“Mon captain,” Yvan Cournoyer said this month, tearfully, “mon captain. Bon voyage.”
With Jean Béliveau’s death on December 2, the country remembered, and paid homage.
“Like a prince, like a king,” said Sportsnet’s Stephen Brunt. “Our royalty.”
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman: “For all the feats he has accomplished and all the accolades he has received, Jean Béliveau has always symbolized the little boy whose only dream was to play for the Montreal Canadiens. Hockey is better because of the realization of this dream.”
“In all of my thoughts about Jean Béliveau,” wrote TSN’s Dave Hodge, “I hear Danny Gallivan’s voice.”
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau stood in the House of Commons. “Mr. Speaker,” he said,
I had an extraordinary childhood during which my father introduced me to kings, queens and presidents, but he was never more proud than when he was able to introduce his eldest son to Jean Béliveau.
Every time I met Mr. Béliveau thereafter and shook his hand, I saw what an impact he had not just on me, but on everyone around him. He was a man who epitomized dignity, respect and kindness.
Jean Béliveau was a man of class, of strength, who demonstrated the kind of leadership that inspired not just players but all who watched and met him. He will be greatly missed, but he will continue to inspire generations of not just young hockey players but of Canadians across this great country.
“Beyond being one of the greatest players in NHL history, Jean Béliveau was class personified,” said Mario Lemieux. “He was a hero to generations of his fellow French Canadians and hockey fans everywhere. Our sport has lost a great ambassador. He will be missed.”
Hockey, meanwhile, carried on.
Connor McDavid mentioned that he had a favourite Canadian Tire memory.
Dave Bidini took issue with a newspaper’s use of the word “belted” to describe a puck propelled by Toronto captain Dion Phaneuf that ended up in Carolina’s net.
“If you can build off a game we lost, we can keep our heads high,” Philadelphia captain Claude Giroux told CSN Philly after his team lost a fifth game in a row.
Though goaltender Steve Mason had a different take. “We’re all tired of moral victories,” he told Ryan Dadoun from NBC Sports. “The team played a good game but you don’t win it. It’s not good enough. Enough of the moral victories. We got to go out and start winning hockey games. Everybody is frustrated and ticked off, but it’s a matter of going out and winning now.”
“Belted” was James Mirtle’s word, in The Globe and Mail:
… Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf belted in his second goal of the season with three minutes left in the second.
Legitimate usage or no? Bidini felt that it belonged on baseball grass and dirt, not ice.
Sidney Crosby the latest NHL player to have the mumps
was a headline, this month.
Kevin Klein Loses Part of an Ear, Helps Rangers Down Pens
“Say what you want about hockey players,” mused New York coach Alain Vigneault after that particular game, “but they’re tough SOBs.”
Toronto is likely to miss the playoffs, a professor of economics at the University of Waterloo suggested this month. Dr. Phil Curry is his name, and he works with a group called the Department of Hockey Analytics, gathering up and crunching advanced statistics to (quote) better understand the game. Using a model that incorporates both points and Score Adjusted Corsi, he contends that Toronto will be on the outside looking sadly in when the post-season gets going next spring — oh, and the Calgary Flames are due for collapse, too.
Montreal’s Max Pacioretty went to hospital after Anaheim defenceman Clayton Stoner hit him. Matt Larkin at The Hockey News:
After Pacioretty “admired a pass,” as the homer-as-it-gets Anaheim broadcasters put it, Stoner sent him hurtling into the boards with a late hit. Pacioretty struggled to get back to his feet, was in obvious pain and was taken to hospital for precautionary reasons.
He was released, missed practice, played the next game, before talking to The Montreal Gazette’s Dave Stubbs (and others) about the pain he was suffering somewhere in/around his body. Stubbs:
The unspecified injury was “something that calms down quickly,” Pacioretty told a media gathering. “It feels worse in the morning than it does at night, (but) as the day goes on you feel a bit better. I didn’t have much doubt at all (that he’d play Saturday).”
“I think their team wasn’t happy about it,” was what Stoner said the game. “I didn’t mean to hurt him but the game’s fast and sometimes guys go into the boards wrong, so I hope he’s all right and I didn’t mean any intentions to hurt him.”
Anybody ever wonder why Winnipeg’s penalty-kill is so good at shot suppression, wondered Mirtle of the Globe. “They’re tops in the league.”
Olli Maatta: Has tested positive for mumps.
was a tweet you may or may not have missed.
In Russia, this month, it was laryngitis that was afflicting the KHL. Well, one team in particular, Admiral Vladivostok, which cancelled two games after 16 players fell ill. Kirill Belyakov from Sport Express talked to the team’s press officer about it, Alex Chechel, who said that the team’s doctor had told him that an abrupt drop in Vladivostok’s temperature was to blame (it fell as far as -25). Also, strong winds. Chechel reported, too, that the team’s mascot was unaffected — a healthy cat known as Mastroka.