Better Know A Blogger: Oliver Bouchard of En Attendant des Nordiques

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Blogger Questionnaire

Why follow the Habs?

I always loved hockey but was an orphan since the nords moved away. When I moved in Montréal (in 2001) I had already switched my interest to Baseball. The Expos were about to move, but I had stumbled upon Bill James, SABR, Baseball Prospectus and other things. Once in MTL, you can’t really ignore hockey, and I got hooked again.

Favourite Montreal Canadiens moment?

Playoff runs like the one in 2010 are fun but also gruelling. “Emotional” moments are too often amped up to freak show level and this annoys me. It’s a blip in the franchise’s history, but the 6-5 victory against the Rangers a few years back was a sight to behold. That team had some strength (goaltending, PP) and weaknesses (puck possession) but it had a load of guys with outsized personalities and that was a game where they all found a way to contribute. You never expect that kind of show right in the middle of the season and it’s the unexpected, statistical aberration of the thing that make it so dear to my heart.

Favourite Habs player?

Kovalev. Because he was a drama queen, because often we often couldn’t understand what, in the name of all that is good in the world, he was trying to do and most importantly because every single time he hit the ice you had to watch, just in case he’d unleash a back-handed, one hand on the stick, cross-ice, on the tape saucer pass while being checked along the board. We watch hockey because we like a good show and Kovalev could make a show of the most ordinary situation.

What’s the best article you’ve ever written?

Quite frankly, I have no idea. My basic outlook on blogging is: write a blurb on every single game, every blog post then becoming a fragment of the larger story that is the season. It’s a peculiar approach and it means most of my more analytical stuff is often buried somewhere in there. So that’s why I can’t really tell you which one.

Best person to read about hockey? Or if you like, worst person to read about hockey?

Tyler Dellows. He has a unique (and vindictive) approach and I especially like his forays on the business / legal side of the game.

Do the Habs make the playoffs next year, yes or no and why?

If Markov is healthy, yes. Up front, they have 3 top-9 centers who complement each other and 4 high quality wingers (people really underestimate Gionta). On the back end, they have a very nice top-4 and more than enough bodies to make a very good 3rd pairing, with guys such as Bouillon, Diaz and even Kaberle who can fill-in in case of injuries. And they have a killer goalie. But if Markov can’t hold it together, Emelin can’t make up for him and our forward depth will be sorely exposed, unless Leblanc or Gallagher pulls a Pacioretty (hint: they are good, but they won’t).

If you could interview one figure from Habs history, who would it be?

Sam Pollock.

Who is Hab player you’d most want to hang out with and why?

Some old dude. He’s not with the team anymore, but Gill sounds like an interesting guy. I’d love to sit down with him and a bunch of data about the 2010 playoffs run.

Which is the best Habs rivalry, Leafs, Bruins or other?

The Bruins, the Leafs, seriously? C’mon. Those “rivalries” you speak of are all pathetic placebo (placebii?) for the One True Rivalry: Canadiens-Nordiques.

What do you think the Habs need to do to win their 25th Stanley Cup?

Stop overpaying for plumbers and get more good players. Really.

What’s your boldest prediction about the Habs upcoming season?

This where I resort to the cheapest trick in the book of “Habs Blogger say something just to make sure we get a debate ending with people beating each other up”: Scott Gomez will push Desharnais on the wing.

Bonus Question: Have you ever blogged from your mother’s basement in your underwear?

Yes sir. Many times. And I will do it again. Oh yeah.

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Tags: Better Know A Blogger Jacques Martin Montreal Canadiens Randy Cunneyworth Sports Blogs

  • Matthieu

    Awesome idea! it is great to know more about all these Habs bloggers that really bring more to the understanding of the Habs and of hockey in general. By the way if anyone is interested, I strongly suggest following these guys on twitter and read all their insightful discussions about the Habs.
    I usually follow Olivier’s blog regularly, as in “impatiently wait for the post game report and any other analysis”, and you get little by little what they think about the team. This kind of article is nice to have a summary of what is Olivier’s (and the following interviewees I guess) current global view on the team. And I must say I am quite surprised by the answers. Who are those 4 top6 wingers he talks about? Or else, who is this mysterious 4th top6 winger? Was he already thinking about DD as a winger at this moment? so does he count Gomez in the 3 top9 centers? does he really think Emelin as a legitimate 2nd pairing defenseman?
    And finally I completely agree with his prediction (DD on the wing), and the best in this situation will be to have finally MaxPac with Pleks and Gio!

    • Olivier

      I had a brain fart. It’s 3 top-6 wingers, of course :P .

      I wouldn’t be surprised if Gomez is the one ending up on Gio’s and Pleks LW. What can I say, I can’t do away with the notion that Bourque sucks balls and cannot stay there for more than 10 games.

      Stephan: Thanks for the opportunity, it’s always fun to do these…

      • Stephan Cooper

        It was fun to do, there should be a lot more of these if the rest of Habistan is as co-operative as you were.

        Next week there should be one with a member of the HEOTP crew and after that the series will continue as I find worthy participants.

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