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The World According To Laura by Laura Kenney is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Ghosts and the Habs

I promised a Habs blog and as it is hallowe'en I decided to attempt to combine the two.

As a long time Hab fan I remember when strange things would happen at hockey games in the Montreal Forum.  It would make the fans and players sit up straight and go huh - how did that happen.  Pucks would ricochet around like no ones business.  Never was this in more evidence than when the Bruins were in town.  The usually sure footed Bruins would lose an edge - have the puck get caught in their paraphernalia, or have a crazy bounce as the late great Danny Gallivan used to say.  My Dad told it was the ghosts and they were definitely not Bruin fans - or fans of any other teams.  When I asked him who he thought was haunting the forum he did not hesitate - Howie Morenz....he was laid out in state in the forum and never left.  He was especially active in the spring.  I think that he did have some help perhaps Bill Durnan or George Hainsworth amongst others helped in the other end.

When the Habs made their move from Atwater to their current location - the ceremony was intended to show the ghosts the way to the new venue..It seems that they have not felt welcome in the Bell Centre.  When Morenz's son in law - BoomBoom Geoffrion was being honoured the day of his passing, his son Bob assured the fans Boomer was in the building.

The Rocket as you know was laid out in state in the Bell centre just as Morenz was in the Forum before him.  Just like Morenz there were a few years until the return.  Will they be as successful as Morenz from the Forum - that remains to be seen.  A combination of Boomer and the Rocket did work for a previous generation - hopefully they can combine once again.

However, last year in the spring there were some funny bounces and Sid the Kid and OV had that same totally stunned and astonished look on their faces as I saw when I looked at the face of Phil Esposito being totally stoned by an out of position Dryden - the puck would hit the butt end on a stick and go wide on an open net.  We will see if this trend continues.

I have heard Esposito talk about the tricks in the Forum.  Think about this - The Bruins never beat the Habs in a playoff series from 1946 until 1987 - by the law of averages they should have won some in those years. - Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito, Gerry Cheevers etc never won a playoff series versus Mtl.  Don Cherry came close but had a too many men penalty near the end of the game - Habs tied it up and won it in OT in 1979. As I said, strange happenings.

Is it happening again? - This past spring I did have a strange sense of deja vue all over again to quote Yogi Berra.

Hopefully this continues especially into the playoffs - it has been too long since Stanley returned to Montreal.


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