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.

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