April 18, 2009
Andre The Giant Meets Bobby Orr
Montreal and Boston move onto game two tonight in Boston. Hockey Night In Canada will even have the old fashion 8pm EST start time for this one.
All the talk before game one centered around Georges Laraque challenging the Bruins like tough guy Shawn Thornton, Milan Lucic and Zdeno Chara.
Laraque needed to make an impact like this much earlier in the season, especially against Boston who routinely used Mike Komisarek as a rag doll. But Laraque made a decent impact in game one, allowing his teammates to play bigger than they really are.
That is Big Georges' job. It's too bad he can only back up all the talk with his fists. Unlike Lucic and Chara, Laracque does not have the skills to physically dominate a game in any other way. He simply does not have the agility or even speed anymore to change the flow of a game through heavy and clean bodychecking.
I do not think Thornton, Lucic or Chara are afraid of Laraque. They were too smart, not to mention likely under strict orders from the coach, to fight Laraque early in the game. Lucic can do that. Chara can do that better than anyone, and he's probably the best defenseman in the league this year, too.
Georges better watch out. Over their history the Bruins have had some big friends. Giants even. Giants that even make Zdeno Chara look small.
That is Andre the Giant holding up Boston Bruins Carol Vadnais on the left and Bobby Orr on the right. Vadnais befriended Andre while he played in California, likely drawn together by their French language and cultural upbringings.
What an amazing pic. Vadnais and Orr were not small guys by any stretch, both around 6 feet tall and 200lbs. But they look like kids next to the "Eighth Wonder Of The World." And what a hair-do and outfit. I guess when you are that big you can't be too picky when buying clothes. You have to buy whatever you can find that fits. Is that an oversized table cloth for a shirt?
Phil Esposito talks about the night this photo was taken in his book from 2003 Thunder and Lightning: A No-B.S. Hockey Memoir. Apparently he has a similar picture of him and Orr with Andre.
Espo goes on to tell of the story of the night on the town the four of them had that night, with the accompaniment of a female companion. There is no P.G. version of the story, so you'll have to buy the book if you really want to know the story.