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02-08-2014, 04:03 PM
Join Date: Dec 2013
World's Biggest Habs Fan
Originally Posted by
on that one. Though I was actually as much a fan of the Canadiens as I was the Leafs & Chicago, Roger Crozier in particular & Detroit for two years mid-60's based on his tremendous play & the interesting players on the Wings. Boston & New York not so much, not until Giacomin came along, Orr & Company with the Bruins. I was more a "fan" of the entire league, appreciating each team & its players rather than strictly "Hometown Toronto".
But ya, loved the Habs of the 60's. Oddly, I preferred Charlie Hodge to Worsley. Gumper was great, but just something of the Beach Ball about him that didnt do much for me. Defensively terrific as were the Leafs of course but combined with their artistry up-front, far more dynamic, entertaining. Some smaller players with speed to burn, one of my favorites Henri Richard.
On the blue line, Jacques Laperriere. Enjoyed studying those guys. Some serious smarts, hockey crafts & IQ. Of course I wasnt immune to being a local FanBoy come playoff time in hoping the Leafs would triumph, absolutely. But you sure couldnt help but admire Toe Blake, Beliveau. Just some incredible series against Toronto that on so many levels transcended just the game of hockey. Consider myself very fortunate to have witnessed all of that and at a formative age.
The title of this post refers to my pappy. He loved the Canadiens, and this period was a terrific one for him. Watching him watch a game was almost as much fun as watching the game itself. Worsley brought out the worst in him, with his flopping. Every time Gump would hit the ice, my dad would be on his feet swearing in French.
As a French Canadian, and short to boot, he really identified with the Flying Frenchmen up front. My older brother would wind him up warning him what would become of those under-sized forwards at the hands of the larger opposing players, especially the blueliners.
As a contrarian, and a fan of the underdog, I just could
warm up to the Habs. For me, they were the NHL's equivalent of the New York Yankees, another team I could not embrace, regardless of the obvious talent on the roster.
That said, there were individual Canadiens I did like, Ted Harris in particular. Never felt, then or since, that he got his due as a tough customer. He paired off with Orland Kurtenbach a couple of times, something John Ferguson never did. Never felt that Terry Harper was properly appreciated either.
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