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Hi Moderators,

I have a bit of a conundrum:

I have a hockey jersey signed by some of the players. Unfortunately, since I wasn't personnally there when they signed it, I do not know who signed the jersey nor can I make out the names (other than Andrei Kostityn, I think). To whom can I send a picture of the autographs to hopefully identify the signatures?

Spike

I moved your question over to our autograph thread. You can find it here. HTL

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Remember your first NHL game in person? It's hard to get any better than the one Beaubie tells us about today.

Send me your own blogs by PM and we might feature your own story or opinion piece here.

Big Ted

Blog #8: A Ticket To Ride by Beaubie

April twenty-eighth, two thousand and ten - I was sitting in the bleachers at BMO Field wearing a Montreal Canadiens jersey and watching a soccer game between the Impact and TFC. I may have been physically there but mentally, my mind was somewhere else. It was on the Game 7 going on between the Habs and Caps. What was I to do? My mother had surprised me with tickets for my birthday. I couldn’t turn her down. So there I was and there were the Habs. It was the playoffs and the Canadiens had rallied from a 3 to 1 deficit as an eighth seeded team to even the series. All I wanted as a present for my 19th birthday was a Habs victory – and that’s what I got. A kind man with his BlackBerry kept me updated and then informed me of the result.

Something happened that night. I told myself that I was going to go to a hockey game. And not just any game, a Habs playoff game and my first to boot! My mind had been made up. I called the first person I knew would understand what was going through my mind: my Dad. “That’s it!” I told him, “I’m going to go to a game”! And go to a game I certainly did. But it didn’t go as simply and smoothly as I had hoped. With my computer not working and my having to use my ancient one, I slept over at my friend’s house the night before tickets went on sale and used her laptop in the morning. I was nervous and excited while waiting in the virtual waiting room. Where would I end up? Where should I sit? With my credit card in hand I made the leap.

May 6th, 2010 at 1900h, Bell Centre. Section 334, row AA, and seat 15. It was the first row at the edge of the bowl. I cannot describe the elation and anxiety (about having to tell my mom) I was feeling. I had planned and plotted. I would take the train, stay at a reasonably-priced place nearby, go to the game, stay one night and then return home the next morning. Then it all came crashing down.

I cannot recall which day it was – maybe a couple before the game. My Mom came home. It turned out that because my visa was a joint account with hers, she had seen my little transaction before I could tell her about it. She questioned me about it and I had to tell her. There I was, in my jersey being berated by my own mother for doing this. I will not spare her here. She made me feel like the most terrible person on this planet for doing this. I sobbed and was embarrassed, standing there with my love on display. I was extremely close to just getting rid of the ticket so I wouldn’t have to deal with this. “Oh, you’re 19, so you think now you can just do anything you want”? I told her she didn’t understand – and she didn’t. I don’t blame her, she is my mother. I knew this was going to happen. This is the Montreal Canadiens. I’m going to a Stanley Cup Playoff game. Don’t take this away from me.

I was happy to finally share this news with people. Especially here with all of you. To fast forward a bit, I was not able to make arrangements with family in Montreal. A beautiful train ride later on the 6th and I was in that beautiful city.

There was this build-up inside of me. All the realities came zooming in on me, each more unbelievable than the next. I know I may sound a bit like I'm exaggerating here, but it really felt like that. This was especially so because of all the excitement that had everyone caught up in the run we were on. People really did believe in their hearts that there was some kind of magic going on and that was exciting enough, never mind actually witnessing it.

I felt at home there. I could walk around proudly and know that there was a mutual feeling among most of us about this hockey team. There was no one there to ridicule me on my choices or to make me feel bad about things I’ve done. It was a beautiful thing. Seeing the CH all over the place. This was it!

I was in total awe of the Bell Centre. All those fans, all the noise (which was nothing compared to what was coming up). I was there nice and early but too caught up to actually see some things I later realised I would have liked to. I was drawn into the arena. I was handed my game towel - which hangs in my room at this moment - and I walked in and was swallowed by it all. I made my way up to my seat.

Once again, and it seems such experiences as this have this trait, I cannot put into words the feeling of walking in there for the first time. The red – everywhere I looked. Those banners hanging from the rafters that remind us of our storied past. The ice, glistening from the Zamboni water. The huge jumbotron. I was here. I had made it. The smell of the rink…the vastness that was the Bell Centre…the players benches…the penalty box…

Look! Over there! The players made their way out onto the ice. There’s Cammalleri! Halak! Gill! PK! The pounds of the skates on ice, of puck, their sticks, the people around me; I took it all in.

There is one thing that is particularly stunning. Actually there are a few, but the first is the opening entrance. It’s quiet, the lights die down and you hear the wind blowing when a single flame makes it out on the ice and encircles it. I’m just waiting for it and everyone here to explode. I’m not let down. The second thing is the singing of the national anthem. I sing patriotically along. It begins.

The game is different like this. Even though we scored first courtesy of Pyatt, the Pens scored two goals in the first and we were trailing. I tried to talk to the guy beside me, and at one point during second intermission he asked me if I thought we’d still win. I said, “Well, we aren’t going to win the game with only nine shots through two periods.” 9 shots, that’s all. Figures. As much as I was happy to be here and in spite of how amazing everything was, let's be honest, I was greedy. I wanted to see a win. The one time I was here in person I wanted to celebrate a win, dammit.

I laugh at it now, that comment I made to the guy beside me. Maybe it’s because I was so sure we were going to lose. But not long into the third, Lapierre tied it up. Every single pair of lungs was raucously screaming out. Towels were flying and everyone was on their feet.

I taunted Fleury and Crosby and booed at calls made and had a good laugh at the lady beside me around my age swearing left and right in French. The time outs were cool. Something you might not think, but a time out at home usually means commercials. Here, you still have the players and ice in front of you. I never left my seat the entire time.

I would occasionally record at various times during the game. One of the coolest things is that I happened to be recording at the right time. With the score tied, Gionta had come up the side after taking a pass from Pyatt and put it towards the net either as a pass or just to get it there and it went off Letang’s skate and in. I think I may have peed myself in that moment and I was celebrating at the top of my lungs. I got it all on record. How we had managed this, I don’t know. But they were now the ones trailing. Time to put this game away.

As we all counted down the seconds to the end of the game, everyone was on their feet and cheering; believers in all of us. The spirit and fan in us and everyone watching all over was captivating. In all those moments of elation, of sadness, of desperation, of excitement and anxiety, I was alone. But what I came to realise was that I actually wasn’t. I was there with every single other fan in a Habs family. We were all connected in there and that connection could be felt beyond the confines of the Bell Centre.

I tried to stay as long as I could but I eventually walked out and joined the crowd leaving the Bell Centre. In the stairwell we were chanting the ole’s. It reverberated off the walls and carried out into the street where the party was only beginning.

-- Beaubie

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Great read beaubie, thanks for sharing. I felt the same way when I first made it to the Centre Bell. I hope to make it there myself for a playoff experience like yours one day.

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Merci hrf.

Also, love the title BT! Thanks.

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Great read beaubie. I was at that game too and you made me re-live it. After the Lapierre goal, I became deaf for the rest of the game so much everyone was cheering and the Bell Centre sound techs cranked the volume of the mics/speakers to the ceiling, and I loved every seccond of it. :)

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Wow! Thanks for sharing Beaubie!

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I went to my first game when I was quite young, so I don't remember all the specifics, but it's always something special to go to see the Habs, particularly in the playoffs. The regular season games are great, but you don't see the same atmosphere you get in the playoffs. You don't get everyone singing along as loudly to the national anthem. You don't feel the same excitement, the same hatred, the same anxiety.

I still love when they introduce the Canadiens though and each skater comes out of the room with the crowd cheering, that never gets old no matter how many times it happens. I don't know whether the players grow tired of it after a while, but whenever I hear the announcer say "vos canadiens/your canadiens," it makes me think of how these guys are playing for thousands and thousands of fans and the pride of the most storied franchise in the NHL. The guys I want on our team are the players I hope realize that every time they step onto the ice.

Great read, Beaubie!

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You just about described all the feelings i went through at my very first game at the old forum. It was against the Leafs and of course it was a win for the boys. It was part of a hotel bus and game tickets tour coming out of Hamilton. A bus full of Leaf fans and me. Super noisy going down and quiet as a library going home ( except for me of course :D )

Your blog brought back a lot of memories beaubie. ;)

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Not sure I will ever get to see them,but Baubie even though I am so old I know I will feel just like you did,really well written thanks Baubie.

GO HABS GO :lol: :lol:

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I am pretty sure you felt like all of us did when we first went to a Habs game, whether it was a reg. season game or the POs. :rolleyes:

Thank you for re-living your experience with us beaubie. :)

BTW, I remember you asking us what you should do about whether you should go to the soccer game or be here with us watching the Wash/Habs game in the GDT. :)

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I am pretty sure you felt like all of us did when we first went to a Habs game, whether it was a reg. season game or the POs. :rolleyes:

Thank you for re-living your experience with us beaubie. :)

BTW, I remember you asking us what you should do about whether you should go to the soccer game or be here with us watching the Wash/Habs game in the GDT. :)

Yah, back when I was still a dude :lol:

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As you can tell, BOTW was on hiatus for the holiday weekend. It will be back next week with an all-new feature story.

We are still looking for writers to submit pieces. With the start of the year, I'm sure there are people with opinions on various stories. So let us hear them. Is the league doing better with head shots thus far? Should Don Cherry be fired? Why do the Habs have so many injuries? Who's your early pick for Stanley Cup champ and why? Send in your articles or short opinion pieces to me by PM...

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Remember your first NHL game in person? It's hard to get any better than the one Beaubie tells us about today.

Send me your own blogs by PM and we might feature your own story or opinion piece here.

Big Ted

Blog #8: A Ticket To Ride by Beaubie

April twenty-eighth, two thousand and ten - I was sitting in the bleachers at BMO Field wearing a Montreal Canadiens jersey and watching a soccer game between the Impact and TFC. I may have been physically there but mentally, my mind was somewhere else. It was on the Game 7 going on between the Habs and Caps. What was I to do? My mother had surprised me with tickets for my birthday. I couldn’t turn her down. So there I was and there were the Habs. It was the playoffs and the Canadiens had rallied from a 3 to 1 deficit as an eighth seeded team to even the series. All I wanted as a present for my 19th birthday was a Habs victory – and that’s what I got. A kind man with his BlackBerry kept me updated and then informed me of the result.

Something happened that night. I told myself that I was going to go to a hockey game. And not just any game, a Habs playoff game and my first to boot! My mind had been made up. I called the first person I knew would understand what was going through my mind: my Dad. “That’s it!” I told him, “I’m going to go to a game”! And go to a game I certainly did. But it didn’t go as simply and smoothly as I had hoped. With my computer not working and my having to use my ancient one, I slept over at my friend’s house the night before tickets went on sale and used her laptop in the morning. I was nervous and excited while waiting in the virtual waiting room. Where would I end up? Where should I sit? With my credit card in hand I made the leap.

May 6th, 2010 at 1900h, Bell Centre. Section 334, row AA, and seat 15. It was the first row at the edge of the bowl. I cannot describe the elation and anxiety (about having to tell my mom) I was feeling. I had planned and plotted. I would take the train, stay at a reasonably-priced place nearby, go to the game, stay one night and then return home the next morning. Then it all came crashing down.

I cannot recall which day it was – maybe a couple before the game. My Mom came home. It turned out that because my visa was a joint account with hers, she had seen my little transaction before I could tell her about it. She questioned me about it and I had to tell her. There I was, in my jersey being berated by my own mother for doing this. I will not spare her here. She made me feel like the most terrible person on this planet for doing this. I sobbed and was embarrassed, standing there with my love on display. I was extremely close to just getting rid of the ticket so I wouldn’t have to deal with this. “Oh, you’re 19, so you think now you can just do anything you want”? I told her she didn’t understand – and she didn’t. I don’t blame her, she is my mother. I knew this was going to happen. This is the Montreal Canadiens. I’m going to a Stanley Cup Playoff game. Don’t take this away from me.

I was happy to finally share this news with people. Especially here with all of you. To fast forward a bit, I was not able to make arrangements with family in Montreal. A beautiful train ride later on the 6th and I was in that beautiful city.

There was this build-up inside of me. All the realities came zooming in on me, each more unbelievable than the next. I know I may sound a bit like I'm exaggerating here, but it really felt like that. This was especially so because of all the excitement that had everyone caught up in the run we were on. People really did believe in their hearts that there was some kind of magic going on and that was exciting enough, never mind actually witnessing it.

I felt at home there. I could walk around proudly and know that there was a mutual feeling among most of us about this hockey team. There was no one there to ridicule me on my choices or to make me feel bad about things I’ve done. It was a beautiful thing. Seeing the CH all over the place. This was it!

I was in total awe of the Bell Centre. All those fans, all the noise (which was nothing compared to what was coming up). I was there nice and early but too caught up to actually see some things I later realised I would have liked to. I was drawn into the arena. I was handed my game towel - which hangs in my room at this moment - and I walked in and was swallowed by it all. I made my way up to my seat.

Once again, and it seems such experiences as this have this trait, I cannot put into words the feeling of walking in there for the first time. The red – everywhere I looked. Those banners hanging from the rafters that remind us of our storied past. The ice, glistening from the Zamboni water. The huge jumbotron. I was here. I had made it. The smell of the rink…the vastness that was the Bell Centre…the players benches…the penalty box…

Look! Over there! The players made their way out onto the ice. There’s Cammalleri! Halak! Gill! PK! The pounds of the skates on ice, of puck, their sticks, the people around me; I took it all in.

There is one thing that is particularly stunning. Actually there are a few, but the first is the opening entrance. It’s quiet, the lights die down and you hear the wind blowing when a single flame makes it out on the ice and encircles it. I’m just waiting for it and everyone here to explode. I’m not let down. The second thing is the singing of the national anthem. I sing patriotically along. It begins.

The game is different like this. Even though we scored first courtesy of Pyatt, the Pens scored two goals in the first and we were trailing. I tried to talk to the guy beside me, and at one point during second intermission he asked me if I thought we’d still win. I said, “Well, we aren’t going to win the game with only nine shots through two periods.” 9 shots, that’s all. Figures. As much as I was happy to be here and in spite of how amazing everything was, let's be honest, I was greedy. I wanted to see a win. The one time I was here in person I wanted to celebrate a win, dammit.

I laugh at it now, that comment I made to the guy beside me. Maybe it’s because I was so sure we were going to lose. But not long into the third, Lapierre tied it up. Every single pair of lungs was raucously screaming out. Towels were flying and everyone was on their feet.

I taunted Fleury and Crosby and booed at calls made and had a good laugh at the lady beside me around my age swearing left and right in French. The time outs were cool. Something you might not think, but a time out at home usually means commercials. Here, you still have the players and ice in front of you. I never left my seat the entire time.

I would occasionally record at various times during the game. One of the coolest things is that I happened to be recording at the right time. With the score tied, Gionta had come up the side after taking a pass from Pyatt and put it towards the net either as a pass or just to get it there and it went off Letang’s skate and in. I think I may have peed myself in that moment and I was celebrating at the top of my lungs. I got it all on record. How we had managed this, I don’t know. But they were now the ones trailing. Time to put this game away.

As we all counted down the seconds to the end of the game, everyone was on their feet and cheering; believers in all of us. The spirit and fan in us and everyone watching all over was captivating. In all those moments of elation, of sadness, of desperation, of excitement and anxiety, I was alone. But what I came to realise was that I actually wasn’t. I was there with every single other fan in a Habs family. We were all connected in there and that connection could be felt beyond the confines of the Bell Centre.

I tried to stay as long as I could but I eventually walked out and joined the crowd leaving the Bell Centre. In the stairwell we were chanting the ole’s. It reverberated off the walls and carried out into the street where the party was only beginning.

-- Beaubie

Excellant read Beaubie.It took me back to my 1st game at the Forum.I had been to see the habs at MLG when i was 10 but that was 1960.I had also saw the Habs play in Buffalo when the sabres 1st came into the league,but my 1st game at the Forum was done on a whim in 1974 and Philadelphia was in town.I took the train from Toronto with 2 buddies,we didn't have tickets (we where counting on scalpers) and we manged to get 3 white single tickets which wheren't too far apart.Seeing the Habs in Toronto and Buffalo where great but nothing ever in my life could compare with the moment Les Canadiens skated on the ice.Robinson,Savard,LaPointe,Lefleur,Lemaire everybody flying around the ice in their Red sweaters and the size of them at home.I thought they looked big in Buffalo as I had tickets 3 rows from ice level but even as far as I was from the ice in Montreal they where giants,twice the size of any Flyer.I was so excited I forgot to breathe.Then the game started and Lemaire scored 3 mins into the game,I had never heard anything so loud the Habs won the game 4-1 but i was to excited to leave the building I think we where the last 3 people to leave,then down to the tavern to whoop it up with the rest of the faitfull.We didn't have hotel rooms it didn't matter as our train was leaving at 7:30 am.It was the best road trip of my life.

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Remember the days when cell phone didn't exist? Well even if they do, this might be just another reason to hate Toronto.

BT3

Blog #9: Confusion In Hogtown by kinot-1

This blog also involves my daughter Jen; however, it also involved me and her then-boyfriend, Ken. Now Ken wouldn't have been my choice as a boyfriend for her. Let's just say that he seemed to lack some manners and common sense. Ken was also a Leafs fan, Jen was neutral (although, I suspect she feigned being a hockey fan because of him), and then there was me. At the time, the Habs would be playing in Toronto, at Maple Leaf Gardens, on a Saturday night in a few weeks. So, we three planned to go.

Now, I had been to Toronto about ten to fifteen times, Jen only a few times and I didn't know about Ken. Suffice to say, I could get around town pretty good. The plan (mine) was to drive to Sheppard Ave. and Yonge St., park the car, hop onto the subway, get off at the College Station, get scalpers tickets, eat, watch the game, get back on the subway to the car, and drive home. It seemed to me to be the right plan. Well, here's what happened.

We got to Sheppard and Yonge and I told the two of them that if we got separated after the game, to get on the subway and get off at Sheppard Ave. and meet at the car (seems simple, yes?). Each of us got two tokens for the subway, one to get there and one to get back. Jen later claimed that it was then that she said that if we separated that we should meet at the Golden Griddle across the street. Not sure who came up with that idea.

Fast forward to the end of the game. I had my seat against the wall, within reach of the roof girders, with Jen and Ken directly in front of me. Being at the very top of the arena guarantees that you will be close to the last ones out. So, I told Jen to hold Kens hand, and I would hold hers, and I would lead the way down to the street. I swear that Maple Leaf Gardens had only one exit for 18,000 people. I am wrong, of course, but it sure seemed that way.

Anyway, here we are inching our way along down the stairs (and I do mean inching), and we finally get to the doorway. That's where "it" happened. It was when I lost Jen's hand. I immediately turned around to look for them, but nope, they were not there. So I went to a street light and tried to look again. I stayed there for around 15 minutes watching... and nothing.

Ok, don't panic, think, I told myself. They probably missed me and were getting on the subway (insert "yeah, right" here). So I went and got on the subway, got up to Sheppard, and the car was there, but there was no daughter (I wasn't concerned about Ken). OK, so I wait for a while... 5, 10, 15 minutes go by. By now I am getting very worried. Jen is not street-smart and Ken couldn't lick a stamp, if someone showed him how.

So I jumped in the car and started cruising Yonge St. Up and down I go for about 5 blocks, 3-4 times. Nothing. At this time my mind is thinking, "I lost my wife's ONLY daughter in Toronto, and it's after 11:30 PM." She probably called her mother, I'm thinking. Ok, so I could call my wife at 11:30 at night to ask her if Jen called, keeping in mind there were no cell phones then. I REALLY did NOT want to make that call. After explaining the circumstances to my wife, she said that she hadn't heard from Jen. Cue the panic mode.

Down Yonge I go, then up again, once more down, and then I seen them across the street (insert HUGE sigh of relief here). They got in the car, and I ask what happened. They had gone to the Golden Griddle, waited 1/2 hour, then got on the subway, got off at the WRONG station, and started walking north, then they saw me. I then called my wife to tell her the news (back in her good books maybe?). I drove that car as fast as I could, and we got home around 3 in the morning (2 hour drive). Wife was waiting up, (uh-oh). My memory is fuzzy here, but I am pretty sure I didn't get to say very much.

-- kinot-1

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Wow Knot, you must have been worried sick! Nice read.

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Good story. Probably funny now that you think back on it. Kinda reminds me of my wife in a shopping mall. Slow as molasses until you take your eyes off her for a second and poof,,,,gone. Copperfield should be that good. :lol::P

Thanks for that kinot. ;)

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:lol: Brilliant.....bet you were glad to see the back of Ken!!!
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Wow Knot, you must have been worried sick! Nice read.

Sure was,,and somewhat ticked off at Ken. :angry:

Good story. Probably funny now that you think back on it. Kinda reminds me of my wife in a shopping mall. Slow as molasses until you take your eyes off her for a second and poof,,,,gone. Copperfield should be that good. :lol::P

Thanks for that kinot. ;)

Yea,,,funny now,,I shoulda gave Ken a slap upside the head.

I blame the leafs fan :lol: their names rhyme though, makes for good storytelling

Probably was all laffs fans and their voodoo dols. <_<

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