Saturday, November 27, 2010

Habs miss flight, Atlanta homeless 'skate'

Homeless Atlantonians wearing Gill, Gorges and Auld jerseys watch the real Ladd celebrate a real goal

A missed flight in Montreal meant two missed points in the standings for the Canadiens.

The Montreal Canadiens didn't have a chance in winning last night's game against the Atlanta Thrashers, especially considering that they watched the game on RDS at a sports bar at Trudeau airport in Montreal.

The Habs missed their flight to Atlanta when bus problems got them to the airport roughly two hours behind schedule. Luckily for the team, their equipment was on the flight, and a series of hurried calls to the Thrasher's front office by Canadiens staff allowed last night's game at the Phillips Arena to continue.

"We were expecting almost 3,500 people at the arena," said Thrashers spokesperson Jeff Tisdale. "You don't want to just turn away your largest crowd of the season, so we were more than happy to work with the Canadiens to put a contingency play into action."

Atlanta officials had about 90 minutes to round up twenty of the city's homeless and get them outfitted in the Habs' gear to allow the game to start on time.

"We didn't know if we'd be able to pull it off," said Tisdale, "but you'd be amazed how 20 bucks, fresh oranges slices during intermissions and a hot post-game shower can motivate a guy that hasn't seen the sharp side of a razor in six months."

"We would have pushed harder to find guys with some experience on skates, but you have to understand, we were pressed for time."

The fill-in Canadiens, though they tried as hard as they could, just couldn't match the obvious superiority of a Thrasher team that didn't have to spend last night dumpster-diving or catching ten winks on a sidewalk grate. They made it almost through the first period unscathed, until the homeless guy wearing the Gill jersey bobbled the puck, allowing Rich Peverley to break free of the homeless guy wearing the Gorges jersey and slide it by the homeless guy wearing the Auld jersey... though to be fair, the homeless guy in the Auld jersey probably had never been taught to hug the post.

In the second period the stand-in Canadiens fared no better, surrendering two more goals and a 23-4 shot advantage to the Thrashers. Even if it was probably the only time that he's ever worn goalie equipment, the homeless guy in the Auld jersey completely whiffed on a floating shot from the point to make it 2-0; Peverley scored his second of the game, on the power play, to round out the scoring for the Thrashers.

The story of the game was the homeless Habs' indiscipline; their reluctance to follow the rules of society  follow the rules of hockey led to eight Atlanta power plays, which nullified any chance to build any momentum in their favour.

In talking about his two-goal game, Peverley had nothing but glowing words for the team of homeless guys that his squad faced tonight.

"It can't be easy trying to play a full sixty minutes being as under-nourished as the homeless often are. We skated them hard in the first period, y'know, to see what they had, and the dividends really started to show in the second period. We let up on them a bit in the third period because, well, we knew that we wouldn't be able to look them in the eye as we drive past them in our Porsches and Hummers on our way home to our wives and warm beds."

Luckily for the real Habs, they got to spend the night in their own beds as they look to show up at the Bell Centre refreshed and ready to play their next opponents, the Buffalo Sabres.

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