Category Archives: Carey Price

Breaking Down The Habs’ Remaining November Games

It’ll be a very interesting remainder of November for the Montreal Canadiens. The boys are in Ottawa now, (Kanata, way to the west of the city, where the rink is), getting ready to take on the dysfunctional Senators.

Then they’re at home Saturday to beat the Bruins, and we all know what this game means. It’s Patrick Roy Sweater To The Rafters Night.

Then the boys sleep in their own beds and wait for the Islanders on Monday.

After that, it’s a two game road trip, when they travel to Detroit next Wednesday, and then swing over to Washington for a Friday game against the Caps.

They then close out the month the following Saturday when the Sabres visit.

 

What does all this mean? 

 It means every game will probably be a struggle for our struggling guys. Let’s see – Ottawa, Boston, the Islanders, Detroit, Washington, and the Sabres. How many games will they win here?

 Boston and Detroit should be tough ones. The Sabres and Washington will also be no picnic. Montreal seems to play flat in Washington. I went to a game there in the 1980’s with a bunch of guys on a beer-soaked, rented car roadtrip, and the Habs lost 5-0.  

 And opening game this year in Buffalo, the Habs lost in a shootout and were flat, a sign of things to come.

 If all the stars and planets are in alignment, Montreal should kick the Islanders ass.

 Which brings us to Thursday night’s game in Ottawa. The Senators have stunk this year. There’s no other way to say it. It’s a team in turmoil, it seems. I don’t know why. They’ve got Alfredsson, Heatley, and Spezza, for goodness sakes. That’s a lot.

But I suppose they’re missing most everything else, although journeyman goalie Alex Auld has been better than expected.

 Montreal needs to start in Ottawa, pick up steam, and make their presence felt in all these games mentioned. Their power play needs to explode. They have to quit taking ridiculous penalties, which I blame Guy Carbonneau for. A Stanley Cup contender is a disciplined team.

Alex Kovalev needs to break out. Why does he feel he needs to be pretty on the ice? Pretty doesn’t usually work. Power works. And as Kovalev goes, the team goes. We saw this last year.

 Carey Price needs to play at least five of the six remaining November games, preferably all six. The Kostitsyn boys, both of them, have to play like last year, although Andrei has been fairly good. Sergei hasn’t.

The defence has to tighten up. Price faced 48 shots in Carolina. That’s unacceptable.

 Also, they’re showing that they’re weak clearing the puck. It can’t be that difficult to shoot the puck out. But other teams have seemed to have figured out how to stop it. Why is that? Carbonneau again, I think.

 And I’ll mention it again. Quit taking stupid penalties. It kills momentum. The gunners sit on the bench while the penalty killers work. How can Carbonneau stop this insanity? Start benching those who take bad, ill-timed penaties. Do something.

In my book, the penalty-taking is the biggest killer of all.

Enough Is Enough. As Proud Habs Fans, We Demand A Winning Streak

For 379 straight days I haven’t missed one day of posting something different, and I’m not going to start now, even thought I arrived in Vancouver from Las Vegas at 5PM, drove through downtown Vancouver and way out the other side, waited for a ferry for an hour, rode the ferry for 35 minutes, drove an hour and a half to the next ferry, waited for 15 minutes, rode the ferry for 50 minutes, then drove 25 minutes after that. 

 

I’m only going to say that I heard the score on the radio, the 2-1 loss to Philadelphia, and I’m very concerned about what’s been going on lately, as I’m sure you are too.

 

Alex Tanguay has been a bright spot. Other players have been hot and cold. Some, like Alex Kovalev and Tomas Plekanec, and yes, Carey Price, have been warm at best since the beginning.

 

We’re all getting sick of this.

I’ll Take Big Elvis Over Jarkko Ruutu Anyday

Jarkko Ruutu, seen here, is as despicable as they come. He was a smirking fool in Vancouver, a grinning underhanded cheapshot artist in Pittsburgh, and he continues his sordid tradition in Ottawa. I’ve written several posts about this low life, all negative, because I’ve never liked him and I rate him right up there with Sean Avery when it comes to who I’m not inviting to my birthday.

Someday someone is going to do the deed to this grinning goof. Ottawa fans, are you embarrassed to have him on your team?

IN OTHER NEWS:

We’re on our way to the Grand Canyon tomorrow. I’m going to miss the nightlife of Vegas, but it’ll only be for 12 hours so I should get over it. I feel I should also tell you about the seven dollar nachos at The Mirage. Good for two people, and the only natchos I’ve ever had that has roast beef in them.

One of the employees at The Mirage saw me with my Habs hat on and said he’s a Habs fan, loves Carey Price, loves the team speed, and is hoping for a Montreal-Detroit Stanley Cup.

This is Big Elvis. He’s been entertaining fans at Bill’s Casino on the Vegas strip for six years now. But more importantly, even though he’s still big, Big Elvis has lost 560 pounds and wants to lose another 150.

Habs take on those Boston Bruins Thursday night. I should be back from the Grand Canyon in time for the game, if I can find a TV with it on. If not, I’ll have to win money as I wait for the score.

Keep the ball rolling, Canadiens!

I’m Going To Celebrate The 4-0 Win With Some Two Dollar Beer

I know this probably sounds far-fetched, but yesterday as we were walking around the Las Vegas strip, dodging Mexicans handing out flyers for girls available in 20 minutes, I got thinking about the upcoming Ottawa game, and I thought, why can’t the boys put together a solid, 4-0 type game?

 

Then, when we were sitting in O’Shea’s casino, home of the two dollar Miller beer, of which I was drinking several, the scores came on and I saw that the Habs had indeed won 4-0.

 

Now if I can only channel these kinds of thoughts at the slot machines.

 

By all accounts, it was a solid game, the kind that teams use to break out of their doldrums. A much-needed shutout by Carey Price, a much-needed big game and hat trick by Chris Higgins, and just a much-needed win, period.

 

If it’ll help the Habs, maybe I should be in Las Vegas for every game! What do you think?

 

And because I didn’t see this game, I need to know – did Alex Kovalev play well? And were the Senators really flat, or were the Canadiens just great on this night?

 

Imagine if the Habs would’ve lost this game after the ridiculous bullshit in Toronto? But they didn’t. They won big.

 

WOW!

 

OTHER NEWS: I see Tom Kostopoulos has been suspended three games. I’m not going to defend this, but I’ve called for a suspension for Mike Commodore after he went after Andrei Kostitsyn’s head during the recent Columbus game.

The Kostopoulos thing happened during a high-speed ramming into the boards which was careless but can happen. Commodore’s was a vicious and intentional elbow to the head, just after Kostityn had returned from a concussion. I think there’s a big difference, even though Mike Van Ryn was hurt badly.

 

Regardless, it’s not good, it’s never good, and I have no problem with Kostopoulos sitting for three games even though he’s one of my favourite players. 

 

Oh darn, I have to go downstairs and gamble now, and after that head over to the House of Blues for some free music. Oh, and I suppose I have to see some more fine waitresses shuttling about. And then there’s those two dollar beers……

 

To be continued….. we’re here for a few more days.

 

 

Ilya Kovalchuk, Stan Fischler, And Your Chance To Get It Off Your Chest

Good guy Tom at The Ryan Coke Experience has gotten wind of a rumour you might want to check out on his site – that both the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens are showing interest in Atlanta Thrashers sniper Ilya Kovalchuk, a guy with almost 500 points in almost 500 games in the NHL.

 

Normally I’d want something like this to happen. A young, fifty goal guy in a Habs uniform. But, like  Marian Gaborik, I want neither player. Montreal has the team now to do the deed. There’s just no sense in shaking up the chemistry, regardless of how good these guys are.

 

And they need to first let me be flag guy at the Bell Centre before bringing in any more players. First things first.

 

Anyway, have a look at Tom’s site. He, by the way, lives in Ottawa but, unlike many of my own Ottawa friends, has stayed a Habs fan and hasn’t been swept away by Senatormania in the Senatorium.

 

And because Tom reads my blog, he’s one of the best people in the world.

 

Another one of the best in the world is Jordy, who let me know today that long-time hockey writer Stan Fischler, based in New York, says Carey Price is a stiff, cocky, mediocre goalie.

 

Stan Fischer is not one of the best people in the world. In fact, saying something like that makes him a leading candidate for worst person in the world.

 

Last, but certainly not least, I’m completely open to having people guest blog on this site. (as long as it’s good.) Anytime you want to send in a little story about anything related to hockey – yes, even the Canucks, Leafs, Sean Avery etc., you’re welcome to do this.

Maybe you’ve always wanted to write something. Well, here’s your chance. Just email me with your story at dlkane@shaw.ca and I’ll check for spelling and you’ll be in print. Please, though, not too many f bombs.

Readers Of This Blog Are The Best People In The World

Oh, I suppose there’s lots to talk about as we wait another few days before the Habs’ involuntary holiday ends and they finally play hockey again, if they remember how.

There’s the big election in the states involving John McCain and Barack Obama, of course.

There’s the news that the Canadiens have six players on the all-star ballot, including Carey Price, Andrei Markov, Mike Komisarek, Alex Tanguay, Saku Koivu, and Alex Kovalev.

There’s the news that Martin Brodeur is injured, and the strange news that the Leafs are playing an actual brand of hockey right now.

But you can read all this in any newspaper, or see and hear on any talk show. I’d just be rehashing news that’s already out there, and that wouldn’t be fair to you, the readers of this blog, who are the nicest, smartest, kindest, sexiest, most beautiful people in the world.

So I’m just going to pull out the old scrapbook and put a nice picture up instead. It’s the right thing to do. Anything else would be insulting your intelligence.

 

Maurice Richard, Butch Bouchard, Boom Boom Geoffrion, and Bill Durnan would probably be talking about my blog if three of them weren’t dead.

Ducks Quack Halak And The Habs

At least Ottawa lost, so that’s good.  But then again, Toronto won. So that cancels out the good part.

 

Oh, and there was a game at the Bell Centre.

 

Chalk that one up to one of those nights, forget about it, and move on. Because nights like this, a lousy 6-4 loss to the Ducks, are gonna happen. It’s a long season.

 

We just don’t want it to happen too often. Almost never, as a matter of fact.

 

We could say the five-day layoff made the team rusty, and that might be true.

 

Or we could say that Jaroslav Halak stunk, and that might be true too.

 

And we could say the Habs just didn’t have it on this night, although they fired 51 shots at J.S. Giguere.

 

The fact is, the Canadiens played their poorest of their seven games so far this season (although opening night in Buffalo was pretty bad too), and the Ducks, just like I was worried about, have used this little eastern road trip to snap out of their doldrums, having also beaten Toronto and Ottawa on previous nights.

 

Watching Halak reminded me of so many nights from recent years, when you never knew what kind of goaltending you were going to see, and far too often, weak goals were scored on the good guys. It was discouraging for the skaters, and nerve wracking for fans whenever the puck made its way inside the blueline. But that changed, for the most part, with the arrival of Carey Price.

 

Halak didn’t have it, allowing four goals in a period and a half, and was replaced by Price, who’s been fighting the flu all week. Price wasn’t tested a whole lot and gave up two goals, which is a whole lot better than giving up four goals.

 

You have to wonder what the outcome would have been if Price had started. 

 

On the positive side, Alex Tanguay notched a couple more to make it five in seven games, and Saku Koivu and Tom Kostopoulos also bulged the twine.

 

That’s it for positives.

 

Next Up:

 

The Carolina Hurricanes are in town on Tuesday. The game may be televised back in Raleigh as long as there’s no car racing and high school basketball going on.

 

 

Canadiens Take Out The Panthers. Jaroslav Halak And RDS Do The Job

Buying one of those PVR digital boxes (the thing that allows you to pause live TV, among other things) for my TV and subscribing to RDS French network for three bucks a month was one of the best things I’ve ever done.

 

Because now I may never miss another Habs game.

 

And Monday night, If I didn’t have RDS, I wouldn’t have seen:

 

The Canadiens notch their fifth straight win with a 3-1 squeaker over the pesky Florida Panthers.

 

Francis Bouillon playing in his first game after coming back from a leg injury and

scoring the winner in the third period. I would’ve missed this if I didn’t have RDS.

 

Other things I would’ve missed if I didn’t have RDS.

 

Tomas Plekanec finally getting his first goal, albeit into an empty net. Plekanec has started the season a little on the slow side, and this in turn affects linemate Alex Kovalev. Maybe this empty netter will get him going.

 

Montreal’s other goalie, Jaroslav Halak, stoning the Panthers for his second win in his second game of this young season. Having two excellent goalies is a real bonus, and with him in nets, Carey Price can be rested and we’ll still feel confident.

 Montreal has depth all over the place. It makes me proud. 

 

The RDS viewer’s poll asking the question – what do you prefer – The Canadiens red sweaters, or their white?

77% liked the red sweaters, 23% chose the white. 

 

I personally have a soft spot for the white sweaters because when I was a kid, it seemed like it was very difficult to find them in stores or catalogues. They were always red. I remember finally getting one, and I really loved it because it was kind of unusual at the time.

 

Montreal’s Les Cage aux Sports restaurants’ TV ad on RDS offering 8 free wings if the Habs score five goals or more in any game. But I already knew this because the lovely lady at http://thenotwithstandingclause.blogspot.com/ who calls herself No. 31 and is a great Habs fan, told me so last week.

 

All this because I have RDS.

 

GAME NOTES:

 

Montreal now has some well-deserved time off before Saturday when the Anaheim Ducks are in town. That should be a good test for the boys. Maybe Chris Higgins will be ready then.

And hopefully, Andrei Kostitsyn suffers no lingering effects from his concussion.

 

The following Tuesday, the Carolina Hurricane are in town to end the Habs five-game home stand. No 31 says Carolina should move back to Hartford and I agree.

 

Georges Laraque didn’t play because his groin injury was bothering him again. Hopefully his knuckles are fine.

Alex Tanguay Shines And Big Georges Flexes His Muscles Against The Not-So-Nice Phoenix Coyotes

It was so much more than just a nice 4-1 win for the Habs over the Phoenix Coyotes. It was good, it was bad, it was ugly. And because of the bad and the ugly, big Georges Laraque saw more ice time than he probably expected.

 

Andre Kostitsyn was leveled in the second period by someone named Kurt Sauer, and lay on the ice in obvious bad shape for an uncomfortable length of time. But in the end, he refused a stretcher and skated off with the help of his teammates. It wasn’t a nice situation, and younger brother Sergei was surely the most unhappy and concerned person in the rink. So far there’s been no word on how Andrei is, at least that I’m aware of.

 

That was the bad and ugly part.

 

The good parts were many. Tom Kostopoulos tangled with the bigger Sauer because Tom Kostopoulos does this. He sticks up for his teammates. And that’s why I think he’s one of the most important guys on the team.

 

And Georges Laraque was sent on, on an almost regular basis after the Kostitsyn incident, and after Alex Kovalev took a stick in the face, and big Georges did was he was brought to the Canadiens to do. He showed these goons that if you mess around with the stars, you have to fight him.

 

And who wants to fight Georges Laraque?

 

Teams will learn this quickly, starting tonight. Screw around and meet Georges.

 

Oh, the good stuff doesn’t end here. There was a goal and two assists for an apparently rejuvenated Saku Koivu. Carey Price was once again great. Guillaume Latendresse continues his good play and had an assist.

 

And last, but not least, there’s Alex Tanguay. This guy was born to play for the Habs. He scored two goals, this after scoring the shootout winner against Boston on Wednesday. He looks happy. He plays a good two-way game with the accent on finesse. It’s hard to imagine that he was such an non-entity in Calgary.

 

And not only that, but Tanguay is what Daniel Briere could have been in Montreal. He’s fast becoming the toast of the town, a good Quebec boy who’s fit in in Montreal like we’d hoped he would. He’s going to be a huge name as the season goes on, and he’s got a big smile on his face.

 

Briere wanted no part of this special limelight and chose Philadelphia. But that’s good. Because we’ve got Tanguay now.

 

And one last thing about Tanguay that I found really funny. He said the other day that he had no idea of the history of the Montreal Canadiens, except what went on in the last ten or fifteen years or so.

 

I suppose many players nowadays have no idea about the great past of the Habs, but when I think about it, I shouldn’t be surprised. These guys are young. Tanguay was born in November, 1979, so even when the Habs won the Cup in 1986, he was only six years old. (Is my math right?)

 

And I think he paid more attention to the Quebec Nordiques when he was a kid.

 

GAME NOTES:

 

I’m still having a little trouble getting used to not seeing the two big CH’s at centre ice at the Bell Centre. The big 100’s painted there are fine, but the CH’s are being missed by me.

 

The other new addition to the club, Robert Lang, has also fit in really well and notched an unassisted goal tonight. Bob Gainey made some nice decisions by bringing in Lang, Tanguay, and Laraque.

 

NEXT UP:

 

The Florida Panthers are in town Monday. This is another team I would move to Canada if I was the Supreme Ruler.

 

The Boston Bruins And Some Lousy Boards Almost Ruin A Great Party.

If it wasn’t for Carey Price, the Boston Bruins would’ve fought back from more than a 3-0 deficit. They almost overcame a bunch of Hab greats in the building, an anxious dropping-of-the-puck by Elmer Lach and Emile ‘Butch’ Bouchard that had me a little worried for Butch, a fired-up crowd, and the rest of us in TV land who only had eyes on the Canadiens.

 

And the Montreal Canadiens got no help at all from the supposedly state-of-the-art Bell Centre.

 

It began like a Disney movie. The interviews with Jean Beliveau and Guy Lafleur, the old players introduced – Henri Richard, Larry Robinson, Guy Lapointe and many others, the vintage photos and films, the lavish praise from hockey analysts, and most importantly, three big goals in the first period by Alex Kovalev, Saku Koivu, and Maxim Lapierre.

 

It was a perfect script. Better start drawing up the parade route plans.

 

But then, disturbingly, the Canadiens adrenaline, for whatever reason, dried up half-way through, and little by little, only Price was there to keep it close. So much for the classic third-period team I talked about yesterday. Montreal proved that first-period hockey absolutely isn’t good enough.

 

Shamefully, it was a construction flaw that almost turned a great night into a complete disaster. An innocent shoot-in that hit an obvious seam in the boards that fooled Price, banged in by the Bruins’ Marc Savard, and with only 47 seconds to go, the game was tied.

 

It’s unacceptable for the boards to have this flaw. Montreal brass better have a good long talk with the maintenance foreman.

 

In the end, Alex Tanguay scored the shootout winner and the night was salvaged. But it’s not good. Montreal has to play a full sixty minutes. Thankfully it’s early in the season and they can learn a big lesson from this.

 

This is how the Canadiens almost lost the opening round series to Boston in last year’s playoff, by not keeping the pedal to the metal.

 

So there’s still some fine-tuning to be done.

 

But it’s two points. And for now, that’s good enough.

 

GAME NOTE:

 

Georges Laraque, in his first game in a Habs uniform, in the first two and a half minutes of the game, had a good scrap with Bruins’ Shawn Thornton. And although it was fairly even, Laraque made his presence felt, which I’m sure is what he wanted to do.

 

The crowd started to boo Guillaume Latendresse a little tonight. He has to pick it up a little.

 

Next up – The Phoenix Coyotes visit the Bell Centre Saturday. You can bet the boards will be fixed by then.