What We Learned on 24CH: Assistance [S3:E18]

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by Erica, Staff Writer and Fundraising Specialist, All Habs Hockey Magazine

Montréal Canadiens   SearchBench

MONTREAL, QC. — This episode of 24CH opens with a rather enthusiastic goal celebration. (It’s always enthusiastic when Tomas Plekanec cracks a smile.) The narrator talks about assists; necessary to teamwork and good goal production. It is rare that the Canadiens score unassisted goals, and they seem to like it that way. Here’s what we learned:

The Habs lend their assistance to Let’s Talk day. Locker room shenanigans (courtesy of P.K. Subban wearing a Plekanec turtleneck) are punctuated by actual responsibilities: players are photographed holding signs bearing the Twitter hashtags #BellLetsTalk and #BellCause. A game against the Dallas Stars was attended by two of Quebec’s spokespeople for Let’s Talk: comedian Michel Mpambara and musician Stefie Shock. Mpambara discusses his involvement, saying that it’s incredibly important to talk about mental illnesses, to end the stigma around them. A young woman watches the game from a private box. Her name is Janie, and she’s a guest of the Fondation des petits trésors, a Montreal-based initiative specializing in the mental health of children and youth. She is grateful for Let’s Talk day because mental illness can feel heavy; it can cause a lot of distress for young people who suffer from it. Let’s Talk Day raised over $6 million in Canada, thanks in no small part to the Canadiens and their fans.

A little fan gets an assist from Marc Bergevin and the team. Antoine Jenniss is a young boy who loves the Montreal Canadiens. We don’t learn much about him or his wish to meet his favourite team, but it’s evident right away that he’s a real fan. Marc Bergevin has arranged for Antoine’s wish to come true: he reveals in a video call that Antoine will travel with the team to New York, sit in on their practice, and attend a game against the Rangers. Antoine looks overwhelmed. He records everything he sees on camera as a way to relive his incredible experience. Plekanec, Carey Price, and Dustin Tokarski all offer autographs and high-fives after practice. His shyness subsides by game time and he’s shouting and cheering from his seat at Madison Square Garden, watching the Habs rekindle a rivalry with New York.

Hockey will keep you going. While in New York, 24CH catches up with Stéphane Quintal, now Senior VP of the Department of Player Safety. He uses his NHL experience to guide his decisions and feels that it gives him credibility. He says the same of Chris Pronger, who apparently is a real asset to the DoPS because he’s tried to commit just about every infraction imaginable.

But enough about former players – let’s discuss the segment about Mike Weaver.  24CH travels to Brampton to talk to friends, family, and former coaches. One of those coaches, Lindsey Hofford, recalls how physical Weaver’s play was, always putting himself in front of the puck and leading by example. His journey to the NHL was a long one, but he feels fortunate that his hard work paid off. Longtime friend Steve Mercer confirms that Weaver has had that quirky sense of humour his whole life. Weaver recalls the poster of Max Pacioretty that he put up in his locker, and how much attention it got him. (The poster has since been framed and auctioned off for the Canadiens Children’s Foundation.)

The episode closes off with Weaver and his teammates playing two matinee games, as they do every year on Super Bowl weekend, and the show returns to form. There’s a gorgeous slow-motion shot of Max Pacioretty gliding past Alexander Ovechkin and seizing the puck for a shot on goal. Remember that assist, that goal celebration that opened the episode? That’s the goal that ended overtime against the Washington Capitals, allowing the Canadiens to close out the week on a happy note and step out of the Bell Centre accompanied by their kids.

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