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What George was doing

Mike Spry @mdspry May. 14, 2014 1:10 AM
On Monday night the Montreal Canadiens beat the Boston Bruins 4-0 to even their best-of-seven playoff series at 3-3, and forcing a deciding game 7 Wednesday night in Boston. The game 7 will be the 9th between these fierce rivals in this their 34th playoff series, in each case the most of any pro sports matchup. The game was typical of a Habs-Bruins tilt: speed versus brawn, skill versus size, mythology versus history. What was absent from the game was fighting. Oh, there were thunderous hits, stick play, penalties, groin spears, and punches to the face like any good NHL match. But no fighting, a part of the game that often disappears for the playoffs. (Begging the question: Why is it here in the regular season? But that's a whole other bag of pucks.) And without fighting, there is no George Parros.

The Canadiens' affable Parros has plied his trade over parts of nine NHL seasons as an enforcer. He part of a dying breed of NHLer, a player employed for his ability to fight and little else. He has scored 18 goals and added 18 assists over 474 NHL games, or roughly the equivalent of what a fading Daniel Briere does in the disappointing twilight of his career in a season. Parros is a character, known for his Princeton degree, charity work, and ebullient moustache. But in the NHL playoffs his hockey skill-set relegates him to well-compensated cheerleader. In fact, the last time Parros played was on April 10th and only suited up 22 times for the Habs this season, though he did have concussion issues that likely stem from a vocation which involves taking punches to the head and occasionally face-planting into hard ice.

Parros had barely warranted a mention in this playoff season, often left off lists of healthy scratches, until last night when NBCSN credited him with an assist on Montreal's 4th goal. After which, the good-natured winger tweeted out the following:





This led me to wonder what goes through Parros' mind during a game he had little chance of playing in, banished to the press box, high above the action, among the black aces and free buffet. What follows is an educated (and entirely fictional) guess as to how last night went for George Parros.

1st PERIOD

0:00 – Woah. That Ginette Reno can sing. It's like Luba and Celine Dion had a love child that ate Kate Smith's soul. I hope Gionta shakes her hand this time. He totally snubbed her in game 4, and that jinxed us. Can't trust dudes with goatees. Shifty. Gio can fit in the pocket of my cargo shorts. Dude is tiny. Like a doll. Like a little goateed Cabbage Patch doll.

0:45 – Hope I remembered to PVR Castle. Nathan Fillion is the bomb.

2:11 – LAAAAAAARRRRRRRRSSSSSS. Hamlet pops one for the boys! Score one for Denmark! Let's keep 'er going. When sorrows come, they come not single spies. But in battalions! I'm going to celebrate with a hot dog.

2:12 – Love the Danes. Danish meatballs are so good. Also, that salty black liquorice. Oh, and aquavit. And Tuborg. And Lego. I wonder how many Legos it would take to build a Lego Gio versus a Lego me?

12:23 – Penalty to Weaver. Love Weaves. Played together in Florida. Degree in Communications, and a minor in virtual reality software design. And he takes pucks to the groin for a living. Great mini golfer, too. Another guy who can fit in my pocket. Dude was gonna quit and work at Timmy's. That's the most Canadian thing ever. I'm afraid next puck he blocks is going to kill him, though. Tough mother. Habs got him for a 5th. They gave a player and a 7th for me. Does that make me better than Mike Weaver? He's on the ice. I'm not. These are tough questions, man.

15:38 – Penalty to PK. Man, I wish I was on the ice. I haven't punched anyone since April, and even then I didn't get many in. My knuckles have returned to a fleshy colour. I haven't seen the inside of the quiet room since before Easter.

20:00 – Coach's Corner. Grapes is wearing a suit of cherries. Why'd he switch sides with MacLean a few year's back? Has that ever been explained? That's just weird. Grapes would have me on the ice, for sure. These clips of Crosby getting mugged are disturbing. Wouldn't happen if I was on the ice for the Pens. Man, I would've killed in the Semenko days. And what's with all the water bottle squirting?

2nd PERIOD

0:00 – I wonder what Colton Orr is doing right now. I wonder if he's ever known true love.

3:18 – I'mma have a second hot dog. I deserve it.

10:00 – Georgie and Weaves just had 3-minute shifts. THREE MINUTES. That's how much I played during March.

10:45 – Moener's up here with me. Thought he played well last game. Sucks for him. Who's going to protect the boys? Prusty's game, but kinda small. I hope Moener doesn't eat all the cheese puffs. I don't like to eat cheese puffsuntil the 2nd, and there's never enough cheese puffs. I wonder how many other Princeton grads are eating for free tonight. Rumsfeld for sure. Evan Flatow, maybe. Lorna Marsden, def. Christos Papadimitriou, no way. No f'in way, man. Brooke Shields. Whatever happened to her? Suddenly Susan was aces.

12:43 – Is it EM-elin or YEM-elin? That's never been made clear to me.

14:22 – I must've put on 16 pounds sitting up here the past month. I'd be hard pressed right now to play my three shifts if I was in the lineup. Damn cheese puffs.

15:24 – Patches! Off the schneid! Nice pass from the kid Beaulieu, who hasn't played in almost as long as me.

15:25 – Is it BO-LEE-EW or BO-LEE-UH? That's never been made clear to me.

16:08 – Seriously, though. What kind of feels does Colton Orr have?

17:39 – Vanek! 3-0! Looks like I'm headed to Boston. Not quite as nice a press box there. No cheese puffs.

3rd PERIOD

0:00 – I'm pretty sure I forgot to PVR Castle. Damn. Season finale. Castle and Beckett's wedding. Eddie McClintock guest starring. EDDIE MCCLINTOCK! Dude was solid inCrumbs.

2:53 – Maybe Brad Marchand just needs a hug.

3:12 – The playoff beards out there kinda suck. And what's with the playoff goatees on Gionta and Pleks? So wrong. My moustache is being wasted up here.

5:16 – They never play Garth Brooks at the Bell Centre. That's just bad arena work, man. Bad arena work.

6:12 – Okay, one more hot dog, but that's it. Sodium is not your friend.

7:19 – I hate that "Olé, Olé, Olé" song.

16:03 – Man, teams pull the goalie real early nowadays. I could even score if I was out there.

16:04 – Vanek again, into the empty net. Well, that's it. We're headed to Boston. Game 7. Bunch of games 7s this round. Or is it games 7, like solicitors general, and courts marshal, and attorneys general?

16:14 – NBCSN gave me an assist! Gotta be the first ever playoff press-box assist! Should have put a bonus in my contract for that…

19:36 – And here comes some roughness. Chara versus Weaver. Weaver looks like a little boy next to him. Like a Lego Gio. This is where I would've come in handy. I should be down there. Me and Moener, who hasn't had one cheese puff all night, by-the-by.

20:00 – Big win. Hope Montrealers don't burn the city down in joy. Taking a hot dog for the road. Gonna google Brooke Shields and cheese puff calories when I get home. Gotta stay off Twitter, though. No Castle spoilers.