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Posts Tagged ‘Canada’

Canada has a dressing room full of talent that can win gold.

Forget about the insane analysis and the nitpicking, the recently announced Canadian Olympic team can win it all in Vancouver.

There is youth, grit, experience and explosive firepower, let alone stellar goaltending and both mobile and sturdy defence. Kudos to Steve Yzerman and the Team Canada brain trust.

There were some solid players that did not get selected, such as Martin St. Louis, the mercurial Vinny Lecavalier and the rock hard horse on D called Jay Bouwmeester but look at who made it, you cannot say any of those players does not deserve to be there. We in fact could field two teams and score two medals in this thing.

Thumbs up to Canadian GM Steve Yzerman and coach Mike Babcock on the team they assembled.

Drew Doughty raised some eyebrows but if you follow hockey closely and catch the late night highlights, whenever there is a LA King highlight, Doughty is in the middle of it. He is the best all round defenceman when you stack him up against Calgary’s  Bouwmeester or Mike Green of the Capitals. Doughty has more offensive upside than Bouwmeester and brings  Green-like offense without the Green-like poor defensive play.

The following is not a complaint but if I had my choice I’d likely replace Brenden Morrow upfront with either Lecavalier or St. Louis, their explosive nature just appeals me to more. However, Morrow does not hurt the team and fills a needed role upfront.

Scott Niedermayer as captain works for me here. Sidney Crosby will get his chance to be captain on future teams but the silky smooth skating Niedermayer deserves it. Anyway, any given excellent team will have leaders emerge regardless of the letter or lack thereof on their chest.

I love the idea of having pairings and players familiar with one another. Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith on D from the Blackhawks works for me. They are that team’s top shutdown pair and will be solid for Team Canada.

Cory Perry and Ryan Getzlaf are  linemates with the Ducks and have won together and can be bring their dynamic offense together to Canada.

The wildcard is the San Jose Trio, all three guys need to prove they can perform and win. They have a sickening amount of talent and I’m sure Babcock and Stevie Y will ensure they have their heads screwed on straight.

Lastly, in the nets, I’ll take any of Brodeur, Luongo or Fleury and not sweat it on any given night.

Go Canada Go!!!!

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After 34 years of living among Leaf Nation as a Habs Fan, some things just need to be made clear. The delusion of the Maple Laugh followers, who think each year could be “THE YEAR” the Stanley Cup is coming back to the Big Smoke, has gone from comical to just plain sad over the years.

1967 was a long time ago folks and the Habs, let alone many other expansion teams, have managed to capture the Holy Grail of hockey at least once. Blame Ballard. Blame Stavro. Blame Peddie and MLSE. Anyway you spin it, the Leafs have been laughable for a long time.

Now that the niceties are out of the way, here are some things which are facts that the Leaf Nation fail to grasp:

1. The Montreal Canadiens, Les Glorieux, are the New York Yankees of hockey, NOT the blue and white, but mostly black and blue, Maple Leafs. Obviously, most Leaf fans and spinsters failed math- the Habs have won 24 Stanley Cups, more than any other NHL team, Toronto has 11. The Yankees have 26 World Series titles, more than any other baseball team. End of argument.

Start counting them..1..2..3..4...

Start counting them..1..2..3..4...

 2. The Habs have won 10 Stanley Cups since the league expanded beyond six teams..the Leafs have won none.  This is just another stat to stop this insane talk that Toronto is the ultimate “hockeytown”, the ultimate franchise, the Yankees of hockey. Ahem…winning nothing in 41 years is nothing to be proud of.

 

A tribute? More like a memorial to something not happening again anytime soon.

A tribute? More like a memorial to something not happening again anytime soon.

3. The Habs would have defeated the Leafs in the 1992-93 playoffs if they had met in the final. Please get over the fact that poor carrot-top referee Kerry Fraser did not call a penalty on The Great One when he clipped “The Killer” – Doug Gilmour. If you were good enough to have the Kings on the ropes that year, and not able close the deal in Game 6 or 7 of the semifinal, there is no one to blame but yourselves. Even if you had made the final, no one could have stopped Patrick Roy and his incredible goaltending that playoff season. The man was on a crusade to deliver the Habs another cup and another Conn Smythe trophy for himself. Do you really think Felix Potvin could have out-duelled Patrick? Roy notched 10 straight overtime wins and…oh ya- helped lead the defeat of the same Kings the Leafs could not put away in seven games.

 

Hey mom, look what I got, says Roy.

Hey mom, look what I got, says Roy.

4. One of your recent great captains, Doug Gilmour, looked way better in a Habs uniform than he did in a Leafs one. I said “look” before some of you have a heart attack or throw something at your monitor. I do not deny he owned Toronto while here, but the Hab uniform sure looked sweet on him and he was an inspirational leader the one year with Montreal as Saku was out battling stomach cancer.

The Killer in a Habs uniform.

The Killer in a Habs uniform.

 5. Kirk Muller should be referred to as a former Hab, not a former Leaf, he helped lead the Habs to that 1992-93 cup and had some of his best years in Montreal.

 

6. The Leafs blew it as it concerns Vincent Damphousse. One of their best draft choices in the 1980s- Toronto gave up on him after one year and dealt him to Edmonton. He produced every where he went and by the time he hit Montreal, becoming captian there, yup, you guessed it, he helped the blue, blanc and rouge to the 1992-93 cup.

Thanks for the help Vinny!

Thanks for the help Vinny!

7. It is cheaper for Leaf fans to see a Habs-Leafs game in Montreal than here in Toronto, a sad state of affairs. You want to go to Montreal anyway, because the fans are passionate and involved in the game more than they ever are in Toronto. Don’t get me wrong, there are great Leafs fans, they problem is they have been priced right out of the building. Also, the night life and food in Montreal is way better anyway.

 

8. The Habs are the classiest organization in hockey. They retire the numbers of their great players and do not just “honour them”. Also, the Habs care about their relations with the past, the Leafs are slowly getting to it but look at the damage done to Dave Keon and the Darryl Sittler in the past.

Big Bird Larry Robinson gives a wave when his #19 was retired. New Jersey boss Lou Lamoriello is on the right, including him was a classy move, you cannot expect any less from the Habs.

'Big Bird" Larry Robinson gives a wave when his #19 was retired. New Jersey boss Lou Lamoriello is on the right, including him was a classy move, you cannot expect any less from the Habs.

 9. Habs fans sing “ole, ole, ole” because they are FANS and get involved in the game. Montreal cannot help their European roots and it beats sitting on your hands and being egged on by a monitor to cheer for your team. It does not matter that it used to be a soccer chant, it is a sporting chant and it beats the call of “Argooooos” at any Leaf game you go to. Also, I guess it has been so long since Leaf fans celebrated anything, that they forgot what a celebration entails.

 

 

 

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