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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Controversy, Frustration, and Aggravation! Welcome to hockey in Montreal.

Do I blog tonight, or don't I? That was the question.
I guess you know the answer ... you're reading it.

I have spent the past 24 plus hours doing several things. I've gone shopping to make sure I have groceries for the next week. I've seen the finishing touches on this years wine as the grapes went from crushed, to pressed, to barreled. Heck - I've even had a nap. But the thing that I concentrated on most? Cooling off after the last two Habs games.

But let me explain a little bit. I wasn't upset because we got hammered 6-2 by the Ottawa Senators. I wasn't even annoyed that after tonight's game, some very silly media called our 4-3 win over the Minnesota Wild a "Romp". No ... it actually wasn't the team that annoyed me. I'm not looking for the pre-season perfect record. As I've stated in previous blogs, mistakes will be made, and corrected.

What really annoyed me (and I mean REALLY), was the Tweets that were flying during the pasting that we took from Ottawa.

There is a reason why this hockey franchise is always the center of controversy. Because the fans (and media) of Le Bleu Blanc Rouge supply it.


I may say a few things here now that offend some Habs fans. That's ok. You can curse at me in the comment section, or just leave this page and not come back. I'm fine with that. I'm not looking for blog followers that can't agree to disagree. I also, am not looking for followers that just agree with everything I say either. The beauty of this world is that people are entitled to an opinion.

So here's my opinion. After all ... it's my party and I can cry if I want to!

Montreal's defensive squad in front of Carey Price has been a bunch of chokers. Spacek looks like his middle name should be "Waivers" because he has consistently coughed up the puck. There also has been a real lack of offense when he's between the pipes. But that doesn't excuse your #1 goaltender from failing to make important saves.

I have heard every form of support and excuse in the book about this. One Tweet last night asked "Why can't the team play in front of Price?". My response is ... because he doesn't play behind them. In his defense last night, I also heard a ton of people (including media) barking about his numbers while winning with the World Juniors, the Hamilton Bulldogs, and his rookie year with the Canadiens. But that is what's known as history. I know he has a great past, but it seems that his performance since then has been lackluster at best.

Now please don't get me wrong. I'm not one of those people who keeps comparing him to Halak this year. That fiasco is over ... time to move on. I'm also not someone who doesn't support him. I want him to succeed. I'm just trying to be realistic in calling a spade a spade. I'll criticize Auld for his performance in the "Romp" tonight too.

But when someone calls me a "Hater" just because I think that Price has some work to do ... well that's mildly unfair at best. When someone blocks me as a Tweeter follower (like that will change my life), because I don't show a love fest for Carey Price ... well that's just juvenile. And all the fans who keep making comments like "I just want to give Carey a hug" ... What does that have to do with hockey? If you have a crush on the 23 year old man - Fine - but lets keep this about hockey.

I want all you true Montreal Canadien fans to look back at the fantastic history of our franchise. Consider the greats like Ken Dryden, Patrick Roy, Gump Worsley, Jacques Plante, and Georges Vezina. Do you think that any single one of those men said that they wouldn't lose sleep over the loss of a preseason game? Do you think that the attitude that they held was not to go out and achieve the best at all times not just for the fans but for themselves?

Look at the history of one of our greatest players of all time. Look at The Rocket. How many times was the organization prepared to get rid of him based on injury and lack of performance? Yet he rallied!!! He had incredible passion - not to mention a day job! There was a drive there that I'm not sure we're seeing in the likes of Carey Price.

I hope that I'm wrong. I hope that many people can come back to me by the end of this season and say "Hey Iain - What the hell were you thinking when you thought Price didn't have the drive?". And I'll accept that defeat with a great big grin on my face, because that will mean success for the team.

But in the meantime, let this coddling end. Stop offering hugs and condolences. We didn't do that for the greats of the past. Instead we demanded. And look where it got us.

24 Stanley Cups.


  1. I agree with you a lot. These are pro athletes, and they shouldn't need to be coddled every moment they mess up. I think thats the tough thing about being a Habs fan. There is so much passion, so many sides to an issue to take, so much room for a gray area. Its nearly impossible to contain the passion level in the fans. I guess my only thing is that sometimes we forget that even though these are professional athletes, the passion of the fans sometimes turns so negative that a player might just question what they do every moment of the day, after being booed out of a building. I think there is definitely a fine line to that though. We pay to see our team, and should be able to show how we feel. I just think sometimes its taken too far in the building. I think sometimes in order for a player to rally when they are down, we as fans need to help push them that way, and support harder. I guess just pick & chose our moments more when to bash that player. I really think especially in a building like the bell centre, those players will feel the fans for or against them more than any other team in the NHL, and we as fans need to use that to our advantage. I just think especially in pre-season booing a player while they are getting ready for the season doesn't help the process. Unless the job as fans is to try and run that player out of town. And I guess some fans will take that job. For me, I'm a Habs fan for life, and anyone who puts on that sweater I want them to do well. I want that drive for 25 to be alive and well. And if it means I'm rallying for them at the time they need it, or maybe providing the criticism at a time to maybe wake a player up, I as a fan will do that. I just want to walk the fine line, only wanting that player to succeed for the bleu blanc et rouge. And in time we may learn a player isn't fit for the mold of a player in Montreal. I just think everyone needs their fair shot in figuring it out. Patience is virtue.

  2. I couldn't agree more. Support is necessary. And booing Carey out of the arena was disgusting by any measure. I only expect that from Leaf fans (like they did in their opening loss to Ottawa). We need to show class and support as much as possible ... but I still say that we need to request some form of accountability from our players. Especially one that we've handed the Golden Key to.

  3. Ah, welcome to my island. I also believe in accountability, both by the truly horrid defense (particularly Space), and by the goaltender. Now is not the time to "chill out". Now is the time to get the engine going from neutral into high gear.

    The rookies are trying their hearts out for a slot. All I ever ask for from a player is a consistent effort, and lip service from the team mates saying he's there doesn't count. I can see his body language on the ice. Yet these days if I mention that in regards to Price, I get branded a hater. The fact that I have the same issues with Pouliot or Kostitsyn often seems lost in bruhaha over the goalie.

    While I in no way support booing Price or any of the members of the team, I don't think that as a professional athlete he needs to be hugged or babied either. GMAFB It's a sport, but it's looking a lot more like a damned soap opera these days.