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“What if Jean Beliveau himself asked you to do lines with him, then would you say yes?”

December 5, 2009

I know I said there wouldn’t be a postgame post, but that was before I knew I was going to the game.

Centennial Game Ticket


I’m not going to lie. It was amazing.

I can’t believe I got to go, and until the Habs win another Stanley Cup, the second Patrick Roy led all those guys out onto the ice will be the greatest Habs moment I got to see live.

therangersfan: You don’t look a day over 95.

I found out about five minutes before I got off work. I had no jersey, no Markov t-shirt, no camera and almost no battery charge on my cellphone. Neither did my friend, who had to rush downtown to meet me. But everyone who was at the game got a commemorative booklet, and the ticket is a real collector’s edition ticket. So I do have something to remember it by.

(Edit: x-ine is kind enough to share her pictures, which you can check out here.)

The ceremony was awesome. I can’t decide what the best part was-the surprise jersey retirement (this just in- there are no more numbers available for new Montreal Canadiens, so they will now start wearing letters of the alphabet) or Gordie Howe introducing Jean Beliveau (arguably the greatest man ever to exist) or Patrick Roy (damn straight he wishes he could help the Habs beat Boston tonight) or Guy Lafleur (“you partied some nights, we partied every night”) or…

How adorable is Elmer Lach? How cute was Ryan O’Byrne giving Butch Bouchard his jersey? How touching was it that the Montreal Canadiens honoured the two oldest living members of their family?

I was nervous that today’s Habs would fall apart after sharing the ice with the legends. I figured they would realize how much they had to live up to and just give up.

But they didn’t. They were going to win that game no matter what.

I don’t even know where to start.

After that first 2-minute, 2-man down PK, the building was shaking it got so loud. No wonder Michael Cammalleri scored less than a minute later.

And also, Michael Cammalleri is officially a new religion in Montreal. He clearly knows what it means to wear a Montreal Canadiens sweater.

So do Ryan O’Byrne and Josh Gorges. They played an unbelievably excellent game last night.

Man having Hal Gill back on the PK makes a huge difference. There are a lot of knocks on Hal Gill, but as quite a few of my fellow Habs fans observed last night, the guy knows his role and he plays it well, even if some fans don’t realise what his role is.

And yes, the Bruins, especially Tim Thomas, did not play well last night but the Habs were just. fucking. flying.

UnfinishedBusiness: Left to grab dinner after squid scored to make it 3-0. Update?
theactivestick: Squid has a hat trick, we have wings, and Thomas has an egg.

(For you out-of-towners, every time the Habs score 5 or more goals, you get 8 free chicken wings at a shitty Quebec sports bar/restaurant chain. We don’t even say, “the Habs scored five goals” anymore, we just call it ‘wings.’)

And my boy Carey… I thought that goal he let in was weak, until I watched the replay today. He was pretty damn amazing all game.

Game 29 Gionta love: My Montreal Canadiens.

Andrei Markov: How cute was he with Elmer Lach?

Goalie Guessing Game: Carey, Carey, Carey. Carey.

Chris Higgins Career Watch: I’m sure he and his father, two huge Habs fans, were sad that he wasn’t part of last night. But what can you do? I still miss him :(.

I woke up this morning (or rather, this afternoon) with no voice and my ears still ringing. My hands still hurt from clapping. I will never, ever forget that game. I would like to thank my friend Jon, who is responsible for the title of today’s post, for the chance to go.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. December 5, 2009 2:33 pm

    Lucky bastard. Very happy for you though.

    I think Hal Gill made the difference, and this is no exaggeration.

    Timmy Thomas couldn’t smother the puck properly because of a broken hand. That’s what Claude Julien gets for trying to save Raask for Toronto and giving us the broken goalie.

    I wonder what Recchi, Begin and Julien were thinking before the game.

  2. December 5, 2009 2:50 pm

    amazing post. amazing night.

    AMAZING. incredible. there are no words. not even SCRUMTRELECENT is good enough.

    i love that your post got me excited about last night all over again. well done!


    • theactivestick permalink*
      December 5, 2009 3:13 pm

      Thanks for the props, Julie!

  3. December 5, 2009 3:40 pm

    I watched the whole thing because I made it home JUST in time, but wow. You know you are the Habs when your celebrations of hockey history make hockey history.

    During the whole thing, but especially when Patrick Roy came out, I got to thinking about what might be the WORST moment in the history of a team laden with so much greatness.

    1. The Patrick Roy incident

    2. The 1939-40 season because… ew. If you let the Rangers win the cup back then, you know you suck.

    3. The Richard bombing/riot.

    4. 40 losses in 83-84 or 2000-01.

    5. The Forum closes.

  4. Artie permalink
    December 5, 2009 3:45 pm

    I couldn’t watch “THE EVENT” last night, we had our Christmas party, but my son was at the game and kept texting me.

    How fitting that on our 100th anniversary celebration we “bitch-slapped” the Bruins one more time.

  5. December 5, 2009 3:54 pm

    Thanks for posting! I too got to go the game (also last minute – a surprise from my boyfriend, but I was dressed in Habs gear) and the entire night was magical. The Habs did everything right, top to bottom – right from the countdown to the players saluting the crowd after a convincing, hard-fought, well-earned win (not buying that crap that Boston threw the game). A night I will always remember.

    I have pics and some videos that I can share if you want. Just holler back at me…

  6. Harry M permalink
    December 5, 2009 5:16 pm

    Glad you went Active Stick!

    Looking at the big picture – just a bad game for the B’s and Price obviously played well.

    B’s bounce back tonight over the hapless Leafs. Be careful tonight Phillip.

  7. December 5, 2009 5:17 pm

    Right in front of the return of Saku Koivu…

    • theactivestick permalink*
      December 5, 2009 5:43 pm

      Right in front. By a hair.

  8. December 5, 2009 5:42 pm


    And it wasn’t a bad game for the Bruins. Did you see their faces? They looked shellshocked as the game went on. I really think they (who had a day off yesterday to practice comfortably) thought they were gonna come in and piss on our parade with an easy beat down. Instead the Habs killed a 2 minute bollocks 5-on-3 (roughing is not clearing the crease/protecting the goalie, but neither is shaking off Krejci who while cheating on the faceoff tangled his stick and got hit) and just kept pounding back. I remember when Gorges said of the 07-08 team that they just attack and attack and attack. It’s been a while since we saw the team do that, but it’s what we saw last night. They won’t play like that every night, but when they do, they can destroy anyone.


  1. Flyers – Habs Game 5: Curtain Call « The Active Stick

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