The Rocket: The Maurice Richard Story

I’m a big fan of NHL & ice hockey and as far as the sport goes, there’s no bigger franchise/team than the Montreal Canadiens. And one of the top names in the history of the Canadiens is Maurice “the Rocket” Richard.

I downloaded this mainly French language film (they have a dubbed English version as well) and watched it this afternoon. It stars Roy Dupuis in the title role and was directed by Charles Binamé. It features appearances by National Hockey League players Mike Ricci, Sean Avery, Vincent Lecavalier, Philippe Sauvé, Stéphane Quintal, Ian Laperrière and Pascal Dupuis. The movie tells us the story of a young Richard, the eldest of 8 children, who worked as a machinist and making his way to the main squad of the Canadiens and his historic career.

Highlights include:

  • His marriage to his teenage sweetheart, Lucille Norchet, against the wishes of her father in 1942 and with whom he would have 7 children.
  • How he was recognized as being ‘the greatest’ by hard task master coach Dick Irvin, despite the fact that he previous injuries had plagued his ankle.
  • His relationships with his illustrious teammates.
  • How he was targeted by New York Rangers’ Bob Dill, who taunted him and got punched twice by the Rocket.
  • How he was threatened with disciplinary action by NHL President Clarence Campbell for writing an article that stated that Campbell was partial to Canadiens’ opponents.
  • How he scored his most beautiful goal – on February 3, 1945, Richard scored a goal while carrying Red Wings defenceman Earl Siebert, who weighed 95 kilograms (210 lb) and tried in vain to stop the scorer.
  • And ofcourse the infamous Richard Riot – after Richard got high sticked and cut on the head by Boston Bruin’s defenceman Hal Laycoe, he went and struck Laycoe in the face and shoulders with his stick. In the resulting melee, Richard struck an official who was holding him back. Richard’s suspension from the rest of the season caused violet riots on the streets of Montreal.

Great story of an intense icon in the world of hockey. I wish I could have downloaded the English dubbed one (I don’t understand more than a few words of French) but you still get this movie. Also a highlight is NHL pest Sean Avery, who plays the minor role of Dill, getting punched in the face by Dupuis who plays Richard.

Now which current NHLer wouldn’t like that? 8 outta 1 for recreating the story of a legend.

Arsenal 2 Stoke City 0

Perhaps Stoke City was just the opponent that Arsenal needed to get back on track after 3 losses that significantly damaged any hopes of them being in the winner’s circle. Andrey Arshavin missed a one-on-one chance, Samir Nasri was denied and Cesc Fabregas had a penalty saved as Thomas Sorensen kept Arsenal out early on.

Russian star Andryi Arshavin poked in a shot to open the scoring, before Armand Traore’s cross hit the bar and post, and Fabregas’s goal-bound shot hit Emmanuel Eboue. Arshavin collected a return pass from Fabregas, dug the ball out from under his feet and slotted a low shot into the bottom corner. Arsenal sealed the victory when substitute Aaron Ramsey rifled home from the edge of the box.

The result will be a welcome relief for Arsene Wenger, who has endured a difficult week, and it will help the Frenchman fondly remember his 500th Premier League game in charge of the Gunners.