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)

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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