Offside: Habs raise another banner to crowded Bell Centre rafters

It was a night where the Montreal Canadiens did what they do best: celebrate a piece of their glorious past and wax nostalgic about a time where the Habs were outrageously dominating the NHL. This time, Guy Lapointe’s #5 jersey (incidentally, this is the third number to be retired twice) joined the crowded Bell Center rafters, and was reunited with Larry Robinson’s #19 and Serge Savard’s #18 to complete the Big 3, as these Hall of Fame defensemen were known.

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The ceremony was simple but effective, with video tributes from former teammates (and even Chicago legend Stan Mikita) were shown. Pointu, as Lapointe was known, was a big prankster, and numerous tales of cut up skate laces, cancelled practices and Vaseline handshakes (he even pulled that one on then Prime Minister Pierre-Elliott Trudeau!) were told. Lapointe of course garnered praise for his great team spirit, leadership and legendary playing. Numerous highlight reels showed Lapointe in action, with his trademark devastating slap shot going past quite a few helpless goalies. And in a lucky stroke of symmetry, the first goal of the game was scored by Brendan Gallagher with a monster slap shot from the face off circle that mirrored many of Lapointe’s goals.

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Lars Eller autograph event

Local collectible experts Classic Auctions held an event today where fans could meet emerging star Lars Eller of the Montreal Canadiens.

Lars Eller was traded to Montreal before the 2010-11 season, in a controversial (at the time) move that sent beloved goalie Jaroslav Halak to the Blues. Halak had been the star of the previous playoffs, leading the Canadiens to upset wins over the Penguins and Capitals before the small Habs were pummeled by the bigger Philadelphia Flyers in the semi-finals. Continue reading

Where do we go? 2013-2014 edition

The good thing about being at the start of this project is that our options are wide open. We have the luxury of choosing the timeframe and have more destinations available.

We would have liked to hit Tampa Bay and Miami during the holidays, but couldn’t create an itinerary that worked for us. The Habs will also hit these two cities end of March, and that time it would have worked better, but we sort of fell in love with the idea of going south during the holidays, so we decided to wait another year before going to Florida.

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Why are we here?

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The plan is simple: to see a game in every arena in the NHL. 30 games, 30 teams, 30 cities, all over Canada and the US. How hard could it be?

This blog is about my adventures travelling to games across North America, about the arenas, the hockey culture of the fans, and the cities. Hopefully lots of pictures too.

Why do I do this? You’ll find more info on my About page, but it all boils down to one thing: my love for hockey.