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Monday, April 19, 2010

Vipers take 2-1 series lead, Canucks TONIGHT on THE PEAK, Playoff Hockey in Montreal.....

The Vernon Vipers lead the Doyle Cup Series 2 games to 1 after a 3-2 double OT win last night in Spruce Grove as the series now heads to Vernon for all the remaining action.

Good luck Vipes!

It's a 1-1 series as the Canucks visit the Staples Center to face the Kings tonight. If you can't get to a TV, don't worry as you can can get all the action on 93.3 The Peak and our website

Dare I say 3-2 in OT, AGAIN for someone tonight? Should be fun to watch/listen to. I followed most of the first 60 minutes on Saturday night but sadly missed overtime to head to THE TYLER SHOW.

From the sounds of all the talking heads on the TV (that I managed to stomach for a couple minutes) yesterday, the Canucks have a legit beef on the too-many-men call in overtime.

Oh well, that was Saturday, tonight is a new night. Go Nucks!

As excited as I am for the Canucks game, I might be even a little more fired up for the game at the Bell Centre in Montreal starting at 4pm our time. Even if it is on TSN. HA.


Well let me explain. I always have to do this when it comes to my love of Montreal, because I know not many people out in these parts are too fond of the Habs. Or anything East of British Columbia.

I was BORN a Habs fan. So please allow me to apoligize! My dad was drafted by the Canadiens in 1970, so he was a Habs fan and I grew up in a Habs house. My dad even told me the Habs logo was because of him - "Cal Hammond" the C and the H of the Habs logo he said, were named after him.

Credit to my dad to let me pick my own team when I got old enough to know what was going on.....but I still picked the Habs. The organization and I had a "falling out" of sorts when my hero and idol Patrick Roy and the team parted ways - in less than friendly circumstances. If the Habs weren't good enough for my hero, they weren't good enough for me.....which brings us to an interesting part in my hockey-fandom.

Put it this way - if you are a born and bred BC'er, consider yourself lucky that you could just cheer for "YOUR TEAM"

For some reason - probably a lack of TV coverage - I couldn't cheer for the Colorado Avalanche when Roy was traded there. For the same reason, I couldn't cheer for the Phoenix Coyotes - when the Winnipeg Jets went there. I'm a Manitoba Native. I was never much of a die-hard Jets fan, but at least they were "the team" for us in terms of Geography.

So the Jets up and leave, and this 14 or 15 year old was a confused fan. My hero had a falling out with my cherished team. My local team lost the battle of the economic landscape and the NHL realities at the time, and flew to the desert.

I didn't know who to cheer for all of a sudden.

In the 1993 playoffs I fell in love with a goalie who seemed to make highlight reel save after highlight reel save, who battled harder than any goalie in he game - Curtis Joseph of the St. Louis Blues.

So what happens next? A contract dispute, and Joseph ends up playing in the IHL of all places, in Las Vegas....Thankfully he was eventually traded to Edmonton, and I had a player I could watch again who would get lots of Media Coverage to boot. Outstanding! Those were some fun years to cheer for the Oilers, with upset playoff wins over the heavily favoured Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche a couple years apart. I had NEVER been an Oiler fan before, but it wasn't hard to cheer when the team was on CBC all the time, and when they were winning games every once and a while.

Joseph then ended up in TORONTO. GASP. NO. NOT TORONTO.

Remember, I grew up a Habs fan. Cheering for Toronto was a very very very tough thing to do. Until the first game of the season, that is. How can you not cheer for the Leafs if you are actually trying to cheer for them - they were on CBC every single Saturday night. And they had some lengthly playoff runs as well. All was good, it was fun to be a fan for sure. I went from a hater of everything Toronto, to a screaming at the top of my lungs fan. A little odd I concede, but that's the reality in this day and age of big contracts and franchises moving to and fro. You cheer for a player, or a team, or a fanbase. Which in a round about way brings me back to Montreal...

Curtis Joseph goes from Toronto to Detroit. I'm thinking "ok, I've always hated the Wings, but I hated the Leafs too, this won't be a problem"


The Wings were almost never on TV. I couldn't get into it. Cujo was there playing, but I still couldn't cheer. I was REALLY confused now.

I got into the 2003 playoffs on TV. The Vancouver fans inspired me to cheer for the Canucks, all the way from Manitoba. If I remember correctly, it was the year they started singing the National Anthem. Now I had a little Canuck fan in me from 1994 - I have tonnes of relatives in BC, who always drilled into me how great the Canucks were. But seeing the atmosphere in GM Place in 2003 had me on the bandwagon 100%. It was fitting that I moved to BC and the heart of Canuck Nation later that summer.

So that's my tale of hockey woe. Don't feel sorry for me though - I have been VERY VERY lucky to cheer my team, my born and raised and die-hard fan of TEAM to the Stanley Cup. TWICE in fact. 1986, and 1993.

An amazing rush you just can't describe. Now I just hope I can cheer the Canucks to one!

But back to Montreal, where I was taking this from beginning.....

You just don't find fans anywhere else like you do in Montreal. Maybe here in Port Alberni....but no where else in the NHL. The passion that they show there, is just plain at a different level. Which is the reason I cheer for the Habs and enjoy watching Games in Montreal.


I love the rush that a crowd can create. And with just under 22,000 fans, no one does it like Montreal. I will be GLUED to my TV for the start of the game today - the team coming on the ice, the first puck drop, etc. I can't wait because I know even through my TV, I will get fired up by the fans there.

The passion there makes it special. Like the Maurice Richard ovation on the night they closed the forum, like the night Saku Koivu returned from Cancer. Some special things have happened on Montreal ice.

Nothing like 22,000 people politely telling the Public Address Announcer - SHUT UP, WE ARE GOING TO CHEER A LITTLE WHILE LONGER, WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT.

And here's what it will be like tonight! I am fired up!


SLY said...

Good story Hammer,the part I really liked was "a couple of playoff runs"
Could not watch the video would have puked! LEAFS RULE! burn your stink'in habs gear.
I know never argue with the broadcaster he always gets the last go a head now.

Hammer said...

Those were some fun runs. Leafs just need a Cujo again, steal a game every single night!