VICTORIA -- They came on crutches and on walkers, by wheelchair and by stroller, joining a queue for an audience with an ancient warrior.I definitely need to make a pilgrimage there myself one of these days.
The procession was clothed in the familiar bleu, blanc et rouge of les Glorieux. It was a pilgrimage in which devotees brought the icons and artifacts of their fandom. For many, their faith is a birthright.
Their religion is hockey and their denomination is the Canadiens.
They waited in line for up to three hours for a few moments of grace in the presence of a secular god known as much by his uniform number (4) and his nickname (Le Gros Bill), as by his name.
..."There is the holy trinity," 45-year-old fan Jean-Paul Desjardins explained. "Maurice Richard. Guy Lafleur. Jean Béliveau. Béliveau is the father, Lafleur the son, and Maurice, since he is gone, he is the holy ghost up in heaven."
Old adversaries get together to relive some of the past and to have some fun for a good cause.
The game, which drew 14,000 to Air Canada Centre, was one of five on a tour that made stops last week in Winnipeg and Edmonton and continues Wednesday in Calgary and Thursday in Vancouver.Classic Hockey relived AND help given a good cause, what more could anyone ask for?
Proceeds go to the Shoot For A Cure program that generates awareness and prevention of spinal cord injuries in hockey.
More than simply providing protection it often also symbolizes the inner spirit of the goaltender and carries the team's colors into the heart of the battle. They've enjoyed quite a evolution since being introduced.
Masks have come a long way since Plante’s plain fiberglass model, which evolved into the pretzel model, soon worn by another Canadiens goaltender, Ken Dryden. But plain white just wouldn’t do for some. Gerry Cheevers added stitches where the puck or a stick hit his mask. Not colorful enough for you? The Philadelphia Flyers took it a step further. As a prank for a game on Halloween night, the Flyers trainer painted Doug Favell’s mask orange, making the Flyers netminder look as if he were wearing a pumpkin.Boy has it ever took off, it's always interesting seeing what new inspirations and designs the goaltenders come up with each year.
From there, the trend took off.