Category Archives: Anaheim Ducks

Impressive At Seven

Danno sends the Sportsnet NHL Power Rankings and as you can see, the Canadiens are right there behind the six everyone considers to be the class of the league.

I think it’s pretty darn impressive to see the Habs ranked that high. Could it be a touch of respect thrown their way?

Team Previous
1 Thanks to Montreal, Boston’s 12-game winning streak has been morphed into a 13-game point streak. A seven-point lead over the Penguins for the Eastern Conference crown is a big deal for the best home team in the conference. 2
2 The West-leading Blues stumbled early in their four-game road trip, getting outscored 8-1 combined in losses to the Flyers and Blackhawks, but bounced back to shutout the Penguins and pile onto the Maple Leafs’ misery. 1
3 Led by two 30-goal scorers, Patrick Marleau and Joe Pavelski, the Sharks have points in four straight and look to be a serious Presidents’ Trophy threat. With a 26-5-5 record at the Tank, home ice is worth fighting for. 3
4 Tough one-goal losses to the Sharks and Caps underscored the Ducks’ need to get Cam Fowler back as soon as possible. But while Anaheim has surrendered the Pacific lead to San Joe, the Ducks have three games in hand. 5
5 Chicago is playing into the wind, and playing well. Despite the loss of leading scorer Patrick Kane, the defending champs have points in five of six and welcomed future star Teuvo Teravainen to the NHL Tuesday. 10
6 A big W in Philly — the return of Mike Richards and Jeff Carter — shows that the Kings are peaking at the right time… again. Winners of four straight. 8
7 The Canadiens wanted the Bruins to extend their league-best winning streak to 12 games just so they could be the Bruins’ unlucky 13th opponent. And they were. Here’s hoping these two passionate and on-fire clubs meet in the playoffs.

The entire league rankings can be seen right here

Shark Waters

Canadiens clash with the Sharks tonight in San Jose and wind up a tough four-game trip to California and Arizona.

Time to get back to Montreal where the weather’s much better.

The last time these two teams met it was at the Bell Centre on Oct. 26 when the Habs were blanked 2-0 by the Sharks.

It was a night when Travis Moen took a puck in the face and missed a couple of weeks due to a fractured orbital bone. I remember saying at the time that it was probably just a little cut and no big deal, which makes me no better than Dr. Recchi.

They were also losing just 1-0 that night when a puck hit a glass support on a shot from outside the blueline, and with Carey Price behind the net ready to corral it, it when directly in and suddenly it was 2-0.

Sound familiar? The same thing that happened to Dustin Tokarski a few nights ago in Anaheim. These California rinks have to fix their glass supports.

Big game, Peter Budaj’s in net, and how great it would be for the boys to come home after playing .500 hockey on this swing.

They should be rested now. Tomas Vanek and Mike Weaver should be feeling more comfortable, and seeing the Canadiens play great would make it much easier to stay up so late and watch.

 

 

Toker Stones Ducks

Dustin Tokarski, in nets for the Canadiens for his very first time, came up big in stopping 39 of 42 shots as the boys beat the quackers 4-3 in a shootout and grab a massive two points and a ton of confidence.

Tokarski had previously seen big time duty in the NHL when he was between the pipes for the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2009-10  for two games and then another five in 2011-12, but he played like a seasoned pro in what must have been a nerve-wracking experience last night.

How great is it when your gold-medalist goes down, backup Budaj, fills in nicely, and then Budaj’s backup, Tokarski, also does his job in fine fashion.

It’s very satisfying for all concerned. Except for other teams and people who hate the Habs of course.

Montreal came out flying and took a big 2-0 lead on goals by Brian Gionta and Max with his 30th of the season (which is a fine season indeed).

Max has been playing on another level since returning from the Olympics. More fire, more jump, more confidence. At the perfect time of the year.

Things got slightly dismal in the second frame when a puck got behind a screened Tokarski, another hit a glass support and caromed in while Toker was preparing to corral it around the boards, and then after a terrible and confused Habs power play, the Ducks took the lead.

At this point, it all could have fallen apart like a great party raided by the cops, but credit to the Canadiens, they never gave up, and in the last minute of the second period, Brendan Gallagher banged it home and game was tied.

The game was scoreless in the third period and overtime, but in the shootout, Desharnais, Briere, and finally Andrei Markov beat Jonas Hiller and it made my heart soar like a Himalayan Snowcock.

This was a Habs team with good legs, with jump (aside from their zero for five power play attempts), and the many Habs fans at Anaheim’s Honda Center certainly must have enjoyed themselves.

I know I did, from the friendly confines of my apartment the morning after. I tried to stay up last night but my eyelids felt like they had pucks stapled to them.

Random Notes:

Shots on goal – Ducks 42, Habs 31

Lars Eller was a healthy scratch, and George Parros was given a small tribute on the screen, in which he gave a heartfelt response. George spent six seasons as a Duck.

A huge win. A road trip like this, against some of the league’s elite, seemed daunting, and although they lost a tight one (2-1) the other night in L.A., they came out with jump against the league leading Ducks, played well, and won the thing.

This has to be great for their confidence, and with Weaver and Vanek poised to join their new team, who knows? Maybe a great march onwards and upwards is in the making.

Coyotes on the agenda tonight (9:00 pm ET), and we’re expecting the same jump and character as we just saw. So c’mon boys, keep it up.

 

Habs Edged In L.A.

I was up slightly earlier today so I could see on the scoreboard and PVR how the Habs did in L.A., after a 10:30 pm ET start that was way past my bedtime.

I see that the boys dropped a 2-1 decision to the Kings after Jeff Carter scored the go-ahead goal with Ryan White in the box for holding.

I was curious to see if it was a dumb penalty so I had a quick look. White hauled down Trevor Lewis in a race to the puck and it could’ve been avoided, as most White penalties can.

P.K. Subban’s goal in the first period that evened things at one wasn’t a hard blast, just a wrist shot from the point that banked in off Jarret Stoll’s skate.

Random Notes:

The Kings outshot the Canadiens 22-18.

You probably didn’t miss much if you were sleeping, although I watched the third period and there were some close calls at both ends. But when you look at the shots, you’ll see -
1st. Habs 5  Kings 5
2nd. Habs 5  Kings 8
3rd. Habs 8  Kings 9

So not a barnburner to say the least.

Now it’s slightly east on a dreadful freeway to take on the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday at 10:00 pm ET.

The Ducks, featuring Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Teemu Selanne, Saku Koivu etc. The number one team in the NHL with 91 points. (Montreal has 75).

Toronto lost 2-1 to Columbus.

 

 

 

Big Games On The Horizon

The Canadiens get back to work on Wednesday when Detroit comes to town, then it’s off to Pittsburgh for a Thursday evening tilt, then those wacky Maple Leafs visit the Bell on Saturday.

After that it’s a serious swing into L.A., Anaheim, Phoenix and San Jose, so the boys are in for a dandy time in the next while.

Did I mention that after they get home, they get to host the Bruins and Senators?

Jarred Tinordi has been called up, and Nathan Beaulieu, who played well for the big team before the Olympics closed things down, will continue to hone his craft in Hamilton.

I like what Bergevin and the gang are doing. They’ve seen that Beaulieu can fit in nicely and now it’s time for Tinordi to show the same type of thing.

The blueline changing of the guard is approaching fast. So is the March 5th trade deadline.

Speaking of defencemen, Andrei Markov is supposedly not crazy about a one-year, 6 million dollar offer and wants a three-year package instead.

Alex Galchenyuk’s broken hand is healed, and apparently he’s ready to go. I’ve missed the old fellow. He turned 20 on Feb. 12th.

I’m guessing that Peter Budaj will get the nod in goal on Wednesday. It’s a lot of big games in a short space coming up, and Price could use a break after stopping foreign pucks on foreign soil.

But of course I could be wrong about Budaj starting. It’s time now to put the hammer down and secure a playoff spot, and the best way would be to have Price in nets as often as possible.

Michael Bournival is still fighting concussion problems, and isn’t ready to go.

Mellow Yellow

A fine time to put up the S.H.I.T.S. (Scientific Habs Information Tracking System) with the Olympic break now upon us, and as you can see, the boys have given us five wins in the past seven games.

As you can also see, they’re not giving up many goals.

It’s good yellow, but we need much more. And if you look what’s coming up when play resumes, you’ll see that the Habs face Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Toronto, and then a tidy little road trip to Los Angeles, Anaheim, Phoenix, and San Jose.

Then it’s back home to host the Bruins and then the Senators.

Yikes. The yellow won’t come easy.

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Dodger Stadium

Big outdoor game at Dodger Stadium tonight between the Kings and Ducks and I know, I’m terrible person. What else could I be when deep down inside me I hope someday the ice melts at one of these outdoor games.

It’s goes against all the raving about how great these spectacles are. I don’t why I’m like this. I deserve to be pricked with a Polo Lounge swizzle stick.

Somehow they can make and maintain NHL ice in 70 degree weather. Some rinks, like the Bell Centre, don’t have room on the bench for the backup goalie. But they can make ice at Dodger Stadium.

It took awhile, 50 years in fact, but I finally saw a ball game at Dodger Stadium two summers ago, in 2012. Talk about crossing something off the bucket list.

When I was a kid I thought Los Angeles was just one big ‘Leave It To Beaver’ set, with peaceful, crime-free and clean streets, where bikini-clad Annette Funicello-types danced around bongo-playing surfers on nearby beaches, and where everybody’s houses were nicer than my house.

It took me a few years but I found out I was slightly off on all this.

But I always knew, without question, that the ballpark was the real deal.

I originally wanted to go to Dodger Stadium mostly, I think, because there were palm trees in the background, behind the outfield bleachers. And I guess the fact that the team had Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale back then, along with speedy Maury Wills, big 6’7″ Frank Howard at first base, and kindly old Walter Alston calling the shots. That was then, but long after these guys had called it quits, the place still held huge mystique for me. And I finally went.

Dodger Stadium is a real big-league ballpark, a beautiful place to see a game, unlike that cavernous echo chamber in Montreal named Olympic Stadium. Maybe if Montreal had the stadium L.A. has, the Expos might still be there.

On the night we were at the place, which is also called Chavez Ravine, the Dodgers were trying to catch the Cardinals for a NL wild-card spot, but the Cards disappointed most of the 43,309 fans by squeaking out a 2-1 win and making things very difficult for the Dodger’s postseason hopes. But being given nice fleece Dodgers blankets on our way in softened the blow, and the seats, somewhat.

Habs Dunk Dallas

Great way to close out the October part of the schedule as the Canadiens edge the visiting Dallas Stars 2-1 on goals by Michael Bournival in the first and Rene Bourque in the second and find themselves with a tidy eight wins and five losses, good enough to be way up near the penthouse.

Imagine that. Way up near the top. It’s just so much better than hovering around the eighth and ninth spots.

Pretty proud of the boys right now. They’re finding ways to get it done with key guys on the sidelines. And Carey Price and Peter Budaj are combining to stop ‘em when called upon. Although Price was a tad asleep on Dallas’ lone goal, a shot from far out that might have been screened or might have simply caught Price by surprise.

Whatever it was, our goalie was slow to react.

But it’s nitpicking. Our backstoppers are keeping pucks out of the net in a big way  – one tonight, none on Monday, two from the Sharks, one from Anaheim. Really impressive.

Now the Canadiens take a little trip, first to Minnesota for a Friday night tilt with the Wild, and then to Denver to meet Patrick Roy and his Avalanche on Saturday, which should be fun. The Avs are red hot and need to have cold water poured over their collective heads.

Shots on goal – Dallas 27, Montreal 24.

Great night, lively action, the boys were skating well, and it’s a big two points.

All’s well on the Eastern Conference front.

 

 

 

Bench Made By………..

With Saku Koivu and his Anaheim Ducks in town tonight, I thought now is as good a time as any to present the following.

You just might be surprised to know that the bench below, made from hockey sticks and which sits in the lobby of Classic Auctions, was made by none other than………..

Saku Koivu’s wife.

Seriously.

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Habs Blow It

The Canadiens couldn’t bury the visitors when they held a nice 2-0 lead going into the second period and little by little the Edmonton Oilers chipped away, eventually coming out on top 4-3 after scoring four straight and timely goals to sink the good guys.

Now it’s Anaheim on Thursday and San Jose on Saturday, two teams at or near the top of the heap in the Western Conference.

The week looks bleak. Damn.

It had started out so well. The first period was a lively and spirited affair, back and forth, with Tomas Plekanec bulging the twine on the power play and Brendan Gallagher intercepting a clearing attempt and waltzing in to bury it and make everything right with the world.

But in the second frame, after a nice play by Alex Galchenyuk, the tide began to turn just seconds later when Galchenyuk was slack on his checking duties and allowed Ales Hemsky a clear shot on goal which got by Carey Price, and the Oilers slowly but surely picked up steam, tied it, scored a couple more in the third, and that was that.

Except for Gionta’s goal with two seconds left to make it 4-3. Gionta even waved his hands in the air in celebration for some reason. Not sure why.

Slip, slidin’ away. Two points that could’ve been.

Randon Notes:

PK put on a show a couple of times tonight and made things dangerous that rose bums from the seats. But it wasn’t constant and it didn’t end with the red light going on. Fun to watch, yes. But the team still lost.

Saku Koivu’s Anaheim Ducks come a quackin” on Thursday. The Ducks dropped a 4-2 decision to the Leafs on Tuesday night which probably isn’t a good thing any which way you look at it.

Lethbridge native Patrick Holland wore number 82 in his NHL/Habs debut and looked okay in his six minutes or so of ice time. Must have been a nerve wracking experience for sure. Holland is 6′, 179 lbs and came over as part of the Mike Cammalleri swap.