Annotated Mailbag: "Low Hanging Fruit"

Bruce Bennett

I got an email earlier today and it explicitly encouraged that I post it on the site for all of us to discuss. So, uh...here goes. This is from Nicholas, who asked to have his last name and email not made public (and I'll grant that request. I'm not a total monster.). I've left a few comments throughout.

Greetings Cornelius,

Good start so far...

Habs fan here.

...and we started off so well.

I'd like to thank you for providing quality hockey coverage, regardless of laundry. In particular, I was impressed by the mature article on the Subban Fiasco.

You are going to make me blush if you don't stop with this.

Pleasantries aside,

Oh good.

I would like to clear up a few things, and if you'd like to post this email on your site to open up discussion lines, I would be happy to grant those rights, sans email/last name.

I'll take it! What are we talking about today?

1. Diving-

Let's get right into the heart of it, then.

I'm not going to waste your time debating the quality or merits of dives themselves.

Here's my opinion: They're deplorable, but then again powerplays are pretty sweet, and getting away with breaking the rules is even better. Tough call.

That being said, the general consensus around the Bruins' fan base is that Montreal fans sit at home with a can of Molson, and activate their Budweiser red lights with each Canadiens' dive.

I thought those things only went off when goals were scored? Please send one along for further research.

I think the entire diving argument is an overblown pissing contest...

Obviously. At this point, what isn't about this rivalry?

...but the overwhelming majority of the Canadiens' fan base is embarrassed by the diving.

Was that before or after Plekanec got called for embellishment by itself?

I'm from Boston originally, and in 2011, when Subban had his colossal swan dive, myself and my father, who is also a Habs fan, didn't speak for a good three minutes.

Subban, man. He does everything 100%. Diving included. (Hopefully "taking up cap space" will be his next move.) I hope this didn't lead to a long-term problem with your dad. After all, sharing hockey with dads is a delight that should be experienced by all. Even if it is habs hockey.

If you scan any Canadiens message board...

To be honest, I'd rather not. Even on today, probably the best day to do so.

...that isn't filled with young kids (HabsWorld/HockeyInsideOut) you'll find denunciations of diving.

Sure, but not everywhere. After all, if it works it's just gamesmanship...or so I've been told.

2. Andrew Berkshire-

You gotta give a trigger warning on this stuff. But okay, let's see what you've got to say about El Jefe De Los Ojos De Habs En El Premio

I noticed that you posted a tweet from Berkshire about back up goalies, and many of us are embarrassed by his antics.

Sometimes he can go overboard, it's true.

For all of the work he does...

Make no mistake, it's a lot of work. A ton. Those guys CRANK content. It's a site to behold.

...he seems to be a self-saboteur, shouting down opposing opinions in his comment sections, and making himself out to be as big a bully as possible.

I'm sure some Chowdaheads will agree. ;)

Some fans have no idea how to enjoy sports.

Everyone has a different way of enjoying sports. Some make more and less sense.

These games are meant to be entertainment, and some are so busy trying to be right and focused on winning, as if they are on the field themselves.

I would actually love to see bloggers play a shift for their team. Dream come true and also hilarious.

If you have fun watching the games, hope for the best, and leave it at that.

We're not done, are we? We're just getting started.

That being said... There is plenty of embarrassment to go around,

Too true. It's been exhausting.

and without rehashing the events of the last two weeks, I would like to discuss what i've seen on your site.

I'm okay with not re-hashing, but what would you like to talk about? I should also mention that as much as I blather on here, Sarah is the one who's really in charge.

3. "Hallelujah?" This is an embarrassment, the Bostonian in me is seething at the Rangers mini-bandwagon on your site, and others.

I didn't like it, except for the part where Montreal lost. I did the same bandwagoning for Philly in 2010.

The Rangers are no different from the Yankees.

The Rangers have won 6 cups, none since 1994. The Yankees have probably won 6 world series since 1994. The Yankees are the only team in North America with more championships than Montreal. The Rangers are only the same in that they play down the street.

Aside from Henrik Lundqvist, there is hardly any homegrown talent on that team.

How many are from trades of homegrown talent for another team's talent? How many Rangers on last night's roster were UFA?

The Rangers can't draft, their whole game is free agency, poaching players from smaller markets. (Nash, St Loius, Richards)

A trade, a trade, and a free agent signing. According to That's Offside, the Rangers get about 78.0 GP per player picked. That's actually pretty good value, even if that value ends up being traded for a bigger name somewhere else.

This decreases the health of the sport, especially in markets like Tampa Bay and Dallas.

Both teams you mention have won a cup more recently than the Rangers. I don't know how that's hurting them.

For cripe's sake, even their coach was groomed elsewhere. They are carpetbaggers.

Claude Julien didn't exactly come up through the Bruins system. Actually, if I remember, he was fired by both Montreal and New Jersey before settling in Boston. I remember Therrien behind the Penguins bench not too long ago, as well.

Show some pride! This is New York! Boston's rival!

True, but it's also Montreal. Montreal, who we've met in the playoffs 34 damn times and come away the victor 9 of them. Fuck, I hate montreal. I hope they lose every game forever, including their eventual Space-Jam-esque game against the alien invaders for the fate of Earth.

You're going to lead the charge rooting for the Rags?!?!

With a smile on my face, right up until they beat Montreal. We'll see where my loyalties lie next week.

Get outta here!

I will not.

Which brings me to my last point.

4. Excuses.

And there are piles of them everywhere in sports.

If Carey Price is in the series, maybe, just maybe they get to a seventh game.

But do they get past Tampa if Ben Bishop is playing?

That is my series analysis. You will find no excuses from me, and living in South Florida, I have to hear it from the Rangers fans.

Condolences. They can be quite obnoxious.

But that is not what I am hearing from Boston. In life, you want to be the bigger man, and the classier fan than your rival's fanbase.

Is that what I want? Usually it is but I'm not always convinced.

If the Habs get blown out in the conference final, what does that say about the Bruins?

They should have picked up a guy who could have been a #4 defensemen at the deadline? They should have realized having bad players on the 4th line would sink the whole team eventually?

That they were obliterated by the 9-1-1 Nancies, and they are far, far away from the SCF?

That's not very nice language. And the Bruins are one year away from the SCF. How far are Montreal? 20 years now?

That they are in decline? (They aren't but still).

Not until Defenseman/Minor Deity Zdeno Chara retires, they're not!

If anything, I want the Rangers to win it all, to vindicate what I know about the Habs. That they were beat by the best, and that they left everything out there.

I don't think I'll ever understand this line of reasoning. I'd rather beat the best than be beaten by them.

I understand that the Bruins' season left more questions than answers, but give credit where credit is due...

The habs got real lucky over 7 games and managed to knock off the heavily favorited Bruins, but were thwomped in the third round.

...and please, don't ever, never ever never, root for a NY team on your blog again.

Well, if Chicago pulls off the comeback...I can't promise anything. But generally I agree.

Have some pride BruinsNation.

No, just no. There's Red Sox Nation, but that's it. No Bruins Nation, no Patriots Nation, no Celtics nation. It's obnoxious. It doesn't even sound good. And it definitely doesnt need to be all one word.

Nick

Thanks for writing in, Nick! As mentioned above, discussion lines are open! What do y'all think?

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