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By the Book

by Archives November 1, 2006

I hate Canadiens fans. I really do. Now, I’m one myself, so don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate all Hab fans, but I hate enough of them to make myself annoyed every time I go to a game at the Bell Centre. I hate enough of them to make myself not listen to any call-in post-game shows, as well.

Why do they annoy me? Allow me to list the reasons. First, you cannot boo a player in the opening video, say how much he sucks and then cheer when he scores the game-tying goal on the power play. It doesn’t work both ways. I call this the Patrice Brisebois-treatment. It went to Mike Ribeiro and now it sits with Sheldon Souray and Craig Rivet. Last year, I was stuck with this rule. Ribeiro was giving the puck away left, right and center until he scored the tying goal and won the game in overtime. Was I happy the Canadiens won? Yes. But I booed Ribeiro because I booed him earlier in the game. For me, unlike other Habs fans, it’s not “what have you done for me lately”. it’s legitimate hate.

Another rule is that you can’t, I repeat can’t say to trade everybody on the team after a loss, two losses, even six losses in a row. I don’t care if a goaltender lets in 15 goals in a game, don’t say it. Unless there is a legitimate reason for you to want to trade someone, don’t even bring it up. Anyone who mentions that Koivu, Kovalev or Samsonov at some point this season should be trades must immediately turn in their Canadiens colours.

The last one, and perhaps most important is to be realistic. This goes both ways. It means that the team is not always the best in the league. Just because we have 24 Stanley Cups does not mean that we are the favourite to win it every year. It just doesn’t. Deal with it. Also, this means that when a 19-year-old rookie joins the team, no matter what his name or where he’s from, is not the second coming of a past superstar. That means the only, and I do mean O-N-L-Y time I should hear the chants of “Guy! Guy! Guy!” at the Bell Centre should be when Guy Carbonneau or Guy La Fleur is on the big screen. Or, at the very least when this 19-year-old rookie gets his first goal. Actually, make that his first point. Not his first two penalty minutes (yes, I was at the game, and the chants started).

Follow these rules and people will have less reasons to make fun of us. We are getting on the right track, but please, please keep this going in the right direction.

Other annoyances.

1. Stop saying to trade either Cristobal Huet or David Aebischer. For the first time, we have two solid goaltenders, and it is our strength. Until one really separates himself from the other, we’ll keep both.

2. Please, please, please stop chanting “Guy! Guy! Guy!” every time Latendresse touches the puck or hits somebody. Let him get a point, please, please, please.

3. Stop saying that Koivu is not a good captain. He is probably the most deserving captain in the league. The guy has been through more since he joined the Canadiens then most people have gone through in a lifetime and I don’t care if he speaks English, French or Japanese. He is the captain of a hockey team not the premier of the province or Prime Minister of the country. He has no obligation to learn French or speak French, but he is anyways. Leave the poor guy alone. That goes to you too, French media.

4. Be smart. That’s what it comes down to. Don’t call in to post-game shows and say that Kovalev can’t play defence (he is one of the top penalty killers on the team), don’t say that Latendresse should be on the top-two lines (especially now that Carbo has put Kovalev in the middle of Samsonov and Alexander Perezhogin) and please, please learn how to pronounce Plekanec.

5. Don’t, and I repeat Do not buy that t-shirt with “84” on the back. The poor kid just wants to play hockey, not have the pressure of a whole province on him.

6. Whatever you do, just don’t boo Latendresse this season. Even if he scores in his own net. Twice. Give him a break.

Last kicks.

It was a sad ending to the careers of graduating players on the men’s and women’s soccer teams this weekend. Unfortunately there will be no playoff appearances for the Stingers. This has to be doubly disappointing for reigning female Most Outstanding Athlete Melanie Poirier. The graduating captain had sights set on a playoff appearance, but it was not to be. A young team set the stage for a disappointing season, in which they finished a distant fifth. She has been a top player for Concordia since she joined the Stingers, and will be hard to replace as a player and a leader.

Stinger Pride

The Stingers have a football playoff game this Saturday against the Universit

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