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As a staple in the pop culture diet for decades in Quebec, singer Ginette Reno has loaned her voice to several well-known institutions: Singing for the Hells Angels at a wedding reception and singing at the funeral for Maurice (The Rocket) Richard famously among them.This spring, though, the 67-year-old has emerged as the unlikely good luck charm for the highest-ranking institution in the province. Months after suffering a heart attack, she has performed O Canada for the Montreal Canadiens at two home playoff games — and the team won both.And not only did they win both, they started both with quick goals, the Bell Centre still buzzing from the effects of her singing. The Canadiens scored 11 seconds into Game 3, on Sunday, and they scored two minutes into Game 4 on Tuesday, sweeping the Tampa Bay Lightning from their first-round playoff series. Reno’s powers appeared to extend beyond her command performance with the anthem, too. As she was leaving the ice on Tuesday night, she shook hands with Daniel Brière, a veteran Canadiens forward who had not scored a goal in the series.Brière was the one who scored that first goal, two minutes 24 seconds later. (Photo: Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)

As a staple in the pop culture diet for decades in Quebec, singer Ginette Reno has loaned her voice to several well-known institutions: Singing for the Hells Angels at a wedding reception and singing at the funeral for Maurice (The Rocket) Richard famously among them.

This spring, though, the 67-year-old has emerged as the unlikely good luck charm for the highest-ranking institution in the province. Months after suffering a heart attack, she has performed O Canada for the Montreal Canadiens at two home playoff games — and the team won both.

And not only did they win both, they started both with quick goals, the Bell Centre still buzzing from the effects of her singing. The Canadiens scored 11 seconds into Game 3, on Sunday, and they scored two minutes into Game 4 on Tuesday, sweeping the Tampa Bay Lightning from their first-round playoff series.

Reno’s powers appeared to extend beyond her command performance with the anthem, too. As she was leaving the ice on Tuesday night, she shook hands with Daniel Brière, a veteran Canadiens forward who had not scored a goal in the series.

Brière was the one who scored that first goal, two minutes 24 seconds later. (Photo: Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)


Tampa Bay Lightning’s Victor Hedman is finally coming into his own five years after being chosen No. 2 overall in the NHL draft.
This season, he has leapt forward, and the Lighting leapt with him. Going into Game 2 of Tampa’s first-round playoff series with Montreal, he has become a critical chess piece. 
“It just took a long time for me to grow into the player I knew I could be,” Hedman says. “But my career has just started, hopefully. Still young, still learning, and I’m trying to get better every day.” (Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images) 
Tampa Bay Lightning’s Victor Hedman is finally coming into his own five years after being chosen No. 2 overall in the NHL draft.
This season, he has leapt forward, and the Lighting leapt with him. Going into Game 2 of Tampa’s first-round playoff series with Montreal, he has become a critical chess piece. 
“It just took a long time for me to grow into the player I knew I could be,” Hedman says. “But my career has just started, hopefully. Still young, still learning, and I’m trying to get better every day.” (Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images) 
Retired astronaut Colonel Chris Hadfield sings O Canada prior to NHL hockey action between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens in Toronto on Saturday, January 18, 2014. The Leafs beat the Canadiens 5-3. (Photo: Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press)

Retired astronaut Colonel Chris Hadfield sings O Canada prior to NHL hockey action between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens in Toronto on Saturday, January 18, 2014.

The Leafs beat the Canadiens 5-3. (Photo: Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press)

The Montreal Canadiens held a practice in the disaster-stricken town of Lac-Mégantic, Que., in a show of support Thursday for the community.

The Habs rolled into town on a bus whose passengers included team owner Geoff Molson and general manager Marc Bergevin.

“Driving down the road, you take a deep breath. It’s hard. It’s hard to see it,” Molson said.

“But at the same time the people are here today, and they’re happy, and it looks like the city is being rebuilt so that gives me pleasure at the same time.” (Photos: Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)

The most interesting man in hockey: Montreal’s minister of moustachery is the thinking-man’s goon
They are called goons. And almost every team has one. They are hockey players who cannot skate or shoot the puck particularly well, who spend most of the game either sitting on the bench or in the penalty box, and whose only impact on the game is to drop their sticks and gloves on the ice and take part in orchestrated fights.
The general thinking is that these players, who some call cement heads, cavemen or worse, will eventually be phased out of the league because of anti-fighting rules or they will do it to themselves with their fists.
So when George Parros, a Montreal Canadiens forward, suffered a concussion and had to be taken off the ice on a stretcher after getting into a fight against Colton Orr of the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night, it looked like yet another mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragger had become a victim of hockey’s version of Darwinism.
Except Parros does not fit the mould of the uneducated, unskilled enforcer. He is not a dumb jock. He might be a goon, but he is one who is armed with a 70s-style moustache as well as an Ivy League education and the distinction of being named the fourth-smartest athlete by the Sporting News.
In other words, he should know better. And yet he does not.
A graduate of Princeton, where he had a 3.16 grade point average and earned a degree in economics, Parros speaks Spanish and once worked on the Chicago Stock Exchange. During the lockout, he was part of the players’ association bargaining committee in negoatiations for a new CBA. He shaves his head once a year so kids with cancer can have custom-made wigs, and he appeared in a campaign for You Can Play, the organization aimed at making sports more welcoming for gay athletes. (Photo: Dario Ayala / THE GAZETTE) 

The most interesting man in hockey: Montreal’s minister of moustachery is the thinking-man’s goon

They are called goons. And almost every team has one. They are hockey players who cannot skate or shoot the puck particularly well, who spend most of the game either sitting on the bench or in the penalty box, and whose only impact on the game is to drop their sticks and gloves on the ice and take part in orchestrated fights.

The general thinking is that these players, who some call cement heads, cavemen or worse, will eventually be phased out of the league because of anti-fighting rules or they will do it to themselves with their fists.

So when George Parros, a Montreal Canadiens forward, suffered a concussion and had to be taken off the ice on a stretcher after getting into a fight against Colton Orr of the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night, it looked like yet another mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragger had become a victim of hockey’s version of Darwinism.

Except Parros does not fit the mould of the uneducated, unskilled enforcer. He is not a dumb jock. He might be a goon, but he is one who is armed with a 70s-style moustache as well as an Ivy League education and the distinction of being named the fourth-smartest athlete by the Sporting News.

In other words, he should know better. And yet he does not.

A graduate of Princeton, where he had a 3.16 grade point average and earned a degree in economics, Parros speaks Spanish and once worked on the Chicago Stock Exchange. During the lockout, he was part of the players’ association bargaining committee in negoatiations for a new CBA. He shaves his head once a year so kids with cancer can have custom-made wigs, and he appeared in a campaign for You Can Play, the organization aimed at making sports more welcoming for gay athletes. (Photo: Dario Ayala / THE GAZETTE) 

Montreal Canadiens’ enforcer George Parros’s gruesome injury prompts players to defend fighting
This is an article of faith in many places in the National Hockey League. Fighters protect stars; fighting changes momentum; fighting energizes a team; fighting can change a game. None of it applies in the playoffs, and there’s little solid evidence that the momentum swing actually exists, but the faith endures. Visors are being grandfathered in, and there is this new penalty for removing your helmet before a fight.
Nobody questions the courage of the men who fight. But it seems so long ago that we were all worried after the deaths of Wade Belak, of Rick Rypien, of Derek Boogaard. Their deaths raised complex issues of depression, of whether depression was linked to fighting, of suicide, of the easy access to painkillers, of overdoses, of what this thing makes some men do. The discussion flared, and … vanished. Nothing was resolved. This won’t change anything. (Photo: Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

Montreal Canadiens’ enforcer George Parros’s gruesome injury prompts players to defend fighting

This is an article of faith in many places in the National Hockey League. Fighters protect stars; fighting changes momentum; fighting energizes a team; fighting can change a game. None of it applies in the playoffs, and there’s little solid evidence that the momentum swing actually exists, but the faith endures. Visors are being grandfathered in, and there is this new penalty for removing your helmet before a fight.

Nobody questions the courage of the men who fight. But it seems so long ago that we were all worried after the deaths of Wade Belak, of Rick Rypien, of Derek Boogaard. Their deaths raised complex issues of depression, of whether depression was linked to fighting, of suicide, of the easy access to painkillers, of overdoses, of what this thing makes some men do. The discussion flared, and … vanished. Nothing was resolved. This won’t change anything. (Photo: Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

This was probably the strangest part of last night’s Canadiens-Senators game: Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored a goal for the Senators, but got a high stick in the face and lost a tooth. Here he is trying to pick it up.
In case you’re keeping track at home — Carey Price, the Canadiens goaltender lost a tooth during Game 2 (he skated over to the bench and handed it to the trainer) and his Senators counterpart, Craig Anderson, lost a tooth in Game 1. Essentially, the team that has a player who loses a tooth, ends up winning the game. (Photo: Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)

This was probably the strangest part of last night’s Canadiens-Senators game: Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored a goal for the Senators, but got a high stick in the face and lost a tooth. Here he is trying to pick it up.

In case you’re keeping track at home — Carey Price, the Canadiens goaltender lost a tooth during Game 2 (he skated over to the bench and handed it to the trainer) and his Senators counterpart, Craig Anderson, lost a tooth in Game 1. Essentially, the team that has a player who loses a tooth, ends up winning the game. (Photo: Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)

Canadiens centre Lars Eller left unconscious after hit by Senators’ Eric GrybaThe Montreal Canadiens are down a game and a key player early in their series with the Ottawa Senators.Canadiens centre Lars Eller was left unconscious and bleeding on the ice after taking a big hit from Ottawa defenceman Eric Gryba in the second period Senators’ 4-2 victory in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference quarter-final on Thursday night.“It’s tough seeing a guy laying in a heap with blood coming out,” said Canadiens centre Ryan White. “You never want to see that.” (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes)

Canadiens centre Lars Eller left unconscious after hit by Senators’ Eric Gryba
The Montreal Canadiens are down a game and a key player early in their series with the Ottawa Senators.

Canadiens centre Lars Eller was left unconscious and bleeding on the ice after taking a big hit from Ottawa defenceman Eric Gryba in the second period Senators’ 4-2 victory in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference quarter-final on Thursday night.

“It’s tough seeing a guy laying in a heap with blood coming out,” said Canadiens centre Ryan White. “You never want to see that.” (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes)

Infographic: The fight for the Stanley CupMuch angst, and ink, has been spilled in recent years over fighting in hockey. Progressives say ban fighting. Traditionalists say ‘over our dead bodies.’ A moral debate rages. Yet what seldom gets asked is: How does fighting affect a team’s performance? Does toughness win games? Is meting out an ugly black eye as valuable as scoring a pretty goal? Let’s drop the gloves, shall we, and look at the numbers. (Illustration by Mike Faille)

Infographic: The fight for the Stanley Cup
Much angst, and ink, has been spilled in recent years over fighting in hockey. Progressives say ban fighting. Traditionalists say ‘over our dead bodies.’ A moral debate rages. Yet what seldom gets asked is: How does fighting affect a team’s performance? Does toughness win games? Is meting out an ugly black eye as valuable as scoring a pretty goal? Let’s drop the gloves, shall we, and look at the numbers. (Illustration by Mike Faille)

Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher are staying with the Montreal Canadiens.
Galchenyuk, 18, drafted third overall in June from the junior Sarnia Sting, has a goal and two assists in four NHL games.
Gallagher, 20, who started his first pro season with Hamilton of the AHL this season, scored his first NHL goal Sunday against New Jersey. (Photo: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)

Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher are staying with the Montreal Canadiens.

Galchenyuk, 18, drafted third overall in June from the junior Sarnia Sting, has a goal and two assists in four NHL games.

Gallagher, 20, who started his first pro season with Hamilton of the AHL this season, scored his first NHL goal Sunday against New Jersey. (Photo: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)