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Old
04-16-2004, 01:44 PM
  #1
JohnnyB11
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Internal HabsFan thread - long read, beware!

I have yet to get involved in this whole diving debacle but have seen the whole series (actually was at Game 2, my first playoff game in person) and have read the abundance of views on the matter. I have a few things I'd like to point out mainly to Habs fans and I don't really want to get into yet another drawn out thread questioning the recent antics. Just a few things to think about if you'll give me a few minutes of your time.

Throughout this season the Habs have been seen as a relatively clean team. Up until now, there has been little question about player and organization integrity. Yes, Ribeiro has been a little too dramatic this season for most of our liking, and we've discussed this as his behaviour warranted. But otherwise, we've had a respectable reputation through the regular season. So what has happened to focus so sharply on Hab player integrity now that wasn't at issue all season long? And in fact wasn't at issue through the first two games of the series?

In game 3, Mike Ribeiro writhing in pain in the final minute of a close and crucial game, drawing a whistle during a Boston Bruin rush.

Was he hurt? Was he faking? Either way, this development caused an uproar.

I think most of us Habs Fans would like to believe Ribeiro, but at the same time we know he's young and brash, we've seen him in action all year. Even those few who seem to completely back up his behaviour must secretely have some questions about his sincerity. At any rate, all in all it was a little embarassing, but certainly not the first incident of this type in NHL history, nor will it be the last. In reality, this incident has cemented Ribeiro's fate of being labelled a diver, which he will likely never shake. As the Montreal Canadiens are always under the microscope anyways, the whole nation took notice.

Fast forward to game 4. In the 5th period of a hard fought battle, Kovalev gets a stick across the hand, coughs up the puck and the Bruins win the game on the play. Kovalev came to Montreal with the reputation of an embellisher, a rep he gained years ago and hasn't been able to shake. With the Canadiens play already being scrutinized as a result of Ribeiro's actions, here's another "questionable" reaction to a Bruin aggression. Was he hurt? Was he faking? Again, the debate rages on but Alex's repututation is the deciding factor and hockey fans take further notice. Suddenly the integrity of the entire organization is being questioned. Media has a field day. Bruins fans in particular have a heyday. Everyone now is eagerly anticipating more drama in game 5.

In game 5, Zednik goes down after a cross check to the neck from McGillis. Markov goes down after a sucker punch from Joe Thornton. The media really has somethnig to sink it's teeth into. Headlines scream "The Canadiens are divers! The Canadiens are making a mockery of the NHL! Penalize them! Fine them!" On and on and on... Bruins fans scream for the Canadiens to "play like men, have some pride, like their players do". Fans of other teams start to fire potshots at the "dirty play" of the Habs. They claim it is a despicable strategy that should not be tolerated. Even some commentators and broadcasters jump on the bandwagon with unexpected verbal blows.

And here we are, being verbally assaulted as fans of this team of so-called actors and whiners.

But looking at the big picture, the Habs and their fans have nothing to be ashamed about. Look at the facts.

Four plays in three consecutive games have caused this backlash. 1) On Ribeiro's, the catalyst for all this bad press, the result is a play stoppage when the Bruins were threatening at the end of a one goal game. 2) Kovalev's - no call or stoppage, game lost on the play. 3) Zednik - eventual play stoppage when the Habs have the puck in their own end. No penalty assessed. 4) Markov - after the play, Thornton gets an extra 2 minutes when he was already on his way to the box for interference. Obviously, the Habs have gained little on the ice from this nonsense, if anything at all. If this is some kind of strategy, time to rethink the plan.

But if not a strategy, then how else can this be explained? Quite simply really.

Ribeiro's actions create an inflammatory response by those who follow the game. You know what? Rightly so. My apologies to Mr. Ribeiro if he was indeed hurt that bad to act like he did, but it sure seemed suspect.

Kovalev got a stick on the hand in a marathon game. No doubt it hurt, not a lot of protection around this area. Last I checked I didn't know it was a crime against hockey to react to something that hurts. His reaction arguably cost the Habs a playoff game. Maybe he's soft. Maybe he tried to draw a penalty. Well, Kovalev should know he's not able to draw many penalties due to his reputation, and we never got Kovalev for his physical presence or strength. He's a sniper, plain and simple.

Zednik again was a victim of a stick in a poorly protected area from a big man. Again, no doubt knocked the wind out of him.

Markov sucker-punched in the face after a stoppage in play by big Joe Thornton. Again, it must have hurt, right? An unexpected tag in the face from a big man like that must at least be enough to knock one of his skates for a bit.

And through it all, very little whining to referees after the fact. But isn't whining a natural response from a player looking for a penalty to be called that never was?


The Boston Bruins are one of the biggest, most aggressive teams in the playoffs. When you put a big aggressive team against a smallish, quick team, guess what's going to happen? While the focus has not been on the Bruins in all of this, they have certainly been able and willing to lay the body (in legal or illegal fashion) and the lumber (same) when the occasion presents itself. And when it does you are going to see what we've been seeing. Canadien players hitting the deck. In physical terms, when bigger meets smaller, bigger will always win. That's mostly what is happening here. Nothing to be ashamed about, at least not near as much as some would suggest.

All the accusations directed towards the team and its players based on a few incidents in consecutive playoff games between two rivals of overall very different makeups. While people focus on the "embellishers", Lost in this are the plays where Habs players cut or crushed make their way back to the bench without incident or display. Those fellas are real troopers to say the least, but I don't think it's fair to jump all over those who need a little time on the ice to gather themselves and shake the cobwebs out when they've had their clocks cleaned.

So keep your heads up guys. If somehow Theodore and the Habs manage to come back and take the series, I would be willing to bet that against a less grotesquely huge team there will be far fewer Habs bodies on the ice. Whether the media or other hockey fans will be able to give up on this 'once most glorious team turned most embarrassing' soap opera is a question I'm not so sure about, especially with the number of Hab-haters out there.

Thanks for your time. Please don't respond to this, I won't be answering because now I'm at peace with this situation

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Old
04-16-2004, 02:32 PM
  #2
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Wow, that was LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG!

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Old
04-16-2004, 02:52 PM
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooch
Wow, that was LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG!
Long, well written and intelligent.

We should have more posts like these.

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Old
04-16-2004, 02:54 PM
  #4
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You're forgetting Thornton's other cheapshot on Markov when he headhunted in game 3 and then Travis Green elbowed Markov in the head in the same game.

On the tying goal in game 4, Knuble also slashed Theodore up under his chin before the goal went in (probably WHY it went in).

It hasn't been the whole Bruin team, O'Donnell, McGillis, Gill, even Rolston have all played it tough but didn't resort to cheap stuff.

But Murray and Lapointe have been hacking everything in site and Thornton and Green have been throwing numerous cheapshots. Last game Boynton joined in on the fun with a crosscheck to Zednik's neck (which Don Cherry's lackey doesn't think was a penalty - at least Hruday laughed at him). Also, remember when Raycroft speared Begin in the you-now-whats?

Then the refs have been turning around and giving Kovalev borderline hooking penalties because they think he showed them up.

The Canadiens remained patient through ALL of that and it is starting to pay off.


Last edited by tinyzombies: 04-16-2004 at 02:58 PM.
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Old
04-16-2004, 02:57 PM
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutchy
Long, well written and intelligent.

We should have more posts like these.
Oh dont get me wrong, i was very good. Its was just Looooong, that all im saying!

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Old
04-16-2004, 06:53 PM
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooch
Wow, that was LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG!
Well not trying to be perfect but:
Words: 1,310
Characters(no spaces): 5,867
Characters(with spaces): 7,199
Lines: 111

Yes, all of these stats are counted by my own eye

Sorry... Great post!

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Old
04-16-2004, 07:03 PM
  #7
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very good, I'd like to repeat something thats already been said but I've also thought the same thing: Look at the habs players face versus the bruins, are those scars and bruises on our players a result of the cheap shots? Nah, must be the dives .

The series has been great IMO, theres everything, good plays, very physical, rivalry atmosphere and controversy. The only other thing needed for this series to be perfect for the average north american hockey fan is two Montreal wins.

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Old
04-16-2004, 07:52 PM
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Habsaku



very good, I'd like to repeat something thats already been said but I've also thought the same thing: Look at the habs players face versus the bruins, are those scars and bruises on our players a result of the cheap shots? Nah, must be the dives .

The series has been great IMO, theres everything, good plays, very physical, rivalry atmosphere and controversy. The only other thing needed for this series to be perfect for the average north american hockey fan is two Montreal wins.


And add Quintal is out for the series and perhaps the entire playoffs. Begin could be out for the series (I hope he plays tomorrow we really need him, but we'll have to see) And Ward could be out for the series as well. That's 3 regulars knocked out in 5 games so far, but hey who's counting. :mad:

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Old
04-16-2004, 09:48 PM
  #9
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Nice post. Tested my attention span but nice nonetheless.

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Old
04-16-2004, 10:29 PM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by montreal
And add Quintal is out for the series and perhaps the entire playoffs. Begin could be out for the series (I hope he plays tomorrow we really need him, but we'll have to see) And Ward could be out for the series as well. That's 3 regulars knocked out in 5 games so far, but hey who's counting. :mad:
On a positive note, Komisarek and Perreault have stepped in nicely for the habs in Game 5. Hopefully Jason Ward can play tommorrow, if not Begin will probably be in the lineup

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Old
04-16-2004, 10:33 PM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KOMO_ROCKS
On a positive note, Komisarek and Perreault have stepped in nicely for the habs in Game 5. Hopefully Jason Ward can play tommorrow, if not Begin will probably be in the lineup
Ward is out tommorow, Begin is questionable!

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Old
04-16-2004, 10:37 PM
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooch
Ward is out tommorow, Begin is questionable!
Thanks for letting me know, I was not aware of that as I was out for most of the day. This would be a nice time to have Begin in the lineup if he is able to play. We can really use his heart, grit and energy. I wonder who would get the call to play if Begin cant play tommorrow either. Sundstrom (i wonder if he is healthy enough to play now) or Dackell? It will be interesting to see.

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Old
04-16-2004, 10:47 PM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KOMO_ROCKS
Thanks for letting me know, I was not aware of that as I was out for most of the day. This would be a nice time to have Begin in the lineup if he is able to play. We can really use his heart, grit and energy. I wonder who would get the call to play if Begin cant play tommorrow either. Sundstrom (i wonder if he is healthy enough to play now) or Dackell? It will be interesting to see.
Sure will, i would personally prefer Sunny, but i dout he will be ready. Dackell aint bad either though.

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04-16-2004, 10:48 PM
  #14
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Very good and intelligent write-up there! All of what you said is quite true and was a pleasure to read after all this bashing of our team and their players.

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Old
04-16-2004, 10:52 PM
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooch
Sure will, i would personally prefer Sunny, but i dout he will be ready. Dackell aint bad either though.
I think it will come down to either Begin or Sundstrom.....

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Old
04-16-2004, 10:54 PM
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KOMO_ROCKS
I think it will come down to either Begin or Sundstrom.....
Agreed

1. Begin
2. Sunny
3. Dackell

I hope its # 1

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Old
04-16-2004, 10:56 PM
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooch
Agreed

1. Begin
2. Sunny
3. Dackell

I hope its # 1
Same here

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Old
04-16-2004, 11:49 PM
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brisson11
Well not trying to be perfect but:
Words: 1,310
Characters(no spaces): 5,867
Characters(with spaces): 7,199
Lines: 111

Yes, all of these stats are counted by my own eye

Sorry... Great post!
WOW !!!

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