Sports Canadiens legend Guy Lafleur lends hand to CHUM cancer fundraiser
Canadiens Game Day: Carey Price in goal, Paul Byron back in the lineup
Carey Price will be in goal for the Canadiens Saturday night at the Bell Centre against the Toronto Maple Leafs (7 p.m., CBC, SN, CITY, TVA Sports, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM) and forward Paul Byron will return to the lineup. The Canadiens placed Byron on waivers last Sunday and after clearing waivers he was placed on the team’s taxi squad on Monday. Byron has struggled this season with 0-3-3 totals in 14 games. The 31-year-old is in the second season of a four-year, US$13.6-million contract with a $3.4 million salary-cap hit.
An optimistic Guy Lafleur made his first public appearance since October when he talked to journalists during a video conference Friday announcing the creation of the Guy Lafleur Fund. It will be part of the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM) foundation’s effort to raise money for cancer research.
Lafleur has had a variety of healthy problems since September 2019, when a routine physical exam required to renew his helicopter pilot’s license revealed blocked arteries. He underwent quadruple-bypass surgery, which revealed the presence of lung cancer. One-third of his right lung was removed, but the
Stu Cowan: Players forced Canadiens GM's hand in firing of Julien
This is the third column I have written in the last two weeks about the Canadiens firing Claude Julien, but the first to be published. When the Canadiens cancelled a scheduled practice two Mondays ago and announced that GM Marc Bergevin would speak with the media at noon, I was pretty sure Julien was gone, so I had the column written that morning and ready to hit publish when the news broke. I was wrong. It seemed like the perfect time to make a coaching change because the struggling Canadiens had a six-day break in the schedule and it would have given the new coach time to work on changes he might want to make to the system, or the lines, during what would be like a mini-training
Lafleur offered some good news, when he said the cancer mass has shrunk by 30 per cent.
“When there is life, there is hope,” he said Friday. “I feel good. I take it one day at a time. I have treatments every three weeks. I am getting tired, I sleep a lot, but the oncologist told me this is normal.”
Lafleur said he has a treadmill at home and tries to get outside for a walk in the some fresh air.
“With the (COVID-19) confinement, there is not much positive,” said Lafleur. “At our age, the pleasure is going to a restaurant with friends, but we are cut off from everything. For me, the confinement started in September 2019 when I had my quadruple-bypass surgery and when my upper lobe of the lung was removed. It’s long, it’s painful, but we’ll get through it.”
The CHUM foundation has set up the Club des 10, which is a play on his Canadiens sweater number and the nine celebrity friends who will join him on Facebook. Fans will have access to the celebrities in exchange for a weekly donation over the next 10 weeks.
Canadiens Game Day: Dominique Ducharme trying to put his stamp on team
Dominique Ducharme was thrown into the deep end without a life jacket as new head coach of the Canadiens. Ducharme didn’t even have a chance to hold one full practice before his first game behind the bench, Thursday night’s 6-3 loss to the Jets in Winnipeg, one day after taking over from Claude Julien It would have made much more sense for GM Marc Bergevin to have made the coaching move early last week when the Canadiens had a six-day break in the schedule and Ducharme would have had time to make the changes he wants to put in place.
A video shown Friday featured Scotty Bowman, Yvan Cournoyer, Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Drouin, Wayne Gretzky, Alexis Lafrenière, cancer survivor Mario Lemieux, Marie-Philip Poulin and Patrick Roy. They each told stories of adversity they had experienced, and sent a message of support to Lafleur. Martin Brodeur and Ray Bourque will also offer their help.
Lafleur said he was encouraged by advancements in cancer treatment.
“My father died of cancer in 1992 and I look at the evolution of treatments from 1992 to today, it’s day and night,” said Lafleur. “My oncologist told me: ‘You can’t cure cancer, but you can treat it, and give you a good quality of life.’ It is not cancer that you catch and die two weeks later. Science is improving day by day. It is really encouraging.
“If we can treat it and I have 10-15 years to live, it’s not a lot but I’m 69 years old and it will take me into my 80s, it’s not so bad,” said Lafleur. “It’s about always keeping hope and understanding the evolution of treatments.”
Canadiens Game Day: Jake Allen will be in goal for Habs vs. Jets
Jake Allen will be in goal for the Canadiens when they face the Winnipeg Jets Thursday night at the Bell Centre (7 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM). Allen has a 4-2-2 record this season, along with a 2.12 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage. The Canadiens were shut out in both of his regulation-time losses. The Canadiens are coming off a 3-1 win over the Ottawa Senators Tuesday night at the Bell Centre, in which Carey Price made 26 saves for the win, improving his record to 6-4-3 with a 2.96 goals-against average and a .893 save percentage. Canadiens goalie coach Stéphane Waite was fired after the second period of that game.
Canadiens Game Day: Jake Allen will start in goal against Vancouver .
Jake Allen will be in goal for the Canadiens when they play the Vancouver Canucks Friday night at the Bell Centre (7 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM). That’s the only change Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme will make to his lineup following Wednesday night’s 4-3 overtime loss to the Jets in Winnipeg. That means foward Artturi Lehkonen and defenceman Victor Mete will be healthy scratches again. Carey Price had started the last three games in goal for the Canadiens. This will be Allen’s first start since a 2-1 loss to the Flames in Calgary on March 11. Allen has a 4-3-3 record with a 2.66 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage.