Canada

PLAYOFF CHEAT SHEET: Guy Lafleur picks Habs for upset

Canadiens Hall of Famer Guy Lafleur signs autographs for fans before alumni game in Calgary on Dec. 3, 2015.

NHL legend Guy Lafleur is going against the odds and picking the Habs to prevail over the Leafs.

No wonder, the flamboyant Flower spent most of his career with the Canadiens.

“In my book, I think we have a very good chance, because we have had a lot of success against the Leafs in the last few years,” the 69-year-old said at a Zoom meeting of Fondation du CHUM.

“I have hope. It will depend on whether the Canadiens’ players are willing to pay the price to win. If you’re not ready to do that, you won’t win, even if you have a lot of talent on the team.”

Guy Lafleur, who won five Stanley Cups with the Canadiens, tries to split the defence during game against the Colorado Rockies at the Montreal Forum. Lafleur scored at least 50 goals in six straight seasons with the Canadiens starting in 1974-75.
Guy Lafleur, who won five Stanley Cups with the Canadiens, tries to split the defence during game against the Colorado Rockies at the Montreal Forum. Lafleur scored at least 50 goals in six straight seasons with the Canadiens starting in 1974-75. Photo by George Cree /Montreal Gazette files

Lafleur — who has battled cancer in recent years — knows something about that. The 1971 first-round draft pick toiled on five Stanley Cup winning teams.

He predicted the return of Carey Price and Shea Weber will help the Habs.

“The team will be reunited with veterans who make a big difference,” he added. “If these players come back healthy, the Canadiens have as much of a chance as the Leafs, even if they don’t have the same scoring skills as Toronto.”

FACE-OFF ANNIVERSARY

And if you’re looking for something to get you in the mood for the Leafs-Habs series, why not dig out your prized VHS copy of the Canadian hockey classic, Face-Off?

This November marks the film’s 50th anniversary.

The film — starring Art Hindle, Trudy Young, Leafs icon George Armstrong and Derek Sanderson — told the tale of Billy Duke, a rookie trying to make it with the Buds. The coach, John Vernon, becomes alarmed at Billy hanging out with his hippie girlfriend Young.

Billy Duke unwisely takes on Derek Sanderson.
Billy Duke unwisely takes on Derek Sanderson.

Leafs stars Ron Ellis, Paul Henderson, Jim McKenney and Jim Dorey make appearances, along with NHL legends Jean Beliveau, Gordie Howe, and Bobby Hull.

It did not win an Oscar. The forgettable French Connection won that year.

A stripper performs in Toronto.
A stripper performs in Toronto. Photo by Stan Behal, Toronto Sun

SHOCKING BUT TRUE

Despite your justifiable suspicions to the contrary, Toronto and Montreal are actually tied in the number of strip joints each city hosts: 17.

But in Ontario, peeler bars are an endangered species and have been frowned on by the good burghers of communities large and small for more than a decade. So when a bar is sold or closed, that’s it since almost nowhere in Ontario is still issuing cabaret licences.

bhunter@postmedia.com

@HunterTOSun

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