Live From Montreal: The City Is Hockey, The City Is Georges Laraque!
The Montreal Canadiens hosted the Boston Bruins for their home opener, Wednesday night.
With the team’s introduction, and the Ring of Honour, one thing made the night even more special—Georges Laraque was in uniform.
The new was as welcomed as if both Ken Dryden and Patrick Roy made the announcement they would coach Carey Price this season! Okay, I exaggerate there—but wouldn’t that be awesome?
Even though the Canadiens could hold on to their pants, facing the tough Flyers, questions arose on whether or not Laraque was going to face the Bruins.
Number 17 has missed all previous games, including the entire camp, due to a groin injury.
“The coach made me a kind of favour. It was the first home game in front of the family and friends.” the new Montreal superstar told La Presse.
Within two minutes and a half gone in the first period, seven seconds after Laraque hit the ice for his very first shift—and there you go!
Shawn Thornton and Georges Laraque engaged in an “aggressive discussion”—if I had to be politically correct!
The Montreal Canadiens did need that type of “big and tough guy”.
The biggest player of the team used to be actually its 6’3", 225-pound goaltender, Carey Price. So technically, it didn’t count. Although I am sure, he would be spectacular!
It’s not that Tom Kostopoulos didn’t do well last year standing up for his teammates.
But when you realize that tough teams can rule the ice, despite your so-called speed and talent, you don’t just sit there when a living legend like Laraque becomes an UFA.
I still recall how Zdeno Chara had dropped Guillaume Latendresse like a fly last year. It was ugly—so ugly that it was almost hilarious!
Soon after his contract signature, Laraque told La Presse that he would fit well in the team.
“Begin and Lapierre are intense players, but they are not heavyweight guys. A guy like me will permit them to keep defending without being challenged. Guys like Komisarek should never fight—my presence will take off some pressure from him.”
But he isn’t only a fighter. It is not as if he is going to sit patiently on the bench till someone defies his teammates. For $ 1.5 Millions a year, I would hope not!
He got a 13-goal season back in Edmonton, and seems to be doing well along the boards. Alexei Kovalev gave him a role in front of the net, thanks to his 6'3" and 240 pounds.
Coach Carbonneau has been clear on the subject. “I want him to have good presences on the ice, like he did in the second and third periods [against Boston], with a good puck protection in the offensive zone," he told RDS reporters.
Now, is he a great acquisition? Heck, yeah. He can fight and play hockey. Who wouldn’t love that?
Still, to make a long story short on the overall reactions on “BGL”—you better watch out, ‘coz Santa Claus is definitely in town!
Notes from aside:
- Although it does hurt, we saw it coming—Kyle Chipchura has been assigned to the Hamilton Bulldogs.
- Michael Ryder was the third player sent in the shoutout for Boston. I used to like this player so much that I was almost hoping for him to score. Almost.
- The Phoenix Coyotes are in town Saturday night. But Daniel Carcillo won’t face the team, due to his two-game suspension.
- Chris Higgins is cleared to play, and should join Robert Lang and Sergei Kostitsyn on the third line.
- Oh, you’ll love this one—rumour has it that the Minnesota Wild and the Montreal Canadiens are talking business, about (drum roll) Marian Gaborik! (RDS.ca)
(Photo: Yahoo! Sports)
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