On Monday night, the Montreal Canadiens will host the Ottawa Senators. The game has all the makings of a good one. The Sens are hockey's hottest team, while the Habs' red hot specialty teams and goaltending have them contending this year.
It's nice to see Montreal heading back to the top of the heap in hockey. Love them or hate them, for all to be right in the hockey world Montreal needs to be a power house team. They are hockey's most storied franchise, and we want them to be like the New York Yankees, L.A. Lakers or Manchester United - always a threat to win, and a team to either love or hate fiercely.
Montreal's blue line is efficient but certainly lacking a stud back there. Wouldn't Larry Robinson look great on the team today! He may be hockey's prototypical defenseman nowadays. Man was he a treat - with his pin point break out passes, his daring rushes, and his thunderous physical play in his own zone. You can say all you want about Chris Pronger and Zdeno Chara nowadays, but to me Larry Robinson was always better. He would be on my all time dream team, no doubt about it.
The Habs will retired "Big Bird's" jersey #19 on Monday. The game can be seen on SportsNet East (English) or on RDS (French). You can also read my full Larry Robinson biography at Habs Legends. And check out the blog Eyes On The Prize for more memories. Also, Habs Inside Out has a great postcard gallery provided by Erle Schneidman.
Speaking of great rearguards, over at Hockey Book Reviews.com I take a look at Cassie Campbell's autobiography H.E.A.R.T. She's truly one of fascinating and inspiring people of our time, and she shares her principles of success that she uses both on and more importantly off the ice. It's a great read, and an excellent Christmas gift idea for a youngster on your list.