Two thrilling wins back to back are always great for changing the mood of fans who were down on things one week ago. I think that we are starting to see the true team emerge.
It sure doesn't hurt matters to have Mike Komisarek back in the fold either. He's brought some stability back to the team, who've now produced three strong games in row, despite missing Koivu, Andrei, Price and Higgins.
I am hoping that Carey makes a return today again the Hurlicanes. A win would make for a great early Christmas gift.
Perhaps the best piece I read this week online concerning the Habs came from Topham at Lions In Winter. Topham has long accused me of writing posts that set his brain a - spinning, but he has long outdistanced me in regards to Habs analysis.
I wanted to write a reply to his piece, "Canadiens Youth - How Do We Really Compare?", but a hellish week (more on that in a bit) kept me from producing what I felt was something worthy of his concise work and effort. Looking it over a second and third time, I just summised that the jury was still out on his points, for myself anyway. I might just tag back to it in the future.
Often many of my ideas for posts fall to the wayside, victims of time allotted and real life things. One such posting that crossed my mind involved the retiring of brief former Hab Trevor Linden's number 16 by the Canucks. (Joe Pelletier has tons on it if you are interested!).
I wasn't going to offer up much on Linden, other than recalling one great week he had as a Canadien, scoring a hat trick and getting "NHL Player Of The Week" props back in 2001. I might have added that the Canadiens gave up little to acquire Linden ( Houle and co. could have drafted Martin Havlat with the tossed off draft pick), and got a great return on him when he was traded to Washington that same season. Here's to come and go on that deal:
Linden was traded to Montreal by New York Islanders for Montreal's 1st round choice (Isles selected Branislav Mezei - wow!) in 1999 Entry Draft, May 29, 1999. Linden traded to Washington by Montreal with Dainius Zubrus and New Jersey's 2nd round choice (previously acquired, and later traded to Tampa Bay, who selected Andreas Holmqvist - yawn!) in 2001 Entry Draft for Richard Zednik, Jan Bulis and Washington's 1st round choice (Alexander Perezhogin) in 2001 Entry Draft, March 13, 2001.
What I thought about doing for a post, but passed on, was telekinetically scooped up by Topham, which was a rundown of all former Habs whose jerseys are retired (or honored, hello T.O.!) by another club in his "Habs Honoured Elsewhere" post. I'd actually done the research and was ready to post when Topham hit "publish" before me. All I got that didn't make it onto the Lions In Winter site was a trivial bit. So here it is: Can you name three one time Canadiens prospects whose jerseys have been retired by other teams. As none ever dressed for the Canadiens, none of them are listed in Topham's post. Answer at the bottom.
CBC.ca had a great look back in time with legendary Canadiens commentator and historian Dick Irvin Jr. this past week. Irvin, whose father coached the Habs from 1940 to 1955, lists his top 5's in a bunch of categories. Irvin Sr., shown below, is a Hall Of Famer from his Black Hawks days, not inducted as a coach, stragely enough.
J.T. and the Four Habs Fans hammer the final nails in the Sundin to Montreal coffin. I can't wait until the Habs play the Canucks just to see what grins sits on Robert "Plan B" Lang's face that night.
Would you believe that in junior hockey and before, that Steve Begin was a goal scorer? The Gazette's Pat Hickey has an interesting piece on Begin, that tells of his father pointing out that Begin's best role model might be Bob Gainey. Curious that one of Gainey's first acquisitions as Habs GM was to yank Begin off waivers from the Sabres.
Speaking of the Gazette, every three weeks they publish a fanzine of sorts called "Hockey Inside Out", a play on words for their successful Habs Inside Out blog. It is a 20 or so page print edition worth seeking out and collecting in my opinion, as it always contains a dozen great pieces by all those who are on the sports beat at the Gazette, that are not always pointed out at the blog site. Here's a list of what it contained this week:
Weber Still Not Ready For NHL by Pat Hickey
Habs Goalies Embrace Centennial Spirit by Dave Stubbs
Check out the Carey Price vintage photo gallery at HIO
Dryden, A Rare Blend Of Skills And Smarts by Red Fisher
New Book Offers Surprising Insights Into Canadiens Mystique by Stephanie Myles
Key Cog In Canadiens Last Cup Win - Former Hab Bellows Still Bleeds Bleu Blanc Rouge by Ian McDonald
Big Gorges Has A Soft Spot For Karaoke by Kevin Mio
Not making it onto HIO or the fanzine was Mike Boone's "Oh, To Be Immortalized As The Butt Of Pigeon Poop" story on the unveiling of the Habs Centennial Plaza.
Kudos to Dennis Kane for unearthing a vintage 1929 clip on You Tube of a Hawks Leafs tilt. Dennis was also thrilled that Kovalev gave Mike Milbury something to chew on with last night's game winner.
Trivia answer: Bill Masterton, Ted Kennedy, and Barclay Plager all played in the Canadiens minor l eague system in the 1960's, suiting up for the Hull - Ottawa Canadiens and Peterborough T.P.T's.
At the top I alluded to my hellish week, so here's what the world gave me to chew on this year, right before Christmas - a temporary layoff from my job at Sigma Point Technologies (recession etc...), a busted starter in my Honda (repair cost - $300.00) and a drain pipe clog in my home that has prevented dishes from being done the last four days.
Thank goodness the Habs have won the last two!
Please, have a better week than me, willya!