Sunday, 12 February 2012

HABS-TOWN: "Cowboy Chique"

I have to admit, I didn't see a single minute of last night's HABS/LEAFS tilt.
I was out for a friend's Birthday party, and by the time I got home, not only was it really late, but I realized that I had forgotten to set the PVR to tape the game. OOPS.
As a result, I can't really breakdown the game, and instead today am presenting the second edition of HABS-TOWN.

Today we talk Habs with Jill Chandler. Jill has worked in the fashion industry for many years while also working on a burgeoning  music career. She can be found on Twitter @JillCMusic. Jill spends much of her time on Twitter waxing poetic on the Habs, Music, and pop culture in general.

Jill recorded a demo album a few years back to promote her talent for songwriting and I encourage you to give it a listen over at Soundcloud.

One of the missions of HABS-TOWN is to show just how diverse the people who are affected by the Habs are. I can't think of a better second entry to starkly contrast the first than Jill Chandler.

Do you remember how you first got into Hockey, more specifically the Habs?
Ever since I was a little girl, and trust me when I say this, I had a huge obsession with Barbie Dolls, BUT I also had a huge obsession with sports. I remember my brother Jeremy teaching me how to swing a baseball bat at the age of 6, only to be hit in the face...but I digress. I remember as child playing street hockey with the neighbors and my brothers and loved it. I was horrible but I loved how much fun it was.

Having gone to an American Summer camp for 10 years, as a Canadian, everyone assumed I would naturally be amazing at Hockey, which wasn’t necessarily the case. I often played goalie which was fun. Though, Basketball was my true first passion I played for all 5 years in High School, as well as Tennis. It wasn’t until my 20s when I started to play Co-ed Ball Hockey. This is a fun sport.

Naturally, having been passionate about sports since I was young, the Habs had developed into my life the same way. As I grew up my brothers and cousins and their  friends were Habs fans, especially my guy friends, and we would watch the games together. Those Saturday nights watching games together are some of my most fun and cherished memories. It was magic, felt like being home. Today I watch many games with my boyfriend and our friends. It is one of our favorite things to do together.

Do you remember your first Habs game? when was it? who took you? What do you remember about it....
I don’t remember my first ever game. I think I may have been 10 or 11. My Dad took me. We had some “father-daughter” time. I barely knew what was going on, but I really really really liked the energy. EVERYONE was into it. Everyone was excited. From then onwards, I knew I needed to go to more games. It was just so much fun. 

Do you have a favorite Habs player ever? if so, whom, and why?
Now as a female, you have to forgive me, I like players for completely different reasons that a Male fan. I tend to like “the cute ones”. Why? Why not!
Here are some of my past favorites (in no particular order):
Christopher Higgins
Max Paccioretty
Maxim Lapierre
Alexei Kovalev
Michael Cammalleri
Kirk Muller

However, I have been privileged to meet some of the “old timer” hockey players and spend some time with them. Two wonderful players I have met and discussed hockey with are Dickie Moore and Jean Beliveau. These two men are legends, hard workers, played with good old fashion grit and did it for the passion of the game. Not anything else. Which is the true reason why little boys want to become NHL hockey players, right? Back in the day, players would play with broken bones because they LOVED IT. They had heart.

Where do you like to watch games?
I prefer to watch games at home with my boyfriend and friends, in Bars and restaurants. If its on, I try to watch. If I can’t access the game and I need to be somewhere else. I will definitely follow the game via Twitter or SportsMobile App.

Do you prefer to watch with guys? with girls? why?
I definitely prefer to watch with boys. They actually watch. When there are girls around, I get distracted and then I don’t get to really see the action. With guys there is a heightened involvement. They want to watch a great play over and over again. As long as I am with people that I enjoy spending time with I will have a good time.

Do you have any pre-game rituals or in game superstitions?
I definitely have a pregame ritual for when I go watch the game at the Bell Centre. I must have a Mister Steer burger beforehand. I always get a Hamburger with Suzy Q Fries and a Stewart’s Cream Soda. I love to see many Montrealers getting their burgers on in their jerseys and tuques. Its a feeling of camaraderie. Its special.

What's the best game you ever went to? what do you remember about it?
I can’t say I have a favorite game. Perhaps the one where my father took my brothers and I to a playoff game. It was round 2 and if the Habs lost it was over. Everyone was on the edge of their seats. We may have been playing Tampa Bay Lightning. I was excited to see Lecavalier play against us. I love it because everyone was super excited for the possibility of getting another Stanley Cup. We had the chance to get one step closer. The stadium was alive. A little chaotic maybe. We had such a good time. Sadly, the Habs lost that game.

Do you have any funny or interesting stories that are somehow related to the Habs?
Everyone loves a good hockey player sighting. Especially girls. Especially if the players are cute. Especially if they were in a bar or club.

As a young professional who works in fashion, I would like to discuss four players specifically who I have seen in a bar or club and what they were wearing. Some of the outfits were bad and some were good. Here is my recap:

1. Saku Koivu. I was at the then Sofia’s on St. Laurent Blvd. There was Saku Koivu partying in a mustard yellow Paisley Printed Shirt. YUCK.

2. Georges Laraque. Club Rouge. Surrounded by his posse of look-a-likes, Georges wore a black super tight turtleneck with tight jeans. I think if he had worn a proper shirt, he would have looked great. He also could have dressed apart from his friends. Overall it was just too 1990’s.

3. Carey Price. Saturday night, last year in mid-January I attended a friends Birthday party at a trendy new spot called “Le Hanger”. Carey looked good. Dark Denim, crisp shirt and a blazer. He had 2 girls on each arm. Now thats what a hockey player should look like off of the ice.  

4. Kirk Muller. Kirk was dressed “cowboy chique”. Tight Jeans, blue denim shirt with a Giant Cross on the back. It was gaudy. He could have done without the cross. He would have looked perfect.

What's wrong with the current edition of the Habs?
It simple. They are lacking heart. They are lacking grit. They are lacking passion. They could even be lacking a true positive attitude. All of the current players are talented. We know this. They made it into the NHL not accidentally. They are the best of their class. They need to just play for the right reasons. If salary continues to be their biggest motivation they will never succeed. You can’t blame coaching. You can’t blame management. Players score goals. Goals win hockey games. Its not that they can’t do it. They just aren’t focusing the way they should. They need to get realigned and refocus on why they are there in the first place. This will make all the difference.

For more from Jill Chandler, follow her on Twitter: @JillCMusic

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