Sunday, January 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Five things to know about the Canadiens

Even the mayor is a major critic

Hockey is a religion in Montreal, with the Canadiens enduring intense scrutiny and pressure. Just ask center David Desharnais, (right), who was called out publicly by Mayor Denis Coderre in November. After Desharnais started the season with just one assist in his first 17 games, Coderre sent out a disparaging Twitter post: "Hello? A one-way ticket to Hamilton (Montreal's AHL team) for David Desharnais." The Canadiens rallied around Desharnais, who turned his season around in a big way, finishing with 16 goals and 36 assists in 79 games and was plus-11. And after Desharnais scored the shootout winner Nov. 15 against Columbus, Coderre said on Twitter, "Bravo David." "It was tough, for sure," Desharnais — from Laurier-Station, Quebec, about 125 miles north of Montreal — told the Hockey News. "You're in the NHL, you're playing in your hometown in front of your family and friends, and you're getting embarrassed by the mayor. It's not easy."

What's up with the 'H' on the logo?

It doesn't stand for Habitants (inhabitants), a French nickname for the team, like most people think. The "H" was added in 1917, when the club's name was changed to Club de Hockey Canadian. It replaced the "A" that stood for the team's original name, Club Athletique Canadian.

Prestige, (loss of) powerhouse

The Canadiens have a storied history, having won more Stanley Cups (24) than any other franchise, including 10 from 1965-1979. They have more than 50 Hall of Famers, including Maurice "Rocket" Richard, Guy Lafleur, Ken Dryden and Patrick Roy. There's even a to-scale replica of the Canadiens locker room from the old Forum at the Hall. But in the past 20 years, the Lightning has won more Stanley Cups (one) than the Canadiens. Montreal last won in 1993. The Canadiens haven't won a playoff series since 2010.

A plane sparked Price's career

While most kids were carpooling to hockey practice, Canadiens goalie Carey Price jumped on a plane. Price, one of the best goalies in the world, grew up in tiny Anahim Lake, British Columbia (pop: about 1,500). He often traveled long distances to play minor hockey, making an approximately 400-mile round trip three times a week. So his father, Jerry, bought a small airplane to help ease the burden, putting his pilot's license to use on a four-seat Piper Cherokee, Toronto's Globe and Mail says. "It was more a lawn mower with wings," Jerry says.

Why is P.K. Subban a 'hated' player?

The Canadiens' P.K. Subban is the defending Norris Trophy winner as the league's top defenseman. But Subban was also on top of another list: Sports Illustrated dubbed him in 2013 the "most hated" player in hockey. Subban, who has accepted the nickname "Subbanator," is flashy, irking opposing fans with his glass-pounding, jersey-tugging goal celebrations. He's booed in most visiting arenas, especially Toronto, where Subban grew up after his father, Karl, moved from Jamaica. Subban was contrarian in who he cheered for as a kid; he was a Canadiens fan, following his father's passion.

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