Friday, December 07, 2007

The Musings of Mad Max Talbot (pt. 1)

Remember that Maxime Talbot is writing a blog in French? Previously, we were lucky enough to have Friend of The Show Lisa-Marie W. send us in some translations. Yesterday another good Friend, Mike H., sent us in a few more.
As a one-off, I thought I'd try translating the full article for you, since he covers a lot of topics that might interest readers of TSCS. As much as possible, I tried to preserve Max's own expressions and writing style (Max certainly doesn't lack for confidence!). Maybe your French-speaking readership can take turns in the future?
He was kind enough to send us translations for 4 of Max's blog entries. (You Francophones out there can read the original entries in French here.) Since there is no Mad Max blog (that I am aware of!), I'm temporarily turning TSCS into...

A Real Media Circus Out West

I couldn't have imagined a better scenario for my return to playing. One goal, many good scoring chances, a first star, and, above all, a win.

And even better, the game against the Coyotes, my first in two weeks after suffering an ankle injury, was broadcast on RDS. I won't hide from you that there's always a little bit of extra motivation when I know my friends and family are watching me in Quebec. That makes my good performance of last Monday even more satisfying.

The last two weeks had been quite frustrating for me. I'm happy, since my injury had healed very well during the three days before my return to playing, but I must confess that I took a bit of a chance in getting back on skates. Call it a calculated risk. I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel any pain - I still need a heavy bandaging before putting on my skates - but it was just too much for me. I was too anxious to return to playing and help the team.

I watched the game against Toronto from the stands last Saturday, and that really bothered me. The Leafs more-or-less dominated us, and I could see that our side was lacking in spirit and energy. That's exactly what I can bring to the team and I was able to do it against Phoenix. Not only did I score a goal, my sixth of the season, but I missed two good chances in the third period. Each time, Bryzgalov didn't even know that he had made the save. On one hand it's frustrating, but it's still good to know that I haven't lost my timing.

As I said before, my efforts were rewarded with the game's first star selection. If I'm not mistaken, it's the first time that I've been honoured in this way. Quite frankly, players don't give it much importance, but it's still fun. It's flattering, and it makes my mother very happy!

Madness In Edmonton

We arrived in Edmonton on Tuesday, our first trip to western Canada since I joined the Penguins, and I can tell you that I've never seen a media circus like this.

Don't worry, I know very well that all these cameras are not here for me!

It's that it's also the first time that Sidney Crosby will step on a rink in Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver, and the people here have been waiting for this moment for a long time. It's completely crazy, I think I've never seen so many reporters in a hockey dressing room. It started with our arrival at the airport, and continued at the hotel... It's surprising, I wasn't expecting this. I thought I'd seen it all in Montreal and Toronto, but here too it's pretty unbelievable.

It's an exciting trip for the whole team, because in addition to all the buzz that surrounds Sidney, there are several players with roots in western Canada who are very well known to hockey fans. Georges Laraque was practically a rock star during his stay in Edmonton. Petr Sykora played there as well. Erik Christensen grew up in Edmonton, Colby Armstrong is a native of Saskatoon.

For all players, it's nice to visit different arenas, and everyone has heard of the ambience of these places. The only other thing we could want is a win.

This leads me to say a few words about the new schedule adopted by the NHL, a development which I find very positive. Finally, people from all across the League will have the opportunity to see Maxime Talbot! (I'm joking, of course!) All kidding aside, the League made this decision for the fans, and I think they are the big winners here.

The players too were very enthusiastic when they heard the news. We want to see other teams as well, and to compete more often against the best players from the West. Eight games against the teams of our own division was too much. I believe that the rivalries will not fade with only six encounters per year.

It's also a good thing to be able to see every team at least once per year. This way, there will be fewer surprises in the Stanley Cup finals. The teams will know each other a bit better, and not just from studying video.

Watch for part 2 sometime tomorrow afternoon. Big, BIG THANKS going out to Mike for taking the time to translate these blog entries for us!!! :)


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