Home ice disadvantage

When I was a kid, back in the pre-Loto Québec era, Montreal had a brisk underground trade in pool tickets that were pegged to the time goals were scored.

I seem to remember a mini-scandal embroiling the Forum timekeeper shaving a few seconds here and there to influence the winning numbers.

So maybe we could revive the clock pool for tomorrow night’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning:

How many ticks on the clock will elapse before the Canadiens are booed at the Bell Centre?

We won’t wait long for a winner. If Tampa Bay scores first and if the Lightning make it look easy, catcalls will coincide with the red light going on.

A colleague whom I met coming out of the métro this morning said she doesn’t like to hear the home team booed at the Bell Centre.

I disagreed. Mike Komisarek got it right when he said, after the latest Saturday night debacle, that fans "pay good money" and have every right to be frustrated by the Canadiens’ bad performances.

The Canadiens sell out the league’s biggest arena. Fans pay up to $150 a ticket to drink $10 beers, eat $6 hot dogs and watch millionaires play hockey. It’s debatable whether any sporting event is worth that expenditure, but a fan who’d paid $20 would feel ripped off watching the stumbling, bumbling home side lose ignominiously to Detroit and Carolina.

Montreal is not Philadelphia. Fans here are supportive and not overly critical of the Canadiens.

Moreover, Bell Centre crowds know their hockey. And they’re realistic enough to accept their team being schooled by the mighty Red Wings. Carolina, however, is not the best team in the league. Seeing their team smoked by the Hurricanes put the fans in a foul mood, and they let the Canmadiens know they were not amused.

There may be more of the same tomorrow. And if the Lightning wins easily and Canadiens lose in Philadelphia on Thursday, I predict paper bags will be spotted for Saturday night’s visit by the Leafs.



  1. The Teacher says:

    ahahaha, you’re getting a lot of mileage out of the line juggling 😛 do you really want it to stop? ahahaha another conspiracy!

  2. Chuck says:



    “Vote Saku for All-Star… or little Timmy gets it!!!”

  3. Gilles Poisson says:

    I think they should start them now. You know, for the cup run in 2009. They’ll look like like a busload of those guys who follow that band you like around ( ;

  4. Chuck says:

    Funny stuff! Maybe moustaches are the way to go. Y’know, work the power of positive thinking thing by starting your playoff beards now!

    “Vote Saku for All-Star… or little Timmy gets it!!!”

  5. Gilles Poisson says:

    Unfortunately it’s gallows humour. Too bad if they can’t take a joke. Thank you.

  6. The Teacher says:

    Yup, touchy is right . Everyone’s lost their sense of humour besides us and Mr. Poisson over there.

  7. The Teacher says:


    Mike, what do you say we set up a section on the site for specially marked Canadiens Nursery Rhymes and Christmas Songs?

  8. The Teacher says:


  9. The Teacher says:

    (Sung along to the tune of, Row, Row, Row Your Boat)

    Slow, Slow, Slow your toast
    Vinny’s but a dream.
    Scarily, Scarily, Scarily, Scarily,
    He’s on the other team.

  10. doogie says:

    Tampa Bay must be tired and frustrated, especially after stinkin’ out the ACC last night; hopefully, les Canadiens, with their new “killer” instinct, can jump all over them early and pound them into the boards at every opportunity. Strong forecheck, lots of “crash and bang” in front of the net. Great goaltending and well organized breakout patterns. Simple!

    Think about it, how can they possibly come out flat tonight?

  11. Gilles Poisson says:

    Now the fans are upset with our Habs. I can’t understand why. I guess they are negative people. It’s tedious. It’s tiresome. It’s not funny. Me I always look positive so tonight I am saying the Habs will win or my name isn’t Gilles Poisson.
    The keys for tonight’s game is the fourth lines. Coach Guy told us he like to roll 4th lines. Tonight he prepared three of them for us. Excellent.
    Like my favourite hockey analysts, I refuse to accept there is anything major wrong with this team. Guy Lafleur, Jean Beliveau, what do they know? However I do agree that they need a player like George Parros and the reason is obvious. The Habs need a man with a mustache on this team. Mathieu is trying, I’ll give him that. But on all the Habs cup teams, my favourite players have a mustache. Also my favourite hockey analyst has one. Thank you.

  12. kevin m says:

    The key word here is “Russian” league.


    Stats would be cut in half in the NHL.

  13. GrimJim says:

    You may scoff, but it seems to me that every time the team starts spinning out of control, it coincides with Begin being out with an injury. They start out smokin’, drop to playing .500 and then at some point the injury and tailspin. I wish I was a better researcher so I could see if the facts back me up, but that’s what it seems to me.

  14. Oprah says:

    I had kind of a hard time warming up to him after the stick-swinging, but I was getting there. I think he’s an excellent example of a reasonable offensive talent that was never going to flourish in Montreal.

    What do you think his stats would be in right now if he was still a Hab? Would he have five goals yet?

  15. JasonM says:

    I’m a big Perezhogin fan. Right now he’s 8th on scoring in the Russian league.

    Perezhogin : 29 GP 13G 14A = 27P 28PM +12

  16. Edwardo says:

    Hey Mike,
    Many people on this site comment about Koivu and Kovalev refusing to play together. Do you have any knowledge of such a request being made?

  17. Oprah says:

    The big question is whether the Carbo-Method(tm) is going to allow them to flourish. If not, they’ll probably end up bolting the NHL like Perezhogin.

  18. kevin m says:

    I love it!!!

    A facetious, sarcastic cynic. No derogation intended. Keep ’em comin’. I get a laugh out of all of your posts & that’s refreshing because this Team’s play, as of late, & it’s Direction is no laughing matter.

    By the way, did you ever wrestle with some guy by the name of “LeBoeuf”?

  19. ebk says:

    besides begin and smolinski, in a few more months valentenko and carle maybe ready to call up. Just imagine the depth the team will have at forward then.

  20. oshawahabsfan says:

    I am more than ready to see big Tits and little Tits together on a line. We need some offensive creativity out there, and I think there’s little doubt these two could be the next power brother tandem, someday they’ll make the Sedin’s look like amateurs.

  21. Gilles Poisson says:

    Please people, remain calm. We just need to ride this thing out until they can get Begin and Smolinski healthy and back in the lineup. Thank you.

  22. Chuck says:

    What a great idea for padding my income, Mike! A paper bag vendor! Never mind sausages; imaging the cold, crisp night air outside of the Bell being punctuated with cries of “Get your paper bags here! Large, medium, and small! 2-for-1 for the kids! Get your paper bags here!!!”

    I’d be rich…

    Seriously, that sort of thing would only work in Tranna.

    I’ll be in the Bell for Saturday’s Laffs/Habs contest… and without a bag, thank you.

    “Vote Saku for All-Star… or little Timmy gets it!!!”

  23. Gilles Poisson says:

    Yesterday Mike Boones make me think of the little Habs fan. What will become of the childrens? So today I make a song for them because vacances de Noel is coming soon. It is based on an English song the petites Poissons would sing at the school house in our village and it goes something like this

    Two more years of Cube
    Two more years of Dandy
    Two more years of Tom “Le Bombe”
    So keep the poison handy.

    Bob makes the team
    Guy plays them funny
    I do all the dirty work
    And they waste all my money.

    Thank you

  24. HabsChick says:


    I would have to disagree. I think that Canadiens fans are indeed critical. The only reason the Bell Centre is packed is because the tickets were sold out back when we expected (without letting any of the analysts in on it) that our beloved Habs would put in a good effort this year and possibly secure a play-off spot.

    I’d at least welcome back the Caridac Canadiens that led us on but then lost by 1 numerous times.

  25. likehoy says:

    haha…i like it i love it.

  26. Gilles Poisson says:

    Thank you Mike Boones. It is important that we keep our dignity. Thank you.

  27. Blarneylad says:

    if montreal loses a one sided loss to the lightning tomorow nihgt im ready to throw in the towel on the year. not the season though 😉

  28. Thumper says:

    Gotta get soughted quickly because much more of this crap and Carbo surely has to go. I mean this in the nicest possible way because I adored him when he played, worshipped him but right now my Habs look stupid and I am not enjoying it and its obvious to see Carbo has not a clue how to formulate lines, motivate a team or create a strategy. However he excels at moaning at refs and making his stars look daft.

  29. Scott in Montreal says:

    Brisebois is washed up and it should’ve been obvious from his stint in Colorado the last two seasons – yet we let Recchi get away. Favoritism is at play I am afraid. Gainey wanted Carbo and let Julien go at the first hint of trouble. What BG didn’t see was that Theo was washed up. It took him a few games behind the bench to realise the same thing Julien did – that Huet was the real deal. Then if Koivu doesn’t go down in a freak accident early in Game 3 against Carolina… who knows?

    Forward to this year: Carbo wanted Brisebois and he got him. He wanted Muller as an assistant (maybe previous year?) and he got him.

    What BG needs to do is realize it’s going to come sooner or later. Carbo (and possibly Muller) need the kibosh. Give the team to Jarvis and see if you can wriggle Robinson away as Asst. coach (he doesn’t want the pressure of being head coach). Or check with Jacques Demers. Then recall Grabs and Sergei and let em rip.

    Or wait until the new year to see if they pull out of it, and hope it isn’t too late by then.

  30. likehoy says:

    Grabs had his chance to rip it up this year, at 24, he won’t get many more chances and he may very well be on his way out back to his motherland.

    Sergei Kostitsyn is still developing, we have no immediate need to rush him and ask him to do too much on a mediocre team. He might get a taste of the NHL this year if this keeps up, but don’t expect him to stick or surprise anyone.

  31. fun police says:


    is anything going to be done to get the habs out of this funk? anything besides dandy on the first line. any news about begin and smokes going on IR to allow for some callups?

  32. Wops says:

    I agree we need scoring. Bring Lil’ Tits. Never mind if he is not perfect defensively, Guillaume was not either. It is pretty rare we have a player that is a point a game in the farm club.

    S.Kostitsyn – Pleky – A.Kostitsyn
    Gui – Chipper – Dandy
    (Begin)/Streit- Lappy – Kostopoulos

    or even put Big tits on the first and leave Kovy on the 2nd. We need offense
    CH is for Chris Higgins

  33. Wops says:

    Vinny, Vinny, Vinny !!
    CH is for Chris Higgins

  34. likehoy says:

    is matt carle still injured?!?!

    if not call the kid up…replace brisebois on the point! Infuse this team with another offensive defenceman and someone to run the PP alongside markov cuz briser is washed up.

  35. nightmare_49 says:

    In the La Presse there’s an article on Mathieu Carle and if you had been following the Dawgs you would have known that he’s been back for awhile.

  36. yukonhab says:

    I would like to see lil’ Tits make his move to the Big League. I think he would make some offence happen with Higgins and Koivu.

  37. howtathor says:

    Anything over a mouthful is wasted 😛

  38. howtathor says:

    I heard that Brad Richards had vetoed a trade to Montreal because of his no trade clause. Just a rumour but he would sure look good on the first line with Saku and Higgy. Richards for Ryder. The Bolts save 7 million a year and get a guy who I think still has game somewhere in him. It would be good for both teams.
    I’m sure Bob is at Chez Pare with Richards right now showing him the errrrrr sights of Montreal. We’re always going to have to overpay so why not?

  39. GrimJim says:

    You know, I feel sorry for anyone they deal for. If it’s a big name everyone will expect him to single-handedly lift the team. The critics’ pressure will be enormous. If it’s a role/depth player everyone will be screaming that he’s not a big player who can’t “fix” the team. The critics’ disappointment will be enormous.
    I think the biggest problem with the team is it’s no longer fun. Yeah, things are going wrong, but everyone is screaming all the focus is on the mistakes and the negative and it’s just compounding on top of itself. When you’re driving a car, the vehicle goes where you focus your eyes. We’ve all got our eyes focused on the mistakes. That might be why they’re better on the road – all the screaming, gnashing of teeth and rending of garments is out of earshot.

  40. NLhabsfan says:

    I see Carbonneau is fiddling while Rome burns. Line combination upon line combinations…Just one big experiment after another. What works what doesn’t work.

  41. JasonM says:

    And yet no Kovalev on the 1st line!

    When your team captain doesn’t play with the team’s best winger there’s something wrong, especially when you’re trying Dandy (who I have no issue with and has exceeded expectations) on that line while the team’s #1 center is going through his longest lethargic span in his entire career absolutely asinine.

  42. The Teacher says:

    Cat Calls ring, are you listening,
    in the lane, snow is glistening
    A beautiful sight,
    we’re snappy tonight,
    walking in a winter wonderland.

    Gone away are the true stars,
    here to stay are the cat-calls
    He sings a mournful song,
    as we go along,
    walking in a winter wonderland.

    In the meadow we can build a snowman,
    Then pretend that he is Vinny with the Crown
    He’ll say: Are you married?
    we’ll say: No man,
    But you can do the job
    when you’re in town.

    Later on, we’ll conspire,
    as we dream by the fire
    To face unafraid,
    the plans that we’ve made,
    walking in a winter wonderland.

    In the meadow we can build a snowman,
    and pretend that he’s Vinny with the crown
    We’ll have lots of fun with mister snowman,
    until the other kids knock him down.

    When it snows, ain’t it thrilling,
    Though your nose gets a chilling
    We’ll frolic and play, the Eskimo way,
    walking in a winter wonderland.

    Walking in a winter wonderland,
    walking in a winter wonderland.

  43. The Teacher says:

    Hahaha, if only OUR Habs can work some magic even once in a while….:(

  44. Norm0770 says:

    I see a lot of people writing for Kovalev to play with Koivu, but Kovalev with Pleks and Kostitsyn is the most productive line on the team. If that one gets broken up, no lines will score.

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