Honestly, I can't stress how enjoyable not having Rene Bourque on the team has been. I don't even know what it is, because the team didn't exactly become world beaters with Bourques departure.
Wait, I know. It's because I don't have to watch someone with all the physical tools in the world float around the ice anymore. Well, besides Jarome, that is.
Also I always hated that extension. Vindication is always nice. First Loubo, then Rene, and soon Ken King and Jay Feaster. And once King is gone, Rob Kerr will no longer be allowed to ruin Flames game broadcasts. There is light at the end of this tunnel, friends.
But back to the topic at hand, which is Rene. Because lets face it, there is only one reason to be watching this game tonight, and that is because it is the return of Rene. The playoffs are done, notwithstanding what the salesmen on the FAN960 want to sell you. The team is boring to watch, and while it is an original six matchup, Montreal doesn't have that same jazz to it when they are dead last in their conference. Maybe you want to get another look at all the Heat players who aren't good enough to contribute in a meaningful way to the club next year?
But for the majority of us, the only compelling reason to watch (on mute, with the radio on so one can hear HOF Maher instead of the human Quaalude that is Rob Kerr) is to get one last glimpse of that famous Rene Bourque Indifference.
Hey guys, remember when the Flames had a trip to Nashville earlier in the year, and Rene Bourque got the Tootsie Flu? That's my favourite Rene Bourque Doesn't Care story. But there are others. Remember when he took that lazy penalty late in that game? Remember when he took that dirty cheap shot on that player in that one game? Remember that one time when he lost the board battle to a smaller player? Remember how, in that one game, he seemed to be easily cowed from going into the scoring area?
Of course you don't. Because that shit happened in almost every game Bourque suited up for.
I'm looking back at the stats, and you have to wonder what happened. Back to back 50+ point seasons, 25+ goals, and over 200 shots. And this season he is on pace for less than 200 shots, less than 20 goals, and less than 30 points.
It's the curse of the 'Big Frame'. Bourque is a living monument to frustration; People who play see Rene, and they think "If I had that body" or "If I had those hands" and they imagine what they would do if they had been blessed the same way Rene has been. And everyone imagines the bull they would be. And then they open their eyes and look at Rene and see not a bull, but a steer.
Which is why it has been so enjoyable not having to watch his ass waste space in a Calgary Flames uniform. And which is why it is going to so cathartic, which seems an appropriate word, to boo Rene Bourque when he makes his return to the Saddledome tonight.
To me, this isn't even a question. The club extended a player, and the players level of play dropped off after the extension. To me, that is a boo-able offense. Plain and simple. Add to that all the embarrassment Bourque caused the jersey to suffer with his stupid, lazy, selfish, and dirty play, and really, the debate should be: Boo Rene Bourque continuously, or only whenever he touches the puck?
I caught this little interview Rene gave when he got traded, and some funny things were mentioned in it.
Rene Bourque on his game: "Every player is different and every game is different. Some-times you get a lot of hits in a game and sometimes you don't. I am a big body, so I try and get in a little on the forecheck and make some hits when we are getting the puck in deep. I just want to play a solid two-way game. I have some offensive skill, but I need to play good defence and be a solid two-way forward."
Rene Bourque on whether or not he is a dirty player: "You have to be a little bit careful. I have never been a dirty player, but I got caught twice there in a few weeks and it kind of changes the reputation pretty quick. But I am not really worried about it. Both of the plays weren't intentional, they were just accidents. So, hopefully, I learn from them and move on."
Furthermore, I think