I'm a big big supporter of Alexei Emelin and the elements he brings to the Canadiens, which are sorely missed in the lineup. I've been a proponent much throughout the season that this young man needs to play more often.He's a good skater, smart in his own end, doesn't take penalty minutes, and most importantly adds a physical dimension - a CLEAN physical dimension that is sorely lacking from the Canadiens game.
Those who follow my Twitter feed (@hermy11) or this Blog will know I'm not "Monday morning quarterbacking" this. I've been high on Emelin for a long while.
On Tuesday, against Columbus, Emelin threw a trademark open ice hit on Antoine Vermette. The crowd cheered and, as TSN 990's Sean Campbell pointed out, seemed to want to chant for Emelin.
On Wednesday, Campbell put it out over the air to TSN 990 listeners that they should help come up with a nickname for Emelin that the Bell Centre crowd could chant after a big hit. Callers called in with suggestions like "The Yammer" "Yemmy" and even "Drago" (a Rocky IV reference). All the names were hits to varying degrees, but none more so than when a caller - Mark (from Ottawa) - called in and suggested fans at the Bell Centre just yell "BOOM" in unison after each leveling Emelin hit.
NHL.com reporter Arpon Basu next appeared on "The Tieman Show" and talked about "how cool" it would sound if 21,000+ at the Bell Centre chanted "BOOM" after every hit. I agree, it would be cool. Tieman and Campbell immediately following the show jumped on their Twitter accounts and started to spread the word.
"imagine when (emelin) makes a big hit if everyone in the bell centre. 21 thousand plus went BOOM.. pass the word. count one second then BOOM" was the initial tweet from Randy Tieman. Campbell and others would re-tweet it adding in the hash tag "#emelinboom" to get it trending. it worked. Habfans all around seemed to like it and kept passing along the message.
Heading into tonight's tilt VS the Vancouver Canucks, Tieman (@Sportsstache) reminded fans via his Twitter account to get the chant going. "
Emelin is on an island with the Montreal Canadiens. He is the only Hab who consistently uses his body. As Tony Marinaro pointed out on his show ("The Montreal Forum") eventually someone will challenge Emelin if the hits keep coming. The challenge will likely only be expedited if the crowd starts pumping his tires. Emelin is a big boy who has mastered the art of hitting, but he has vowed never to fight again. There is noone on the Habs current roster to protect him if someone challenges him, and I worry what will happen if young Alexei Emelin needs to defend himself.
Do we need another Mike Komisarek? While in Montreal Komisarek was a wrecking ball - until he got challenged by Boston's Milan Lucic. Lucic beat down Komisarek and he has never again been the same player.The last time Emelin got in a hockey fight he ended up with a broken orbital bone. The Canadiens can't afford to lose another defense man to injury, let alone their only physical one.