About last night …

Let’s assume, for the sake of a nice Lord’s Day argument, that was the real Montreal Canadiens we watched last night.

So what do we have here?

• Great goaltending that gives the team a chance to win every night.

• An excellent first line, featuring the best two-way centre in the NHL.

• Four experienced, reliable defencemen – plus a surprisingly competent journeyman and an exciting rookie who’s thrilling fans and enraging opponents.

• One of the best penalty-kills in the league.

• Third and furth lines that are industrious, disciplined and capable of scoring once in a while.

• A second line on its way to becoming a third line if Lars Eller continues to improve.

• A power-play that doesn’t always totally suck.

• A defensive system that has not allowed more than three regulation-time goals since the season began – something none of the other 29 teams has accomplished.

Did I forget anything?

Oh, yeah: Team spirit.

Granted, the Sabres aren’t the Flyers. But you had to love the alacrity with which the Canadiens arrived, in numbers, whenever trouble started last night.

Patrick Kaleta? Invisible …. which had not been the case in Toronto on Friday.

December is not going to be an easy month.

Two winnable games – Edmonton and, yes, New Jersey – mid-week, then the sked gets hairy: San Jose at home followed by nine of 12 on the road; stops in Detroit, Colorado, Dallas, Carolina, Washington and the year-end Florida swing. Four sets of back-to-backers, including an ice-pack special: Philadelphia and Boston at the Bell Centre on Dec. 15-16.

If the Canadiens played like they did in Atlanta on Friday, December is going to kill them.

But if the real team is the one that beat Buffalo last night, 2010 will go into the books as a great year that included a miracle playoff run and a surprising season start.

Get Scott Gomez going, which will help Mike Cammalleri, and 2011 will be a very good year.

•  •  •

And now, because I’m lazy and want to watch football, here are a couple interesting observations from my favourite print analyst, Pierre Ladouceur of La Presse, and a member of the Commentariat, usversusthem:

Ladouceur outlined the genesis of the AK46 power-play goal that opened the scoring. On the previous shift, the excellent-all-night line of Eller, Mathieu Darche and Benoit Pouliot had controlled the puck in the Buffalo end and a desperate Steve Montador cross-checked Darche  on the lip of Ryan Miller’s crease. Twenty-two seconds later, Andrej Sekera flipped the puck over the glass and the Canadiens had a 5-on-3.

The ensuing goal can be traced back to Darche’s willingness to pay the Price in the dirty area.

“Positioning in front of the net is a question of will,” Darche told Ladouceur. “It’s my role, and I know there’s a price to pay.”

The bill, however, landed on the Buffalo tab.

(When I talked to Darche, he said some interesting things about Eller’s willingness to listen and learn. The kid is going to be a good one.)

Usversus them worked up some stats on Carey Price in December: 8-4-0, GAA of 1.59, save precentage of 95.1, three shutouts (and 73 bloody seconds short of a fourth!)

The Commenter concludes:

Worth noting: 2 of those losses came in games the Habs were shut out in.
Meaning: In the 10 games the Habs actually scored a goal, Price went
8-2. (Of his 7 regulation losses so far this season, the Habs have
scored 1 or 0 goals in 4 of them.) Also: Keep in mind, he let in 8 of
those 19 goals in the first three games of the month. Over the last 9
games, he’s been insane! 7-2-0, 1.23, .964, 3 SO… It’s unlikely he’ll
be about to retain his Movember mojo going forward, but if he puts up
anywhere close to these numbers for another couple of months the Habs
shouldn’t have too much trouble clinching the division even without

How good are your Montreal Canadiens?

No one, least of all the team PR department, talks about Markov.

His creativity is still sorely missed on the PP. But Alexandre Picard has been very solid. He’s not a physical defenceman, but Picard is rarely out of position (which is important, playing with the irrepressible P.K.),  and he makes good decisions with the puck.

You don’t notice Picard … and that’s a good thing.

•  •  •

The annual Canadiens Blood Donor Clinic goes at Windsor Station tomorrow.

The team also will be out in force at Mary Queen of the World, Montreal’s beautiful cathedral, for Pat Burns’ funeral.




  1. HardHabits says:

    You might want to employ a spell checker.

  2. solomio says:

    Think highly of yourself do ya Mike?

  3. Chris says:

    Don Cherry and Mats Naslund detested one another.  They had a running feud for years.

    We’ll have to agree to disagree on his xenophobia:  Cherry is the very definition of the term for me for the reasons we’ve discussed over the last couple of weeks.

  4. diehardhab says:

    Missed coaches corner last night but seems like cherry got in another shot on PK. What exactly did he say? Any different then his reaction to Richards or PK nearly getting a stick in the eye?

    The torch be yours to hold it high!

  5. Clay4bc says:

    Ian, it’s not what he is doing – rather, it’s what he is not doing. Gomes is the highest paid player in the history of this team, and as such he should put up points consistently. We have players like halpern do do what Gomez is doing, and for A LOT LESS money. At league minimum, Gomez is a great bargain. At 2 million, he is fairly paid. At his present salary, he is a disgrace.


    The only interesting answers are those which destroy the questions. ~Susan Sontag

  6. Clay4bc says:

    Well, yes and no. One can certainly be a “right-wing urban elite”, but no one would call them that, as that is a right-wing buzzword…? And if you are neither, you would still be labelled “leftist” by tthe “right”.


    The only interesting answers are those which destroy the questions. ~Susan Sontag

  7. VancouverHab says:

    More than adequately. Apologies if my American analogy was stupidly-put. We’ll agree to disagree over what constitutes xenophobia: but your position is kindly & clearly put.

    Go Habs ;–)

  8. Timo says:

    Can one be an urban elite without being on the left or right wing? Just asking.

  9. Timo says:

    Sigh. You guys are making my head hurt. Too many long words and no pictures.

  10. VancouverHab says:

    Chris: I think the origin of Don’s attitude to “Europeans” (= “Scandanavians) is in the public domain: both in and out of his autobiography. And that is his GM in Colorado forcing him to play a Swedish goalie whom he (the GM) had signed, and that resulting in games being lost & Don Cherry losing his job.

    It isn’t, I agree, a noble motivation for the attitude, but it is defensible, and hardly rare. And it isn’t “xenophobic.” (There’s thousands upon thousands of similar attitudes here in Vancouver regards the Sedins.)

    And Don Cherry does have highest praise for individual Scandanavians: he unequivocally loved Mats Naslund, and Koivu was a favourite too (he once said “I think Saku Koivu walks on water.”)

  11. Exit716 says:

    Actually, the fault in the whole Cherry-PK situation is Ron MacLean. MacLean can’t and won’t stand up to Cherry. He’s too busy being a sidekick. He’s the one that needs to have his rear end handed to him. MacLean is a smarmy little gutless puke that can’t handle his role as moderator.

  12. Chris says:

    “Medieval Japan is a locus classicus for xenophobia. Don Cherry is perfectly happy to have Canadian teams participate in the NHL with foreign teams (i.e. Americans) and to have foreign players (e.g. Americans) play on Canadian teams.”

    As much as Canadian fans don’t like to admit it, Americans and Canadians are sufficiently similar that I doubt we would trigger xenophobia in one another.  We speak the same language (even though they seem to spell so many words wrong!), watch the same television, listen to the same music, watch the same movies, eat (largely) the same food and buy the same clothing.   I have little doubt that Don Cherry would find European hockey players born in the England, Scotland or Ireland equally acceptable, as they meet most of those criteria.  Unfortunately, those countries’ youth are too busy playing soccer to produce NHL-calibre hockey players.

    While most continental Europeans will usually confess that Canada is certainly closer to Europe than the U.S., it remains a very different place. Cherry can’t seem to deal with players from the Scandinavian countries, which I suspect are far too socialist for a guy like Cherry to ever like, and former Eastern Bloc countries, which I suspect are still tainted with Cold War prejudices in Cherry’s mind.  And then there are the Russians, for whom Don Cherry seemingly feels a distaste that might make even Harold Ballard blush due to its purity.

  13. Mike Boone says:

    Not to brag, but I’m a McGill grad and majored in English.

    So I employ a vocabulary that’s a bit richer than Tony Marinaro’s.

  14. Chris says:

    I’m all for Don Cherry finally getting turfed from the air.  That a guy like that gets a soapbox from which he can spout his xenophobic invective has been a national embarassment for any culture that prides itself on its multi-culturalism.  But the thing that I’m finding amusing here is that whenever somebody on CBC character assassinates a Montreal Canadiens player on-air, Habs fans everywhere start a letter-writing campaign.

    This type of crap is not new.  If anything, Cherry’s treatment of Subban is actually pretty tame:  he’s not doing any more than warning the kid, much like he did to a sixteen year old Sidney Crosby before him, that his mouth is writing cheques that his body might not be able to cash. 

    As for his small-mindedness, he’s been a small-minded fool who has been spouting his xenophobic invective for over two decades.  I wrote my fair share of letters about Cherry to the CBC regarding his anti-European rants back in the 1990’s (if you think Subban has it bad, imagine how a guy like Alexei Yashin felt back in the 90’s when he was having his character assassinated on national, publically funded television every week), until I realized that nothing is coming of it.

    Until Don Cherry’s Coach’s Corner no longer draws in viewers, he will have his soapbox.  No amount of letters from annoyed Habs fans will change that.  Money talks, especially for a cash strapped CBC Sports division that relies on Hockey Night in Canada for its revenue to run all its other programming.

    If you want him off the air, tune him out…I haven’t watched a Coach’s Corner in probably a decade because I simply refuse to waste my time on Don Cherry.  Every once in a while I catch one of his controversial rants off a hockey blog, reminding me of why I stopped watching him so long ago.  Only when enough viewers do that will he actually be removed..

  15. JD_ says:

    Again, I don’t pretend to know what Don wants. Other than question what it is he might want, nobody really should pretend to know, but that’s their business.

    On the second point, and with all due respect, forget the semantics and investigate the historical record, if you wish. You will find it increasingly difficult, if not impossible, to split hairs.

    Your final question is just downright strange. When did you and I ever discuss some Canadians’ attitudes toward Americans?

    I think I’ve presented my side of the discussion more than adequately. You obviously don’t have to agree but I’ve nothin’ to add.

  16. VancouverHab says:

    Ah — you are right. I did say that. What I meant to say was “wanting to have harm done to.” So I am going to have to continue to despair because people here think Don Cherry wishes harm to come to P.K., when  the opposite is (in my opinion) true.

    On Don Cherry being a ‘classic xenophobe’, can I ask you, if we agree to use the term “xenophobe” for Don Cherry instead of ‘nationalist’, then:

    • what makes someone a nationalist?
    • what word do we use for, say, North Korean leaders in their attitude to foreigners?
    • what about the view you & I hear everywhere in Canada, including among Cherry haters, expressed about America and Americans? Why is the reflexive and unbiquitous anti-Americanism of many Candaians not also “xenophobia” in your use of the term?

    Good debating with you – thanks.

  17. JD_ says:

    To be accurate, I wrote that the notion Cherry-Haters are blamin’ the guy for causin’ harm to Subban is a bit of a straw man argument. This was your exact wordin’. I said nothin’ with regards to what Don actually wants – i.e., wantin’ to cause harm – as I do not know what he actually wants.

    You may also want to give stronger consideration to the overwhelmin’ historical evidence Don is a classic xenophobe.


  18. VancouverHab says:

    Absolutely. If the empirical hypothesis about visors & helmets is contradicated by facts then it is to be rejected. Likewise, of course, the other way…

  19. VancouverHab says:

    JD: forgive me, but I’ve been a bit cheeky (for a purpose) in one point, and I see that it’s had the intended effect. The way that you, and others here, react with (justifiable) annoyance at being labelled in an argument merely by virtue of our political and ideological position (‘Left-Wing uran elites’) is exactly the type of behavior which is done against Don Cherry and his defenders (‘Right-Wing, redneck,etc.)

    This labelling of critics (both sides) is useless, abusive, and off-putting and should stop.

    I am very glad that you think that the view that Cherry-Haters are accusing him of wanting to cause harm to P.K. is actually a straw-man. I had read it that way, and it was to despair. I’m glad to wrong about that.

    On P.K., Don Cherry focuses on him by way of compliment — that, like he did with Crosby & Lemieux, he uses his weekly ten minutes to focus on a Big Name of the moment.  

    Everything else is fair argument (we entirely agree that Don Cherry calibrates his media persona to be good for business. His deliberate mispronunciation of names, for instance, is, as I said yesterday, a case of something pointed out by this classic Saturday Night Live skit with Phil Hartman on Ronald Reagan’s similar populist craftsmanship.)

    Thank-you for the detailed and substantial reply. I’ll need to spend time thinking through what you say about visors.


  20. Bob Barker says:

    ‘This specific cigarette smoker didn’t die of cancer, therefore tobacco is safe.’

    Sample size too small, not representative of the population. 

    “In other words, specific cases (of harm or safety) neither support nor refute general truths (smoking in general causes cancer: but not in every particular case.)”

    How do you think the link between smoking and cancer became a general truth?

    Numerous studies with appropriate sample sizes were used to prove the link. The results demonstrated a statistically significant increase in cancer rates in smokers compared to non-smokers. 

    Smoking doesn’t cause cancer in every case because of several factors including frequency of exposure and genetics (varying effectiveness of DNA repair enzymes). 

    Don Cherry’s argument that visors increase the occurrence of eye injuries is similar to saying helmets increase the occurrence of head injuries. They both contradict the results of previous studies. Therefore, unless he can prove his argument, it has little merit. 

  21. JD_ says:

    It’s precisely the same reason that, back in the day, I could never take anythin’ seriously durin’ Hockey Night In Canada’s ill-advised and very short-lived Liberace’s Ledge.

  22. Thomas says:

    I love reading Boone, he is a huge reason for my ever expanding vocabulary!!

    Alacrity—who knew?

  23. punkster says:

    Still don’t like the way he dresses.

  24. thebigguy says:

    It’s something you see a lot of right wing ideologues use 😛


    But god forbid we criticize those that that grew up in small towns and/or didn’t get an education!


    I kid.

  25. JD_ says:

    As much as you have, I’m simply presentin’ a viewpoint. There are some positive aspects to Don’s persona, but I’ll stick to the arguments you made.

    This notion that Cherry-Haters (CHers) are blamin’ the guy for causin’ harm to Subban is a bit of a straw man argument.

    Subban has not been disproportionately targeted any more than any other of the league’s chatterers nor the victim of violence. Don is suggestin’ PK, as you put it, modify his verbal behaviour or he’ll end up bein’ the victim of violence.

    I’m thankfully not in Don’s head but have a few questions: Do you sincerely believe Don is singlemindedly preoccupied with PK’s safety? Just wants to take this one kid under his wing? For the record, public statements regardin’ what he thinks of Subban does not constitute evidence. Part of Don’s makeup is a healthy dose of disingenuous behaviour. Keeps him out of real trouble. Morever, why this perpetual preoccupation – there are almost 700 active players in the NHL – with this one guy?

    In my opinion, there’s a lot more to this than Don simply bein’ Uncle Helpful. I will not pretend to know what it is but have known Don his entire CBC career and know there’s a load bein’ said between the lines.

    The second notion, that CHers believe Don mocks the wearing of visors on helmets because he likes violence and wants people to incur harm is also a straw man argument. Obviously, this isn’t the case.

    The issue has nothin’ to do with safety. Its genesis has largely to do with the manner in which visors worked their way into the league. Many years ago, Don went on record with his belief that visors were for wimps, specifically European wimps. His argument that visors are, on the whole, more harmful than beneficial only emerged long after he was publicly and openly criticized for his position. Long after. Just another example of his penchant for bein’ disingenuous in order to defend a largely indefensible, and now hollow viewpoint.

    Or, is the entire planet just wrong about visors?

    Finally, and most importantly, if one really needs to take the time to slice the fine hairs between nationalism and xenophobia, then xenophobia it is. Were it otherwise, it would be obvious.

    Were it feasible to replay the entire history of Coach’s Corner and revisit every other public proclamation from the guy, one would have absolutely no trouble labellin’ Don for what he ultimately is: A xenophobe. In the past, his comments were outright offensive. Over the last decade-and-a-half, Don has actually toned down his rhetoric to come across as more pro-Canada than anythin’ else more objectionable.

    See, it was good for business, an objective for which Don required no explanation.

    And, by the way, attemptin’ to label his critics is not helpful and, in my case, wholly inaccurate.

  26. HabFanSince72 says:

    You lost me at “Left-wing urban elite Canadians”.


  27. Danno says:

    Good stuff habsgirl174!


    And for anyone else who is so inclined…


    Go here if you wish to make an official complaint about Don Cherry to the CRTC.

    You may also address your complaint to the CBC Ombudsman directly:



    Vince Carlin
    P.O. Box 500, Station A
    Toronto, Ontario M5W 1E6
    Fax: 416/205-2825
    Tel.: 416/205-2978


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  28. habsgirl74 says:

    i just personally sent a letter to the CRTC regarding Don Cherry and i would urge evryone on this site to do it and everyone else you know and maybe get him off the air

  29. Rad says:


    Good Lord. May I be the first to nominate Mr. Cherry for Archbishop of the Holy Catholic Church, and thereby vent myself cathartically of any goodthinking and/or thoughtcrimes, now and in the future, so help me God? 


  30. VancouverHab says:

    (Love the name!)

    Well, nobody, including Don Cherry disagrees with the position that you state here. But you’ve made a reverse form of the  “agumentum ad tobacum industrium.” (Argument of the Tobacco Industry ;–)

    ‘This specific cigarette smoker didn’t die of cancer, therefore tobacco is safe.’

    In other words, specific cases (of harm or safety) neither support nor refute general truths (smoking in general causes cancer: but not in every particular case.)

    So, Don Cherry’s argument is that visors cause a general increase in eye injury, not that visorlessness universally prevents it in every case. His hypothesis may be wrong, but it is both a rational and a testable hypothesis.

  31. light_n_tasty says:

    Gainey brought Gomez in to be the number one centre.  Gomez is not even close to living up to those expectations.

  32. Exit716 says:

    PK dissed the old fart at some point in his past and Cherry won’t let it die.

  33. Bill says:

    Fair enough.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  34. Clay4bc says:

    Fair and balanced just like FOX “news” is, yes.


    The only interesting answers are those which destroy the questions. ~Susan Sontag

  35. VancouverHab says:

    SF09–good counter-points too: I’ll think over your’s and the other’s good points and hopefully adapt to & learn from them.

    I just want to note that Don Cherry’s defense (lionisation?) of Nazem Kadri is a strong argument against Mr. Cherry being either a simple racist or religious bigot, no?

  36. VancouverHab says:

    Thanks to you, Bill, & to everyone, for good & reasoned responses. I do want to say that Don Cherry’s opinions of French Canadians are not defensible, and I don’t like them. For myself, I contextualise it as being common to his generation of pros & semi-pros, and note that fact that he is 100% admiring of individual Francophones (Beliveau 7 Roy, for example.) But, again, those views & attitude behind them are indefesible.

  37. Bob Barker says:

    When will you be accepting your Nobel Prize for your groundbreaking study “Eye injuries and the Visor Environment”?

    The proper way to test visor effectiveness would be 1) high stick someone not wearing a visor 2) highstick someone wearing a visor  3) repeat steps 1-2 5 times with different subjects 4) Examine subjects for injuries and determine if differences are statistically significant. 



  38. punkster says:

    Hey, I just don’t like the way he dresses or his smug and opinionated attitude. That, and all the rest of it, is nothing more than the persona he has developed and honed over the years. I don’t take any of his comments seriously. At best he’s an experienced ex hockey coach who knows how to market himself. At worst he’s a clown. Either way he’s harmless.

  39. Ali says:

    To answer the question:

    The Habs are a team that you don’t want to give up the first goal to. If the opposition team scores first, we have yet to see the Habs overcome that. Thats when this team can be considered a true contender. That and we have to be able to find a way to beat big, fast aggressive teams like the Flyers and Thrashers. And I guess that means coming up with a plan to beat it, because God knows management isnt going to go out and get any big guys.

  40. Clay4bc says:

    You have an interesting and well thought out argument here, and I respect that. I do not, however, respect the constant digs in what you term the “Left-wing urban elite” like it is some disease to be cured.

    Aside from that though, you have some good points. I think that in his mind he actually thinks he is trying to help Subban, and he does try to help prevent injuries. These points are unarguable.And if not a xenophobe, he is as close as it gets – although it is clear that he considers Americans to be part of “us” in his “us vs them” world. Why else would he constantly demean “Europeans”, and purposely (and repeatedly) mis-pronounce their names (especially when they play for the Habs – he didn’t pronounce Halak’s name correctly once until he was traded to the blues, which also tells me that the Quebec region is not part of his “us”)? He quite obiously has no respect for them.

    As well,  you may want to consider the fact that you are over-thinking this just a tad. While many may actually see “DonCherry” in the was you portray him, others, like myself, simply see Don Cherry as epitomizing the Boston Bruins, as well as rightwing, uneducated people who would benefit from a little education. Well, that, and a fool –  because he is an ignorant redneck fool who has used the upholstery from my grandmother’s 1960’s furniture to make his suits.


    The only interesting answers are those which destroy the questions. ~Susan Sontag

  41. HardHabits says:

    1) I liken Cherry’s remarks to a fatwa. It’s an underhanded way putting a price on Subban’s head. He wants PK to get hurt so he can I-told-you-so. He’s a Habs hater an a shill for the Leafs.

    2) It’s for old-schooled views like this that I used to like watching Cherry. Back in the 80’s he was like a clown.  Then in the 90’s the started dressing like one. He’s bombastic and full of himself. He’s a boor of the highest magnitude.

    3) Don Cherry is not a “nationalist” he is a “monarchist”. Cherry is not an inclusive Canadian either.

  42. Bill says:

    This is really long, I hope you didn’t miss all of the O’Reilly Factor to write it 🙂

    The comparison to Goldstein is really not apt. In the novel, Goldstein is essentially a fictional character created for the express purpose of being an object of hatred – moral, spiritual, political, and racial – to absolutely everyone. Cherry, in addition to being real (I get your point that he has a persona, but it’s still him) is actually very, very popular. He is probably the most popular television personality in Canadian history. Habs fans and intellectuals hate him – for different reasons –  but outside of that, he is actually a loved and respected figure.

    If you’re simply saying that he represents all that a certain minority of people in Canada deplore … well, that has nothing to do with Orwellian visions, except that it lets you use the word Thoughtcrime, which a lot of people on the far right like to do.

    1. You are absolutely right that as far as I know, Cherry has hardly “put a bounty” on Subban’s head. However, he has made a point of repeatedly mentioning that someone is going to hurt him, and he implies that this is action would be legitimate and expected: he thus uses his bully pulpit to set the expectation that someone should clobber Subban for vague and unspecified reasons, and therefore condones the action in advance. It’s not putting a bounty out, but it is increasing the likelihood of violence by legitimizing the action.

    2. Don Cherry doesn’t like visors because he thinks they’re pussy and European. Period. How many times does he have to make a reference to “visor-wearing wimps” for that to be clear? It has nothing to do with careless stick use, though he occasionally makes mention of that highly dubious notion in some sort of attempt to veil how primitive his thinking actually is.

    3. Thanks for defining “nationalist”, “patriot”, and “xenophobe” for everyone. You really must think you are talking to idiots all the time. Don Cherry has made so many disparaging comments based on nationality that for you to argue that he doesn’t resent foreigners – “chicken-Swedes stealing jobs from our boys” – is just baffling. His deliberate mangling of foreign hockey players’ names would absolutely be considered racist if the players were not from European countries. I met Don Cherry in one of his restaurants and he said something I won’t repeat about French Canadians. I found that illuminating.

    You’re letting your personal gripe against Political Correctness (the 90s are over man) creep into your consideration of hockey and HNIC. There are many legitimate problems with HNIC and its star, and pointing them out does not amount to a witch-hunt.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  43. doug19 says:

    Yeah! Max Pax is now third in AHL scoring with 11 goals and 14 assists!

  44. SeriousFan09 says:

    I don’t buy this for a minute, he’s just a senile hypocrite.

    1. Cherry is a hypocrite, Nazem Kadri’s been far more disrespectful in incidents on the ice than Subban ever has but has he said anything about it? No because the kid is a Leaf and he can do no wrong with his ‘magic hands’.

    2. The AHL finally enforced visors because a young man who was not wearing a visor, a prospect to maybe become an NHL player one day suffered a career-ending eye injury from a puck striking him in the eye. I can think of at least three our four pucks striking Habs players in the visor area in the last two years or so that could have caused a severe injury but the visor saved their face and possibly their eyes, I can’t imagine how many players have been saved from pucks hitting their face by wearing the visor. He mocked visors openly, saying it was the “Frenchies” or the “Euros” who were wearing them mostly, as if to imply the hard-boiled Western Canadian and Ontario hockey players were carved out of wood and didn’t need to bother with silly protection. He laughed a couple times last year when players had their helmets knocked and the visor scratched their faces. Travis Moen nearly had his face carved right open because a skate struck him where a protective visor would have left him with no injury at all last year, where was the mention of that?

    3. Don Cherry has implied that European-born and trained NHL players did not have the ability to lead an NHL team to the Stanley Cup (Good thing Nick Lidstrom doesn’t watch Coach’s Corner). Take one second and imagine you replaced that with Black and lead an NFL Team to the Super Bowl. Yes, he’d have been run off the air in the States in about 20 seconds, if that. It was a bigoted, xenophobic statement. He has this grand delusion he has to protect hockey from these vicious foreign influences. Article comes up how European goaltending is starting to take over in the NHL, he blew his stack and ranted about it on Coach’s Corner. The insinuations he has made about Europeans over the years are bigoted, he mocks them with his ‘shtick’ by disrespectfully mispronouncing their names. It is irresponsible that he considers himself someone the ‘kids’ listen to and he’s the example and says don’t trust the Euros, you’re better than they are. It fosters distrust and hatred for no reason and these kids may end up playing with European players but they’ve got this message of hate in the back of their head from a senile crank.



    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  45. Da Hema says:

    So clear, so balanced, so conceptually precise. A+.

    I suspect, though, you are well beyond the cognitive capacities and capabilities of some posters here.


    An important announcement from the Government of Canada:

    Health Canada is reminding Canadians that consumption of the Toronto Maple Leafs has led to vomiting, fever, bloody diarrhea, dementia, and penile dysfunction.

  46. VancouverHab says:

    I wonder if H-I/O will tolerate respectful disagreement on the topic of Don Cherry. I begin to wonder if Mr. Cherry is not Emmanuel Goldstein for a certain type of person in Canada: that is, a caricature created solely to be (a.) a marker of ideological correctness and (b.) a target for emotional expressions of ideological hatred.

    In other words, attacking “DonCherry” is proof that someone is a “goodthinker”, and defending Don Cherry is proof of “thoughtcrime.” Additionally, “DonCherry” allows people to vent emotion cathartically (in the proper sense of the Greek word κάθαρσις–katharsis–‘purifying’ or ‘correctly-ordering.’)

    So I would like to be accepted for giving a reasonable defence, not of the fictional character “DonCherry” created by Left-wing urban elite Canadians (or by dis-balanced Habs fans ), but of the words that Mr. Don Cherry has actually said. It’s a touch long, and of course read no further if this causes you bother.

    I’ll limit it to three points of easy defense, on which the Cherry-haters have created exact falsehood: that is, are saying the exact opposite of the truth.

    1.] Don Cherry (unlike “DonCherry”) has not called for a bounty of P.K. Subban, nor does he “hate” Subban. First, Don Cherry has repeatedly stated — in plain English — and publicly demonstrated, going back many years, his respect for P.K. Subban.  Second, Don Cherry has simply pointed out as a matter of plain empirical observation that opponents are targetting P.K. Subban. Don Cherry has, verbatim, deplored this.

    So here, where the Cherry Haters claim that “DonCherry” is causing harm to P.K. Subban, the exact opposite is true. Don Cherry is defending P.K. Subban from violence by asking him (as he has similarly asked other superstars-to-be in the past) to modify verbal behavior that draws the deplored violence.

    2.] “DonCherry” is claimed to mock the wearing of visors on helmets because he likes violence and wants people to incur harm. Here again, the exact opposite is true. Don Cherry (the real person) has perpetually advocated that visors not be worn because wearing of visors causes head and eye injury. The claim that Don Cherry has made from the beginning is that eye and head injuries have increased since visors started to be worn becuase players become careless with their sticks, where in the past players were careful of their sticks knowing of the risk of injury

    Now, a person may disagree with this argument. But three things are unarguable. The first is that this argument is one against violence. The second is that this is a reasonable argument–you may disagree with it, but you have no just cause to sneer at it. And the third is that this is a matter not of opinion but of pure science. It is a testable hypothesis. If the incidence of eye injuries in the NHL goes down in a visor-environment, then Don Cherry is wrong. If the incidence goes up in a visor-environment then the Cherry Haters are wrong.

    So the caricature of “DonCherry” promoting violence is, here again, actually ideological violence from the Cherry Haters. (And it culpably ignores all the time, effort and money that Don Cherry puts in to his “STOP” campaign against hits from behind and his constant advocacy against touch icing: two other cases where Don Cherry — unlike “Don Cherry” — uses his platform to denounce and reduce injury and violence.)

    3.] Don Cherry is not a fringe figure, nor is he a “racist” or a “xenophobe.” The proper term for Don Cherry’s politics is “nationalist.” Using a scale of definition drawn up by George Orwell, Don Cherry thinks that Canada is (a.) the best country in the world and (b.) other countries are inferior to Canada. For comparison, a patriot thinks his own country is the best for himself, and says nothing one way or the other consequentially of other countries; and a xenophobe has a deep fear of foreigners.

    Medieval Japan is a locus classicus for xenophobia. Don Cherry is perfectly happy to have Canadian teams participate in the NHL with foreign teams (i.e. Americans) and to have foreign players (e.g. Americans) play on Canadian teams.

    Don Cherry’s attitude here is so far from eccentric as to be centric. A majority of Canadians share this general position (I here neither defend nor attack this position); and in fact left-Wing urban elites make public expressions vis-à-vis the United States of America that are within shouting range of being xenophobic (I can provide manifold example from print.) So here again, the Cherry Haters have it exactly backward.

    In conclusion, if this analysis causes you to simply repeat anti-Cherry bigotry, mouth typical anti-Cherry slogans, and spew hate and hateful remarks against either Don Cherry or some reasonable and respectful counter-position, then ask yourself: who is the hateful one here, and who is the one feeling self-righteous about their own ideological correctness? Remember, is to say, Emmanuel Goldstein.


  47. Cape Breton says:

    Leave the poor guy from Kingston alone Ian. I betcha you were at the Canadian icon’s lone NHL game back in the day of all-radio and nothing else. I don’t mean to be rude Ian, but the guy loves Guy Lafleur. Give him credit for that, anyway. 

  48. Ian Cobb says:

    Yes, very well.

  49. Da Hema says:


    I was unable to watch HNIC last night. What precisely did Cherry say to elicit such strong language on your part?


    An important announcement from the Government of Canada:

    Health Canada is reminding Canadians that consumption of the Toronto Maple Leafs has led to vomiting, fever, bloody diarrhea, dementia, and penile dysfunction.

  50. Da Hema says:

    According to your ill-informed understanding of “ethnocentrism,” the Hausa-Fulani and the Yoruba in Nigeria, for example, are neo-Nazis. You err. Might I suggest (plead that?) you enroll in a political science or philosophy course to improve your conceptual thinking?


    An important announcement from the Government of Canada:

    Health Canada is reminding Canadians that consumption of the Toronto Maple Leafs has led to vomiting, fever, bloody diarrhea, dementia, and penile dysfunction.

  51. FormalWare says:

    Danno: This ROCKS. I’ll follow suit.

  52. Rad says:

    Cherry is all of the above, and a wannabe neo nazi to boot … in his dreams. And out of deference to Godwin’s law, I will have nothing further to say on this.

    You have yourself a nice day, BIGGUY.

  53. thebigguy says:

    Ethnocentrism is not a euphamism for “wannabe neo nazi.”


    Obviously you don’t know what ethnocentrism is, nor euphemism and I sincerely hope ‘neo nazi.’


    No one with any sense of history would compare Don Cherry to the idiots that roamed the streets beating up Jews and blacks while trying to recreate a 4th reich.


    Call Cherry a moron, call him uneducated, call him a shitty human being. Don’t call him a neo nazi though.

  54. HardHabits says:

    It’s Godwin’s law.

    I for one have had it with Don Cherry. I want him off the CBC. Let him him spew his venom from Fox news or in the USA. He’s like Canada’s version of Rush Limbaugh.

  55. JF says:

    Ian, I agree about Gomez.  He does a lot of good things that people don’t notice because he doesn’t put up many points.  But he’s always a slow starter; he gets better as the season goes on, and he was very good in the playoffs last year.

    I think you’re a little over-optimistic about the team.  Yes, we have great speed, but Atlanta looked faster the other night.  So did the Flyers after the first period on Monday, although I usually see them as being slow.  Also, we are not always disciplined – witness Friday’s game in which we gave the Thrashers 7 powerplays.  The team has weaknesses which I’m sure Gauthier will address once the Markov situation is cleared up.  There’s no immediate hurry as long as the team is winning, so I think he’ll take his time and work for the best solution rather than just throwing money around.

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