For more information regarding our move, please read the two last post published below.

25 November 2007

We've moved!

BBeR is now officially "The Faceoff Circle" and can be found at the following location:

Click here for BBeR's new quarters.

We hope you'll continue to follow us at our new location, it's still a little shabby as we're getting everything ready.

We should be fully up and running by the end of the week, in a few days, but until then...join the forum, become a part of the community and talk hockey on a board that will hopefully grow into a large one.

Don't hesitate to email us at:

Thanks for your support!


It's not really goodbye, but a new beginning...

When I first created this blog back in February of 2007, I had no idea it would turn out the way it did.

It started with myself, all alone, putting up several articles a day during last season's trade deadline about potential moves, rumours and just plain good old hockey talk.
I was fortunate enough to be linked by many-a-great bloggers on the net, and slowly but surely, BBeR grew...I added a few writers here, since I needed to have some diversity to my blog, I added a few new features and got serious about it.
The high point of this blog still remains the great community that has formed...from nothing, to something.
I'm struggling to write this now, as it's not really a goodbye, but a notice that BBeR is entering a new dimension...and new beginning.

I have reached an agreement with a friend to migrate this blog over to a new domain, with a new name in relation to a new hockey forum that's going to be created.
The title, "Bleu, Blanc et Rouge" was always deceiving...some thought I was a French-Canadian writing about my Habs, others, couldn't even come to pronounce it properly.
This was never a one-team blog and it never will be; BBeR is officially going to be renamed "The Faceoff Circle" and the move is going to come soon.
Do not fear, we'll all still be there...I'm going to contact the writers shortly with instructions on how to proceed with the move.

All the posts will NOT be lost; as my good friend in question, Jeff Veillette, who is going to eventually write about the Leafs on this new blog, is currently working on a bridge that would bring BBeR into a new domain, conserving everything that has already been done.

So no worries, we're not really going away, just moving into a new era...where in collaboration with "The Faceoff Cirle"'s forum, we can talk hockey on the blog, and argue as long and hard as we want in a forum dedicated for its readers and hockey fans around the world.

I've had the pleasure to write about hockey and I've had the privilege to write alongside some great hockey fans, and some great people.
I'd like to take this oppertunity to thank everyone who views the blog, and hopefully, will continue to do so in our new quarters.
I'd like to thank, in particular, writers like "The Ghost", Patrick Law, for being a presence in the blog, for meaning what he writes...."Katy", for her Caniac love..."Sherry", one of the most awesome people and hockey bloggers I've met...Bethany, for her devotion...Mike Thompson, really knows his Avs and glad I stumbled upon him...Matthew Macaskill, who doesn't write as much anymore, but who's a good buddy...Alex "Hockey Humorist" for his great long and funny Rangers related posts...others include JD Fluguy, Tracy, waffledave, Pierre St-Marie, Kopitarian14 and Norman Rochefort.

In sum, everyone on this blog has been insane to work with, and I'm thankful for the great moments we've shared talking hockey on something so unlikely as a hockey blog.

So to all our readers, writers, critics and fans...thank you for sticking around with Bleu, Blanc et Rouge, and don't fret...we're not over, and we'll be back soon, maybe as soon as today!

And who said I sucked at making emotional posts?

sniff, time to close the book on this one.

If you want to send an email for whatever reason, you can do so here: or, post a comment, anything is appreciated.

We'll be back, until then,

-Bleu, Blanc et Rouge (Steve Adams)

24 November 2007

'Hey quiet, this is not a rock concert alright?"

Ok, I know this might be old, but I can't help but laugh at the stupidity of hockey players sometimes.

Here's Joffrey Lupul, who by the way is doing MUCH better this year in Philly out of sulky Edmonton.

And my Habs lose again, please not another downhill slide like last year, my heart condition is wobbly enough as it is.

But hey, at least my Habs didn't get pummled by the Yotes like the Leafers did tonight, hehe.


23 November 2007

Jovo rejected trade to Islanders...

Phoenix Coyotes defenceman Ed Jovanovski reportedly rejected a trade that would bring him to Long Island this past offseason by using his very handy no-no clause.

Rumours had been swirling for much of the offseason and heading into the new campaign that Phoenix was intent on trading the veteran pointman if he could waive his no-trade clause.

This is surprising, as the Rangers were the rumoured New York team to be seeking Jovanovski, in a rumour that was shot down several times due to cap constraints involving the overpaid Canadian's $6.5 million figure.

Why overpaid?

Simple, Jovanovski has done close to nothing to merit that kind of paycheck from the Coyotes.
He's been injured far too many times and his offensive prowess that got him this deal has suffered in the desert under the regime of Yotes' head coach, Wayne Gretzky.

A change of scenery would do him good, although, I hear players love living in Arizona and that most of their families are well settled there; and despite their not-that-unobvious hockey woes, players accept to play there, even if it means for a losing team (no offence meant) and a cool salary like JovoCop's.

As stated in the article linked above, Isles GM Garth Snow proceeded to sign both Andy Sutton and Bryan Berard instead of Jovanovski.
And despite Sutton's inconsistency, and Berard's uncertainty (of how long his decent performance so far will last), I'd take them both any day over Jovanosvki because:
a) Their salaries combined barely surpass half of Jovo's.
b) They will eventually combine for more points together
c) They're buff and gritty and look like Islanders...Jovanovski, would not look good as an Islander, it just wouldn't feel right.
d) They aren't locked into a contract that long (Jovo's got 3 more years)
e) Last time I checked, having 2 pointmen of a decent to above average caliber who can toughen out the minutes, hit hard and score on the powerplay is better than having an overpaid, aging, injury-prone and underachieving veteran.

Many are calling Jovanovski "McCabe revisited"; as the latter has struggled since signing a huge deal with the Maple Leafs as well, and is drawing criticism from fans and the media alike for his occasional brain cramps and missed opportunities.

On a happier note, happy 33rd Saku!


20 November 2007

Schedule Tomfoolery

Apparently, the NHL has done everything in its power to create a schedule that takes all the momentum out of a teams, and their fans, sails. For what seems the 100th time this season the Sabres have a break after a Friday night game until Wednesday. While the rest certainly never hurts I think this is part and parcel to the team's struggles right now. Like any sport a team needs to find its rhythm. This is something they seem to have struggled with a ll season.

They are hardly alone. There has been numerous instances where teams around the NHL have had 1 game in a 11 day period. I believe this has interrupted their flow as well. It is harder to stay focused and practice becomes stale, it also robs intensity from games. This leads to boring games. Also, and this is my opinion, the more practice time you have the more work a team can do on its defense. I don't think it is coincidence that scoring is down as teams have been able to be far more organized defensively early in the season. It will be interesting to see if this theory bears out when the schedule tightens up after Christmas and they start playing 4 times a week.

Maybe the league could consider tightening up the schedule by 2-3 weeks and eliminate these gaps. There has to be a better way than this.

19 November 2007

Message to Bob Gainey: GET A GOON!

Following Saturday night's 7-4 massacre of the Boston Bruins on home ice, the Montreal Canadiens had plenty to be proud of, but their lack of a quality fighter to defend those star players is evident.

Games against the B's are always intense, leading to a few fights, notably Tom Kostopoulos dropping the mits twice, Andrei Kostitsyn learning a lesson a hard way to the hands of Mark Stuart, and Guillaume Latendresse taking a few swings at the monstrous Zdeno Chara.

Besides Kostitsyn's newfound fondness of dropping the gloves at an unexpected time (just kidding) and Kostopoulos getting slapped with a 1-game suspension for instigating a fight in the final minutes of the games, Latendresse showed Habs managment they need size and they need it now.

Taking on Chara is a big feat, someting your average player wouldn't dare image to attempt in his most twisted dreams, but when the antagonist attempts to concuss Alex Kovalev, who ducked out of the way near the end of the 3rd period along the right wing boads with Chara deliberately trying to make a sandwich out of his head and the glass, and you got a sophomore like Latendresse coming to his defence, it's sending a strong message to Mr Gainey up in his posh pressbox.


I'm not a big fan of what I call useless fighters, such as former duds like Aaron Downey and Garth Murray, but rather for the Habs picking up some muscle to defend their star players, in this case Kovalev.

Sure no one really wants to get a piece of Zdeno Chara, but in the end, when a guy like Jeremy Reich, who played a total of 4:10, is sent out onto the ice with a mission to knock down Carey Price, you need to have a goon there to show him who's boss.


Pick up Todd Fedoruk, who has just been waived by new co-GM's Brett Hull and Les Jackson in Dallas, to add some punch to the puzzle on what is poised (barring another December 23rd meltdown) to be a fine Canadiens campaign, and perhaps one for the ages.

On a side note, The "Big Bird", Larry Robinson, is getting his number retired tonight by the Habs en route to their centennial 2009 season...congratulations to him!

Until next time with your biased Montreal Canadiens post,


16 November 2007

Wojtek Wolski - The Forgotten Soph

The unabashed and highly deserved love-fest for all things Stastny has ramped up in Colorado, along with the buzz around the sudden re-emergence of a not-totally-putrid Jose Theodore, and the discussions of the flowing mullets of Smyth and Hannan. One thing many people have overlooked is the play of the OTHER super sophomore in Colorado’s lineup, Wojtek Wolski (pronounced VOY-teck WOHL-skee). He’s been overshadowed by the phenomenal play of Paul Stastny, but has quietly improved upon the pace (7G/8A/15P in 17 games) of his stellar numbers from last season (22G/28A/50P in 76 games). Opponents who overlook his contributions tend to do so at their own peril.

He started the season on the 3rd line with Marek Svatos, but has spent time with Brunette and Sakic on the 1st line, and lately Wolski has found a home on the 2nd line with Son of Stastny and the Duke (Milan Hejduk). Apparently, Paul has some kind of Eastern European fetish, which compared to taking pictures of your junk and then posting it on the intra-webs, isn’t that bad!

Wolski, the 21st pick in the absolutely LOADED 2004 Entry Draft, is a talented skater and has great hands. He’s defensive work seems to have improved this season, and he doesn’t look or play as small as he did in his short run in the 05-06 playoffs after jumping directly from his 128 point season in the OHL. He de-jocked Kipper in a shootout this year (see above) and has had an immediate impact on every line he’s played on this year. He currently leads the Avalanche and is tied for first in the league with three game-winning goals, is tied for the team lead with a +10 rating, ranks 3rd in both goals and points, and has points in nine of his last 10 games (5G/7A). He seems to be heating up just as the Avs enter an important (some would say “must-win”) road trip. The Avalanche faithful (including myself) are excited to see if Wolski can continue his development into a dangerous NHL sniper.

Ducks recall Hiller...Bryzgalov on the way out?

It looks as if there might be something brewing in California, as the Ducks recalled goaltender Jonas Hiller from the AHL early this morning, leading to speculation that long-time rumoured-to-be-on-the-way-out goalie Ilja Bryzgalov might be dealt.

Hiller is not your average minor-league goalie, he actually excelled in Europe and was signed by the Ducks after impressing performances in multiple international events.

Bryzgalov is considered a number one goalie, and at one point, he was pushing Giguere for the starting role...but since the latter won the Cup last summer plus signed a huge deal, there was no more competition.

This isn't very surprising, Bryzgalov is a good goalie and he could be a number one as he's showed in the past.

What are your thoughts on this early morning speculation?


15 November 2007

Tucker the Hypocrite

So, Sean Avery gets into a pre-game confrontation with Darcy Tucker and Jason Blake in Toronto on Saturday night. The confrontation between Avery and Tucker continued throughout the Rangers' shootout victory over the Leafs, including a first-period scrap.

After the game, Tucker goes all over TV and radio calling Avery classless (um, pot? Kettle?), and planting seeds in the heads of the Toronto media about what Avery might have said before the game.

Two days later, Howard Berger reports on Toronto's 590 The FAN that a Rangers' player told him that Avery made a remark about Jason Blake's recent cancer diagnosis, and a media firestorm is created.

Let's face it, Sean Avery is an easy target. Everyone who isn't a Ranger fan hates him, so it isn't exactly difficult to get the North American hockey media in a lather over this controversy. And, what do the media like more than getting up on their PC high horse to criticize someone whom no one likes? It's a no-lose proposition.

Now, no one would condone anyone making a derogatory remark about someone having cancer. Certainly not me. I lost my Grandmother to cancer when I was seven, and watched my brother beat Hodgkin's disease, just three months after he graduated college.

Having said that, is Darcy Tucker serious? Let's put aside for a second that there is not a shred of evidence that Avery actually made such a remark. Even if he did, is this where Darcy Tucker draws the line in the sand?

Tucker has made his entire NHL career on being a cheap shot artist. A man (and, I use that term so very loosely) with such little regard for his fellow players that he has no trouble putting their health and livelihood at risk each time he steps on the ice.

Is making a distasteful remark about cancer really worse than intentionally blowing out Michael Peca's knee in the 2002 playoffs?

Look, I'm not one of these people who thinks we should take fighting and hitting out of the game. Physical intimidation has been, and always should be, part of the game. But, have we become so PC that someone with a history of intentionally injuring opponents can get up in front of cameras and self-righteously pontificate about someone's allegedly insensitive remark, and no one bats an eye? Could no one in the media be bothered to point out to Mr. Tucker that he might have been the last person who should be commenting on any of this?

Since there is no proof that Avery said anything about Blake's cancer, and Blake himself has said he has no knowledge of any such remarks, I'm giving Avery the benefit of the doubt. And, even if I'm wrong, and Avery said something that I would personally find reprehensible, the last person I want to hear lecturing us about class is Darcy Tucker.

Turning Point in Rangers' Season

It's been quite a while since I was able to post here, because my wife and I welcomed our first child into the world recently, and, as you can imagine, it has kept us quite busy.

During this time, the Rangers seem to have found their game, winning 7 of their last 8 games to move within one point of the first-place Flyers going into tonight's showdown in the City of Brotherly Love.

So, what turned the Rangers season around? Some might say their recent string of wins is due to Captain Jaromir Jagr re-emerging as a dominant force. Or, Scott Gomez beginning to settle in and find his game. Some might even say the emergence of the Rangers' "kids" have energized the team.

While all of that may be true, I prefer to think my daughter has made all the difference. The team's current 7-1 run just happened to coincide with her birth, and she has become the good luck charm for the season. I have posted a picture below of her enjoying (sleeping through) her first Ranger game.

14 November 2007

Ouch...Tlusty's boner finds way onto internet!

19-year old Maple Leafs prospect Jiri Tlusty is in a little bit of a of a raunchy mess, as pictures of him showing off his boner taken with his camera phone are all over the internet (and the one you see here is one of the milder ones).

They were, however removed due to potential legal action by the Leafs organization, claiming that the webiste invaded Tlusty's private life, and they had no right to broadcast the pictures he took of himself, since they are "his property".

And they're right, and thank God they're gone (since a reader had the bright idea of sending me the pics by email), but sadly, I've read they're still splattered here and there on the net.

Originally reported by Is This Happening?, a Canadian-based online gossip website, Tlustly reportedly took several pictures of himself stripped down, posted them on his facebook account and emailed them to this girl he apparently liked, to give her more than just a small glimpse of his body.

They were taken last year, according to Tlusty, while playing in Ontario, and they somehow found their way into's hands.

I'd be terribly embarrassed if this happened to me, and to make matters worse, in a media-frenzy town like Toronto where people jump to conclusions before finding out the whole story.

This here is perfectly relevant example of how people really don't respect someone else's private life, seriously, who cares if he did that?
The typical smart-Alec would say that I do because I wrote about this, but no, I really don't...but maybe some readers do, so, it's my duty as a blogger to inform thee! :)

The Maple Leafs issued a statement earlier today, and Tlusty apologized for this little controversy.

Hopefully this will go away, and fast, no need for distractions like this for Tlusty this early in his promising career.



I have avoided writing this one. Partially out of denial, partially because it is so easy to pile on. But... well, now is the time.

This Sabres team is broken. Not broken in the sense that there are poor players or coaching. I am talking broken in the spiritual sense. I had not, I admit, seen this coming. sure all of the signs were there, especially the ones in neon lights (see Briere and Drury leaving). I thought that Miller, Gaustad, Campbell would pick up the slack. I truly did. What I have seen is an unemotional team going through the motions on most nights. I acknowledge they picked it up big time in the past two games against the Bruins and Leafs, but no one was home to score those clutch goals that They-who-shall-not-be-named used to score.

Who is to blame? Yes it starts with Regier. He was wrong, pure and simple. There is still time to right the ship but the fix is going to be expensive in the way of prospects. There are players to be had, players that can fill the Drury/Briere roles but they are going to cost Buffalo some of their exquisite depth and prized prospects.

Lindy doesn't get off easy here either. For the first time ever Lindy seems at a loss. I think part of it is a sense of betrayal. I know if I had signed a new 3 year deal at less than market value and then had my veteran leaders stripped I would feel betrayed too. I can't help but sense that it has seeped into his thinking and the room as a whole.

Tom Golisano gets a bite of the apple too. He has done tons of good while here in Buffalo, but anyone who listened to the fans and read the news knew that bringing one of those two back was critical to the perception of this team, if nothing else. Now this team must win in order to draw. Losing Briere and Drury destroyed any grace period this town was willing to give. Tom, as a business man, you should have known better than that.

The players. The players have been downright awful. What shakes me is this unwillingness to take ownership of the team. Instead of grasping the leadership role they have played hot-potato with it. It may have something to do with the fact that being the captain of this team is akin to a death sentence. Ruff's rotating captaincy has been criticized. i think it is more of a result of a locker room waiting for the other guy. A true team would DEMAND and push forward a captain. Yet, they sit back and let the opportunity sail by. This leads me to believe that the role needs to be filled from the outside. I don't know who that guy is, but he better be found and brought in soon.

13 November 2007

“Tell her it’s not bad like last time.”

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The entire Caniac nation collectively held its breathe last night during the game vs. the Panthers. It had nothing to do with a goal. Nothing to do with a diving penalty. I don't think anyone remembered there was a game to be played. Most people are familiar with Erik Cole's injury that took place in March of '06. Brooks Orpik hit Cole from behind into the boards, and hard too. Even though Cole skated off the ice that day, he suffered a fractured vertebra. Most people remember holding their breathe during game 6 of the 2006 Stanley Cup finals when Cole first came back from that injury. Most Caniacs still fall silent any time Cole takes a hit.

Last night was a real test for our breath-holding skills. Cole was trying to outskate one of the Panthers to get a breakaway on Vokoun with the game tied at 3-3. Cole was held up and I watched as #26's feet came out from under him and he went headfirst into Vokoun and laid face-first on the ice.
It is a really helpless feeling when you have to sit there and all you can do is plead with Erik Cole through the TV to get up, unsuccessfully I might add.
Apparently he first told Vokoun that his neck was hurting him and just kept repeating that to him as Vokoun called the trainers over to the ice.
After 10 minutes or so, he was wheeled off on a stretcher to the standing ovation of 12,000 or so Panthers fans and the tapping of both teams' sticks. When asked if he wanted someone to call his wife he told them, “Tell her it’s not bad like last time.” He later said that as he was rolled under the scoreboard his only thought was "No Penalty?! Get serious."

The 'Canes played 8 minutes of grit hockey and Cory Stillman scored his second of the night to make the final score 4-3.

At about 12am it was released that Cole's CAT scan had come out negative for any injury to his neck and he was clear to fly to Tampa Bay with the team, who had postponed their flight until their teammate could rejoin them.
Cole is getting other tests done today and he will have to have them cleared by the medical staff here in NC before he is allowed to play again.
My guess is that as long as he is cleared by the medical staff here, we will see him back on the ice for Friday night's home game against the Thrashers.

*I want to post a special thanks to the fans from many of our rivalry teams for extending their wishes for Cole and his family. All of the thoughts and prayers were greatly appreciated!

Let's go Canes!

12 November 2007

You're not quite there yet, Jose...

If you think it's weird that Colorado Avalanche goaltender Jose Theodore is letting in less than 3 goals per game in Colorado and stopping at least 9 shots out of 10, you're seriously not alone.

The former Hart and Vezina winner was dealt to the Avalanche 2 seasons ago by his hometown Montreal Canadiens, the same year he was made the richest goalie to ever tend goal by Canadiens GM Bob Gainey with a brand new 3-year/$17 million deal.

Theodore floundered in Montreal terribly, and posted mediocre numbers as the team continued its embarrassing downward slide in the standings.
With newly acquired goaltender Cristobal Huet pushing Theodore for playing time, the French media being all over him for his little Paris Hilton scandal, coach Claude Julien getting blamed for Theodore's paltry performance, costing him his job, and a newborn child on the way as well as problems related to his uncle's loansharking business, Jose Theodore was a troubled young man.
The icing on the cake came when Theodore broke his ankle by falling down the stairs in front of his home one morning in that January, putting him on the injured reserve for the rest of the season as well as sparking talk that his injury was purposely "done" for his terrible season to end, highlighted by a recent 8-2 home loss to the Carolina Hurricanes that proved to be his last in the Bleu, Blanc et Rouge uniform.

At that point, it was doubtful rumours persisting that Gainey would unload Theodore and his huge contract would happen, but big G surprised us all once again.
While Huet rode the Habs net and Gainey coached his team up the standings behind the bench, Jose Theodore was a lost memory, and was written off for good the eve of the 2006 trade deadline, as he was surprisingly sent to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for equally struggling goaltender David Aebischer in a move many so called "experts" called the second coming of Patrick Roy in the Rocky Mountain state.
Gainey had successfully gotten rid of $17 million.

While Theodore tended to his injury down in Denver, Cristobal Huet carried the Canadiens to the playoffs and put up a strong performance in a series the Canadiens should have won against the eventual Stanley Cup Champs Hurricanes and in a series that dramatically saw a team fall apart as its captain did after a highstick to the orbital bone in Game 3 by Justin Williams.
That was evidently the turning point of the matchup that saw Carolina climb back from a 2-0 deficit, to beat the Canadiens in 6.

A few weeks later, the Avalanche and Jose Theodore took the plane home after losing in the Western semi-final in spectacular fashion to the San Jose Sharks.

In the month that followed, Cristobal Huet striked a new deal with the Canadiens, inking a 2-year/$5.75 million deal.
Theodore likely caused, however, then Avs GM Pierre Lacroix to resign, after wrongfully acquiring Theodore in a trade that still glares to this day in the hearts and salary cap of the Colorado Avalanche and their fans as a lopsided one.

The next season, Huet posted respectable numbers en route to a first career all-star selection while Theodore was just as bad as he had been in Montreal in a backup role to Peter Budaj.
Theodore earned the nickname of Jose "Threeofour" and was known to let in an inordinate number of goals on low shot totals (ex: 4 goals on 26 shots, 3 goals on 24 shots).
With new GM Francois Giguere manning the deck for Colorado, fans were itching for management to buy out the Quebecois goalie for his immense $5.5 million salary to be tossed out the window and forgotten.
This obviously did not happen and it is much easier said than done, as for Theodore to pass up that kind of money (knowing he likely won't ever get anything remotely close to that again) would be ridiculous.

The 2007-2008 season is just a month old, and Theodore is doing a lot more than he did in previous seasons with Colorado, pushing Peter Budaj for playing time in the Avs' goaltending tandem.
I'm trying to say this is a nice comeback, feel good story, but sorry, it's not.
The 31-year old netminder is 4-2-1 with a low GAA of 2.30 and a .920 SPCT%, both very remarkable results.
He is looking like the old Jose the Habs wished they could've had for the $17 million they invested in him at the time (actually, no, Huet rocks...and for his salary, he's a steal) and his play is looking less and less shaky, and more and more productive and confident.

It's only 7 games, I know, but (and I'm trying REAL hard to say this with a straight face) he needs to prove he can be brilliant over the course of one whole season, as you could argue that his last "great" year came in 2003-2004, in the last year of the pre-lockout era.

Formerly dubbed "The Franchise" by the Hockey news for the Canadiens, Theodore isn't quite there yet, but it's "nice" to see he's finally earning a fraction of his paycheck, at least for Avs fans.


10 November 2007

Senators to trade Emery?

Rumour has it that the Ottawa Senators may in fact be close to trading 24-year old goaltender Ray Emery to a Western Conference (apparently, the Los Angeles Kings) team along with forward Patrick Eaves and a prospect coming up from the Sens' farm club in Binghamton (suggested to be Josh Hennessey) in exchange for a goaltender and player.

Kevin Lee from Hockeybuzz, posted this on his blog yesterday and fans are anxiously awaiting to see if it's true or not.
To add more flame to the fire, GM Bryan Murray was reportedly in Binghamton last night to watch the prospect involved in the deal play, again, according to Lee.

Oh boy, this is interesting, is Emery on the way out? Already?!
He led his team to the Cup Final last season, was locked up to a big deal and is still young.

Have the Sens given up on him? Already?!

Interesting indeed,


08 November 2007 the city really hockey?

An article published on the French version of Canoe has me a little troubled and perplexed at the moment.

What it basically states is that the Canadiens, le Tricolore, les Glorieux, 24 time Stanley Cup Champs, whatever you wanna call them, are overrated when it comes to their popularity around Montreal and Quebec.

The article specifically quotes like this:
"If you think that the Canadiens are as important in Montrealers' eyes as the Red Sox are for Bostonians or the Yankees for New Yorkers, you are sadly mistaken..."

It claims that, according to a study/survey done by Turnkey Sports and Entertainment, Montreal finishes a lowly 74th out of 122 sports cities in North America when it comes to exposure in their local area.
"Exposure" here meaning "being a fan" or "who really cares about the Habs", in short, the real "fans".

The Habs media group has been using the phrase "The City is Hockey", "La Ville est Hockey" as the Habs slogan, and I gotta admit, it's quite appealing, appeasing and thankful to hear as a fan, as I truly believed our city was hockey, but this newfound report, like I said, has troubled me.

Aren't the Habs supposed to be hockey's bread and butter? The greatest sports franchise to arguably exist?
The winningnest franchise in NHL and sports history? A city where people are hockey-crazy and hockeylific?

The study shows that the Sabres (4th overall); Red Wings (20th) and Penguins (30th) are the top 3 NHL teams in North America.

The Canadiens?

A very surprising finish at 74th, or 15th in the NHL rankings.

I find this extremely hard to swallow, both as a Habs fan and person.
There is no doubt in my mind that Turnkey did not ask Francophones what they though about hockey in Montreal, where it stands for them, but rather the less, but equally fanatic Anglophone side.
I don't want to start any language wars here, but seriously, to think that Turnkey probably didn't get a French speaking surveyor to communicate with the larger population of Montreal, the Francs is insanely absurd!

So if Turnkey did ask them what they thought of the Habs, they'd probably and almost certainly be a lot higher on this list.
When asked "but they sell out every game", Haynes Hendrickson (VP of Turnkey) simply answered it's not about selling out, it's whether or not people go to the Bell Centre to see the Habs or the opposing team.

Jesus Almighty.

End of story right there, the City is hockey, period, point final, that was really the final nail in the coffin for me to mark this "revelation" as understudied, ignorant and certainly illogical.

The Canadiens...the best team ever in the history of hockey, les Glorieux, 24 time Stanley Cup Champs, le Tricolore...74th?!

You must be joking Mr Hendrickson,



06 November 2007

Your 2007-2008 Eastern Conference All-Stars: The Ottawa Senators!

Okay, perhaps that's a little bit optimistic, but thanks to the Senators' red-hot 12-1-0 start, a league-high 6 Ottawa players are on this year's All-Star Ballot. It includes the top line of Daniel Alfredsson, Dany Heatley, Jason Spezza as well as defensemen Chris Phillips and Wade Redden. Ray Emery also got a nod despite only playing 2 games so far this season, which I feel is somewhat of a slight to Martin Gerber who has been absolutely on fire, but I suppose Emery does have the whole 'Helped-the-team-to-the-Finals' bit to help him out. That being said, I also think Anton Volchenkov should have also got a nod but congrats to Emery on his first All-Star Ballot nomination!



Martin Biron, Philadelphia Flyers
Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils
Rick DiPietro, New York Islanders
Ray Emery, Ottawa Senators
Cristobal Huet, Montreal Canadiens
Olaf Kolzig, Washington Capitals
Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers
Ryan Miller, Buffalo Sabres
Tomas Vokoun, Florida Panthers
Cam Ward, Carolina Hurricanes


Jay Bouwmeester, Florida Panthers
Dan Boyle, Tampa Bay Lightning
Brian Campbell, Buffalo Sabres
Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins
Tomas Kaberle, Toronto Maple Leafs
Andrei Markov, Montreal Canadiens
Bryan McCabe, Toronto Maple Leafs
Chris Phillips, Ottawa Senators
Wade Redden, Ottawa Senators
Henrik Tallinder, Buffalo Sabres
Kimmo Timonen, Philadelphia Flyers
Ryan Whitney, Pittsburgh Penguins


Maxim Afinogenov, Buffalo Sabres
Daniel Alfredsson, Ottawa Senators
Jason Blake, Toronto Maple Leafs
Daniel Briere, Philadelphia Flyers
Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
Chris Drury, New York Rangers
Patrik Elias, New Jersey Devils
Simon Gagne, Philadelphia Flyers
Brian Gionta, New Jersey Devils
Scott Gomez, New York Rangers
Bill Guerin, New York Islanders
Dany Heatley, Ottawa Senators
Marian Hossa, Atlanta Thrashers
Jaromir Jagr, New York Rangers
Olli Jokinen, Florida Panthers
Saku Koivu, Montreal Canadiens
Ilya Kovalchuk, Atlanta Thrashers
Vyacheslav Kozlov, Atlanta Thrashers
Vincent Lecavalier, Tampa Bay Lightning
Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins
Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
Brad Richards, Tampa Bay Lightning
Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay Lightning
Marc Savard, Boston Bruins
Brendan Shanahan, New York Rangers
Jason Spezza, Ottawa Senators
Eric Staal, Carolina Hurricanes
Mats Sundin, Toronto Maple Leafs
Thomas Vanek, Buffalo Sabres
Justin Williams, Carolina Hurricanes

Full list of nominees here.

Voting will take place November 13th until January 2nd and the voting will be entirely digital but their slogan is "Vote Now, Vote Often" so I guess you can vote as many times as you want.

By the way, Bryan McCabe? Her?

Cross-posted to Scarlett Ice

Sabres Play Nearly Flawless Game...and Get Shutout

BBR has to be smiling somewhere right now. Buffalo and the Habs played a nearly perfect game last night. Good flow, lots of chances, good hitting and way too much Cristobal Huet! It is hard to get down on the Sabres effort everyone came to play and 9 out of 10 games the Sabres win.

My quandry with this team is I have no idea how good they are. They are immensly talented, but the Habs had that something that the Sabres seem to be lacking now. What is it? Its not quite leadership, it isn't a lack of ability. I am not sure.



- Newly arrived defenseman Nolan Pratt hurt his groin in his first game. He is day-to-day.

- Jaro Spacek is injured again. Apparently he reinjured his shoulder against Boston. He is day-to-day as well.

- Adam Mair suffered a ankle injury against the Habs. It will be interesting to see if the Sabres make a call up. The MSG telecast highlighted Dylan Hunter. I have to wonder if my idol's son is going to get the call.

- 19 year old defenseman Mike Weber has been very solid in his 3 games in place of the injured players. He skates well and is very physical. He did a marvelous job against Kovalev and the rest of the Habs speedy forwards yesterday. Color me impressed.

- Andrei Sekera, after a rough, rough start looks like a new man. He is definitely skating with a purpose and taking more and more control. He may be here for the long haul now.

- Derek Roy may want to consider taking his head out of his butt. He has looked lost and made numerous careless mistakes with the puck lately. He has hurt the team far more than helped lately.

05 November 2007

Out-of-Sync Gadget Transformed Into Defensive Machine

After the Rangers collective contraption blew a gasket against the Ottawa Senators on October 13, when they gave up 3 goals in 52 seconds, I described them as being “like a rich kid’s rendition of an out-of-sync gadget thrown together for a science class project”. Link to October 13 article.

This description* actually made a Philadelphia Flyers fan (JD FLYGUY) write: “You have no idea how much that made my day. I think I have a new favorite quote. That's pure genius”. Link to JD FLYGUY’s quote (in comments section).

The irony is that after shutting out the Flyers 2-0 tonight, the Rangers seemingly out-of-control science project is beginning to resemble a defensive Frankenstein, which was masterminded by a mad hockey genius.

Having given up only 2 goals in their last 4 games, 8 goals in their last 8 games, and a league low 23 goals in 14 games, the Rangers find themselves as the league’s top defensive team with a GAA of 1.64.

The Rangers, who’ve amazingly also scored a league low 1.78 goals per game, have obviously found the answer to their season-long offensively offensive woes—the best offense is a good defense, combined with a royal goalie (King Henrik Lundquist).

Humorist’s Hindsight: In the NOT DEAD YET category, Brendan Shanahan is trying to bury the October 17 pronouncement by myself and former Rangers statistician, Nomar Goles, that his goal scoring ability is “dead”. Shanahan has scored 3 goals in his last 4 games, including resurrecting his patented one-timer against the Flyers tonight.

In figuratively trying to stay off the “corpses’ cart” that was immortalized in the classic film, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Shanahan has not only proclaimed his goal scoring as being “not dead yet” with his recent surge, but he was also overheard after tonight’s game saying, “I feel happy. I feel happy”.

*The original quote that JD FLYGUY responded to was “like a rich kid’s rendition of a gadget thrown together for a science class project”. I later added “out-of-sync”.

Courtesy of The Hockey Humorist -

04 November 2007

Red-Hot Senators

The Ottawa Senators played by far their best hockey last night vs. Boston and they only came up with a 3-2 win. There were 81 shots total directed at the Boston net during the game. That stat is stunning. It seems like Mike Fisher is the only one who knows how to beat Tim Thomas. Can't wait till tonight to see if there will be a bigger blowout on the scoreboard at the bank. And don't forget, the sens played that game WITHOUT Spezza.

Having locked up the big 3 now gives me time to relax now that I know they should be in Ottawa for the next few years. Bryan Murray did a great job of locking up the big 3- I think he will be in the organization for a while- he hasn't done anything bad yet.

I hate the people who say," well, Murray hasn't won a cup yet ", because he has done everything except that. I would have to rank Murray right behind Hooland in the GM ranks.

Thumbs up to you, Bryan.

03 November 2007

Cherry defends Koivu, blasts lawyer Bertrand...

Yeah I know I should more objective when it comes to these things, but I vividly believe Guy Bertrand is a stupid nut case for criticizing whom Cherry calls "almost a saint".
If you remember correctly, Bertrand publicly cried out that Koviu should learn French and that "Quebecers have a right to be served in their language", clearly reffering to his "disrespect" of Bill 101.

Here's the bit on Cherry, still down that the Habs lost to the Leafs tonight, not in the mood to talk about them anymore until I cheer up tomorrow.

"I'll tell you one thing, you people that criticize him, he's almost a saint as far as I'm concerned," said Cherry. "You people that criticize him are insecure and pathetic."

Cherry lauded Koivu for his strength and courage in recovering from both non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and a serious eye injury, both of which nearly ended his career.

"He's an inspiration to all the people he came back for," said Cherry. "What do they do? They rip him and give him a hard time for you-know-what, I'm not even going to mention it."

Hope your team did better than mine tonight, but hey, it was a good game while it lasted...Habs definitely deserved to win.

And for Don Cherry to climb out of his Leaf-confined hole is somewhat miraculous, that's why I'm giving this little event its own post!


02 November 2007

Paging Ryan Miller....

The Sabres are struggling. No, they aren't terrible,but they aren't good either. a-number-one on my hitlist, Ryan "the franchise" Miller. I will grant you they are playing a schedule only Gary Bettman could dream up, but I expect more from Sir Ryan and so do many Sabres fans. Particularly irritating is his seeming loss of concentration at key moments and the shoulder shrug reminiscent of the days of Joe Ferguson's head hanging.

The bottom line is this:

Stop the damned puck if you want to be considered among the elite!!!!

Spezza ices huge contract with Senators!

Breaking news in the nation's capital, as the Ottawa Senators finally got a deal done with their superstar-in-the-making Jason Spezza yesterday night, agreeing to a new 7-year/$49 million contract extension according to Bob McKenzie over at TSN.

Spezza and Murray have yet to announce anything to the media, but McKenzie did a good job and got the details as to how Spezza would be paid over the course of the next 7 years:

08-09: 4 M signing bonus, 4 M base salary = $8 million
09-10: 4 M signing bonus, 4 M base salary = $8 million
10-11: 4 M signing bonus, 4 M base salary = $8 million
11-12: 2 M signing bonus, 6 M base salary = $8 million
12-13: 2 M signing bonus, 6 M base salary = $8 million
13-14: no signing bonus, 5 M base salary = $5 million
14-15: no signing bonus, 5 M base salary = $5 million

For a total of a whopping $49 million.

Spezza's deal is similar to his linemate's Dany Heatley, who also signed a massive extension early in the new campaign.

The 24-year old has 1 goal and 12 assists in 10 games with the Senators so far, and he likely sat out last night's game vs the Thrashers to finalize this deal with his agent.

This signing may mean the end of the Wade Redden era in Ottawa, as the veteran blueliner is eligible to hit the unrestricted free-agent market and it's unlikly Sens GM Bryan Murray will be able to live up to yet more pressure from the fans and keep the pricey Redden in the fold.

The Missisauga native was due to become a restricted free-agent this summer, and given the recent situations that have unfolded during that period with offer sheets being thrown around (see Dustin Penner, Tomas Vanek, Ryan Kesler), Spezza would've been an attractive option to teams salivating for that God-like player.



01 November 2007

To dive or not to dive? That is the question.

I am going to start off this blog with stating that I am not placing last night's 4-2 loss on the refs. The Canes should have taken advantage in the 1st period and been up more than 1-0 going into the 3rd. They were slow on their feet for much of the 2nd and 3rd period, but in all fairness were still playing ahead of the Panthers until the middle of the 3rd.
With that said...

I am completely appalled with the things the Hurricanes were faced with in Southern Florida last night. I knew it was going to be a bad night when I tuned into "Hurricanes Live" and John Forslund and Tripp Tracy begin the night talking about the Florida papers. They show at least three articles that all read pretty much the same thing: "Carolina's diving act isn't easily forgotten"
By the way, the "diving act" they are talking about refers to the 'Canes going 7-1-0 against the Panthers last year and how they think we dove to get our wins. (Funny, because last year our PP was ranked on of the lowest in the league and we pretty much would have rather gone short handed than have to watch the mess that was our power play.) The best was one famous night where Eric Staal was tripped and because Ed Belfour thought he embellished, he put on a little show....seen here:

All of that nonsense aside, I found it humorous that they were calling us divers when Olli Jokinen was the only player to get a diving penalty before the two called on us last night. I don't find it classy at all to publish such things in a newspaper, when they don't even have any ground to stand on. Perhaps if they posted more things about their team, instead of trying to put down the Canes they would have had an attendance of more than 10,000 (although a friend who was there for the game last night said she would have put the attendance more at 3,000 tops)
You didn't see an article here in NC about Jokinen and his comments last year to run this team down and if injuries were necessary for the win, so be it. Instead you saw that Jokinen and Vokoun both play really well against us and generally just positive things.

As much as I didn't like that article, I would have never guess the refs would let media influence the way they make calls. Going into the 3rd up 1-0, we knew that we couldn't just sit on a lead of one if we wanted the two points. There was a battle for the puck along the boards and you see Jokinen nail LaRose into the boards. They say a penalty is being called and I thought it was obviously a Florida penalty...until I see LaRose yelling at the refs and head over to the box. I was REALLY confused at that point until I hear the words "2 minutes for diving"
Let me give you some stats real quick so you can understand this:
Chad LaRose is 5'9 and weighs 185 lbs. Fourth line guy, lots of energy, our "gnat"
Olli Jokinen is 6'3 and weighs 214 lbs. I am not sure what line he plays, because I saw him play with like 3 different ones last night, but he pretty much IS the team.

So LaRose got pushed from behind, fell down, and that is diving? I am surprised they even issued Jokinen a penalty at all! If anyone can explain that to me feel free to email me! That penalty is killed off.
Jokinen scores 7 minutes in. Then Erik Cole scores on a beautiful pass from Staal to make the game 2-1.

Not even 2 minutes after that, we see a play where Justin Williams checks Horton who falls over easily. (no penalty given on that one though!) Williams begins to skate away and Horton pushes himself up enough to grab around his legs (pretty much something you see in football) Williams falls over seeing as he can't move his legs.

Penalty called. Horton 2 minutes for holding. Oh wait. Big surprise here. Williams 2 minutes for diving. How is it diving when he is TACKLED?!?!! Someone, anyone PLEASE explain this to me!!!
Canes are scored on during that 4 on 4. 2-2 game.

5 minutes left and the refs called Staal for holding. I didn't see it, but okay Staal was "holding". Not a problem. Before that penalty expires Williams gets another call delay of game this time.
5 on 3, and Zednik scores no problem 3-2. THEN as the Staal penalty expires there is a rush from the Panthers and Wesley our veteran Dman throws himself down to try and stop the breakaway. Penalty for slashing. Another 5 on 3.
In a moment of desperation Cam Ward comes way out of the crease to try and poke check the puck so maybe the Canes can get a shorthanded rush. Unfortunately for him this was not our night and Horton went right around him and scored on an empty net. Final score 4-2.

Brad Watson, who was the ref who made both of the diving calls needs a strong review. He doesn't even have the excuse that he is a new ref for why he made those calls and even the Florida announcers were perplexed with where the dives were exactly. NHL: PLEASE DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE OFFICIATING. And I am not even talking just about last night. I have watch some of the worst officiating I have seen in this early season.

I will leave you with Erik Cole's insights on the game last night (from the News and Observer) and why there were the two diving calls and pretty much mocking the virtually empty arena:
"An intimidating building like this? You're going to get those calls at home"

Until next time....

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All Rights Reserved. The content of this blog is the sole opinion of these bloggers and does not represent an opinion of any kind of a professional NHL hockey team mentioned.