Category Archives: Dallas Stars

P.K. And Gang Do Dallas

Those wild and wacky Montreal Canadiens. Just when we were mad at them, they go out and play a cool game (for the most part), find the back of the net a bunch of times, and skate away with a truly entertaining 6-4 win deep in the heart of Texas.

Of course we can’t forget that they almost blew it in the third period to the pesky Dallas Stars, giving up two quick ones after leading 4-2, and visions of a Carolina-like meltdown danced in our heads. Or mine at least. I shouldn’t speak for anyone else.

But Lars Eller soon after restored the lead, Max salted it away with an empty netter, and frankly, except for the brief coming apart at the seams in the third, I think the boys played their best game in over a month, even though they allowed four goals.

It makes my heart soar like a Chinese Rusty-cheeked Scimitar-Babbler.

P.K. Subban enjoyed some mighty fine moments, weaving and stickhandling, passing well and sometimes using his feet, capping it all with a goal and two assists and looking like the Norris Trophy winner we know and love.

Max tallied twice and added a couple of helpers. DD had two assists and found himself in alone more than once. Snakebit Brendan Gallagher came through with a goal and an assist.

Even Travis Moen was in the thick of things, assisting on Eller’s go ahead goal and pummeling Antoine Roussel earlier on.

Josh Gorges was a warrior in the trenches and in my mind is the team’s true captain. Carey Price was excellent for most of the night. Lars Eller was dangerous.

So many guys showed up. A few didn’t but tonight is not a night to quibble.

Maybe that fiasco in Carolina, blowing a 3-0 lead, woke the guys up and they’re going to play like gangbusters from here on in.

The power of positive thinking.

Random Notes:

Dallas outshot the Canadiens 32-28.

Unlike the Carolina game where they took ten penalties and sat back and tried to win by blocking shots, this time they took just three minor penalties (and gave up a penalty shot), and played fire-wagon hockey throughout.

We want more like tonight. Fun to watch. A nice amount of goals. Lots of chances. Maybe the coaching staff and the players will agree that this is good, this freewheeling business.

C’mon guys, do it again on Saturday when the Sens show up at the Bell.

Wretched In Raleigh

I’m going to make this short and sweet.

By the end of the second period, the Habs were leading 3-0, had killed two 5 on 3 penalites, missed on a couple of clear-in chances by Travis Moen and Brendan Gallagher, and then…….when all was said and done, lost 5-4 in overtime.

It was a case of taking far too many penalties, ten in fact, including a bench minor for telling the ref his mother wears army boots which of course turned into the Hurricanes fourth goal.

Don’t blame the referees for any of this craziness. Most of those penalties were deserved. Chalk it up as a pathetic collapse and let’s move on.

Random Notes:

Max scored twice, DD had three assists, Markov added two assists, and Eller (from Galchenyuk) and P.K. also bulged the twine.

Really wish David Desharnais would stop this nonsense of giving up great scoring chances near the net and trying to set up others instead. It’s more than maddening. It’s downright disturbing.

And what happened to the solid play of Alexei Emelin? It seems he’s on the ice for nearly every goal scored against.

Shots on goal – Carolina 42, Montreal 25. But keep in mind, Carolina had ten power plays including the aforementioned couple of 5 on 3s. It’s no wonder they outshot the Canadiens. If they didn’t it’d be pretty pathetic on their part.

Next up – Thursday, the Canadiens first game of 2014, when they travel to the Lone Star State to meet the Dallas Stars.

Happy New Year!

Budaj Blanks Blueshirts

Inconsequential cleavage shot.

Budaj

Canadiens helped open the newly-refurbished Madison Square Garden by shutting out the home team 2-0 in a game that at times was so boring it made Perry Como look like Little Richard.

I’m willing to bet that many in the seats wished they would have saved their two or three hundred bucks and watched game five of the World Series on TV instead.

It was two big points for the good guys, with Peter Budaj doing a solid job in nets without ever really having to stand on his head. I’ll probably never be able to relax completely when I see Budaj between the pipes, and I thank him for his job tonight.

Thank you Peter.

Of course it’s the Rangers but still.

Tomas Plekanec notched his sixth goal of the season on the power play, with Michael Bournival getting yet another point – his sixth, with Brian Gionta in on it too, and the kids finally came through late in the third when a puck banked in off Alex Galchenyuk’s skate, with both Lars Eller and Brendan Gallagher helping out.

Just when I though the kids were becoming mired in a slump they came through.

A fine two points, even though it wasn’t a classic. My eyes are still glazed over.

Random Notes:

Shots on goal – 27 apiece.

Yvan Cournoyer and Rod Gilbert were there for the ceremonial faceoff. Two great players, looking healthy and not tremendously fat like so many long-retired guys.

PK wasn’t brilliant and a tad on the quiet side, and I suppose anytime now Rene Bourque might look like a power forward. We see a couple of seconds of it almost every game.

I understand that having Douglas Murray is probably good for depth, but other than that, why exactly was he was signed? Maybe he’s only a shell of himself in his first game as a Hab and very soon will explode into the second coming of Scott Stevens!

Maybe not.

Next game – Tuesday at the Bell when the Dallas Stars are in town.

Habs Handled By Sharks

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The Canadiens found themselves in tough against the San Jose Sharks Saturday night. Overmatched I suppose.

Although I usually hate to admit that.

But as Confucious once said, “He who doesn’t bulge the twine, doesn’t win.”

Les Glorieux simply had no real flow to their offence, which of course showed on the scoreboard as they weren’t able to muster even a single goal, which translated to a 2-0 win by the ungrateful guests.

It’s a good team, these San Jose Sharks. But they got a major break in the third period when a shoot-in deflected badly off the glass with Carey Price behind the net preparing to corral it, and suddenly a 1-0 game became 2-0.

And at that point, the way the Sharks were playing, the way they were checking the Habs into the ground and ringing pucks off posts, the siren might as well have gone off and everyone head home.

It was 0-0 after the first, and the Canadiens were showing that they could play with this Western Conference team. They were step to step with them, and a goal might have given them the extra adrenaline they would need on this night, not to mention the extra vibes from the crowd.

But it began to look dismal when Montreal took their third straight penalty, the Sharks finally broke the ice, and from then on the Canadiens looked ragged and a tad confused. And then that horrendous bad deflection off the glass and it became one of those nights.

Basically it was a one-goal game throughout, aside from that fluke. And aside from the couple of posts the Sharks hit.

Carey Price was once again solid in nets, but a goal or two at the other end would have helped. But as long as hockey has been played, shutouts have happened. It’s as normal as jock itch.

Random Notes:

Shots on goal – Sharks 37, Habs 22. So I guess the home team basically took a spanking.

Travis Moen took a puck in what appeared to be the forehead, and blood came gushing out. But I feel he’s fine because I can remember when I was playing beer league hockey in Ottawa and a puck fluttered my way at about two miles an hour, hit me in the forehead, and there was so much blood it looked like I’d need about ten stitches at least.

It was one measly stitch. Apparently there’s a large storage of blood above the eyes that will flow like Niagara Falls if hit just right. But of course I’m no Dr. Recchi so I can’t say for sure.

Next up – Monday, when the Canadiens hit Broadway for a meeting with the Rangers. Then it’s a quick trip home to take on the visiting Dallas Stars on Tuesday.

 

 

Sidney Says……..

ESPN asked 11 players which goalie they thought was the best in the NHL. Here’s what they said:

(Sidney’s answer is the the last.)

Thanks to Affairs de Gars.com for the link.

Mike Smith ( Phoenix Coyotes)  said Henrik Lundqvist – N.Y

Shea Weber (Nashville Predators)  Henrik Lundqvist
 
Patrick Sharp (Chicago Blackhawks) Henrik Lundqvist
 
Steve Ott (Buffalo Sabres) Henrik Lundqvist
 
David Backes (St. Louis Blues) Pekka Rinne – Nashville
 
Eric Staal (Carolina Hurricanes) Pekka Rinne
 
Matt Duchene (Colorado Avalanche) Jonathan Quick – L.A.
 
Matt Moulson (New York Islanders) Jonathan Quick
 
Tyler Seguin ( Dallas Stars) Tuukka Rask – Boston
Jonathan Toews ( Chicago Blackhawks) Roberto Luongo – Vancouver
 
Sidney Crosby (Penguins Pittsburgh)  Carey Price – Montreal

One Writer’s Trophy Candidates

Because there’s been talk of certain Canadiens possibly grabbing hardware at season’s end, I’ve wondered who else around the league might be in the thick of things in different categories, and how professional writers might view some of the Habs who have a shot.

So it was interesting to see how Jim Jamieson of the Vancouver Province rates players he says are in the running, with him, and maybe some cohorts at the Province, coming up with some personal picks.

The Hart Trophy (MVP)

Jamieson’s three finalists are Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh), Alex Ovechkin (Washington), and Ryan Getzlaf (Anaheim), and he decides on Crosby, although he mentions that Ovechkin is pushing hard.

James Norris Memorial Trophy (top defenceman)

Shea Weber (Nashville), Ryan Suter Minnesota, and P.K. Subban and Jamieson chooses Suter. About Subban, he says P.K. has finally decided to let his play do the talking, and the results confirm he’ll win this trophy soon enough. (just not this year). I disagree. Subban has been brilliant and deserves to win.

Vezina Trophy (top goaltender)

Tuukka Rask (Boston), Sergei Bobrovsky (Columbus), and Cory Schneider (Vancouver), and Jamieson apologizes to Canucks fans because he chooses Rask.

Calder Memorial Trophy (top rookie)

Montreal’s Brendan Gallagher, Jonathan Huberdeau (Florida), and Jonas Brodin (Minnesota) are the three finalists, and although Huberdeau leads rookies in scoring, the writer picks Gallagher, which of course I agree with.

Frank J. Selke (best defensive forward)

Pavel Datsyuk (Detroit), Jonathan Toews (Chicago), David Backes (St. Louis).  The choice is Toews, with his league leading plus-33.

Lady Byng – (sportsmanship/high standard of play)

Datsyuk, Jordan Eberle (Edmonton), and Loui Eriksson (Dallas).  Who wins? Flip a coin, says Jamieson. He then chooses Eberle.

Jack Adams Award (coach of the year)

Joel Quenneville (Chicago), Bruce Boudreau (Anaheim), and Michel Therrien, and Jamieson picks Therrien. He says Anaheim and Montreal have been the season’s surprise teams, and he gives the nod to Therrien for a better storyline – about a guy who’s been frozen out by the NHL since his firing from Pittsburgh in 2009.

Morrow Moves To Pens

The Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired Brenden Morrow from the Dallas Stars for a couple of draft picks and we can only hope that Morrow, as a 34-year old, is slow and has lost a step and is getting too old in every way considering he’s entering the Eastern Conference.

Morrow, who is married to Anne-Marie Carbonneau, daughter of Guy Carbonneau, wants to win the Stanley Cup and finally chose Pittsburgh over Boston as the team with an excellent chance.

Won’t it be funny when Montreal goes all the way.

Morrow

Tinordi Gets The Call

2010 NHL Draft Portraits

Defenceman Jarred Tinordi has been called up to the big team and Greg Pateryn has been sent back to Hamilton after a three-game stint.

The great thing about Tinordi is that he’s huge at 6′ 6″, 218 pounds, and I think is somewhat mobile, although I’ve barely seen him in action. He’s also the son of former NHLer Mark Tinordi, who played for the Rangers, North Stars, Stars, and Capitals.

Here’s the announcement, from Canadiens.com.

The Montreal Canadiens have called up defenseman Jarred Tinordi from the Hamilton Bulldogs. He will join the Habs in Brossard for their Friday morning practice ahead of the team’s Saturday night game against the Devils in New Jersey.

In 55 games with the Bulldogs this season, the 6-foot-6 defenseman has registered a total of two goals and nine assists, while also dropping the gloves on five occasions and racking up 51 penalty minutes. This is the first year of Tinordi’s professional career after having captained the London Knights to an Ontario Hockey League Championship in 2012. Tinordi’s accomplishments also include a gold medal at the U18 World Championship in 2009-10 as a member of the American team.

 

Still Lookin’ Good

Everyone goes on and on about some of the beautiful wives and girlfriends of younger NHLers, and that’s nice. These women are all very lovely. Montreal’s Brandon Prust, for example, has a terrific lady.

But what about the wives of some of the older guys? The senior citizens of the league are Teemu Selanne at 42, and Martin Brodeur, Daniel Alfredsson, Ray Whitney, and Jaromir Jagr, all at 40, and just because they’re old doesn’t mean they don’t have gorgeous spouses.

So it makes me very happy to show you a few pictures of the women in these fine players’ lives.

Mrs. Teemu Selanne

Selanne

Mrs. Ray Whitney, Mrs. Daniel Alfredsson, and Mrs. Jaromir Jagr

Jagr, Whitney, Alfredsson

And Mrs. Martin Brodeur and Mrs Chris Chelios posing at the All-Star Game festivities a few years ago. (Mrs. Chelios’ husband retired in 2010 at 48 years old).

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Oh, and about Brandon Prust’s woman? This is Marie-Pier Morin.

Brandon-Prusts-girlfriend-Marie-Pier-Mornin

Goodbye To Cole, Hello To Ryder

These things always seem to happen when I’m at work and not supposed to be on the computer.

Erik Cole is now a Dallas Star, and Michael Ryder, who toiled for the Habs for four seasons between 2003 and 2008, is back in the fold. Who wudda thunk.

Before the Stars, Ryder spent three years as a Boston Bruin. Maybe he can regale his new teammates with funny Tim Thomas and Brad Marchand stories.

There was definitely something off with Cole this season. He expressed his unhappiness before the season kicked off, even admitting it might be his last campaign, and he was less than stellar up until now, with just three goals and three assists. Who knows what was wrong. Maybe he missed the good old U.S. of A.

The bottom line was, he wasn’t really helping the team and when that happens, it’s time to move on. He seemed like he was ready for a change anyway.

I trust Marc Bergevin on this move. Michel Therrien probably said, “hey boss, we need more scoring,” and the G.M. listened. Michael Ryder is a pure sniper with a great shot, and we could’ve used him the other night in Ottawa when the team was able to manage just one goal on 45 shots.

Ryder potted 112 goals in his four seasons as a Hab, an average of almost 30 a year, and that ain’t chopped liver. His total NHL stats sit at 203 goals and 207 assists in 650 games.

So goodbye to Erik Cole, he was a fine player up until this year, and he seems a charismatic and friendly fellow. It’s just too bad he wasn’t helping. Here’s wishing him all the best as a Dallas Star.