30 years ago… Wayne Gretzky was traded and all Canadians were mourning.

Written by Sabine Demosthenes and produced by Donald and Sabine Demosthenes

30 years ago, The Educated Fool was in shock and even his mom was in shock.

And guess what…

The Whole Canada was in shock.

How come?

Poor The Educated Fool and probably all of the Canadians all around the country.

We will always remember this date.

 

Wayne in LA

The date we got 99 problems like Jay Z sang.

Jay Z 99 problems

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Habitual line stepping

As I watched The Thunders versus the Golden State Warriors this past Saturday night, Carmelo Anthony threw down his headband violently in anger after getting hit by Draymond Green, who acted like nothing happened, like usual.

At that moment, I was thinking that at some point, someone will have to set Draymond Green straight with physical force.

The same way CHARLIE MURPHY (may he rest in peace), the brother of the great Eddie Murphy, had to beat the hell out of Rick James repeatedly for messing with Eddie Murphy’s couch on purpose, for tattooing the word “Unity” on Charlie’s forehead at Club 54 and for slapping Charlie in the face at the China Club.

To be fair, Rick James had a legitimate excuse for his constant line crossing habits: heavy cocaine use.

Draymond Green has a valid excuse to some extent too. His competitiveness, combined with his high IQ for the game of Basketball and let’s be honest – his ability to get under his opponent’s skin with his trash talk, make him an indispensable player for the Golden State Warriors.

But too many times, like Rick James, Draymond will go too far and do something nonsensical like kicking opponents in the groin. His multiple flagrant fouls during the 2016 playoffs got him suspended for Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

That’s when the Cavs began their comeback, upsetting the Warriors after trailing the series 3 games to 1.

I am surprised that Draymond has not caused a major brawl yet. But another habitual line-crosser, who happens to be a well known hockey player in Montreal and the province of Quebec, certainly did.

For those who don’t know, Dale Hunter was one heck of a hockey player. He was also the personification of a habitual line-crosser.

He played for the Quebec Nordiques from 1980 to 1987.

Then, he spent the next 12 years with the Washington Capitals. He then came back to the organization that had originally drafted him, the Colorado Avalanches, who were the Quebec Nordiques.

He is currently the co-owner, president and head coach of the London Knights of the Ontario Junior League. Let me say this: this fool was unreal!

He was a crazier, old school, white version of Draymond Green (I love cross-racial comparisons by the way). As a young Habs fan, I loved to hate this man. If you have any time to waste, I suggest to you all to go on Youtube and type in the search space: Dale Hunter, cheap shots. If you like chaos as I do, Dale Hunter won’t disappoint. Enjoy!

He was the instigator of the brawl of all brawls between the Montreal Canadiens and the Quebec Nordiques, the famous Good Friday Massacre (La Bataille du Vendredi Saint, in French) on April 20, 1984. He kept taking runs at the goalie, Steve Penney, after the whistle was blown. At the end of the second period, he even fought his own brother, Mark Hunter who played for the Habs.

Imagine that!

Who can forget, in 1993, Game 6 of the first round series between the Capitals and the New York Islanders when Dale Hunter went absolutely insane.

He hit an unsuspecting Pierre Turgeon to the board after Turgeon had scored a goal and was celebrating.

You can see afterward, several Islanders going after Dale Hunter and pummelling him.

Charlie Murphy would have been proud of those guys.

Look, I do not condone the use of violence, but like Charlie Murphy educated us in the Charlie Murphy – True Hollywood Story segment from the Chappelle Show, a habitual line-crosser needs to be checked so that the line-crossing can stop.

I used those two athletes, in a way, to relive one of the greatest Dave Chappelle sketches ever: Charlie Murphy – True Hollywood Stories featuring Rick James, 14 years ago.

But, we need Draymond Green in our lives. He makes the game of basketball fun, the same way Dale Hunter made the game of hockey fun in the past, with their unique, habitual line-crossing way.

Again, Rest in Peace to you, Charlie Murphy and Rick James.

For some comic relief:

ETrue Hollywood Story Rick James and Charlie Murphy

Written by Donald Demosthenes (aka The Educated Fool and The Other Donald)

Habs vs Talent

 
Why have the Montreal Canadians failed to maximize the potential of their most gifted players for years?
 
This is a question I am always asking myself.
 
In the 80s, I was too young and dumb to fully understand why Guy Lafleur decided to hang up his skates on November 26, 1984.
Guy Lafleur 10
 
I remember asking my dad why the Flower, as we called him, decided to retire so suddenly. His answer was blunt. He said it in his French Canadian/Haitian accent: he is done, he doesn’t have it anymore.
 
You can’t blame my dad for his opinion at the time. Guy Lafleur was having a miserable season,only scoring two goals and three assists after 19 games, failing to realize that the real culprit of hisstruggles was Jacques Lemaire‘s defensive system.  His ice-time had been reduced and he was asked to play a more defense-oriented game.
We cannot blame Jacques Lemaire though.
At that moment, The Habs finally got past the second round of the playoffs after years of getting bounced out of the playoffs early. This had happened four straight years in a row, despite having some great regular seasons. Jacques Lemaire had something to do with it.
But his system, known as the TRAP, was a bad fit for a free-spirited, creative player like Guy Lafleur. The system was made for more disciplined and defensive, responsible players like another Guy…
Guy Carbonneau Canadiens de MontréalGuy Carbonneau
Guy Carbonneau.
 
If you have followed The Habs for the past three decades, you’ll know either one of these twoscenarios happened frequently:
 
Scenario 1:
A homegrown talent struggling to perform constantly with The Habs only to flourish with another team. I’m thinking of John LeClair and if The Habs are not careful this time around, Alex Galchenyuk will be the latest example.
John LeClair
 
Speaking of John LeClair, I remember years ago when Randy Tieman, the longtime sportscaster on the Montreal scene was sharing a conversation he had with John Leclair on his radio show, TEAM690 (Now TSN690).
randy and joey.jpg
LeClair said the difference in playing for The Habs versus the Flyers was his main focus, which was to backcheck and make sure he did not miss his defensive assignments.
 
As soon as he joined the Flyers, they inserted him immediately, along with Eric Lindros and Mikael Renberg. They were told to: Be yourself, go in front of the net and be big and strong, go in front of the net and wreak havoc.
 
The rest is history. John LeClair reached his immense potential by producing three straight 50 goal seasons, plus two straight 40 goal seasonsduring the dead puck era. When you hear his name, you immediately think of the Legion of Doom. Not the famous Wrestling tag-team of course, but one of the most famous lines in the history of hockey, the Line of Lindros-Leclair-Renberg.
Eric Lindros and John LeClair
 
 
Scenario 2:
With a desperate need for offense, The Montreal Canadiens made a big trade to acquire an extremely talented player, hoping to fix the team’s problem scoring goals; only for that same player to be criticized by the media for a lack of production and to be marginalized by the organization because of the player deficiencies in the defensive part of the game. 
 
Remember Pierre Turgeon?
SP Turg.HR
He came as a number one centre from the New York Islanders when he was acquired in return for Kirk Muller.
Teammates
He finished his stay with the Habs on the the third line, not even playing centre. He basically got the Galchenyuk treatment, even before Alex Galchenyuk. We must thank Mario Tremblay with a pinch of sarcasm.

Alex GalchenyukPierre T

 
Similarly, this past summer, the Habs sacrificed their best prospect, Mikhail Sergachev, to acquire the playmaking winger named Jonathan Drouin, who for some reason is now the team’s number one centre, hoping to boost the team’s offensive output.
Mikhail Sergachev
 
For now, it seems the experiment failed miserably this season. I somewhat disagreed with the trade at the time. But, it would be criminal to put all the blame on the shoulders of Jonathan Drouin.
Jonathan Drouin
Max Pacioretty did criticize Julien’s system a couple times in front of the media in an attempt to explain the team’s failure to generate much offense.
 
A lot of fans and members of the media are clamoring for a major rebuild of the team after this season. I don’t disagree with that sentiment.
 
But, what The Habs really need is a culture change. A culture that will allow players like Jonathan Drouin and Alex Galchenyuk to become an offensive force.
A culture that will embrace players like P.K. Subban instead chasing him out of Montreal for reasons that have nothing to do with hockey.
2011 Heritage Classic - Montreal Canadiens Practice
A culture that will seek greatness at all costs.
 
It’s time to bring back the spirit of the Flying Frenchman.
A spirit that left the Montreal Canadiens when the organization gave Guy Lafleur no choice but to quit the sport he loved way too prematurely.
Guy Lafleur by Mike Oulton
 
Your Educated Fool!
Written by Donald Demosthenes

Patrick Roy: Blessing or Curse

It all began on May 3, 1986. A 9-year-old boy looked intently at the third in the Eastern Conference final of the National Hockey League. The fight is fierce between the Montreal Canadiens and the New York Rangers.

Madison Square Garden was the arena of this fight. This young man had his first baptism of the New York crowd.

Madison Square Garden

This same crowd shouted with all their strength towards a young Quebecor goalkeeper praying that his concentration and play would be affected.  The crowd shouted in ridicule with: ROOOOAHHHHH  Alas, this young goalkeeper named Patrick Roy gave the best performance of his career. He made 13 goals saves in 2 minutes.

Patrick Roy by Mimke Oulton

This match put Patrick Roy on the map. I allow myself to write that he flew (in a good way) in overtime this legendary match. We saw how special he was. The eyes of this young boy from Montreal North had changed forever. Not only that the New York crowd has left a legacy in his memory, but he has never seen in real time despite being a child of the year 1976, a performance of this kind. The Montreal Canadiens won the Stanley Cup. Montreal was on fire. He also saw his first riot as if it was England that had won the Soccer World Cup and the Hooligans were demolishing the streets of London.  Well, I’m exaggerating, but there is a hint of truth. The boy understood the notion of riots at that time.

Émeute 1986

Patrick Roy became at that moment a myth, a legend and a messiah. He became Patrick Roy. It was the beginning of the Montreal empire. I can already hear the screams, read the emails of insults saying to me: You are crazy or what. We won a second Stanley Cup in 1993. You do not know what you’re talking about.

Habs 1986Coupe Habs 1993

This match put Patrick Roy on the map. I allow myself to write that he flew (in a good way) in overtime this legendary match. We saw how special he was. The eyes of this young boy from Montreal North had changed forever.  The boy is my big brother and he always asked this question. Would the Canadiens have beaten the Edmonton Oilers during this series? Very hard to answer especially since the Oilers had a team of shock with Gretzky, Coffey, Messier, Anderson, Fuhr, Murphy, Huddy, Kurri and the rest of the Dream Team in hockey. I think you guessed my answer.

 

In this series, Oilers’ Steve Smith scored a goal in his own goal by accident and the Calgary Flames, who were also a great team, eliminated the Oilers. Tears poured out for the Oilers fans. It was an incredible shock. My brother said at that time, maybe Canadians would have a chance to win the cup.  His only Big Brother’s desire was for Canadians to beat the Nordics if they met. Speaking of the Nordics during this series, the name that could still give nightmares to Michel Bergeron, the goalkeeper Mark Liut made a Patrick Roy of himself against the Nordiques and we had to say bye bye to the Nordiques of Quebec during the 1986 eliminations.

Mike Liut

The Canadians make this elimination of the Nordiques did not have to face them. Also, they dodged the mighty Philadelphia Flyers, as the Rangers surprised the Flyers by eliminating them in 5 games. The sad note during this clash was that the Flyers had lost goalkeeper Pete Linberg in a serious car accident. Despite this sad loss, it was a very dangerous team during the playoffs.

Patrick Roy 1986

The league’s third-best league at the time, the Washington Capitals, was also surprised by the Rangers and was eliminated in Game 6. Maybe you can see where I’m going in my next remarks.  The media and the whole world gave all the Montreal Canadiens victory credits in the 1986 playoffs and Patrick Roy’s rise to the Stanley Cup but do not you think that maybe circumstances have major roles without underestimating the undeniable talent of number 33 but luck was a very big factor.

Roy Roy Roy

I would say yes.  The facts prove this statement and it is correct. There is no shame in that. It was not the first time, but the mentality following this victory in 1986 changed the culture of the Montreal team forever and not necessarily for the better.

In 1971, an ingenuous youngster to play only a few games in the CH uniform (6 games to be more precise). Ken Dryden confronts with his teammates such as Jean Béliveau the Boston Browns.

Dryden, Beliveau and Mahovlich

The Bruns were the best team in the league with, in my opinion, the greatest hockey player of all time, Bobby Orr.

Bobby Orr

Ken Dryden inverted the series against Boston in the first round. I should say that Patrick Roy made a Ken Dryden of it in 1986. Mr. Dryden was the original.

Lapointe, Savard, DrydenKen Dryden one of the greatest of all timeKen Dryden

The difference is in a name that is Sam Pollock. The former director general does not know said at the time: Well, we found our guardian so our game system must turn around him. On the contrary, after this playoff series, he said he will build the biggest team in the league.

He was searched for the white demon Guy Lafleur during the draft. Later, Larry Robinson, Bob Guiney, Serge Savard and Guy Lapointe trained the new generation of the Canadiens 70’s style team.

 

The mentality of the team was not to focus on the goalkeeper, but to become a great team. Sam Pollock was taking chances and with the team that had, the sky had no limit for the Habs.

Sam Pollock

You see what I mean.

This is the team I want to see again.

The worst thing that happened to the Montreal Canadiens was that they won the Stanley Cup in 1986 and 1993. Given the miracles of number 33, the organization instead wanted to find a second Patrick Roy instead of building a dynasty surrounded by kings. In 1987, the Canadiens had a better team in 1986 and when they faced the Flyers in a row they lost.

Nowadays, big teams like the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Chicago Blackhawks and the Los Angeles Kings have star forwards, incredible defencemen and very good goalies. For Chicago for example, the key to their team is their defensive unit because they must defend and fuel the attack.

For Canadians, the team’s structure is far too dependent on the goalie’s performance. Carey Price is not in his best form and Canadians are not playing as badly as they say, but the structure is killing the team. We want to live too much in the past instead of moving forward. During the exchange of Patrick Roy, instead of looking for key players, Réjean Houle was sought Jocelyn Thibault. A goalkeeper he hoped to be a second Patrick Roy.

When we had José Théodore, once again, we imposed too much responsibility on him as a goalkeeper. P.K Subban’s exchange for Webber is a blatant example of the curse that is plaguing Canadians. The real reason for this exchange is because Subban didn’t fit with the culture of the organization ” protecting the goalkeeper” and not an exchange we were made to believe for the well-being of the team.

P.K. Collection at PKSubban.com

We know what happened during the 2017 playoffs, Nashville, which had the goal to have the best team to win the cup and this same team was in the final of the Stanley Cup.

Instead of wanting to win the Stanley Cup with an army filled with talented soldiers, the Montreal Canadiens want to win it by stealing the cup with a goalkeeper in the net.

We must get out of this fate, because for 30 years, we have been bewitched by this mentality that prevents this team with such a rich history of evolving.

It’s time to evolve!

 

Signed Sab in collaboration with the 9-year-old boy in 1986 aka The Educated Fool ‘’my big brother.’’  We are ready for attacks.

 

 

 

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