Tuesday, December 28, 2010


The last two weeks have not been kind to your Extraordinary Montreal Canadiens. Since learning that their superstar defenseman Andrei Markov would be out for the remainder of the season, unable to accommodate the Belgian authorities with the proper paperwork for the transfer of his artificial knee out of a bonded customs depot, the team was forced to heap more responsibility on their young phenom blue-liner, PK Subban. This has not met with stunning success to say the least. PK’s +/- went from +9 to -2 in that time, the defenders stopped clogging the middle, the Priceberg stopped pulling game-savers out of his ear, the scorers stopped scoring, and it all ended in tears with the rookie being sent to the press-box. It was easy to take it in stride the first few games but after half a dozen, the thought of choking down another arena hotdog while wearing a tie instead of hotdogging it on the ice was too much to bear and the young man was intent on making his case to rejoin the line-up for the game against Washington. You can imagine your ho-humming reporter’s surprise when informed as he shuffled in that PK was ruffling feathers by causing a kerfuffle during a scuffle. He had just exhibited his renowned grade-A intensity by sending a devastating right cross to Tomas Plekanec’s jaw as the centre tried to cross the blue line.
“It's practice, it's battling. It's tough." said Subban when asked to confirm. "When you're doing three-on-two drills and three-on-three, there are going to be chippy battles out there. You've just got to work through it. Give credit to Tommy for workin through my fist. It was a good practice today."
But he wasn’t done there. When Maxim Lapierre’s turn came to run the same play that Plekanec just had, he yelled across the ice for PK not to try that same crap with him, which of course, only motivated PK even more, and instead of a right cross, Lapierre found himself caught and grabbed from collar to crotch, turned upside down, and power-slammed into the ice. A melee ensued despite PK pleading it was an accident and Jack Marty giving himself an aneurysm blowing on the whistle.
"We see that all the time. When you are not playing, you've got to practice hard and make sure you are ready for the game when you are called on," said Captain Gio afterwards. "I thought it was a good practice by everybody and that stuff is going to happen when you're practicing hard. Lapierre was just mad cuz he accidentally swallowed his retainer."
Next came the power-play drills with shots from the point aimed at the slot for deflections. The indication was to keep the shot low. PK’s first shot hit Hal Gill in the face. While the 6’7” tower of power was bleeding his teeth out in the crease, Roman Hamrlik skated over to the young defender in order to give him a stern talking to, confident that his experience and prestige across the NHL would pull the young star into rank. But he was sorely mistaken and frankly shocked to see a round-house elbow coming his way. As Roman moved to dodge, he was grabbed around the waist and backward souplexed to the ice so hard that he didn’t regain consciousness for 18 minutes and realized he had bitten through his mouth-guard when he did.
"These things happen.” Mathieu Darche later said. “What's important is that we tone down the intensity against our opponents because if we play as we do against one-another, we’ll be spending the whole game in the box."
Coach Jack Marty pretty much thought the same way and decided to pull PK off for the remainder of the drill. As the kid came off, steaming with “intensity”, he pushed the coach face first into the back wall, grabbed him in a full Nelson, turned him around, and managed to smash his head at least three or four times against the sideboard ledge before Assistant Coach Kirk Muller succeeded in yanking him off.
“Completely normal.” said star Canadiens sniper Michael Cammalleri. “It’s a physical game and you have to respect the kid’s commitment to it.”
Once the practice had ended and after the complimentary knee to your devoted reporter’s sternum, PK Subban summed up his thought process concerning the passion he puts forth in order to perfect his skills.
"Like I said at the start of the year, my mentality is to come to the rink every day, try to learn, and get better. I get better by breaking heads. That’s my game. They told me ‘Don’t change your game’ so I’m not. This is me not changing my game. This is the game I always had success with. It's the same thing now. Every day, you're learning in a different way how to hurt people and you have to take it all in positively. Today was just another opportunity for me to go out there and get better and try and make the best of it and today, I think I did that. Especially if all those ambulance sirens I hear are an indication.”
-Do you think your effort today will be enough to get you into the game tonight?
“I hope so cuz next time, I’ll have to up the ante and instead of ambulances, it’ll be hearses.”
-No, what I meant was…
“Hell with this.”
More updates when senses return.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


SOMEWHERE IN SWITZERLAND - After several run-ins with the authorities regarding past discretions, your well-probed reporter has finally returned to good 'ol Canadian soil. Unburdened by European repression, this report could finally be logged.

As you have no doubt been reading, we at HabsBros have been chasing down former Canadiens greats to see what they are doing now that they no longer play for the most glorious of teams. We expected this to be a short task as we honestly expected most of these individuals to have taken their own lives by the ancient Japanese art of Hara-Kiri, or through a glorious Kumite. Oddly, however, they just keep being alive.

The latest in the line of players requiring an interview from yours truly was none other than Micheal Ryder. He was found languishing in anonymity in Switzerland, playing for some pee wee team call "EV Zug" (is that even a name?). This is how the interview went:

- Thank you once again for taking the time from your *snicker* busy schedule to talk to me.
"Uhm... No problem, I guess."
- Let's get this started, shall we?
- So, Mr. Ryder, how are you coping with not only being mercilessly fired by the Montreal Canadiens, but also, evidently, by the entire National Hockey League?
"What?! Hey, none of that question made any sense!"
- Which part? The part about you being a washed up loser, or the part about just being stupid?
"Excuse me?"
- Listen, you're the one who wasn't good enough to stick with the NHL, Mr. Ryder, that's not my fault. No need to get defensive.
"That's not even my name! Did you even do any research before you came out here?"
- You're right. I shouldn't be calling you "Mister". You don't deserve that. I mean, after 85 goals in your first three seasons, you fell out of favor pretty fast. Enjoying the night life a bit too much?
"Okay listen, you've clearly got me mixed up with Micheal Ryder. That's not who I am."
- So you're trying to forget the past? That's probably wise. I'd want to forget too.
"Look, I'm not Michael Ryder. He plays for Boston. Haven't you noticed? He plays you guys like 6 times a year!"
- HA! Oh man, that's a good one! You're mistaken, good sir. Do you really think I'd confuse you for Glen Metropolit? Sure you guys look the same, but come on!


- Seriously though, do you still like pancakes?
"Oh man, I can't get enough of those delicious fluffycakes... Wait! What?! No! That's not me, that's Ryder who likes pancakes, man! Stop trying to trick me!"
- Why would I try to trick you? You are who you are, and that's Micheal Ryder, former Hab, former virgin, former dude with a reason to keep on living. Why do you have to hide that?
"I'm Glen Metropolit!"
- No, he plays for Boston. And he has some diginity left. You don't.
"This interview is over!"
- Will you at least be headed back to your Newfoundland home this summer?
"Obviously, but I... Hey! NO! I'm not Ryder! Stop it!"

And with that, Ryder stormed out, back to the hills to eat some chocolate or whatever disgraced former NHL players do when they get deported to Switzerland. This columnist, however, when home and delivered the straight dope, off the record, on the QT, and very hush, hush.

More updates as the pancakes cool.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Your Destiny-driven Montreal Canadiens are in Texas tonight to take on Mike Ribeiro and his band of chicken-fried gumbo-eating cronies. Normally, a hockey game presented nearer to Tijuana than your house to a corner-store wouldn’t receive much press, but it is in these circumstances nonetheless that both of the team’s most talented young players have been shown a red card by the club and are to sit out tonight’s game: Benny Poolio for a hit on his +/- sheet in the last three games, and PK Soobie for consistent giveaways after undeserved initial benching. The young Habs are getting the shaft. That much seems clear. Yet, your adamant reporter sought confirmation before publication and called up the Lavalife Hotline to get said young Habs’ voice-box numbers so we could exchange on the matter.
-Benny, do you think you’re getting the shaft by being relegated the way you are?
“Well, the coach sees the game the way he sees it, and I need to work harder to earn more time on the ice. I think I’ve been playing pretty good but there’s always room for improvement to be, you know, more consistent.”
-Yeah, but don’t you think you’re getting screwed though?
“No. I think that as a young player, you have to pay your dues and work hard all the time. The team wants me to succeed if they traded for me, so they’re doing what’s best for me for the future.”
-Yeah, but, don’t you think you should be playing more and that it’s total garbage that Eller is preferred over you, especially on the top line?
“Well, of course I want to play more but…”
-Ok, thanks, Benny, I knew it was garbage right from the get-go.
“Wait, I didn…”
-PK, do you think you’re getting the shaft by being benched tonight?
“Getting the shaft, no, I mean, a young guy coming into this league, there’s gonna be mistakes, you know? I mean, we all saw it, I have to be more careful with my passing sometimes, because a mistake like that, and next thing, it’s in the back of your net.”
-But considering every team has young players they’re breaking in, don’t you think your coach has his head up his butt for sidelining you and stifling your learning process?
“Watching the game from the press-box is part of the learning process sometimes. I think the coach, and the whole staff really, are doing their best to make me a better player every day and, like you said, it’s a process and I’m a young player, and there are gonna be mistakes sometimes.”
-Don’t you think the coaching staff should just admit to themselves as well as the whole world that they don’t have the first single solitary clue what the hell they’re doing and to just let you frikkin play?
“Well, I think that might be going a little too…”
-Yeah, I though that might be it too. Thanks, PK. Got all I need.
With direct confirmation from the persons involved following Benny Poulio’s assertion that playing Eller ahead of him was total garbage and PK Soobie’s more-than-plain suggestion that the coaching staff didn’t have the first clue on how to treat him as a player, your diligent reporter (pictured right) could now present his article confident in the knowledge that the truth mirrored his opinion and wasn’t the product of other influences apart utmost objectivity.
The Young Habs are getting the shaft and it’s just a matter of time before…
“Straight-dope Factory?”
“Jack Marty here. Two kids just called me, peein in their pants. What are you doing over there?”
-Doing my JOB, Jack; hell you think I’m doing?
“I think you might be getting ahead of yourself and maybe you don’t want to post what you’re thinking of posting.”
-I think maybe I do, Jack.
“Maybe we can work something out.”
-Yeah? How?
“I’ll put’em back on the ice. Red card revoked. They’ll play tonight.”
-You serious?
“You knows it, baby.”
-Ok. Hey, that’s great.
“Done. Ciao.”
Ok…uhh.., well now, this just goes to show how great a team like the Grandiose Montreal Canadiens can adapt to situations on the fly, dear reader. They see a problem, in this instance, me and my big mouth, and they head it off at the pass. Foresight. Initiative. Focus. Execution. Playing the young guns is certainly proof of their brilliance in all those aspects. Sitting out Benny Poolio isn’t a garbage move because they didn’t do it, and the coaching staff DOES know what it’s doing because PK Soobie ISN’T sitting. It just works out so nicely once again. The organization understands that the young Montreal Canadiens are the veteran Montreal Canadiens of the future and they need to be given the confidence to go with their responsibilities despite the occasional mistakes they may make. In fact, no other team in the history of the world understands this as perfectly as the Masterful Montreal Canadiens do, and I can assure you that THIS time, it’s objectively-speaking.

More updates as events warrant.

Friday, December 17, 2010


Double Stanley Cup-winning living legend Scott Gomez has been on a torrid point-getting streak for the last two games, registering 4 points and as many assists. One cannot help but observe that if he performs as well for the next 50 games, the speedy forward will finish the season with 113 pts, cracking the team’s single season 100-pt mark for the first time since the 1985-1986 season when the Little Viking led your Awe-Inspiring Montreal Canadiens down St-Catherine Street with the most sacred of chalices in one hand and a Kroppkaker in the other, boasting a 110-pt output during the regular season. Your security-dodging reporter made it a point to collect some of the Alaskan’s team-mates’ thoughts on the matter after last night’s convincing victory over their closest rivals in the North-East Division.
“Well, he’s just leaving it all out there, you know?” said his long-time friend and el capitan of the club Brian Gionta. “We went out to grab some dinner at a Chinese all-you-can-eat buffet last week and at some point during the evening, he just kinda got this look come over his face; I don’t know what happened, but the next morning, he was all fire and brimstone and he just kinda brought it to another level since, you know? Can’t explain it; sometimes it’s better not to look for a reason and just go with it.”
“A lot of the game is the mental aspect part of it; that's what a lot of guys say in this league.” suggested Tomas Plekanec, not a bad centre in his own right. “I think it has to do with Gomie taking some time to visualize the game and the type of contribution he intends to bring to it. I know for my part that he always takes 15 minutes in the bathroom by himself to think about that before he suits up. It looks like it’s paying off.”
“I think it’s a question of chemistry, really;” offered top sniper Michael Cammalleri. “Scott and I, we looked at how to combine our skills when we were paired together; we tried different experiments; we proposed some ideas and some theories to get some sort of reaction and though some of the results were interesting, there was nothing conclusive. And we ultimately had no choice but to accept the overall findings despite the resistance some of our personal feelings were generating at the time. It wasn’t working, that much was plain, and though I hate to admit it, I might’ve been bringing him down a bit and I guess I needed to see that. But right now, it’s just great to see that a player like that is on pace to break a great record like Mats Naslund’s because that’ll surely help the team; that’s just amazing.”
“There’s a reason the New York Rangers gave a contract like that to Scott Gomez.” Coach Jack Marty said afterwards. “He’s a leader. He’s a veteran. He understands the game and what a team needs to do to win. And if you look at last spring, he was definitely a part of our success in the playoffs. I think the problem was him wanting to do too much for his team-mates and he stopped skating so they could catch up to him. We had to remind him that his speed was his most devastating weapon and it was hard to generate if he wasn’t skating. So seeing him now on pace for 113 pts, that doesn’t surprise me or the organization one bit. He has the skill, the speed, and the vision to be a dominating force in this league and as we can see, that’s definitely happening right now. For us, the acquisition of Scott Gomez is a feather in the cap of the team because he’s been worth every penny. We are thrilled with his production and as his numbers over the course of the last two games show, had no doubt that he would step up to show that he is the best player on the team by a country mile. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go help the boss write some checks.”
There you have it, dear readers, the straight dope, straight from the horse-hockey’s mouth: Gomez worth every penny; on pace for 113 pts. Insert into hat and wear.
More updates when events warrant.