If respect from your peers is the ultimate measure of your professional reputation, Maxim Lapierre's already marginal stock went into even more serious decline when he was suspended for four games for checking Scott Nichol head-first into the boards in the Canadiens game with San Jose last week. Fortunately, Nichol wasn't hurt as badly as he might have been under the circumstamces, but even if you give Lapierre the benefit of the doubt on intent to injure, the hit was as irresponsible as it was cheap. Reckless drivers usually don't consciuously set out to hurt someone, but that doesn't make them any less negligent or culpable when they cause a serious accident.
Lapierre is probably the Canadiens most notorious agitator since Claude Lemieux, and as a player opponents and opposing fans love to hate, he's in a class with Sean Avery, Darcy Tucker and Dale Hunter, to name a few past and present hockey villains. However, the others bring or brought something to the table besides bad manners. Lemieux was Mr. Clutch in the playoffs and a four time Stanley Cup champion. Tucker and Hunter both had multiple seasons with 20 or more goals, and even if Avery doesn't have a lot of offensive upside, he's not afraid to drop the gloves and doesn't hide behind his teammates in scrums.
Maxim Lapierre could still go a long way as an NHL hockey player, mainly because he's got such a long way to go.
-Please tell me we're not still having the conversation about which goaltender should shoulder the load down the stretch for the Canadiens.
-Must admit I missed the Habs comeback in Anaheim because I switched to the Academy Awards after the Ducks lit up Carey Price three times on 11 shots in the first period. Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin were fantastic hosts. I love it when entertainers of their stature take the piss out of themselves and the industry on Oscar night. Puts Hollywood's pretentious posers in their place.
-I know the Tim Horton Brier is so-designated because of corporate sponsorship, but I still find it ironic that the Canadian curling championship is named after a hockey player.
-With all the money James Cameron made from Avatar and Titanic, you'd think he could buy his wife a sandwich.