|I remember hockey games at the old Forum, not movies.|
I set the game to PVR and took off with Da Nephew and Mom out into the wilds of the Annapolis Valley in search of a new butcher shop. Our old meat market went under after the owner died and his sons became more interested in duking it out instead of keeping a successful farm and business going.
Don't know what it's like in other cities, but in Halifax the grocery store meats are shoe leather tough even after marinating and the shoe leather is hideously expensive. Even with gas considerations it is better quality and cheaper to go to a farm and buy local. The same with fruits and veggies too.
Despite being only 2 years old and unaccustomed to road trips, Da Nephew took it like a trooper, sleeping all the way out and then chattering and singing and playing while restrained in a car seat for a couple of hours. What a great little guy.
Our only issue was his newfound insistence on calling my mother "Nanny Manny" and me "Auntie Panty", which frankly is hilarious but hardly flattering. Naturally the more we protested the more he did it.
We got home and for the first time in literally months had some delicious, tender, juicy, grilled-to-perfection-if-I-do-say-so-myself steaks. Then I went to bed. I've been picking up extra shifts and if I wanted to stay up to watch the game with Mom and Bro then I need some sleep, something that has been sorely lacking for weeks now.
Bro arrived near midnight and we immediately got to drinking and snacking (chicken wings!) whilst settling in to watch our first Saturday night game in months.
"We don't do well without hockey," observed Mom. "It's pathetic."
What can I say? We're Canadian, eh.
First up was the Adams quarterfinal game 7 between the Habs and Quebec Nordiques which took place at the Montreal Forum on May 2, 1985.
"Peter Stasny," I said with a disdain that I tend to reserve for chocolate thieves. I successfully if narrowly resisted the urge to spit in disgust on my Mom's clean floor. "I always hated him."
Never mind that I can no longer remember why I hated Peter Stasny or his brother Anton. Just know that it has always been thus, much like the sun has always arisen in the East. Some things just are.
We were enjoying the game despite the fact that the Nords went up two goals and got all the damned power plays. Some things never change I guess.
Knuckles Nilan got 12 mins in the box, a 10 minute major for going after that prick Price (Pat, not Carey). Personally I think Price should have gotten 12 for being a Nordiques and daring to offend Knuckles, but then I'm a bit biased here.
Eventually the Habs got on the board, courtesy of Mondou, or Mon Dieu, as Bro likes to call him.
Mom decided to run some fashion commentary. "Is she wearing a Sou'Wester? No. That's her hair."
"The game has really changed," I observed, watching a lot of hooking, tripping and interference going on, which the non-helmet wearing refs were perfectly content to largely ignore.
The players would literally hold each other at the blueline. Back then it was blatant, and if the player got knocked down - which was often - he got up again and would likely try to retaliate.
I liked it much better. Also, the sticks were not composite matchsticks and didn't break, and I only caught two instances where the refs waved a forward out of the face off circle.
"Get the hell out of my way hockey," Bro called it. "Haul your ass down hockey."
"Better than all the diving and attempts to draw penalties."
We laughed as when the refs did make a call the Habs players would cuss 'em out from the box. I'm not a lip reader, but I'm quite certain the 1985 version of Our Montreal Canadiens had some very big potty mouths.
The teams also played longer shifts, but skated just as hard and fast. I kept getting confused by the numbers.
"Who the hell is number 20?" I asked at one point. "We dealt Wisniewski."
"Hunter," replied Bro. "Carbo is 21, Tremblay is 14, and Naslund is 26."
"I keep thinking Gio, Pleky and Gorges."
"I know. Shouldn't Goulet be in Vegas?"
"That's Michel, not Bob."
There was also a definite lack of advertising surrounding the team. The boards of the Forum seemed constructed like concrete, and I'm glad I wasn't on the receiving end of one of Nilan's hard checks. They were also white and bare without signage of any kind.
"Quebec people always dressed to the nines for hockey games back then," Mom observed.
"Except for the Sou'Wester hair," I replied.
By then Bro had gone through some chicken wings and was onto a Dagwood style sandwich. During the commercial break - which we inexplicably watched despite having this game on PVR - Mom decided to keep us up on some current news.
"Did you see that woman in the US cut off her husband's penis and ran it through a garbage disposal?"
"Nice," replied Bro, waving his sandwich, "I'm eating some sliced meat here."
"Sorry, sorry," laughed Mom, not selling it at all. "My mind wanders sometimes."
"My mind wonders too," replied Bro, but chowed down anyway.
Back from break the Habs finally tied it up, courtesy of Mats Naslund who had also assisted on their first goal. And with that the game went into overtime.
More commercials, and this time it was Fabio rolling around on a piano.
"Dude is butt ugly," Bro observed.
"Yes he is. Also he can barely speak English and these commercials make no sense. I liked the guy with the charm and romantic puppy surprises."
"Peter Stasny!" I roared.
I always hated that guy. Now I remember why.