The List

Happy almost-end-of-January. I did that thing again where I jotted down mini-topics on my Notes app on my iPhone for purposes of a blog post.

  • I have a Macbook Air. And since I’m on iCloud, whenever I send myself reminders on my iPhone, whenever I open up the laptop, there’s a pop-up there too, with the reminder I saved on my phone. Just now when I opened it up, it told me, “GET TP!!!” Thanks, laptop. We’re all good now though!
  • I haven’t logged in here for a few weeks. I checked my Stats page, 0 views today. Sometimes, I’ll have 1 or 2 views, even on days when I haven’t posted in a long time. You know whose those views those are? My daughter’s. She checks here. She says she likes it, but that I use the D-word too much. Then don’t read the damned blog, kid!
  • Just kidding. I love you. But I get to use the D-word because I’m a grown-up. You don’t.
  • I’m not really a grown-up. I’m old, but I’m not a grown-up. My one friend, Kerry, once sent me a New Yorker piece on how the grown-up has gone the way of the dodo. And I was just catching up with my PVR and saw Billy Connolly on Strombo who was saying the same thing. He says he doesn’t care about growing up, that it’s usually someone else’s suggestion. “You have to grow up!” George asked him how he responds to that. Billy: “Two words.” I often wait for that magical moment when I’m grown up. And often ponder things that way, like, “When I’m grown up,” this, or “When I’m grown up,” that. The possibilities are endless, and I’m really looking forward to it.
  • Sidebar: Not having hockey meant I watched other stuff on TV, and had the time to. Usually my PVR gets full of shows I’ll never watch on account of hockey. I love New Girl, Happy Endings, and Nashville. Like, love/love. Who knew there were shows on TV from October to April? I don’t watch reality TV though. But I do love talk shows. I love how the hosts always sit to the right of the screen, because if I were a guest on a talk show, they would get my right profile which is 2000% better than my left. If I hosted my own show, I’d have them switch the set around. These are things I think about sometimes.
  • My Facebook, which I don’t use much, has quotes from my kids in the About Me – Quotes part, or whatever it’s called. When my son was about six, on my birthday, he said, “So, Mom, you’re (confidential age) now, right?” And I said, “Yeah.” Then he said, “But you’re still a teenager though.” And I replied, “No, I’m a grown-up.” And he actually snorted, and said, “Yeah, right.” That’s under my Quotes. My About Me just says: “Kind of a pain.”
  • I just chose the categories for this blog post. Bold move, since I haven’t even really started it yet. One of the categories I have there is “Other Sports.” That’s ridiculous. What other sports are there? None that are written about here.
  • Wait, I blogged a couple of times about the World Cup when Chile was playing. So that’s why.
  • I switched the format around on this blog and lost all my widgets. Why do I ever try things.
  • I haven’t even started my topics list yet. I win for seriously being able to write about nothing. Okay, here we go.
  • The Habs played their first game of the “season” last Saturday. As you know, faithful readers…reader (dear Daughter), I was very much angry with the NHL and the players for putting us through 3 months of unnecessary pain by not playing hockey. I still tuned in but wasn’t excited. I still tuned in, but didn’t care. Actually, when they started training camp, the Habs announced that Scott Gomez, that black-eye of a bloated contract for a non-productive player, would not be back. He’d get paid his 5.5 million dollars to sit out the “season” and then get bought out.
  • Sidebar: This got me to thinking, I could totally devote a blog post to what I would do if I was offered FIVE POINT FIVE MILLION DOLLARS to NOT show up to work. It’s equivalent to winning the lottery. But that would be a short, boring post. I would probably still go to the office. What else am I going to do while the kids are at school? Besides, I love the people at my office.
  • So anyway, when Marc Bergevin announced that Gomez would not be back in a Habs jersey again, I thought, “Well played. You just got my interest again.” Look, by all accounts, Gomez is a swell guy, super well-loved by his teammates and everything like that. No one said he was a bad guy. And no one can blame the guy for signing a contract like that on the dotted line. And had he been a scorer, I might not have cared about all that money. Let’s face it: no one can actually claim they earn that kind of money. That’s ridiculous. I can’t even imagine what you actually could do to earn that money. Perhaps deserve it, which is slightly different.
  • Sidebar: I hate Oprah. And I hate Lance Armstrong. I have never been able to stand that guy. No real reason. People thought he was some kind of hero because he won bike races, and survived cancer and then raised a bunch of money for it. But I still couldn’t stand him. Actually, here’s why: All I really knew about him is he kept dumping the women in his life. And he would dump them and immediately be in a new, serious relationship. Which meant that he was already cheating with the new one while he was still with the old one. To have a double-life like that, you have to be an accomplished liar with little conscience. So I couldn’t stand him, even when everyone around me all loved him and wore his rubber bracelet. Then all this stuff about his colossal cheating came out, and I felt validated for always hating the guy.
  • I don’t like Oprah either. That ego astounds. And all the people who worship her, that’s crazy too. I never really thought about her one way or the other, and always watched her show, because she had great guests, and would just roll my eyes every time she’d be in what would be for her guest, a serious, intense conversation, but Oprah would always be checking herself out in the monitor. Whatever. But what got me was when once she was being interviewed for the 10th anniversary of her show, and the interviewer brought up how she was worth $6 billion dollars or whatever INSANE figure it was. And, I’m not joking, she replied, with a very straight face: “And I’ve earned every penny.” ARE YOU SERIOUS? Oh, she was as serious as a heart-attack. I never took her seriously again.
  • So, when everyone asked if I was going to watch the Lance/Oprah show, I was like, “Lance. And Oprah? Yeah no.” The only time I ever liked Oprah was when she interviewed Stephen Colbert. And even then I didn’t really like her, I just love Colbert. I know my feeling about Opes is super unpopular. Actually, she did do one really good thing for me: It’s fun to say stuff like she does. Like when she says, “Please welcome, my friend John TRAVOLTAAAAAA!” One of my besties and I did that on a road trip. Like, “We’re going to TARGEEEEEET!” or “Let’s go to STARBUUUUUUCKS!” This was in the morning. We are both morning people. Our other bestie was super irritated.
  • Hi, Lisa! I’m finding a way to mention you in every post.
  • 1173 words in and I’ve strayed from my list. So anyway, I tuned in to watch the game. But it was preceded by a big, big, BIG opening ceremony. Hall of Famers carrying the torch in the Bell Centre, like Henri Richard (I met him once, and his big brother, and they signed my jersey!!), Jean Béliveau and Yvan Cournoyer (and Vinnie Damphousse??? Um, okay.). It was an opening ceremony to end all opening ceremonies. Do the Habs ever know how to give opening ceremony. And all over Twitter, I saw tweets about how everyone was crying. And I was sitting there with my arms crossed, hmmphing. Like, wooooow, these guys were really trying hard, here. I was 100% unmoved. Had they done this when they were supposed to, in October, I would have been blubbering like a baby. But not this way, not in January, when the season is supposed to be half over. Not when, apparently, the idea was we were all supposed to act like the previous 3 months didn’t just happen. I was bitter, and I wasn’t buying it. Okay, I really loved how Carey was the last person with the torch, looking up and chewing gum. What a boss. I was excited to finally watch a game however, but didn’t even watch the whole thing because I had to leave. And they were losing to the Leafs. In a former life, during a normal season, losing, to the LEAFS, would have ruined my evening. I didn’t care, and had a really awesome evening.
  • But then at the next game my Andrei Markov scored twice, and then at the next one scored again, and Itotallylovethemagainandcan’twaittilthenextgame.
  • Michelle Obama got these great new bangs, right when I’ve finally grown mine out. I fail at trends.
  • Let’s get started on that list.
  • No, it’s too long, and I have to go pick up my daughter from a sleepover soon. I’ll keep adding to it and save it for next time.

It’s Not Me, It’s You

I haven’t posted on this topic since the NHL lockout was announced to have ended on Sunday, in part because I ceased to pay attention to every detail of the “negotiations” since about day 3o of the lockout. So I don’t know absolutely everything about the eventual agreement that was reached, and how, and I do have fear of being denigrated for not being as savvy about it as others who are well-versed.

But this isn’t about that. It’s not about the lockout, or the clash of the millionaires on either side and everything involved. It’s about how I don’t know how to even express how I feel about this.

One of the things I’ve always known to be true about myself is how much I love my team and love to watch them play. And right now, I just don’t care. I don’t care that they’re coming back, and I don’t care when, and I’m not even paying attention to when exactly that will be, and not caring about what should be paramount, which is, are the Habs coming to Vancouver this year? And WHEN.

I don’t. Care.

I was reading about Jimmy Kimmel and how he’s moving to a different time-slot now, in direct competition with Letterman and Leno. Kimmel’s funny. Super funny. I like that guy. Anyway, there was an article about how Jimmy lost respect for Leno, and it made a reference to some book detailing the Late Night war. And my mind wandered, as it does, to thinking, I would totally read a book, cover-to-cover, about this lockout and all the machinations, all the players (not player/players, but participants), and naming the villains and holdouts. But then it occurred to me, that book will never be written, not even by Julia Phillips, whom I’m pretty sure never did Eat Lunch in That Town Again. You know why? This mafia is even more nefarious than Hollywood power players, Bada Bing investors and the Genco Pura Olive Oil combined. Okay, perhaps that’s overly dramatic. But you know what? I’m hurt.

OMG, can you imagine if that book gets written? Calling out AND quoting Fehr, and Bettman?? The best, Jerry, the BEST.

At my work, and I’m sure, at yours, pay is commensurate with performance and expectations, in many measures, be they salary, perks, benefits, bonuses, etc., ad nauseum. If I don’t do my goddamned job, I don’t have one anymore. My own puppy doesn’t get her pig’s ear until she lies down and stays put like a statue until she hears, “Okay, go get it!”

Yes, I know the CBA is more complex than the rules of just your job or mine, or the rewards of a hyper 18-month old Lab. The point is, I couldn’t emotionally identify with the plight of the players in the lockout, which is the level of identification I’m required to attain when we’re talking sympathy. And make no mistake, I really easily sympathize with all KINDS of people, including the people with whom I may have absolutely nothing in common. Still, I also couldn’t put myself in the owners’ or Bettman’s shoes.

So on Sunday, I checked Twitter near midday, which I’d only sporadically been doing recently. And I learned, as we’d pretty much all been expecting, although I was hoping otherwise, that the lockout was “over,” details of the new CBA TBA in a matter of days, no specific timing available. Yay. Not yay. I’d actually hoped they wouldn’t come back now, maybe they’d come back next October, because what is the point of a 3-month season? Seriously. We all love watching hockey, but it’s ultimately all about the marathon.

I was bemused to see a lot of unbridled enthusiasm, a la, “Go Habs Go!” or “They’re back!” or “It’s over!” and I couldn’t join. Which I hadn’t been expecting, really. For all my bitterness, I deep-down still expected to flip the second the lockout ended. But I didn’t. I just kind of felt…pissed off. Like, what, we’re all supposed to be excited now? And it seems like a lot of you are? To be treated to likely 50% of a season we’re all deserving of? Us, the fans, who stick beside you even when you break our hearts? And look forward to playoffs and a Stanley Cup, the winner of which will be the butt of all jokes until the next lockout year? For real?

I once dated someone I was unreasonably in love with, and after a long, unreasonable while, I finally left the relationship. And moved far away. And after months of being better and figuring stuff out, the ex came back, and wanted me back, and called, wrote, left drunk voice messages, proposed, promised to lasso the moon, you name it. And this guy, whom I once couldn’t have imagined living without, simply didn’t move me. I was over it.

Not to liken a hockey team with a well-dodged bullet of a boyfriend, but I found myself feeling like that again on Sunday, no matter who was the bad guy in this lockout.

2013-01-08 10.23.20 pm

…and I just feel like, no. This isn’t working for me. It’s not me, it’s you. It’s totally you.

Still, I keep expecting myself to snap out of it and feel excitement, but it’s not happening. It’s the oddest thing. The last time a lockout and demi-season happened, I was distracted by a rambunctious, exhausting 1 & 3-year-old team of offspring, the pursuit of which did not comply with CBA newsdays or an abbreviated hockey schedule. That season was a write-off for me and I was only irritated, and that feeling disappeared by the next regular season. I had way better things to do.

And it turns out, I still do. Hockey stopped, and the reasons for its suspension got too tiresome to deserve my attention. And the world still turned, and life was good. And it was kind of nice to have freedom in the middle of a Saturday afternoon, which is when the Habs used to have 3 hours of my time, no matter what else was going on. And then, all of a sudden, they’re coming back, and we have to jump up and down. Not feeling it.

Some of the players spoke out, looking forward to the season, thanking the “fans who had stuck by them and supported them.” That was nice. And then, the Habs brass called a press conference and graciously mentioned the fans. This was on TSN:

2013-01-08 10.52.59 pm

As-yet undecided gesture. Sketchy on details. I’ll admit it, I didn’t shed a tear.

At the end of the last regular season, the Habs ended in the basement and didn’t even make the playoffs. But I was still so excited about Bergevin and had such faith in Molson, and was so moved by the genius PR gesture of the Habs giving their jerseys to fans after their last game, that I DID shed a tear, and was super excited about October – notwithstanding the horribly disappointing and heartbreaking season we’d just seen.

I read this in the Montreal Gazette today:

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Here’s the thing: isn’t every game important EVERY SEASON? Every game? Can you imagine if you went to work but decided only Tuesday and Friday would count? You know, sit and wait?

I’m still going to watch, let’s be real. Or you know what, maybe I won’t. Maybe I just think I will because I’m hardwired to do so. We’ll see. One tiny fan doesn’t matter to the NHL, I know, and it’s no kind of protest and is a ridiculous statement compared to say, a hunger strike, over things that actually matter. It’s not even a statement, actually.

Here’s who I’m relieved for: the journalists, and bloggers, who now will have more stuff to write about and be able to do their jobs again. The arena workers, including my little brother, who works at what we all still call GM Place. Sports bars. In Canada. Sports bars in the U.S. have probably been doing all right. And I’m happy that the players get to have a deal they consider to be fair. It’s all relative.

I still love my team, I always will. It will be nice to see Carey, P.K., Josh, Max, etc. again. But I’m not that girl (anymore). It is going to take some serious cartwheels to change my mind about this, hoop jumps, even. Let’s see what happens.

The Opinions Expressed Here Are Strictly My Own, You Big Silly.

You guys, obviously Geoff Molson reads my blog. Because last Sunday I called him out for not hiring a new GM yet, and the very next day, he did.

I’m still learning about the new guy, and from what I’ve read and after seeing the presser, I like him – I’m excited. Molson is actually kind of a genius because he has appeased all the sensibilities of the francophone militants – the new guy, Marc Bergevin, is a Montrealer who is bilingual – so that’s covered. Bergevin also happens to have management and scouting on his resume, being part of an organization when it has won the Cup, and…a personality? This is personally my favourite part. He’s young and fresh and played NHL hockey for 2 decades, and during the onslaught of speculation of who the new GM would be, he was very respectfully spoken of and his qualifications lauded on the radio. God bless Pierre McGuire, who was the runner-up for the job, and who the radio station I listen to, TSN990 in Montreal, unabashedly schilled for the second the vacancy was announced. People on Twitter love to hate Tony Marinaro, but I don’t – more on that later – and in my opionion it was Conor McKenna who was most constant in his promotion of McGuire. It just kind of made me feel icky. I don’t even get why McGuire got that close, to be honest. So he knows people. What does that have to do with the price of…what’s the saying? Anyway, he didn’t get the job and TSN990 still cannot go a day without mentioning him.

Kind of like how I don’t get why everyone and their mother matter-of-factedly think Patrick Roy will be named as the next coach. Why? Why. I simply do not understand. Yes, he was a great goalie, perhaps the best the Habs ever had (by far not the classiest though), and yes, he obviously would give his eyetooth for a chance to coach in the NHL. He himself has been in the press answering all kinds of questions ever since the speculation began, reminding everyone that his ringer’s always on. My personal opionion of this guy is not positive, to say the least, as far as his character is concerned. I recently rewatched that brawl between the Sagueneens and the Roy-coached Remparts, where Roy Jr. went off like a demented rabid animal on the Sagueneens goalie, who was as far from the action as he could get without leaving the ice; and it still makes me sick. And I will never forget or forgive Roy for how he turned his back on the franchise. Sure, Tremblay and Houle could have handled it better, but Roy went against the family in public – like a spoiled kid. There is much more that can be said but I don’t like to talk about him too much; and I just hate how his name is always on everyone’s lips for the coaching job. I really, really, really hope he doesn’t get chosen. There are way more guys out there with actual NHL coaching qualifications to choose from (or poach, even). I really hope that Molson isn’t considering a hot-headed egomaniacal coach with no NHL coaching experience to turn the last place team in the East around.

As for Tony, I actually like him. We all know someone like him, and he’s just a guy with a radio show. The guy’s not Idi Amin. Some people vehemently dislike him but continue to listen to him, which is obviously to Marinaro’s credit. He talks about soccer too much for my taste, but I can’t blame him for that, of course. He’s on a sports station. The things I like the least about his show is all that Italian music he plays or even when he sings. Everything else I don’t mind, and actually like. I like having a radio station that I can listen to the moment I wake up in the morning that is talking about Montreal sports. I seldom am aware of what’s going on in the city I actually live in because I can’t get enough Habs news. Oh but Tony, if you’re reading, I do have a little feedback for you: don’t remind everyone of when you had a scoop and it turned out you were right. I’m happy for you that you were right, but you knew you were right, and eventually everyone who attacked you knew you were right, so there’s no need to remind everyone. It’s unbecoming, and one reason I dislike that so much is because Don Cherry does it all the time. I can understand you wanting to remind all the people who attack you that you were right, but in the end, who really cares about them. You’re still the one with the show, you’re still the one people are listening to (even, apparently, when they don’t like it), and I like you. You seem like a nice person, and it does take character to put up with the abuse you get on Twitter. I’m on your side.

Now that we seem to know who the Assistant GM is, who’s going to be the next coach? This will be huge. And, as with every year, fans will be critical from the first moment anything negative happens. Hell, a lot of fans are critical even when nothing negative has happened.

No pressure, Bergevin. No pressure. Welcome to Montreal.

The Year in Review

I was going to do a kind of “year in review” post to end 2011, kind of like the annual letter I sent for Christmas to friends and family – and then realized I don’t have to, because I’d basically just be repeating everything I blogged about this year.

So instead, here’s our annual family photo, and the puppy, who refused to sit for a group shot, and links to some of my stories of 2011, if you’re interested.

With my wish for you and yours: May 2012 kick 2011’s ASS.

Happy New Year!

  1. That time I went to the Habs game in Vancity (and we WON)
  2. Charlie Sheen is cuckoo, we watched American Idol (and vowed to never again after that country-singing carrot-topped kid won), and other general happenings
  3. That time I blogged about Max Pacioretty – incidentally the most-read post on the blog EVER (that also resulted in Max following me on Twitter; I apologize for all the stupid tweets, Max) (and can you believe he’s still following)
  4. A follow-up on Pacioretty, shopping at Costco, and not really an update
  5. How the Habs make me crazy, and I love them anyway. Sure to be a recurring topic.
  6. That time I met Strombo (STROMBO, YO), got flowers on my birthday, and told the world that my daughter used to shoplift.
  7. That time the Habs got kicked out of the playoffs by the Bruins. If THIS becomes a recurring theme, just shoot me now.
  8. That time I was pissed off about North American politics.
  9. That time I thought I was really seriously sick and it turned out I was only a little sick. That was a good day.
  10. That time my son and I hung out, just the two of us
  11. That time the sickening notion of the Bruins winning the cup was close to becoming a reality
  12. Saying goodbye to my Dad.
  13. Selling the condo.
  14. Coffee is serious!
  15. How’s it going?
  16. Back to school and finally selling the condo and buying the townhouse.
  17. People who aren’t punctual piss me off.
  18. The weekend from hell. Or, that time we moved. Also, broken arms and puppy training.
  19. General update on nothing in particular
  20. Thoughts on the coaching/language controversy in Montreal

Which brings us to today. Also adding a picture of just the kids, because I really love it.

P.S. the Habs are on a one game winning streak!! YEEEEAHHHH BABY!

Coaching in Montreal & Bilingualism

It’s been less than 24 hours since I heard of Jacques Martin’s firing. I’m on the west coast, and if the puppy doesn’t get an exhaustive outing first thing in the morning, there is hell to pay for the rest of the day. So I didn’t sit down with coffee and iPad in hand to read news and check Twitter until about 4 hours after the story broke.

I speak 3 languages, and as someone whose employment has always depended on having the 3 languages, I feel I can speak to this issue. I worked for the Canadian government in Chile – speaking Spanish, French and English was a requirement. I’ve subsequently worked for Canadian companies with interests in South America; my language skills made me the preferred candidate for each of those positions. I also recently obtained my certification as a Spanish/English translator; obviously, knowing those 2 languages is a requirement for that.

Being bilingual in Montreal is not a requirement; in fact, only French is the official language there. You must speak French if you want a job in the belle province. I get that, and have a deep appreciation for that. I love the city of Montreal, it’s my favorite city in Canada. And I LOVE the French language, and sympathize with and fully comprehend the people of Quebec who fiercely protect their heritage and language.

Speaking French, however, is not a requirement for a coach to be employed by the National Hockey League. It’s an implicit requirement for being the coach in Montreal. I consider it a “nice-to-have”. Nice to be able to communicate with the Francophone press and citizens. But that’s all.

The coach of a team SHOULD have the respect of his team, and should be able to communicate with the PLAYERS. Having the added prohibitive “requirement” of speaking French pares down the talent pool considerably, and has routinely adversely affected the talent search in that city.

Last I checked, Francophone media have no problem interviewing Montreal Canadiens players, of whom, I believe, only one can speak French. So why not speak English with the coach, too? And then use the bilingualism to translate resulting news pieces? It’s not hard!!

The issue in Montreal is purely political, it’s not about hockey. Hockey is about assembling the best available talent, players and coach alike, then going out and winning games. And winning the Cup. THAT’s what hockey is.

I believe Pierre Gauthier has been scrambling to save his own skin by throwing upset Canadiens fans proverbial bones with the firing of Perry Pearn, the Spacek trade, and now the firing of Jacques Martin. But you have to admire his “cojones” by naming an interim coach who is not fluent in French. The Francophone press is not happy, in fact, it’s all they seem to care about. Let’s give Randy Cunneyworth a chance – if he doesn’t do a worse job than Martin, it’s already a step in the right direction.

French Canadian ex-player and coach Guy Carbonneau said it best at his press conference after being fired by the Canadiens, when asked the “all-important” question about which French speaking coach might replace him, and said the fans shouldn’t care if the coach could only speak Chinese, as long as the team won the Cup.

Summer Too Soon

I can’t write a blog post summarizing the Habs’ season or their playoff round against the Bruins without simply repeating what has already been so aptly stated by The Active Stick,  The H Does Not Stand For HabsHey, My Name is Will,  All HabsCowhide and Rubber, and countless more.

Here go my thoughts, trying hard not to be repetitive:

  • The Habs lost a hard battle against the Bruins and were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.  You may think it’s bitter of me to say, but I believe the better team lost, the classier team lost, the team that deserved to win lost, and the refs missed too many blatant calls against the bad guys, which contributed to ultimately losing out to the classless Bruins.
  • Again, you have permission to call me bitter, and you probably wouldn’t be incorrect, but that does not mean that I am incorrect.
  • Max Pacioretty, that prince of a young man, forgives Chara for breaking his neck, giving him a concussion and ending his season, so I guess I have to, also.
  • That doesn’t mean I have to forgive Ference for a cowardly “unintentional” bird gestured to the Bell Centre faithful (didn’t even have the stones to own up to it later), and a gutless last-second impeccably-timed shoulder shrug administering a headshot to Halpern that looked like a carbon copy of the hit that put Crosby out for 4 months – which he also later denied, but upon reviewing the replay was obviously intentional and dirty. A mom knows. Mr. Ference knew exactly what he was doing. The creep meant it, knew what he did, and skated away pretending to know nothing. Again, denied it.
  • I don’t have to forgive the NHL for once again refusing to suspend a filthy hit delivered by a Bruin. Such a coinky-dink how they agreed with Mr. Ference’s version of events.
  • I also don’t have to forgive Tim Thomas, Vezina candidate and whom I previously thought was probably an all-right guy, for jumping on the trash-talking bandwagon and picking on P.K. Subban on Boston radio the day after barely managing to eliminate the Habs in Round 1. It’s almost like he knew he had to be obnoxious to mask the fact that deep down he knew the better team lost. I mean – why else pick on the loser. As I mentioned on Twitter, shame on his mother for raising a son with such bad manners. As I always tell my kids, part of sports is winning gracefully.
  • My own mother always attributes anything good that happens in my life to acts from the beyond of my beloved deceased grandparents. Any time I or my kids have particularly good fortune, which we have had a lot of lately (Habs aside), she says, “they did this. They are watching. They knew you needed them.”
  • I consider sending a shout out to my grandparents to visit some particular bad fortune on the likes of Messrs. Ference and Thomas to ultimately be a good deed. So, Abuelos, if you’re listening. I’d throw in Chara but I’m following Max’s lead and crossing him off my hate list. I’d also throw in Lucic, but he’s been such a useless non-factor.
  • What the hell, throw in Lucic anyway. Abuelos?
  • Huh. It’s been 2 days since the elimination, and I am not over it.
  • What will help me get over it will be watching the Flyers decimate the Bruins in round 2. I will, like The Active Stick, temporarily not hate the Flyers and will enjoy, nay, REVEL, nay, LUXURIATE in the Bruins’ quick elimination and hopefully get to see the Flyers deliver the Bruins’ own medicine and then some to them. Richards, you know what to do, and you do it so well. You too, Carcillo.
  • So, go Flyers! Just for this round.
  • I’m cheering for the Canucks now, too. Too many people I care about too much like Vancouver too much for me to do any different. I seldom if ever watch Western Conference hockey though, and it’s just so weird for me. Besides the famous-famouses, I don’t really know anybody. I have to do my homework. Oooh, but last night I saw the Nashville goalie without his mask on. Pekka Rinne, I dub thee Cutie McHandsome. This will be a fun series.
  • Would you believe that for 2.6 seconds this morning, I made a mental note to contact my local Habs fans to get together to watch the game this weekeNO WAIT THERE IS NO GAME THIS WEEKEND. That was brutal.
  • I can’t allow myself to think about this time last year. We still had Habs hockey to look forward to. Yeah no, I can’t think about that. Also, I still can’t bring myself to ask, “is it October yet?” I haven’t finished processing, obviously, that we’re not seeing our boys again until then.
  • Still, this was cathartic.
  • I was going to write about other stuff too, but I think this is good for today. Back to the usual off-season topics next time.
  • I won’t be wearing my cranky pants for my next post.

Thanks for reading and putting up with me being a negative Nancy. All positivity and sunshine next time.

Have a terrific weekend!

April Flowers

Lots of little things, none enough for its own post, so here we go with another edition of the Quick & Dirty update:

  • Didn’t the Habs win Game 1? Against Boston? IN Boston? And didn’t Jesus Price get the shutout? His 3rd career playoff shutout? Haven’t all his career playoff shutouts been against Boston? Hell yeah!!!!
  • Going in to yesterday’s game, I was kinda baffled that everyone had written us out before the playoffs had even begun. Like, weren’t we facing a 3rd place team that finished a measly 7 points ahead of us in the regular season, whom we beat 66.67% of the time in the regular season? What’s the BFD? I knew we’d win yesterday. Knew it.
  • I had a birthday this week. One person tried to ruin it, but way many more people made it the best birthday I can remember.
  • People who have so much hate and anger in their hearts are to be pitied. Other than pity, they’re not worth a moment’s thought.
  • I got these flowers that are so amazingly gorgeous and fragrant that I don’t want them to die, ever. 
  • Know who I met last Saturday? Strombo. Strombo. I’m not going to try to spell his real name. He is as awesome in person as he is on his show. And why wouldn’t he be. Also, really easy on the eyes. Don’t tell my fella I said that. You know what? It doesn’t matter. He has eyes too.
  •  We’re thinking of getting a dog. Not something we’ll do in the near term, but the reigning topic at home is dogs, puppies, training and Cesar Milan. The kids want something that ends in oodle. Did you know there are Schnoodles and Whoodles? I’m going to have a coma for all the cute.
  • Going to the Canucks game tonight with one of my favourite people on earth, who coincidentally is a Canucks fan. He likes the Habs too so he’s still perfect. I might be wearing a Canucks jersey on loan. There will be no pictures. Don’t revoke my membership to Habs Fanatic Nation.
  • It is so cold in Vancouver. For Vancouver, I mean. And I’m not pleased. I want to start wearing my cute Spring stuff. Cut it out, Mother Nature.
  • Every time I think I have so much freaking work to do, I just start it and it’s surprising how fast it gets done. The mind plays funny tricks.
  • I’m annoyed that any vote that isn’t Liberal will go to Harper. And I hate that 100% of Canadians eligible to vote do not vote. What’s wrong with people? VOTE.
  • I wore this knitted scarf today (because it’s COLD) that my daughter shoplifted from Zellers when she was a baby. I pushed her around in the stroller with the cover on, got her back to the car and lo and behold she was swinging this scarf around. I’d just buckled her 2-year old brother in to his carseat and had 8 zillion things to unload. I wasn’t about to go back into the store. I still have guilt. But she made a nice choice, good taste, my girl.
  • I love Revenue Canada when I overpay my taxes and it’s tax return time.
  • I overpay my taxes, vote and am an all-round model citizen. If Zellers sees that other bullet point, keep that in mind, okay.

That’s it for this time! Go Habs Go! We’ll take them in 6! Have a good weekend, world.

The Habs + Habs Fans + Twitter = The Power of Love

So this is not supposed to just be a blog about just the Habs, but you guys – we just clinched our playoff spot last night so I think it’s safe to say that if I’m blogging these next few weeks, a lot/all of it will be about the Habs. OK? OK.

Last night’s game had been touted in preceding hours as “like a playoff game.” Yeah it was! Montreal played Chicago and treated us to nail-biting, near heart-attack action. Both teams were there for a very important 2 points – and 2 points for Montreal meant clinching a playoff spot.

This post isn’t meant to recap the game, but I will tell you that Price was outstanding, so was Crawford, it must be said. I was “watching” along with the fans on Twitter, and my timeline was going absolutely crazy-bananas. The game went to overtime and we were all freaking right out, and then…PK Subban scored another beautiful overtime winner. And the crowd at the Bell Centre – and Twitter – went WILD.

This was my summation on Twitter post-game:

Our team had just guaranteed their spot in the post-season, we were and still are so excited, but what brought the biggest smile to my face was how just after the goal, PK Subban went across the ice to go celebrate with his friend, Carey Price. This bromance has been growing all season and the fans love every minute of it! It occured to me it would be hilarious/adorable if someone made some video put to music about this moment.

And now enter the power of Habs fans passion, and the power of Twitter. A few minutes after that tweet, I got a reply from @kevin_falcon, fellow Habs fan:

…and then this:

…and then…

…I fell asleep. Despite my excitement. Look, I was really tired after getting up super-early and the excitement of the game must have also really taken its toll on me. Then again, it might be these new allergy pills I’m taking because springtime allergies are really kicking my butt this year, and this over-the-counter stuff is totally useless. “24-hour relief,” my eye. You guys: don’t fall for that line.

But when I got up this morning, I saw this!!

Don’t try to click the link on the picture. Click the video below.

This was way more than I could have hoped for, and other Twitter fans feel the same. Heck, you might even enjoy this if you’re NOT a Habs fan. Who doesn’t love a great love story?

So – Kevin Falcon, you rock in so many ways. Thanks for such a great job on the video, and for doing it so fast! You’re a magician! A genius!

Never underestimate the power of social media. And especially never underestimate the passion of a Habs fan.

Les Boys et Moi…One Magical February Evening

Haven’t blogged in nearly 2 months. You know how when you have that thing you have to do and then you don’t do it and the more you don’t do it the more you feel bad but you still don’t do it and then it just gets worse and worse? Blogging is like that for me. No one is obligating me to do it but I feel bad when I don’t do it. I actually have a reader or two. I feel better after just starting this paragraph. But I just didn’t have anything bloggable to share. Until now, I mean.

Guess what I did this week? I saw the Habs play in Vancouver. I mean, I was THERE. They only come here once per season and I’ve been to see them before but this time was really awesome. Really really truly.

The Habs were coming off a craptastic western road trip, losing in Edmonton to the crappy Oilers, and badly, and then losing at the much ballyhooed Heritage Classic outdoor game in Calgary. I mean, they got shut out. What a sad game that was to watch.

That is the reason I thought I was actually in for a treat when they stopped in Vancouver. The guys would definitely want to bring it after 2 such terrible games, and especially playing against the Canucks who have a great winning record. And especially in Vancouver, where Habs fans always (seem to) outnumber Canucks fans in the Vancouver arena.

I used to go to all the Habs games in Vancouver, and in fact was at the last game in Vancouver when the Habs won. In the year TWO THOUSAND. After that, they went on a losing streak when playing in Vancouver, and thankfully I missed 8 of those games because since having kids I could not afford to spend the outrageous sums demanded for ticket prices. And I’m talking the regular priced tickets, too.

But for the past few years, I’ve had a generous benefactor who makes sure I can go see the Habs when they play here, giving me tickets either for Christmas or my birthday, etc. Isn’t that awesome? And a good thing too, since the past 2 times the Habs played here before this year, they lost badly, in particular last year, they lost REALLY badly. Glad I never paid for those games. It was embarrassing, sad and awful to be surrounded by Canucks fans who jeered at me all game, then jeered at me for the days that followed.

The hate for the Habs is an interesting phenomenon, and the hate for Habs fans more so (for me). I mean, every team has douchey fans but I’m certainly not one. But the fascination of cheering against the Habs and then going out of one’s way to make Habs fans feel miserable always bemuses me. I would not want to make a fan feel bad when their team is doing badly or their team has just lost a game, because I know how awful it already feels for that fan. You know? I mean, Evil Canuck Fan Co-Worker excepted, as he is such a specific breed of evil that when I get a chance to take a dig at him, I probably will about half of the time. But I don’t enjoy it. I mean, I do a little.

It started in November, when I got my tickets. My friend from Twitter, known as @TheAbraxasCo, and I got our tickets, club seats no less, for the game in February. That’s a long time to wait, but we were excited-excited-excited. When the year turned, I started counting down the weeks, then the days. Getting to see my boys in person, and this time with a fan as rabid as I (the past couple of years I went with Canucks fans – never again) was something that had me giddy! I didn’t care how they’d done in Edmonton and Calgary, I was going to be there with them and had a good feeling.

So, it got to be Tuesday, February 22nd in Vancouver. The boys were here in town, I could feel them. I had a lot of work to do at the office that day, and I mean loads, and it was so hard to concentrate I can’t even describe it.

The work day finally came to an end and I went to meet @TheAbraxasCo at our customary place for a pre-game drink (or two); where we always watch Habs games together when we can. We were both excited and looking forward to a win. This is what I love about her: she’s my kind of Habs fan, not the kind who bitches and moans and predicts a loss and that we’re not contenders and won’t even make the playoffs. No. She’s optimistic, and the eyes shine with visions of a win, no contemplation of another scenario, and plus she LOVES our boys, never ever doubted Carey, etc. Peas in a pod.

We made our way to Rogers Arena to be in place for the pre-game warmup. The air was electric, and on the way we saw just as many Habs’ jerseys as Canucks’.  I’ve had the good fortune of being able to go to lots of NHL games here, but nothing, nothing, NOTHING compares to the atmosphere when the Habs are in town. NOTHING. We wait for this day once a year, like Christmas, or your birthday, but it’s SO MUCH BETTER. Gone are the memories of lost games past, and the anticipation of the magical feeling of simply being in the same building as the Habs is huge! And @TheAbraxasCo had not seen our boys live before…twice as exciting!!

We got there, found our seats in the SEVENTEENTH ROW and promptly made our way to the opposite end of the ice where the sea of Habs jerseys were congregating before the warmup. How they knew what end to be at, I don’t know, but I’m so glad. We made our way up to the glass and then…the boys came out. Squeeeee! They started by skating around in circles and every time someone passed me I screamed “Careeeeey!!!! P.K.!!!!! Max!!!” They didn’t look at me but I know it’s just because they were in game mode. Very professional, our boys. AS IF they couldn’t hear me, I was pressed right up to the glass and making a general spectacle of myself. Actually, perhaps they were afraid. Pacioretty actually shot a puck right at me, then a minute later, he did it again. RIGHT at me. Me, me, me! I KNOW it was his way of saying hello.

8 bazillion, 57, whatever, something like that.

We went back to our seats. I noticed some fine folks bringing food and drinks down on trays to people seated in our section. I yelled out to one of them, “What? We can order stuff and you bring it to us?” This lovely person replied, “Yes!” and I was all, “Seriously? Can I order two drinks at a time? YES?! I’ll have two Mike’s Lemonades! Run a tab!” It was wonderful.

The game was about to start. Two guys, who weren’t wearing Canucks jerseys but were Canucks fans, made their way to the 2 seats beside me. They looked nice enough. I felt bad for them for what I was likely about to put them through.

THE BOYS CAME OUT ON THE ICE. After a couple of misstarts, the opening faceoff took place, and we were off to the races! We started shouting “GO HABS GO!” and when I watched the game back later on PVR, I heard we really did ourselves proud. We were LOUD.

I was tingling. Carey was in net, I was wearing his jersey, and he was playing in front of his “hometown” crowd. I couldn’t have been happier for him! 6 minutes in, David Desharnais scored the first goal and we leapt out of our seats, screaming at the top of our lungs, so much so that I wound up having a coughing fit. I explained to the guys next to me, “I’m really sorry if I seem at all obnoxious, I get to see these guys just once a year!” They kind of grumbled, “Whatever.” Don’t worry, I totally grew on them by the end of the game.

You know how when you’re at a game, you stand up if there’s a rush, you stand up when there’s a bad call, you stand up when there’s no call, you stand up when there’s a goal, etc.? Yeah, me too. I had my camera and wallet on my lap and they went flying every time. I had all these nice Canucks fan folks crawling around under their seats to retrieve my belongings every time, until @TheAbraxasCo finally grew annoyed enough to insist she put my stuff into her pockets. Which was really nice of her.

You know what happened about a minute after Desharnais scored? Gio scored! On a rebound from a BEAUTIFUL shot by P.K.! Nomez even picked up an assist! Wooooo woop woop woop! I was on my feet and swinging my arms around and loving every minute. Oh and P.S. guess what? We saw those goals right in front of us since we were at Luongo’s end for periods 1 and 3. Watching the guys gather to celebrate mere metres from us was soooooo thrilling!

After the first period, I made my way up to the rafters to meet a couple of other Twitter friends for the first time, @torrievenoit and @misscarboncopy. It was great finally meeting them! I also ran in to two of my real life friends, totally by coincidence. In a building full of 18,000+ people that’s quite the feat. Fellow Habs fans, too. Awesome.

In the 2nd, poor Carey got delay of game penalty and one of the Sisters scored. Big bummer. The Canucks fans surrounding me quite enjoyed rubbing my nose in it, but it was all in good fun. We were old friends by now. The brothers (yes, they were brothers, I asked them, we had some good chit-chat) next to me started saying, “it’s time for the comeback, another Canucks power play is coming, we can feel it,” etc. No worries, Andre Kostitstyn scored and then we were up by 2 again! My neighbour’s prediction was correct, there were 3 more Canucks’ power plays in the 2nd, but the Canucks didn’t score again til the 3rd.

We stayed in our seats for the 2nd intermission, but the conversation was so good and we were having so much fun that this was my only tweet during the game:

The 3rd wound up being really thrilling, because the Canucks scored again and the place got really excited, everyone was screaming, but that was all it would be, we saw our Habs win here for the first time in nearly ELEVEN years, Carey got his win, the guys went to hug him and he was grinning from ear to ear. And you guys. I got to see the triple-low-five between him and P.K. in person. I was hugging onto @TheAbraxasCo’s arm in anticipation, saying, “we’re gonna get to see the triple-low-five! We’re gonna get to see the TRIPLE LOW FIVE!!!!!!” and we DID. We did we did we did!!

What was interesting to me was that with about 10 seconds left to play, the Canucks fans started clearing the building. Last year, when the Habs lost here SEVEN TO ONE, I stayed until the bitter end, and didn’t make my way out of the building until I was sure the last Hab had left the ice. I guess you are more blasé about it when you have tons of opportunities to watch your team, although I can’t imagine I ever would be. We stayed firmly in our seats until the stars came out, and guess who got the first star? Carey. I can’t even.

That was it, it was over until next season. It was an AMAZING night. I close my eyes, and I relive it. I love my Habs so much. And now, our latest memory of their visit to Vancouver is of a WIN. A WIN!!! And a brilliantly played game that we TOTALLY deserved to win. Thanks so much, Habs, from the bottom of my heart, for an experience I will never, ever forget. Can’t wait to see you again!

P.S. And next time, Carey, I WILL get you to look at me. 🙂

About Last Night…

I don’t do game analyses because I’m nowhere near qualified. I leave that to my esteemed bloggers in the column to the right. When I watch hockey, I watch the Habs, and my heart is so involved, I have no objectivity. I’m not one of those people, like most of my fellow fans, it seems, who’s paying attention to who’s coming on & off the ice, the line-shuffling, and many times I have to wait until the commentator tells me to find out who just scored the goal.

I’m a Habs fan first, hockey fan second. I care not for any hockey game being played in the Western Conference, for example, unless it’s a playoff game, and during trade season, I usually have no idea who these new guys are coming on to my team. Like, NO idea. I count on the experts to tell me all about them. And then I adopt them like my own. I love the game of hockey, see, but it’s because of my love for my team. So we’re clear.

The Habs/Leafs rivalry is like no other in the NHL. Of course that has to do with that there are but 4 other teams with as much history as those 2 teams, so our deep-seeded bitterness goes waaaaay back. I hate the Bruins too, but hate the Leafs the very most of all. One of the times I hated them the worst in my whole life was in the Habs’ final game of the 2006-2007 season, against the Leafs, who already were not going to the playoffs, and the Habs HAD to get the 2 points to make it through. We had a healthy lead, too, then heartbreakingly lost 6-5. No playoffs that year. Lost to the stupid LEAFS. I could have been angry at my team (told you, total lack of objectivity), but instead chose to focus my wrath on the Leafs, for whom the victory was particularly sweet because it was our hearts they had broken. Cruelty in its purest form.

My lack of objectivity, as I say, is the biggest reason I cannot thoughtfully commentate, and the facts & figures bog me down too. There’s only so much space available in the ol’ noodle. Evidenced by my inability to add 12+5+1 this week. Remember that?

Before the puck ever dropped on this season, in the days leading up to the pre-season, this really odd thing started happening on Twitter and on the Habs blogs I read. People, Habs fans even, were already predicting we would not be a playoff team this year, or that we’d barely squeak in. THIS is why I could never qualify to engage in these debates – huh? Not even make the playoffs? I do not understand how this thought is even possible. Also, I never allow myself to consider that my team won’t make the playoffs. Just – can’t and DON’T do it. Did everyone forget that we made the Eastern Conference FINAL just a few short (but oh my god, at the time they were INTERMINABLE) months ago? This group of guys who largely didn’t even know each other before last September, who played without Markov for most of the season and without Cammalleri for weeks, who’d made our hearts sing with joy & hope during the post-season, playing with heart and sterling character and beating the so-called top teams left and right, this despite (or because of?) coach Jacques Martin, whose head had been called for by the Montreal faithful 12,563,907 times last season? Like, I do not even get how anyone could already predict the end of the season given the above, in that fashion.

Oooooh, yeah. In the off-season, Montreal traded away our Jaroslav Halak, the goaltender who’d stood on his head throughout the last playoff run, with many crediting his amazing goaltending for single-handedly carrying us through. Now, I admit, it was a head-scratcher at first, but finally made sense given his salary. And you know what? I was really, really, really really really pleased for Carey Price. This super-talented kid, who’d lost his way for a while as most kids tend to do (how else do you learn?), was going to finally show his detractors, I was sure. The reason is how maturely he’d handled his benching through the end of last season. Took it like a man, diligently & dutifully showing up for all his practices and workouts. Just because he wasn’t seeing ice time didn’t mean he wasn’t still earning a paycheque. I was proud of him for this, particularly in contrast to the behaviour of the young, petulant, entitled Belarussian we traded away before the season (I’m so sorry, Cathie). It’s how you face adversity that shows your character. And I was looking forward to watching this cool-as-a-cucumber, soft spoken young man play again.

So yes, while it was sad to see Halak go, and I genuinely wish him nothing but the best, he pretty much ceased to matter for me the moment he departed Montreal. There was a new sheriff in town, and his name was Carey Price. That’s what happens when you love your team…you throw your support behind them. Right?

Yeah, not so fast. During the pre-season (which I’m in no way embarrassed to admit I watched all of…my team’s on TV, I watch them; I don’t care that the games “don’t matter”), Carey had an off-game at home. And the Bell Centre boneheads (which aren’t many, but damn, are they loud) booed him. What kind of fan boos their OWN TEAM. I will never, ever comprehend that. Be angry, be frustrated, but boo? They should be ashamed. ASHAMED. And of course the opposing teams’ fans & bloggers (and oh yeah, Don Cherry) all rushed to make sure everyone knew that the Habs have “the worst fans in the league”. In fact, last night during his bloviating on Coach’s Corner, about 8 weeks after the fact, once again Mr. Cherry hastened to remind everyone how Carey had been booed at home. Never misses his chance, that Grapes.

Carey, I was so proud to see, also handled this rude behaviour by our “fans” with aplomb, telling everybody to just chill out, it’s the pre-season. Like the mother that I am (easy, I’m not old enough to be his mom), I was so proud of the way he just forgot about it, not allowing these creeps to define him.

OH YEAH. LAST NIGHT. That’s why I started this.

The matchups between the Leafs and the Habs are the ones I most look forward to, even though the Leafs are sucking so bad lately, because of the FEELING, the epic highs of beating them and crushing lows of losing to them. Experiencing every emotion. We’d lost our season-opener to them, and it still stung. Last night was a particularly poignant evening, having lost our beloved former coach, Pat Burns, to his valiant, dignified years-long battle with cancer, the day before. Mr. Burns had also coached the Leafs, so both teams were looking to win it for him. Going into last night, Carey already had 3 shutouts in the regular season, including against the hated bullies known as the Philadelphia Flyers. He’d had a bad night a couple of nights before against the errrr…Predators, but who cares. He wasn’t to blame for that loss. How can your team win when they don’t even score?

Well, the night began with a touching dedication to Pat Burns. It was sad and awesome to watch the various temper tantrums (as my son called them) he’d had throughout the years. Mr. Burns wore his emotions on his sleeve, just my kinda guy. And then, the Bell Centre fell into complete, absolute reverent silence in his memory. It was beautiful.

I’m not going to break down the game, but we scored 2 times against the Leafs, and they scored ZERO times. The second time we scored, ex-Hab Komisarek even generously passed the puck to Cammy who slid across on his knees and beat Gustavsson. HahahahaHA. It was a thing to behold! Shutout #4 for Carey Price. Oh, baby. Even Lapierre had some pretty beautiful moves last night.

Our team is getting really tight and seeming more like brothers with every game they play. Despite the fact that it’s a little scary to contemplate possibly an entire season with Markov out, I’m so confident in them and get so much joy out of watching them play. And I looooove watching the “cocky, disrespectful” (WHATEVER) P.K. give Carey the triple-low fives after every victory – I’ve got a feeling those two really love each other. The team this year feels in my heart like the Habs of old, a brotherhood, a family, sappy as it sounds. I can’t remember a recent Habs team that bounces back from low lows as quickly or with more effective amnesia than these 2010-2011 Habs. And yes, it’s still early in the season as everyone continues to remind us, but it’s not just the stats or standings that give me hope, it’s how these guys are really there for each other. THAT’S what makes a team.

So yeah. It’s gonna be a great season. I feel it in my bones.

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