View From The Blues: New blogger joins I/O

Chris Aung-Thwin
Photographed in the cheap(er) seats

We’re happy today to introduce you today to Chris Aung-Thwin, whose regular new blog, View From The Blues, will bring you a fan’s perspective of the Canadiens and their roller-coaster ride toward the playoffs.

Of course, we feature Mike Boone’s blog before, during and after every Canadiens game. Dave Stubbs and Kevin Mio keep you up to date with original content and links to Habs news elsewhere, and The Gazette’s Pat Hickey joins us regularly for our weekly round-table PuckCast.

Chris now joins us with the eye of a fan. You’re welcome to agree, or not, with his views in the form of the comments you’ve never been shy to express. We welcome him to our roster.

A little about Chris, from his own keyboard:

I recently graduated from McGill, majoring in both Psychology and History. I actually started out at Concordia in English Literature, but when I had the opportunity to transfer, I figured I couldn’t pass up the chance.

McGill has a great reputation for its Psych program and I developed a keen interest in the subject after having worked with the mentally handicapped for over four years. I worked as a supervisor at a government center, where our goal was to be able to train our clients in both work and social skills, hoping that they would one day be able to integrate into mainstream society.

I’ve held a few other jobs that also don’t appear on CVs too often, including building a log cabin as a carpenter’s assistant, and working as a mate on a small fishing boat off of Cape Cod.

I’m a country boy at heart, having spent my childhood spying on deer and fishing for trout deep in the Laurentian forests. I grew up to the sounds of pond hockey and the fizz of static while trying to follow the Habs play the puck on a blurry, black and white TV screen.

While always a fan, it has only been in the past few years that I’ve really developed a true appreciation of the game. I follow the Habs passionately, living the highs and lows with the team every day. For the past couple years, I’ve been writing pre-game reports, first for my friends and then for the bar where we watched the game.

As a student, I was delighted to make a deal with the owners where when I brought in the report and handed it out, I could eat and drink to my heart’s content. People have told me how much they enjoy my pre-game summaries, and I hope to develop that so I am able to contribute to Habs Inside/Out.

 

Without further ado, then, here is Chris’s first I/O blog:

Last Year’s News

Do you remember the electricity that would course through the veins of the Bell Centre last year when Sheldon Souray would wind up from the point on the power play? The anticipation of that flashing red light preparing a cheer in your throat? Yeah, of course, I remember that.

How about the celebrations the year before when Jan Bulis scored 4 goals in one game – on four shots, no less. Really? He did?

Or do you remember the excitement that would grip everyone when a confident Richard Zednik would streak up along the boards? Hmmm … Zednik played for the Habs?

It’s amazing how quickly the names of heros – and villains – are quickly forgotten by us fickle fans. With Edmonton’s Sheldon Souray being placed on the injured reserve list for the second time this season, I thought we could take a quick look at some of those names that we once cheered – and jeered – for.

In no particular order (statistics before Thursday’s games):

Radek Bonk, who signed a $1.475-million contract with the Predators during the off-season, and who was perhaps our best checking forward last year, has 11G-8A-19P in 48 GP. Oh, and he’s a team low -17.

Mike Johnson, Bonk’s PK partner last season, barely made the only team that was interested in him this season: the St. Louis Blues. In 21 games, he scored 2, helped on 3 others, and was -4. His season is over due to a shoulder injury.

Speaking of shoulder injuries, Souray is -7, with 3 goals and 7 assists (5 of those points on the PP) in only 26 games. He is listed as day-to-day by the Oilers and may require surgery in the off-season.

Garth Murray, who also suffered a season-ending shoulder injury, had no points but had racked up 19 PIM in 6 appearances for Florida. The 25-year-old forward was claimed off waivers by Florida in November.

Craig Rivet, in 49 games, is -1 with 5G-19A-24P. That’s a good enough point total to rank him fourth on the Sharks.

Alexander Perezhogin, who bolted from the Habs last year for more money and more ice-time, currently sits 12th in the Russian Super League in points. He has 19G-18A-37P in 41 games with Salavat Yulaev.

Jan Bulis, who wore out his welcome in Vancouver, is 20th in points in the Russian Super League. In 47 games with Khimik, the Czech winger has 13G-20A-33P.

David Aebischer
is minding the nets for HC Lugano. In his 20 appearances with the Swiss team after having been released by the Coyotes, Abby has a 2.42 GAA and a .926 save percentage.

Mike Ribeiro is, of course, leading the Dallas Stars in scoring and plus-minus (+14). He has 56 points in 51 games, with 34 assists and a career high 22 goals. The Montreal native recently signed a 5-year / $25 million contract extension with the Stars.

Sergei Samsonov, who was stinking it up in Chicago (0G-4A-4P, -7, in 23 GP) has come to life after being claimed by the Carolina Hurricanes off waivers. With the ‘Canes, Samsonov already has tallied 3 goals and 5 assists for 8 points in 9 games.

Aaron Downey is a part-time grinder for the Cup-favourite Detroit Red Wings. In 34 games he has 1 assist and 55 PIM.

50 Comments

  1. Moey says:

    Welcome Chris,

    Enter at your own risk :)

  2. Moey says:

    Glad you said it Chuck, I would get dinged (as usual).

  3. sidhu says:

    Hear me now, I think it would be cool if those 15 or so would be given a guest blogger spot. Cover one or two games each, then the next person comes on board. This may help give Boone a break — now he can just drink instead of drinking and typing :)

  4. jndacker says:

    Welcome Chris…maybe you chould shed some light…is the Habs recent struggle at home against against the Leafs an aberration…or is it due to the superiority of the boys from TO?

  5. Mr.Hazard says:

    Thanks for the update!

    WELCOME ABOARD CHRIS!

    Ex nihilo nihil fit

  6. the Maritimer says:

    Chris, you are correct about Michael Ryder. The fans at the Bell Centre have turned on him and once that happens, it’s game over. He will find his game elsewhere, and return to being a 25 – 30 goal scorer for someone else, where the plus/minus rating is not watched as closely, and a turn over leads to a public flogging.

    I just hope it’s in the Western Conference, where he won’t haunt the Habs frequently, as Mr. Ribiero did before Christmas.

    Welcome to the site.

  7. N.B.habs fan says:

    Welcome to habs greatest fans .Looking foward to your post.

  8. Chuck says:

    At times I think that a background in babysitting would have been more appropriate. :)
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    ______________________________________
    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  9. Chorske says:

    Welcome aboard, Chris.

  10. Blitzen says:

    Does he offer counseling? :hyper:

  11. Bill H says:

    LOL. Thanks for the laugh. I’ll try not to have a mouth full of coffee next time I see one of you posts coming. Its not good for my keyboard and it hurts my nose.

  12. Sami says:

    Welcome!!! Good luck, I think your schooling will be advantageous ;-)

  13. Ed says:

    Blitzen, did you not read that Chris majored in Psychology, and worked for over four years with the mentally handicapped? Maybe that’s why he is now doing a blog for us fanatics on HIO. They knew what they were doing when they hired him.

  14. Blitzen says:

    Welcome!

    Some of us are mildly insane BTW. Might want to be careful.

  15. Ed says:

    It’s nice to have a defender of Ryder, but I think you are the only one among the HIO crew. Ryder is definitely gone after this season, if not earlier, and I believe he will get his confidence back, and regain his scoring touch. The microscope is too much for him now, plus all the booing that he gets from the faithful at the Bell Centre.

  16. aungthwin says:

    If I remember correctly, Bulis was allowed to leave because:

    1) we had too many similar players
    2) he was demanding more money than Gainey was willing to pay
    3) he complained to the coaches/GM about his ice-time/role

    I think those were the same reasons the door hit him on the way out in Vancouver.

  17. aungthwin says:

    Thanks for all the posts!

    I’m very excited to be a part of Inside/Out. I’m counting on all of you to help me out with ideas for new pieces. I try to read all of the posts everyday and I will address the issues that come up most often.

    Ed: Although the boat docked next to us caught a 13ft shark one day, I mainly fished for sea bass and blue fish. My TV, although supposedly colour, was usually in blurry B&W. We didn’t have the best reception either.

    likehoy:I always thought Perezhogin had a lot of potential and i was excited to see him develop. If he were to come back and play for the Habs, however, I’m afraid that he might bolt again if he’s not happy with his ice-time or role.

    RH: You’re right about both Kovy and Ryder. I’ve been trying to defend Ryder for most of the season – give him a chance to get going – but it really looks like it’s not going to happen. I’m sure in a couple years he’ll be some team’s number one guy on the PP or something, but I doubt that could happen here (much like the Ribeiro situation).

  18. Xtrahabsfan says:

    Hey Cris, I was raised between Ste Agathe and Ste Donut”Lac des Ilse”Welcome to the site Habs Bro and thanks for bringing up Ribiero,ouch!

  19. Zaskar says:

    Nice summary Chris. I follow the Habs very closely but I must have missed the reason that Jan Bulis was allowed to leave. I really liked this guy, he played like Plekanec only a little grittier and with a little less skill. I recall hearing something about Gainey not liking him. Was the truth about his departure ever revealed? Or was it simply a case of the Habs having too many similar players in the system that could fill the role for less money?

  20. likehoy says:

    bulis thought he was a superstar after leading the czech league during the lockout (playing on a line with jagr mind you). He wanted a top line role.

  21. HotHabs says:

    Welcome, Chris!

    enjoying the high’s of being a Habs fan

  22. Eric37 says:

    Welcome aboard! Looking forward to your posts.

  23. Ed says:

    Welcome Chris. How was the fishing off Cape Cod, and what did you fish for? I like your first blog. It gives a nice concise view of where those former Habs have gone. Some have done well, and some seem to be almost finished as far as the NHL is concerned. You refer to watching the Habs on a black and white TV, but you look much too young for that. Again, welcome aboard.

  24. T-roy West says:

    Welcome to this crazy place we call home Chris, enjoy!

  25. Ian G Cobb says:

    Hey Chris, only problem I find with you so far is that you may be a little over qualified with McGill, Concordia etc etc. Something like me, I majored in street cobbism and now I,m in my second semester of Inside Out. Welcome inside and out. We have a great time here with some fine fans.

  26. wd40 says:

    kumbaya (no sarcasm)

  27. Sulemaan says:

    Nice to have you onboard Chris.

  28. habsgod says:

    WELCOME CHRIS!looking forward to reading your blogs and posts

  29. cautiousoptimist says:

    Welcome!

  30. likehoy says:

    we still have the rights to perezhogin…which separates him from the others mentioned…i would love to see him back in bleu blanc rouge

  31. johnnyhab says:

    Welcome aboard Chris looking forward to reading your blog/post’s

    Go Habs Go

  32. Sbah Reverof says:

    Welcome.
    Or, in the parlance of our times, bienvenue.

  33. Chuck says:

    “Views From The Blues”? Couldn’t the Gazette spring for better seats for you?
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    ______________________________________
    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  34. RetroMikey says:

    Welcome aboard!

    “We will win the Cup only with Carey Price in the nets”

  35. Yeats says:

    Chris: I wish you all the best. Just dive in head first, you’ll get used to the water pretty quickly. The Habs are on a roll and the gang on HIO is about as happy as I’ve ever seen them. Best Regards, Brian

  36. Cable Guy says:

    Welcome to Habsinside/out chris.

  37. zamboni says:

    Welcome aboard Chris.

  38. RH says:

    You could probably add Ryder to that list NOW, and no one would argue. Also, us Habs fans wanted to run Kovalev out of town last season but, this season, he’s a God. As I type this, I can’t seem to think of any other players that have gone from goat to hero but, I’m pretty sure there are some.

  39. drecha says:

    Looking forward to reading your stuff Chris! Welcome!

    The tank is full, now let’s map the route for the drive to 25!!

  40. mila@eyesteelfilm.com says:

    I haven’t seen more anticipation in the world of hockey since Eric Lindros was drafted! Or maybe Crosby is the more pleasant analogy. When is the first blog?

  41. NoTinFoilCups says:

    Glad to have you on the team. A new pen / new perspective.

  42. coutNY says:

    Welcome Chris, envyous of your great opportunity… I noticed your experience; I think will be a valuable asset in dealing with this mob. Most of (us) have a touch of Schizophrenia when it comes to the Habs.

  43. Naila Jinnah says:

    Welcome! :)

  44. nightmare_49 says:

    Sounds like a great addition and looking forward to butting horns with you in the future and i hope you’ll give us a little insight to our prospects in our farm system which i think the site has been slack on in the past , good luck and rock & roll.

  45. Peter Young says:

    Welcome to Chris. I hope HIO is at least giving Chris dinners on the nights he doesn’t get fed at the bar.

  46. Scott in Montreal says:

    Hello, Chris? Habs fan? Any comment on the two games your team has played since you started this gig? Cuz if you don’t start posting something soon, we’re gonna have to start calling you “Crickets” Aung-Thwin ;-)

  47. The Teacher says:

    Maybe he was in the Molson Ex zone and got drunk?

  48. smart42 says:

    Chris,

    I wonder how the free spirits at the bar help/hinder the creative process when
    putting the Habs under the microscope….pretty much what most of us armchair experts are doing also, difference being our ability to spel, or writ anythin kohearent and most importantly, we have to buy our own suds.

    Experience working with the handicapped will serve you well, in life and dealing with this lot.

  49. The Teacher says:

    Guess it’s a long walk down from the Blues?

  50. rbt259 says:

    I’m new to this blog stuff but have been an ardent Hab fan since the day my father walked in the door carrying a Leaf’s jersey in his left hand, and a Hab’s jersey in his right. The year was 1961, and even at the tender age of 5, I knew which jersey was mine. My younger brother got the Leaf’s one.

    I’ve lived through the good (mostly), the bad (a little), and the ugly (rarely), and through it all I’ve managed to turn aside the biting comments from Bruin and Blackhawk fans in the early 70’s, to the Oilers and Flames in the 80’s. Those who taunted me in my teens now mention the fact that we Habs fans are always living in the past. We I say to them, “At least we have a past!”

    But enough about the past. Tonights game against the Flyers was special. Price showed he has regained the confidence he had lost in December (though the last goal was a bit weak I thought). I’m filled with confidence that this version of the Habs will do great things for years to come.

    Is it just me, or do some of the others on this blog know if we want to score goals in the “new” NHL, our boys (read Ryder, Koivu) need to learn to shoot high stick side. Ryder had a two on one break, and shot the puck right into Nittymaki’s pads, ice level, as he did the butterfly. Come on you guys. Every goalie in this league is down in the butterfly (including Price unfortunately) before you ever wind up for your shot. Shoot it high, roof it, blocker side. The goals will come easily. Look at Philly’s goals tonight. Two were high stick side. It isn’t that difficult boys. But hey, we’re tied with Ottawa for 1st.

    I’ve developed a great line you can use on the misguided Leaf fans out there, those poor people feeling proud (if that’s the right word to use) enough to wear clothing bearing the Leaf’s logo around town. I’ll spot a Leaf ballcap and approach, or intercept the wearer if he happens to be in a restaurant or mall, and say, “Excuse me sir, I think a bird crapped on your hat. Opps! It’s just the Leaf symbol. Sorry.” Most laugh and accuse me of being a Hab fan however I have gotten some choice replies. Give it a try.

    Until next time…vive le Canadien!


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