BOSTON, MA – Today’s topic: NHL Diving For Penalties. The main culprits: Les Frog P*ssies (Montreal Canadians). Now, I’m no Arnold Diaz, but I did do some investigative research into Claude Julien’s (Head Coach of the Boston Bruins) claim said Frog P*ssies “embellish” to facilitate getting penalty calls. Frustration reached a crescendo in a 4-3, blown-lead loss to the Canadians of which few Montreal players called the remark “sour grapes.” Honestly though, watching a Bruins-Canadians game of late is like watching replays of the 1972 USA-USSR Olympic basketball Gold Medal game. Cheating is going on as Montreal is given latitude to perform “Shakespeare on Ice” with their hockey stick-skating thespians. Statistical analysis shows truth to Julien’s accusations with the Canadians leading the league in power play (PP) opportunities and PP time. Second most advantageous are the Flyers who, because of their antagonistic play, bait opponents and succeed in drawing penalties as the rest of the NHL lags behind the top pair in this category .
Montreal’s toughness is minimal as team size resembles a roster full of termites–small and destructive who appear to be pitied by officiating (league?) perhaps as benefit of being the epicenter of Canada’s national pastime. Ignored on a nightly basis are two-minute minor penalties warranted for unsportsmanlike conduct in the form of embellishment, diving,and selling . As an organization, such tactics date back to the ’70’s but gained momentum again in the 21st century as ice “crimes” were committed against Zednick, Ribeiro, and Pacioretty at the hands of Bruins players to the degree where Boston lawyers are necessary accompaniments on road trips to the Bell Center.
Breeding ground for a new generation of fakers has taken root in Montreal courtesy of the inaugural Montreal Canadians Spring Break Hockey Camp, whose mission statement reads: “Our goal is to instill in young hockey players the perfect balance of skill, sportsmanship, teamwork, and respect while continuing to fuel the passion for the game.” In other words, this is a program where little frogs learn from former Habs players the same way the Mean Machine learned from Nate Scarborough the “finer points” of the game in the Longest Yard.
The preferred clip is unavailable but here’s a good one from the flick:
Michael J. Fox and former WWF Champion Bret Hart teach their fellow little mother Canuckers acting hints, while Pierre Bouchard and Michael Komisarek show how to become a Boston Bruins punching bag while teammates cower on the ice and bench.
To be Frank, like the new Pope, the resurgent Canadians are atop the Eastern Conference and appear to be staying in the top half of the playoff seeding at worst. Angry Ward smartly asked why I hadn’t commented on Les Habitantes in my recent posts. The answer was one of uneasiness and nervousness knowing that Montreal is playing well without help and if allowed to disrespect the game with impunity, seeing them down the road in the post-season won’t be fun.
The Rangers completed a soft stretch of scheduling at 5-4 with a loss to Winnipeg a few nights ago. Two wins during this time resulted in shared points and when you’re chasing a playoff spot just playing, meh isn’t going to cut it. Luckily the Rangers will vie for the playoff spot to be vacated by their own hated rivals, the New Jersey Devils.
Evan “Pickles” Achiron, tomorrow.