Canadiens fans are howling in unison these days at the Bell Centre over the misadventures of their beloved club on home ice. They weren't happy with a 4-1 loss to the Red Wings last week. "It's normal. We're not winning at home," coach
told reporters. "We have 41 home games, and our fans want us to win all 41 of them. I do, too. But we're making mistakes now. They have every reason to boo us. I have no problem with that." Yo, Guy, if it makes you feel any better, Philly fans are booing the Flyers at home as well. . . .
The Maple Leafs'
scored the winning goal against the Predators last week. It had been four years since his last goal. He couldn't remember where it had occurred, which is odd considering he had just one goal in 2003-04. "In New Jersey, wasn't it?" he asked. Nope. Montreal. . . .
has been in the NHL for three seasons and just last week played his first games in Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver. Is there anyone out there who doesn't think that is just plain bad for hockey, bad for business, and bad for the fans? That is why the NHL schedule had to change. . . .
, primarily a backup when he was with the Ducks, on what it's like to be a No. 1 goalie: "You have to earn this job. It's not like a right to be a No. 1 goalie. You have to learn this and prove it every day in practice and in the game. It's so tough to get this job, to be No. 1, and so easy to lose. You have to keep working hard. I have different feelings right now. I was so excited I got this opportunity, and I want to keep working hard and help this team to make the playoffs and win the most possible games." . . .
Finally, congratulations to St. Paul, Minn., the home of the Wild, on being voted the new "Hockeytown USA" by Sports Illustrated. Any city that sells out home exhibition games deserves some kind of national tribute.