Category Archives: New York Rangers

Carey Price And Andrei Kostitsyn Beat The Penguins

On paper it was a solid 3-2 road win for the Canadiens. But in reality, they got through by the skin of their teeth against a dangerous Pittsburgh team led by Sidney Crosby and Evgeny Malkin, of course.

 

But no matter. A win is a win is a win. And anytime you see Carey Price stand on his head like he did tonight, you know it can only be a good sign. Price on top of his game means Price is on top of his game. (You know what I mean.)

 

And anytime you see Andre Kostitsyn come through in a big way, in this case three goals after just returning to the lineup, and you also know someone else is chipping in while guys like Alex Kovalev, Alex Tanguay, and Tom Plekanec were asleep at the wheel for the most part.

 

It’s always a good win when you’re not firing on all cylinders and still get it done, and Montreal now heads down to Florida with a nice two points in the bag.

 

Hey, we’ll take it. On paper it was a solid win.

 

Game Notes:

 

The Habs play the Panthers Monday and Tampa Bay on Tuesday. Four big points here would be a great way to close off the year.

 

ENEMY WATCH

 

New Jersey beat the Rangers. This is good as the Rangers drop to third place with 47 points, only three more than the Habs who remain fifth in the east.  Good job, Devils. Just don’t think about catching the Habs.

The Real Season Is About To Begin. Help The Right Teams To Lose

The second season is about to begin and it’s where men are separated from boys. It’s where the Habs will begin to mount their serious climb up the summit. But a lot of it is up to us. We need to know how to watch and cheer against certain teams. It’s crucial that we send out good vibrations to the Canadiens and bad vibrations to the rest.

 

It all begins Saturday night when the good guys demolish the Pittsburgh Penguins. And then we start rolling.

 

There’s many villains involved, and we need to watch them closely as this second half of the season unfolds.  

 

Montreal sits in fifth place in the east with 42 points. So for us to properly watch hockey, we must concentrate on the four teams ahead of them – Boston -54 points, Rangers – 47, Washington – 45, and Philadelphia – 45.

 

There are also four teams behind the Canadiens to keep an eye on too. New Jersey – 41 points. Pittsburgh – 40, and Buffalo and Carolina with 37.

 

All of these teams must lose. Lose like crazy. These are bad friggin teams. Wretched teams. The players on these teams aren’t nice people. Especially Boston’s number 17, Susan Lucci, and most of the Flyers for that matter.

 

Imagine if Philadelphia finished ahead of Montreal in the standings? I think I’d feel kind of dirty all over if that happened.

 

And Boston, we want to crash and burn, collapse, fold, quit, choke, lose big and lose often. It’s not right that this team should be doing so well. It’s almost unnatural.

 

The next six months are going to be great. But a lot of it will be up to us. Let’s get going.

 

And don’t forget to send those good vibes to our Juniors too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saint Mats Has Almost Decided Which Team Will Pay Him Millions

And the heavenly saint spoke.

 

“I have decided to let both the Rangers and Canucks trample over each other to be first in line to pay me millions for the last half of the season even though I’m 38 years old and might score 10 goals providing I stay healthy.”

 

And fans in New York and Vancouver rejoiced even though their teams are probably going nowhere.

Devils Say No To Drugs And Canadiens Say No To Devils

  The usually dangerous New Jersey Devils are welcomed by the now dangerous Canadiens Saturday night at the Bell Centre, and those horned-head buggers aren’t far behind our good guys. The Devils currently sit with 28 points in 23 games in the Eastern Conference. Montreal, on the strength of four wins out of five, have 34 points, six more than the Devils, but have also played two more than them also.

 

The photo is of the free binder that the Devils gave out at a home game I was at in the 1980’s at the big field across the tunnel from Manhattan.  The Devils say no to drugs. We sat behind the net, not far up, and it appeared we were near a bunch of the players’ wives. At least they seemed like players’ wives. Maybe they weren’t. They all sat together, had nice expensive clothes on, and they weren’t with men, so I put two and two together. 

 

The other thing I recall was Saturday Night Live cast member Jon Lovitz was somewhere in the stands. I know this because a camera put him on the big screen a half a dozen times or so and everyone cheered.

 

I also remember, from sitting behind the net, realizing just how wicked those shots come in to the goalie, especially the ricochets, which made me ask why anyone would want to be a goalie, and how could they stop these things in the first place.

 

After New Jersey, we went to Hartford for another game and I saw with my own eyes my old buddy’s sweater, Rick Ley’s, hanging in the rafters next to Gordie Howe’s. And it was Washington before the Jersey game where the Habs got skunked 5-0. All in all though, even with the disaster in Washington,  it was great fun.

 

The Canadiens game against the Rangers has us now licking our lips at the thought that the team is turning a corner and becoming the one everyone wants and had expected.

And this means taking it to the Devils Saturday night. No letting up, No screwing around with lines. No bad penalties. Just a solid, hard working 60 minute effort and a big break-out game from Alex Kovalev and the power play. 

 

And Mike is right. We need Roget Doucet to sing the National Anthem again.

 

Go Habs. Keep it going. Show yourselves and us that you’ve taken it up a notch.

Canadiens Take It to The Rangers And Play A Fine, Fine Game

 

I’d say there’s a lot of things to smile about tonight. This solid 6-2 win over the NY Rangers had to be the Canadiens’ best game of the season. Everyone contributed, and although Alex Kovalev has now gone 15 games without a goal, he was effective and creative, and at least managed an assist.

 

From the beginning, when Bobby Rousseau, Pocket Rocket, Guy Lafleur and others including old Rangers greats like Andy Bathgate and Harry Howell, were introduced, it was an outstanding night. This was the first time I’d seen Rousseau in about 35 years. Lafleur got the chant, and everyone was applauded heartily. And rightfully so, Pocket got a standing ovation. If I could’ve been there, I would have been proud to give this little big man a big thank you.

 

And the team, for a nice, delightful change, was smoking.

 

This is the Montreal Canadiens we’ve been waiting for. Andrei Kostitysn has come alive, coincidently since his brother Sergei was sat down a couple of games ago. The grinders, Maxim Lapierre and Steve Begin, continue to pick it up a notch and this is a huge turn of events. Newcomer Matt D’Agostini scored again for the second night, and added an assist. And Georges Laraque earned his first point of the season with an assist on Lapierre’s second period goal.

 

There were no dumb penalties, no serious turnovers, no blunders whatsoever. It looks like a team coming together, and D’Agostini has produced while underachievers Guillaume Latendresse, Sergei Kostitsyn, and Ryan O’Byrne sit in the press box and think that maybe they should have done a bit better job.

 

The team seems to have tightened up, turned a corner, stepped it up, and maybe, just maybe, are fed up with their lacklustre start to the season and have decided to do something about it.

 

Let’s see a continuation of this Saturday when the New Jersey Devils are in town. I don’t even mind that I have to go to work tonight for a graveyard shift. This game has made my day.   

 

Game Notes:

 

The Canadiens wore the uniform of the 1915-1916 Habs, the team that won the first of 24 Stanley Cups. And Carey Price wore pads and gloves resembling the old leather ones, although these are state of the art, unlike the ones worn by Georges Vezina who was the goalie back then.

 

TSN’s Sportcentre listed their top ten Montreal Canadiens and I have no qualms with these choices.

 

1.  Maurice Richard

2. Jean Beliveau

3. Doug Harvey

4. Guy Lafleur

5. Howie Morenz

6. Jacques Plante

7. Patrick Roy

8. Larry Robinson

9. Henri Richard

10. Ken Dryden

 

 

 

Time To Sink Their Teeth Into The NY Rangers. That Means Kovy Of Course.

  With the New York Rangers in town Thursday to lose to the Habs, I thought I’d show you this nice picture of Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist.

Oh, sorry, that’s Gump Worsley, who joined the Canadiens in 1963 when he part of a major deal involving him, Dave Balon, Leon Rochefort, and Len Ronson going to Montreal, for Jacques Plante, Phil Goyette, and Don Marshall.

 

When the Gumper was with the Rangers, he was asked by a reporter which team gave him the most trouble. He answered, “the Rangers.” 

 

Other important things to note about the Rangers:

 

Alex Kovalev was one once. He was drafted in the first round by them (15th overall) in 1991 and played until early into the 1998 season. How great would it be if he broke out of his massive slump against his old team?

 

Sean Avery was also a Ranger. He joined them after playing for both the Detroit Red Wings and the LA Kings. The Rangers were a sloppy third.

 

They’ve got two guys from Anchorage, Alaska – Scott Gomez and Brandon Dubinsky, for what it’s worth.

 

They have 36 points to the Habs 32, but have played three more games than Montreal.

 

Their lineup consists of 8 Canadians, 6 Americans, and 8 Euros. Many of them like women.

 

 

 

Jean Beliveau Gives His Thoughts While In Vancouver

Jean Beliveau was in Vancouver this weekend and gave a really nice interview with The Province’s Jim Jamieson. I thought you might like it. 

 

Q: What does the 100th anniversary of the Canadiens mean to you?

A: I find myself to be very fortunate to be part of it; I’ve been with them since Oct. 3, 1953 when I signed my first contract. I’m a very lucky man. I’ve never been traded and been with the organization for 55 years.

 

Q: How is your health these days? You had some health issues about eight years ago.

A: One morning I was shaving and noticed something on my neck. It turned out to be a malignant tumour. I had 36 treatments of radiation. It’s been 8 1/2 years and we are more optimistic every year.

 

Q: How many children do you and your wife have?

A: I have one daughter who is 51 and two grand-daughters, 24 and 22. The first one is an artist, she paints; and the second is a nurse.

 

Q: You auctioned off some of your memorabilia earlier this year in aid of the Jean Beliveau Foundation. What does your foundation do?

A: When I retired in 1971, the Canadiens presented me with a cheque for $155,000 and I turned it into a fund. In 1993, I turned it over to the Quebec Society for Crippled Children. Now the foundation is worth about $1.5 million and we have given about $1.5 million. I’m very proud.

 

Q: You were a part of the great Canadiens teams that won five straight Stanley Cups in the last half of the 1950’s. With today’s salary cap in the NHL, do you think we’ll ever see that happen again?

A: In today’s hockey it’s going to be difficult. A team is built around four or five guys, if you’re lucky enough to have them. But it’s very difficult to keep them now. If you start playing young, you’re free at 26. Teams have to rebuild all the time.

 

Q: We seem to be seeing more hits from behind and shots to the head today. What would you do to reduce it?

A: I played 23 years and never wore a helmet. I don’t know how players can hit someone from behind when he’s facing the glass. I have a hard time with that. I hope the league finds a way to get rid of it before somebody gets seriously hurt. If you’re suspended it hits the pocketbook.

 

Q: Who was the most difficult goaltender, defenceman and forward that you ever played against?

A: I always had a lot of respect for Johnny Bower and Terry Sawchuk. On defence there were some great ones – Bobby Orr, because of his speed, won the scoring championship. Red Kelly in Detroit also, but every team had a great defenceman when there was just six teams. At forward, I always had respect for Gordie Howe. He could do everything. Every time we played Chicago I was out against [Stan] Mikita and against Toronto it was [Dave] Keon. The Rangers had Jean Ratelle and [Rod] Gilbert, but there were so many others.

 

Q: Who was the best player you played with on the Canadiens?

A: Well, Maurice [Richard] of course, but I used to play with him mostly on the power play. My line was [Bernie “Boom Boom”] Geoffrion and Bert Olmstead, so we had two offensive lines and a good checking line. Also, we had Doug Harvey on defence. He could control the speed of the game like a general out there.

 

Q: The Canadiens power play was so dominant in the 1950’s that you actually forced the NHL to change the minor-penalty rule because your team would often score multiple goals on the same man advantage.

A: We had Maurice on the right, Bert Olmstead or Dickie Moore on the left, and and Harvey and Geoffrion on the point. One night against Boston (Nov. 5, 1955) I got three goals in 44 seconds on the power play. So they changed the rule that a player would come out of the box after one goal.

 

Q: How have you seen the NHL change through expansion?

A: I’m not surprised there are a few cities in the south that seem to have problems. Here in Canada, everybody has skated and they know about the game. In the morning when I check the summary of the games, I look at shots and attendance. In the US, the attendance is increasing it seems after the Super Bowl.

 

Copyright (c) The Province

Carey Price And The Grinders Come Up Big

Bell Centre

Montreal

November 29, 2008

Montreal vs. Buffalo

 

First period:

 

Good, spirited, fast-skating, lively first period. The Canadiens look good. And of course, they’re doing all the things they’re really good at – turning the puck over and the other team scores (Higgins this time), and not scoring themselves. They’re really good at both of these things.

Alex Kovalev, Saku Koivu, Tomas Plekanec, Higgins, the Kostitsyn’s etc. etc, – they’re really, really good at not scoring. Especially on the power play and even strength. 

 

But I’ve got faith.

 

Second period:

 

Andrei Kostitsyn’s backhander finds the twine, so I take back anything bad I said about him.

 

Like I said in the first period, one of the things we’re really good at is giving the puck away, and this time it’s Josh Gorges, which leads to a Tomas Vanek goal. It’s kind of funny in a morbid sort of way. Every game it’s a different player.

 

Steve Begin scores on a beauty play with Maxim Lapierre. That’s what I like. Grinders producing when the big guns are silent.

 

Andrei Markov, on a snappy set-up by Saku Koivu, gives the Habs a 3-2 lead. I’m on the verge of taking back every bad thing I’ve ever said about everybody.

 

Third period:

 

I take back every bad thing I ever said. The boys played good tonight and won 3-2. Oh, of course there were the bad moments – Sergei Kostitsyn taking a foolish penalty (several, in fact), and the team had real trouble getting the puck out of their end late in the game, but they played well and they won.

 

I’m proud of them.

 

 

Game Notes:

 

Maxim Lapierre played a great game tonight, probably his best of the year. We saw several flashes of this last year, and finally the guy shows us again.

 

This Sabres game marks the beginning of ten home games out of eleven. The boys play seven straight, starting with the Buffalo game, and continue with Atlanta, the Rangers, Devils, Flames, Lightning, and Caps all visitng the Bell centre.

The team plays one road game, in Carolina, and then comes back home again to greet the Flyers, Sabres, and Hurricanes.

 

In other words, they’re going to drive their wives and kids crazy for awhile, with the naps and pre-game meals and all that. Not to mention the other stuff.

And hopefully, a long home stand means a long winning streak.

 

Micro Look At The Eastern Standings. Leafs Sniffing At The Habs.

The goods news is, Montreal has played less games than most, only 15.

 

The bad news is, they’re in tenth place overall, with Buffalo, Vancouver, Minnesota, Washington, Boston, Pittsburgh, Detroit, the Rangers, and the Sharks all above them, with the Sharks leading the pack.

 

The really bad news is the Toronto Maple Leafs are only two points behind them, although the Torontonians have played three more games.

 

Regardless, the Leafs shouldn’t be in the same air space as Montreal. Vancouver shouldn’t be ahead of them. And I hate it when Boston’s ahead of them.

 

Start turning this around tonight, boys, when you play St. Louis. Otherwise, me and a handful of other bloggers are going to have to take the team over and do the coaching.

Gary Bettman Wets The Bed, And Other Hockey Thoughts

Hockey items you could discuss with your friends after five or six beer:

 

The Philadelphia Flyers have sent Steve Downey down to their AHL affiliate, the Philadelphia Phantoms.

Players around the NHL now stand a much better chance of not having their skulls cracked. AHL players, however, are putting extra padding in their helmets and have told their wives to remarry if anything happens to them.

Steve Downey is Sean Avery on crystal meth.

 

Gary Bettman says everything’s rosy in the the league and so talk of a team in Canada is silly, especially the part about having two franchises in the Toronto area. Bettman may or may not have said this as he overlooked the three franchises around New York from his office window.

 

This is a guy who probably even makes French-Canadian oldtimers long for Clarence Campbell.

And why are teams like Atlanta, Florida, Nashville, Phoenix etc. so important to the little man, and placing a team in Canada isn’t?

There has to be a reason. I just don’t know what the reason is. Is he getting fat little Christmas bonuses from people?

Was the bully who picked on Bettman in school a transplanted Canadian?

 

Rumours contimue about Wild star Marian Gaborik being traded to Montreal. I’m assuming Gary Bettman is against this because if it makes the Habs even stronger and even more of a Cup contender, the Stanley Cup could end up in the dreaded backwaters of Canada, one of the commissioner’s worst nightmares.

 

And one of my worst nightmares is a major trade involving the Canadiens which disrupts the harmony and chemistry they’ve got going now.  If they landed Gaborik for future draft picks only, then great. But they’d need to clear out some salaries to make room for him, which means moving some existing players.

Is this a good idea?

 

Did the Boomer-Pocket commercial make you smile?

 

Bobby Clarke says Sean Avery is an idiot and someone should punch him out. Of course, when Clarke played, he was an angelic, gentlemanly fellow whom the whole hockey world loved. But aside from that, I completely agree with him.

 

This five-game break in the schedule for the Canadiens may or may not suck. Players can nurse their wounds and certain things can be worked out in practices, but geez, they’ve been on such a roll. And don’t forget about the poor wives who have to put up with them for this long. This isn’t normal for the little ladies.

Hope all this doesn’t affect the big game against Anaheim Saturday night.

 

Is it possible Gary Bettman told the schedule planners to give good Canadian teams big long days off to disrupt their play?