Mitch Melnick was the first to make the remark.
“Beginning to think this place is cursed.”
The TSN 690 afternoon host tweeted that just minutes after brand spanking new Canadiens tough guy George Parros landed with a thud face first on the Bell Centre, yet another horrifying incident at the Habs rink. Parros was duking it out with Maple Leafs heavy-weight Colton Orr when he stumbled and went face-first into the ice.
We now know Parros has a concussion and obviously we are all hoping and praying that he’s fine. He did send out a tweet early Wednesday morning, presumably from the hospital, which is a good sign.
“Thanks for all the well wishes everyone. #classyfollowers”
But it does raise the question – is that rink indeed cursed? So many terrible things have happened there. There was Lars Eller suffering a concussion and losing a bunch of teeth during the Ottawa playoff series this past spring, Max Pacioretty nearly having his head removed by our pal Zdeno Chara, Saku Koivu having his eye clipped by Justin Williams’ stick, Trent McCleary fracturing his larynx and suffering a collapsed lung after taking a puck in the throat, Richard Zednik having his cheekbone fractured, nose broken and also suffering a concussion thanks to a savage elbow from Bruins defenseman Kyle McLaren, Blake Geoffrion’s career-ending head injury, and Donald Audette having the tendons in his forearm severed by a skate.
That’s a lot of horror in one rink that’s only been open for business for 17 years. Strange. We used to talk about the Forum ghosts that would help the Habs win the Cup in the most unlikely ways. This, it seems, is the flip side of the coin, a curse that has haunted the team since it moved across town to the Bell Centre in 1996.
And was Tuesday night the beginning and the end of the Canadiens’ flirtation with fisticuffs?
It was the first game showcasing the new tough Habs and it didn’t go at all as planned. Parros ended up in the hospital and in spite of a bunch of Habs dropping the gloves – including Travis Moen and Jarred Tinordi – Les Boys still lost to the Leafs. Any way you slice it, it wasn’t a good night.