Sunday, June 08, 2008

A Look Back by Mad Max

Longtime readers of The Show will remember that periodically TSCS has featured an English translation of the blog that Mad Max Talbot has been keeping in French on since the beginning of this season. Well, today it's time for this season's final edition of:


I still can not find words to express what I feel 48 hours after our defeat to the Detroit Red Wings.

I will not hide from you that this is far from easy to recover from a setback in the finals of the Stanley Cup. We worked so hard and we were so close to the Stanley Cup that the impact is demoralizing.

While the Red Wings were celebrating their conquest of the Stanley Cup on the ice, I assure you it was very quiet in our dressing room, especially as all the players were exhausted.

There was a palpable sense of great dissatisfaction in the room. No player took to the floor to make a speech. I would say that we were trying more to understand what happened. Don't forget that we were conscious that some players will not return next season, and it's never pleasant to think about this idea. But on the other hand, we must keep in mind the positive of our journey.

After this bitter defeat, I spent the evening with my parents, my two brothers, and one of my cousins who had come to Pittsburgh. Although I was very happy to be with them, I assure you that this evening was not "the most fun in the world."

My parents have been with me from the third part of the final. For them too, it was an extraordinary experience, but there is not much to say in such a situation.

It's so frustrating and summer promises to be long; it might make me say very often that we passed very close [to the Cup]. For an athlete like me, this is never too pleasant to hear. Those who know me know very well know that I am not satisfied “to pass close to the goal”.

However, the message of the leaders of the organization was very clear: they are proud of the long way we have come in recent years, and they have reminded us to be pleased with this progress.

Personally, when I think of this past season, I remember immediately the injury that I suffered an ankle and matches that I had missed. But I believe that I can be happy with my season and my performance in the series.

I learned a lot this season and Michel Therrien congratulated me for having done my part. It does not matter if I was the left wing on the second line or the center of the fourth line, I think I've given everything I had on the ice. It is obvious that I am disappointed with the outcome, but I cannot say that I could have given more.

During the final I had the chance to make the goal that saved our team from elimination when there were still only 35 seconds to go in the fifth match. But I am unable to rejoice greatly. Even if I am proud to have succeeded this goal, we did not win the series and therefore this goal loses its value. If we had won a Stanley Cup, it would be even more special to me.

For what it's worth, we still think it was a special goal, Max.

Before the finale, media stressed heavily on the experience of the Red Wings, but I must say that I was also impressed by the discipline of this team. It's even easier for me to tell you about this aspect of their game since my role was just to disturb. I succeeded on a few occasions, but most of the time they were imperturbable. The Wings players had a specific goal in mind, and I accept that they form a hockey machine, which put on a good system.


Obviously, I had heard criticism voiced towards our coach Michel Therrien.

I am not embarrassed to say that several people seem jealous in this case. Without the good work of Michel Therrien behind the bench of our team, we would not have reached the Stanley Cup finals. During the season, he made several decisions beneficial to our team and often they were not obvious decisions to be taken. It's so easy to criticize, but Michel is an excellent coach and he proved it with the many young people we have.

A journalist for the Toronto Sun has even claimed that Brooks Orpik would not want to come back with the Penguins next season if Michel Therrien retains his post. The same article suggests that Jordan Staal has a poor relationship with our coach.

In fact, I find these assertions rather strange. We just had a team dinner Thursday evening. Both players were present and I did not feel anything telling. I really do not know where the author unearthed that story and it would astonish me if he has talked to any players of our team to write that article. You really have to take and leave with journalists…


I will be back in Montreal on Saturday to enjoy this summer that could move very quickly. When the season is long like this, I cannot wait to return to Quebec to see my family and friends.

I will remain in Montreal with my good friend Bruno Gervais of the New York Islanders.

For now, I have no specific projects for my vacation. Surely I would take a week to travel, but I do not know yet where. I'll try to take three weeks off to decompress as much as possible.

But no doubt, summer will be very busy and I do not like planning my schedule in advance. I will probably receive invitations to several golf tournaments.

By the way, we will hold the first edition of the Open Golf Gervais-Talbot this summer and it looks like it will be a major event.

In closing, I want to take this opportunity to congratulate my good friend Jean-Michel Daoust who won the championship East Coast League and also I offer my congratulations to Olympic of Gatineau for their conquest of the President Cup and their participation in the cup Memorial.


Since this is my last column of the season, I want to tell you that I greatly appreciate your support and your comments.

I am always impressed to see how much you like the Penguins, a team so far from Quebec. Even if we count on several Québécois players, I find it really beautiful to see that people love our team so much.

I greet you and wish you a beautiful summer, it was a pleasure to share with you these chronicles.

Thanks to Friend of The Show Alyse for help with the translation. :)

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