Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Habs greats’

With the 100th Montreal Canadiens season underway and nostalgia all about,  I got to thinking about my favourite Habs players that I have seen in my lifetime. These guys have run the spectrum, from pluggers and grinders to bonafide superstars. Some of these players were with Montreal for a long time, some  just a short while and others were winding down stellar careers with Les Glorieux.

So, listed here,  is my personal all-time Montreal Canadiens team from 1982 to 2008. Why this period? It around 1982 when I finally began to understand hockey and the greatness of players. They were no longer merely skaters on the tv screen. I had finally begun to understand what makes a player great and another normal.

I also included a “Black Aces” squad, these were players that did not make the final cut but would be on the “practice squad”.  Let me know what you think overall, if you agree or disagree etc.

Here we go: 

CENTRE

Vincent Damphousse – helped lead the Habs to their last Stanley Cup in 1993- his skill and savvy play solidified the Habs down the middle.

 

Bobby Smith – the big guy was the Habs number one centre on the 1986 Cup winning team. The 6’4′ Smith took all the major draws and drew a lot of attention. The Habs have not had a centre with his size and skill since he him.

 

Guy Carbonneau – they basically renamed the Selke Trophy the Guy Carbonneau Trophy because of Carbo’s masterful defensive play as a forward. He was the key shut down guy and a leader on both the 86 and 93 Cup winning teams. His trade to St. Louis in 1994 for Jim Montgomery- remember him (he only PLAYED FIVE GAMES with Habs before being released)???- should have landed then Habs GM Serge Savard a psych-ward visit.

 

 

Saku Koivu – The heart and soul of the Habs over the last decade. He had been both an inspirational leaders and role model, worthy of the captain’s “C” on his sweater. 

 

LEFT WING

 

Mats Naslund– The Little Viking – by far one of the most skilled and crafty wingers on Habs teams which were short on such skill. Carried the offence for quite awhile as other players aged and faltered.

 

 

Bob Gainey – One of the greatest two-way players of all-time. His leadership and savyy was core to the Habs win in 1986.

 

 

Mike McPhee – A grinder, a plugger, played hard and did a lot of dirty work in the corners for the Habs. A key grinder on the 86 team. Also, had the best moustache in recent Habs memory.

 

Kirk Muller – Captian Kirk. Talk about a guy who played with heart and was key at both ends of the ice. His skill may have been rusting up by the time he hit Montreal but he still delivered game in and game out.

 

RIGHT WING

 

Guy Lafleur – The Flower. Sure his bloom was fading by the time I could appreciate, from 1982 and on, but he still was captivating to watch. He gave so much to the Habs and ommitting him from this list would be folly.

 

Alex Kovalev – What a talent. No denying his talent and shot. If he only he could break some selfish bad habits. However, when he has the puck, no one can ignore him from that wicked shot to tape-to-tape passes, you watch his every move when he has the puck.

 

 

Claude Lemieux – One of the best leaders, through action, of recent Habs squads. Sure he played gritty and dirty at times but he was a leader and most importantly a winner. When he was on the ice, the Habs always had a chance to win.

 

Mark Recchi – The Wrecker. Arrived through the Leclair trade with a lot of pressure on him. He gave his all. Was fun to watch streaking down the side then cutting through the slot. Played way bigger than his reported 5’10’ frame.

 

 

DEFENCE

 

Larry Robinson – Big Bird on D. He was still making solid end-to-end rushes in 1984. His steady work and leadrship help seal the 86 cup win.

 

Chris Chelios – Amazing to think Chelios was once a Hab and we gave him up for an aging Denis Savard. Chelios’ skill, passing and powerplay work was top notch.  

 

Petr Svboda – Was not the most physical defenceman but his passing and puck movement was key to Habs teams.

 

Craig Ludwig – A rock on D. Was not the most mobile defenceman but he was a tough guy, a rock in front of the net and in the corners.

 

Andrei Markov – Likely the most talented Habs defenceman since Chelios and Desjardins. Markov has grown into his D role and is a threat both offensively and defensively.

 

Eric Desjardins – Was one of the most talented Habs D since the 1970s. Was a leader, incredible on the power play point and could peel of a rush anytime. His contributions in the 93 cup are historic.

 

 

GOALTENDER

 

 Patrick Roy – The greatest money goalie of all time, one of the top 3 goalies ever, no matter what the criteria. Won two Conn Smythes and was the lynchpin to the last two Habs cups- need we say more?

 

Jose Theodore – Took Habs fans on a special ride. Was a rock in the net for some time under the glaring media lights of Montreal. He won a Hart Trophy and Vezina and was simply the best in the NHL for a two year span.

 

Black Aces:

 

RW Stephane Richer

G  Brian Hayward

D Sheldon Souray

D Matthieu Schneider

C Doug Gilmour

C Brian Skrudland

RW Jon Leclair

D Craig Rivet

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

The Montreal Canadiens had their 100th home opener televised on TSN and what a class ceremony and even classier treatment by TSN of the moment.

For a station based in Toronto to recognize and shower the Canadiens, Les Glorieux, in the praise and accolades they deserve was impressive to watch. Unlike CBC which does everything but have its staff wear Toronto Maple Laughs jerseys during broadcasts, the TSN crew did a bang up job.

They let the crowd cheer and holler during the opening ceremonies. They broadcast all of the Ring of Honour ceremony. They recognized the greatness of the most decorated hockey franchise on the planet. 24 cups in 100 years of existence are hard to ignore but they usually are here in  Toronto.  Before the game Gord Miller had a great interview with Guy Lafleur. During an intermission, their hockey panel answered the question: who is the greatest Canadiens goalie ever? Bob McKenzie said Jacques Plante, Keith Jones said Ken Dryden and John Tortarella said Patrick Roy.

Dave Hodge had an incredible segment in which he recognized a majority of the Habs greats via their nickname and he summed up the team’s greatness appropriately. He said the Habs may have not had the success of their past of late but they are the standard, they are the team all other teams strive to become…and it took 100 years to create that standard and class that is the Montreal Canadiens.

Read Full Post »