Chipchura has had a so-so training camp, but he’s a talented young player, who hopefully will get his chance eventually, but he didn’t shine enough this year to bump someone else out of the roster.
Pacioretty on the other hand did. He outplayed and outskated many of the players, and easily made the biggest impression of any rookie at camp (though Weber had a good camp as well). You can tell he wants it, and that he wants it bad, but is his best better than someone on our current roster? If not, or if Carbonneau and Gainey have any uncertainty at all, I think he’d be better off in the minors, to be able to play a lot and work on some aspects of his game. But if they are sure, then someone is going to be sent packing… With such a solid roster, I really wonder who that person could be…