Monday, December 8, 2014

Never


Jean Béliveau died.

I am 38 years old.

I waited for a Jean Béliveau. But nobody came.

Tomorrow I'll be walking past him and I suspect that once I lift my eyes upon his coffin and the unimaginable symbolism that adorns the backdrop of this powerful stage, I'll have to come to terms with that.

I love this game - hockey. I love the word. I love this city. Beyond the people who give my life meaning, and only people do, nothing ties me more to Montreal than the Montreal Canadiens. And I think that I'll feel heavy about that tomorrow when I walk into this shrine and observe how devastatingly beautiful it will have been made to be for its most revered guardian. The images that have been broadcast from this stage convey sadness, darkness, silence, sweetness, elegance, triumph and glory. The mere contrasts may be too much for the senses.

I have lived through 5 Stanley Cups in Montreal. I was old enough to remember two of them. I have a very vague recollection, like the spasm of a feeling nudging me. It's a memory which lacks definition and shape, but has the aura of something full and joyful having happened: it's the blurry image of amassed bodies dressed in blue, white and red embracing in jubilation on a white surface, like a frenetic painting in movement. It's one of my first memories. I believe it was the team in the immediate celebration of the 1979 win over the Rangers.

The starkest contradiction for a 38-year old like myself, a season ticket holder, completely enthralled by the mystique of a team so deep in glory and tradition is that there are no true "heroes" for people like myself. And I think that's where some of my grieving finds its dimension. This is goodbye to something so big and something my generation has not truly experienced.

I've always disliked the word, especially when used to label an athlete. In my mind the word "hero" serves a purpose to a child, a child searching for a sense of belonging to a world he or she is trying to understand. Our children look at us, gaze at us because only through our words, our actions, the tone of our voice do they really get to know who we are. And at the very core of what they are, that is what they yearn for. What are we as parents if not our children's first heroes? Heroes have that effect. Children hold them in impossibly high esteem and pray to the alter they've made for them in their minds. These heroes cradle us silently in our moments of true innocence. And as we lose the innocence, most of the time, we cease to view anyone as a hero, so reaching and perfect the image needs to be to maintain any relevance.

You could worship Jean Béliveau as a 4-year old and as an 84-year old, today, you can be forgiven for mourning the loss of your hero. Jean Béliveau did nothing during the course of your lifespan nor his to lose the title. You called him your hero during the innocence of childhood - he rewarded that innocence for the rest of his life. He was unshakeably heroic, and by that I mean unflinchingly loyal to a standard of conduct most of us cannot maintain. There was something regal about him, and yet even in royal families members are taught ethics and code formally and rigorously. Béliveau did without the lessons, it was in his bloodline, it's just who he was.

There are no heroes left in Montreal. The players we love, the ones from the 70's dynasty, the star of the 80 and 90's team, they all did wonderful things on the ice but none really drew the public in and made it feel special, wanted, invited. Forget the fact that Jean Béliveau played with purpose, he lived with purpose. He represented the people of the province because they aspired to present the way he did. It's hard to have a commanding presence. Jean Béliveau made that look easy. I think we all wish we could draw that kind of respect, by the mere fact that we are. It's a feat as rare as it is powerful.

Today, days after his passing, his family in full grief stands there by him, and shakes the hand of every person that has descended upon centre ice to pay respects. It's a remarkable extension of the legacy Jean Béliveau leaves behind. Impossibly selfless and tall. The void cannot be filled. His stature was and is immaculate. Immaculate.

Montrealers mourn the loss of their last hero. The ones that saw him play grieve the vivid memories of childhood and the jubilation he brought to their lives. The ones who only came to know him from his hockey afterlife, outside the confines of an NHL season, who saw him age graciously while guessing what it would have been like to see him play, they grieve what could have been, what never was and what never will be.

Never.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Milan Lucic Cleans Out Locker, Refuses to Apologize and Has Another Drink


What can we say, Milan, you had a chance to redeem yourself and may Shawshank proud.

Heck with a heartfelt apology even I would have said "yeah, I guess you could say I liked Milan Lucic from the very beginning...".

In the end, it changes nothing: if he chooses to pose as a relentless winner to justify his being a tasteless loser then so be it. He will go down as a player who wins and loses with a serious deficiency in savoir vivre and that's his cross to bear. Milan Lucic will not hold a candle to many other players, better players, more dignified, and less talented ones, more polished, more aware of the importance of integrity and dignity. Maybe wrapping yourself around Boston Strong could serve as an explanation for some of the passion on the ice. I for one can live very well with the chest pump. It's a goal for crying out loud: just celebrate it and own it.

But that handshake is not Boston. I was there for Game 2 and I can't begin to tell you how many people stopped me on the street, total strangers, trying to reassure me that the racist idiots that had taken to Twitter after Game 1 in no way represented the city of Boston.

I know, Boston, I know.

Congratulations to both cities for a hell of a series.


Thursday, May 15, 2014

A Handshake Story - The Long Winding Road



This is a transcript of Milan Lucic in the handshake line after the Canadiens defeated the Bruins last night in Game 7:

Lucic to Gionta: You're a shitty captain, I've clipped toe nails bigger than you. Go fuck yourself immediately.

Lucic to Plekanec: I'm going to pull that turtle neck over your head and carry you around like a bindle all summer. And I have SARS and that's why I'm speaking to you very close.

Lucic to Eller: The only thing that is more insignificant than Denmark is, nothing is more insignificant than Denmark. I'm going to murder you in your sleep.

Lucic to Bourque: Fuck you for taking on a name that's Boston royalty. I'm going to pound you until your name falls out of your ears.

Lucic to Subban: Sometimes you remind me of Rudy from the Cosby Show, only you're fucking ugly. Look at me again and I'll staple a wheel chair to your cocky ass for the rest of your life. Your dad is a prostitute.

Lucic to Deharnais: I get fucking vertigo every time I have to look down to find you. I question your entire existence. Tell your wife you're out of milk.

Lucic to Pacioretty: Next year, I'm going to finish what Chara started and will decapitate you.

Lucic to Brière: You look like a tired old windmill with your goal celebrations. Next year, I'm going to do you a favour by tearing off both of your arms. Windmill that motherfucker.

Lucic to Markov: Tell your wife Emelin not to make any plans for next year because I'm going to make you a widow and spear her in the vagina. Then I'm going to force you to watch me spear a baby whale.

Lucic to Emelin: Good series, you scare me.

Lucic to Weaver: I won't do anything to you next year cause chances are you'll already be dead you old fucking bat.

Lucic to Ginette Reno: What the fuck are you doing here? I told you to meet me back at the hotel.

Lucic to Therrien: There's a T in respect you asshole. Speaking of, I just hired Mr. T to kill you on Christmas Day.

Lucic to Prust: You think your ribs hurt now? Next year, I'm gonna carve out your ribs, slow cook them and serve them to your mother à la fucking Game of Thrones.

Lucic to Vanek: You will not die of natural causes. I will end your life.

Lucic to Gallagher: Next year I'm going to kidnap you, take you to Romania and impale you. And when I train with you and your wimpy dad this summer, I'm gonna drop a barbell on you both Lock Up style.

Lucic to Price: Do you remember the scene in Mission Impossible 3 when the girl dies because a small chip inserted in her brain explodes? Well i'm going to bypass all of that and just shoot you in the face.

Lucic to Bournival: Hey, next year I'm going to give you mad cow disease.

Lucic to Gorges: Next year I'm going to build a Lego replica of Hong Kong in your anus.

Lucic to Beaulieu: I will make it a point to sit on death row to stop you from being alive. I will do this tomorrow.

Lucic to Weise: Next year, I'm going to fucking kill you, ... because when the Navigation system in my new Hummer tells me the High Road is on my right, I'll be fucking turning left.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

On the Verge


You may have noticed by now that we are the Mahatma Ghandhis of blogging.

We protest by blogging silently - and by that I mean we don't write at all. 

Why must it be this way, you ask? Supply and demand. The basic, most fundamental rule of economics. Make them beg for it by making it rare. No one cares about commodities. I'm not lining up for flour or another Dave Matthews concert tour. 

Hopefully, by posting 3 times this season, we have amassed millions of fans who are all now parched with gaping mouths ready to suck on every drop of text we provide.

That could be the reason. Or it could be the 43 diapers A-Rab and I change per hour. No - we haven't made a child together, although I suspect we would get on well if we had. He's a loving man and I make excellent cassoulet, but we do not yield to that wondrous Macklemore Same Love persuasion (we do celebrate the men and women who do - anyone who raises a child should be given an honorary pen or pony). No, my co-blogger and I had children 10 days apart a few months back, both our second child. These babies protest the idea of sleep with the conviction of the LA Clippers at centre court. And so they have muted our pens.

Our first borns have taken to their new sibling with the warmth of a middle eastern peace summit which has made for some complicated and time consuming problem solving. They too are responsible for our reclusive ways. 

But this is Habs Bruins. And it's Game 7. And if not now, then never. And let it be known here and now: our next post should be on the eve of the New Hampshire Republican primaries in the 2016 US elections. 

A few years back, we put this site together because we knew what kind of player PK Subban was going to become. 

He is the best defenceman to play in Montreal since Larry Robinson. He is the most charismatic player to wear the CH since Patrick Roy. He plays every night, every shift. At times, he can be accused of overplaying the game and every shift. Until last month, the awe in this regard was contained to this city; Montrealers knew what they had and with every attack on PK's defensive mindset or hockey sense we cried foul, because PK's natural talent and willingness to be all-world were indisputable. Duncan Keith and Drew Doughty don't turn the puck over? Ever? 

Because of PK's brash demeanour, he is judged by different standards and that's fair - but it should be the opposite effect. Don't judge him for the vocal way he carries himself on and off the ice - embrace his passion for the game and the fact that he is so compelled to shatter the mold of the ever so bland, restrained and almost apologetic hockey player. Celebrate his revelling in the spotlight because that's what sports mythology is built on - players who want the ball, the puck, the at bat when the game is on the line. Players who aren't afraid to ask for it. And who execute when they do. 

Subban was on another level against Ottawa in the first round of the playoffs last year. Game 1 stands out as one of the most inspiring displays of hockey I've ever seen. 

But what PK has done this spring is altogether jaw dropping. The numbers speak for themselves but they only paint a portion of the picture. His energy is limitless, his desire to win is uncharted. He won't yield. Even down 4-1 against Boston in a listless Game 5 at TD Garden, he makes it a point to serve notice on the Bruins with a deafening slapshot beyond an overwhelmed Tuuka Rask at the end of the game. His way of saying, this is not over.

Against the Boston Bruins, PK has been legacy building. This is the most intense rivalry in the NHL, one of the most storied in sports. To give it its proper depiction, the stage for this series is larger and more daunting than the Stanley Cup final - that's how engrossing this duel is. It takes a special breed to rise to that occasion. No skater on either team has managed to make the kind of impact PK has on this series. He is the best player on the ice, he possesses the best and most accurate shot (something Zdeno Chara has not managed to accomplish thus far in the series), he has a thrilling attitude, he delivers in the clutch, and he does nothing to shy away from this impossible level of competition - on the contrary, he invites it. 

The amazing thing is through it all, PK has been forced to address new attacks on his status as a black player in the NHL. Of course, this is not the despair of a Robinson living in a state of emotional isolation as he broke the colour barrier in baseball, but it is a distraction as a result of a hateful view of his race - and nobody who has been a victim of racism is impervious to it. There is that spin that PK must address from time to time, that a player like say Sidney Crosby or Jonathan Toews will never know or be obliged to fight through. That makes PK Subban an inspiration as he continues to collect accolades in the face of violence.

This Canadiens team is young and promising. Yes we may realize what we have when this is all done. Much like in 93 when the dark horse Habs made us realize that, hey, Damphousse, Muller, Bellows, Roy Schneider, Leclair, Desjardins - that's a stellar lineup, no kidding they took the cup home.

And it may all end tonight with these Habs taking huge steps to becoming a force in this league for years to come.

The nice thing is that either way, win or lose tonight, unless PK takes a page out of Donald Sterling's book and rants about how he doesn't want his girlfriend to bring white people to Habs games, we no longer have to live with the PK complex. We no longer have to convince the league that they should be paying closer attention and try to see what we're seeing. It is now evident.

PK on the ice speaks for itself - but in case you're unsure, the best quote in the NHL will be verbose enough to remind you how anti-generic and special he is. 
  

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Homeland Night in Canada



During last night's Habs-Devils hockey game, PK Subban offered two Hanukah gifts to Carey Price by making hugely successful last second sprawling reaches to turn away two pucks headed over the goal line.

No, neither Carey nor PK are Jewish and this is too bad because had they been, the surely would have been singled out by Ron Maclean and his new fondness for Jews, not to mention Jewish lawyers. It's too bad PK and Carey aren't Jewish lawyers because that would have nailed them a spot on the HNIC intro segment.

Leave it to Ron Maclean to segue into the Rogers Deal by invoking the legacies of Trudeau, Ugandan refugees, Paul Henderson, Muslims in the world, Gary Bettman, Jewish lawyers, Gary Bettman the Jewish lawyer, ziploc bags, popsicles, pregnant monkeys and windshield washer fluid.

Ok, back to Habs-Devils. I mean really, was Maclean next planning to equate the Rogers NHL deal to the signing of the Oslo accords between a very Jewish Rabin and an excessively Muslim Arafat? Ronny, baby, looks like PK wasn't the only one prone to reaching.

Habs-Devils, last night. For crying out loud, Ron, are you expecting Nadir Mohammed and Gary Bettman to duke it out on Homeland next season? Is Brody supposed to infiltrate Rogers headquarters to report back to Mossad, the agency Gary Bettman has covertly been heading for years now? Is Rogers not in fact the largest Al-Qaeda cell in Canada? Isn't that why they call it a "CELL" company because it's a "TERRORIST CELL".

If Ron Maclean was trying to make a point about how important it is to reach the divide, and yes it was good that this point was made, I would have thought it an opportune moment for he and Don Cherry to act out a scene from Syriana, with Cherry getting his nails pulled out and Maclean wearing a turban. That would have brought the message home.

In invoking Bettman's Jewish heritage and the fact that the commissioner is a lawyer,  I'm surprised Maclean didn't just go out and say it, "the deal had to be made, because Jews and Muslims now get along, Bettman is a Jewish lawyer, and hey, what can I say, Jews just love money. Let's take it upstairs to Jim".

Ay caramba. I mean who are we to talk. We're a blog about PK Subban and we never blogged when PK won the damn award on which this whole site is predicated. Zero cred, I know.

What can I say. I'm just another Jewish lawyer, trying to get by. Now someone go find me a Muslim to make me a billionaire. And someone get me a drone before Amazon snatches every fucking last one of them.


Friday, November 29, 2013

PK Friday. Get it?

It's Game day for the Habs on this Black Friday.   Or as PK calls it,  Friday.  Habs roll into DC for a 2nd straight weekend and try to make Ovie their bitch.   Although he scored a pair last week,  the Habs won,  so I get to call him a bitch from my couch as he dominates games he loses.   Peter Budaj gets the call again.  He's been lights out this year and with the big Leafs game tomorrow night,  it only makes sense to have Carey well rested for that. Not expecting any roster changes.   Even Rob Ford in a cracked up drunken stuper wouldn't mess with this lineup.

By winning the next two games,  I'm comfortable calling the Habs an upper echelon team in the east?  Why you ask?  Because I like saying echelon.  They'd also prove that they could beat anyone when playing well.   Anyone except Boston since the NHL decided to not have the Habs play the Bruins this year.   Haven't you heard?  The genius schedule makers decided that since the Habs and Bruins have played over a quarter of their games without facing eachother,  they might as well finish off the year like that.   Douchebags.

So if you're American,  enjoy the day off and the game.   If you're Canadian,  enjoy being able to get a heart attack and not have to declare bankruptcy to survive.

A-Rab,  out.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Let us give Thanks. To us. Because we're back. And we're funny. Laugh. Now.

On this Thanksgiving,  it's important to reflect on what important.   And this year,  what could be more important than to call out all the disappointing Habs players so far.   You may think that complaining in the midst of a 4 game winning streak is in bad taste.   Well welcome to the PK'ISTS,  where we make a living on bad taste.   And by make a living,  I mean work for free. And by work,  I mean entertain.

Let us give thanks to René Bourque.   René,  you are the new David Desharnais.  The only difference is that Marc Bergevin doesn't feel the need to try and get you going.   You're the last guy's mistake.  So to make a long story short,  unless there's an ebola virus outbreak in the locker room,  you ain't playing.  Here's a bit of free advice.  Have your sorry excuses for testicles chit chat with @GallyGonads.  Maybe they can learn a thing or two about playing I  this league.


That's it.

Everybody else is either playing well,  playing OK,  or has such little expectations that nobody cares.   I'm talkin about you Mustache Megatron.   Also,  honorable mention should go to Area 51 and Cold Brière who happen to have been rediscovered a few days before this blog would have torn them new Assholes. Keep it up Davey & Dany.

So Happy Thanksgiving everybody!   Except you René.

A-Rab,  out.

Gobble gobble.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

So... this is a bit Awkward.

WE'RE BACK BABY!!  Really looking forward to the season.  Can't wait to see how PK reacts after what he did last year.  And will Price and Davey bounce back?  What's that?  We're a quarter into the season already?  PK won the Norris and the blog that sports his name made no mention of it?  Fuuuuuuuuuuck.  My internet was down for a few months and I just assumed the NHL was in a lockout again.

Whatever, time to move forward.  Habs beat the Sabres tonight in OUR season opener.  I gotta say, I'm pretty impressed.  4 wins in a row.  And aside from the turd of a team we just played, the other 3 wins were vs very good teams.  The real story these last few games has been the discovery of Area 51 and his partner in crime Max Pacioretty.  What the hell happened to those two?  I'm starting to think the porn star staches are what's behind their recent success.  In any case, they seem to be back, and not a minute too soon.  Gallagher's balls, who apparently have a twitter account with over 700 followers, were getting a little fed up with doing all the heavy lifting.

And what can we say about Carey.  The guy was being run out of town last summer and what does he do?  He got married.  Aaahhhh the power of the pussy.  You see, Carey was losing control of his shit.  Too much money, too many bitches, too much everything.  So the motherfucker got hitched.  Started focusing on playing hockey.  And like most married men, he probably prefers working late than hearing his wife complain.  So there you have it.  All Star goalie, kids are playing great, Markov's knee is still with us, and a certain defenseman is leading the team in scoring.  I'm talkin' 'bout Shaft.  I mean PK.  That badass motherfucker is burning up the league once again and probably sending texts to Marc Bergevin in the middle of the night that look something like this:

PK: Where's my money biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitch?  Bridge contract?  I got your bridge contract right here.

There, you're caught up.

So stay tuned fellow PK'ists.  Weez back.  Next post should be up mid Feb.

A-Rab, Out.