On the person behind the character
Born in the 60’s in the Eastern Townships, I remember watching the games on Saturday nights with my dad, listening to René Lecavalier and Gilles Tremblay describing the games like they were classic stories. Little did I know back then but those players, who are today considered as legends, were working at writing the record books.
I remember standing each time that Guy Lafleur touched the puck, skating like the wind, his blond hair floating, and to let a laser beam shot go! I remember wanting a duplicate of the great Ken Dryden’s mask while looking at him standing in front on his net, arms crossed over his stick. Doug Jarvis was winning the majority of his faceoffs. Big Bird (Larry Robinson) was carrying the puck from end to end with breathtaking rushes. What a trio with the other members of the Big Three, with Guy « Pointu » Lapointe and Serge Savard, the first Savard to use the « spinorama ». I also remember Bob Gainey, playing with a separated shoulder in the playoffs, get hit from behind by Bryan Trottier, separating his other shoulder… only to come back in the game, continuing his physical play, helping eliminate the Islanders and Mike Bossy! Guy Carbonneau and his incredible anticipation, laying himself in front of shots like no others could or would. I still remember the Kids’ line of Doug Risebrough centering Mario Tremblay and Yvon Lambert, a line that changed the tempo of a game with their relentless hard work, crushing bodychecks and with often a few fights. And who can forget Lambert’s winning goal against the Bruins? Chris « Knuckles » Nilan, a tough guy who could play hockey and who, if he didn’t win his fight, was going at it again with the same guy in the same game only to beat him up, often against guys much bigger than him!
Back then, only Saturday nights’ games were televised at La Soirée du Hockey with the exception of playoffs. On week nights, I could only watch the first period, having to go to bed as there was school the next day. The exception was when the Canadiens had a chance to win the Stanley Cup that night. Do I ever remember the post-game celebrations on the ice and in the dressing room, seeing Richard Garneau and Lionel Duval get soaked with champagne! I have lived to see the Jean Béliveau, Henri Richard, Yvan Cournoyer, Serge Savard, Bob Gainey and Guy Carbonneau lifting the Cup oh so high!
In the Spring of 1985, I was fortunate enough to see in person the Sherbrooke Canadiens win the Calder Cup in the AHL at the Palais des Sports, a team which included names such as Brian Skrudland as team captain, with Serge Boisvert, Mike Lalor, John Kordic, Gaston Gingras as well as two young guns just called up from junior, Stéphane Richer and Patrick Roy. What they have in common aside from winning the Calder Cup is the fact that they all graduated with the big club the following season, winning the Stanley Cup in 1986 together!
I moved to the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia in 1992, where I continue to support and cheer the Habs. Both my kids proudly wear their Habs’ gear wherever they go and it’s with great pride that we shared the magic and pride of being Habs’ fans. My hope is for them to be able to experience what I have experienced 10 times in my life: The Montreal Canadiens winning the Stanley Cup!
The famous series Asterix is, along with Lucky Luke, one of the cartoons that always managed to entertain me over the years and bring a smile to my face, even in bad times. I love the characters and their roles in the village, but mostly the idea that they can resist to Julius Caesar and his roman empire, with the help of their famous magic potion. I’m someone who has a great sense of humour and who appreciates the benefits of a good laugh. Combining the fact that I’m a Habs’ fan and my liking for this character came to Habsterix, a fictional figure which allows me to keep things light and impersonal on fan forums or blogs like this one. And like the Asterix and the members of the village, I pride myself in going against the grain, resisting the popular belief to get hits and/or popularity.