Category Archives: Tampa Bay Lightning

Did The Canadiens Get Stiffed? Or Did Carolina Deserve Their 3-2 OT Win?

Because I’m not exactly fluent in french, I’m left wondering why Guillaume Latendresse’s goal wasn’t allowed in the third period of the Habs 3-2 overtime loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. Maybe someone can explain it to me.

 

The Canadiens lost, and yes it’s too bad because it would have been nice to close off the Christmas season with another win, but it’s not the end of the world. They played well, especially in the third period, as they tend to do often, and they walked away with a point. Grrrrrrr.

 

Who am I kidding? Listen to me. Am I sickening or what? Maybe the Dalai Lama might say something like that, but I’m not the Dalai Lama. The loss sucked. The referees sucked. And did I mention the referees sucked?

 

However, I have a gracious side to me, and I have to say that the Hurricanes are a nice, fast skating club who gave the Habs no time whatsoever to do a lot. This kind of game is a great example of what separates the NHL pace from the AHL and other pro levels. It’s just so much quicker. I got tired just watching it. However, the Hurricanes sucked too.

 

The boys have a nice long Christmas break, (they’ve had several nice long breaks this season), and then next Saturday they lace ’em up in Pittsburgh before they move on down to Florida for games against the Panthers and Lightning.

 

Man, it must be a nice life being an NHL hockey player.  

 

Game Note:

 

I was really hoping Kovalev would score the OT winner again. Not just to win the game, but I was ready with the headline “Alex Kovertime Scores Again.” I guess I got ahead of myself.

 

I’m not one to whine about the officiating. I just hope they get lumps of radioactive coal in their stockings this year and their wives have affairs with the milkmen.

 

 

Habs Win Biggest Game Of Their Year

  Past and present members of the Philadelphia Flyers pose in this recent photo. From left to right, Dave Schultz (in white dress), Bobby Clarke, Scott Hartnell, and little Beaver Briere (injured), smile for the camera.

 

And now – About the game!

See what happens when the referee doesn’t call 11 straight penalties and you play some firewagon hockey?

 

If the Habs would’ve lost in poor fashion tonight (see Tampa Bay and Washington games), their slump would have gone from bad to Ottawa Senators bad. And that’s bad. But instead, the team came out tonight against a strong Philadelphia Flyers club and skated away with a good and tremendously important 5-2 win.

 

Alex Kovalev scored again for his second in two nights, young Matt D’Agostini notched his fifth, and Sergei Kostitsyn, recently in purgatory, also scored.

 

So it was a huge game in many ways.

 

And even though I’m quietly celebrating this big win, I’m also doing a slow burn about commentator Mike Milbury. It’s one thing if he doesn’t like Alex Kovalev. But it’s another to personally slander him, to say he only tries 15% of the time, that he doesn’t work hard, is selfish etc. Milbury just went on and on and finally play-by-play guy Jim Hughson stepped in and started defending the Russian, saying how much he liked his play.

 

I think Alex Kovalev always works hard. Maybe he hasn’t scored a lot lately but he’s consistently grabbing assists. And if you’re asissting on goals, you can’t be considered selfish, can you?

I also thinks Kovalev cares and that he carries about him a typical stoic Russian manner, that’s all.

 

Mike Milbury’s always been a mouthpiece. A lot of what he says I like but he shouldn’t get personal like that if he’s not in the dressing room and on the ice with the guy and doesn’t really know how Kovalev is.

 

Game Notes:

 

Buffalo on Saturday and Carolina on Sunday make the trek to Montreal to take on the new and revived powerhouse Habs. That’s the way it’s gonna be from now on – powerhouse Habs.

Number Nine Is Too Sacred For Just Anybody

  When Wayne Gretzky retired, the entire league, every team, agreed the proper thing to do was to retire jersey no. 99 permanently so no other player would ever wear it.

 

This is absolutely reasonable. Gretzky deserves this honour. He was Gretzky, for goodness sakes.

 

But there’s another number out there that deserves the same royal treatment. Number nine.

 

Number nine was the number of Gordie Howe, Bobby Hull, and of course, Maurice Richard.

 

How can you argue with that? Number nine shouldn’t be worn by Steve Downie or Oscar Moller. Number nine was worn by Mr. Hockey, the Golden Jet, and the Rocket, three of the greatest ever, right up there at the top of the mountain. It’s a sacred number.

 

Currently there are 15 teams of the 30 with a player wearing number nine. It doesn’t seem right.

 

I think all but two of these players should surrender their number nine, choose another one, and carry on. The two players, Mike Modano in Dallas and Paul Kariya in St. Louis, have had too good a career to not wear these sweaters. But when they retire, so goes the number.

 

Here are the other 13 players currently wearing number nine.

 

Eric Christensen – Atlanta

Derek Roy – Buffalo

Steven Weiss – Florida

Oscar Moller – LA

Mikko Koivu – Minnesota

Zach Parise – New Jersey

Brendan Bell – Ottawa

Scottie Upshall – Philadelphia

Pascal Dupuis – Pittsburgh

Milan Michalek – San Jose

Steve Downie – Tampa Bay

Niklas Hagman – Toronto

Taylor Pyatt – Vancouver

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.

 

Guest Blogger With A Great Name Tells His Story

A fellow in Vermont contacted me after finding this site, and sent in this story.  He and I have one major thing in common. We have the same name. 

The Hockey Story of another Dennis Kane
 
I recently came across your site and was drawn, I admit, less because I am a die-hard fan of the Canadiens, than because I think you are the first other Dennis Kane I have come across.  I am, I’m sure you will be relieved to know, a hockey fan, both my daughters and my son played through high school.  The oldest two played club hockey in college and the youngest is aiming to play in college next year.  She is now playing for the Taft School in Connecticut.  So I have been to countless youth games.
 
I was raised in New Jersey and was never a hockey fan growing up.  Upon moving to Vermont to go to graduate school I discovered the college game where a ticket to get into some University of Vermont games was as tough as getting in to see the Yankees when they were winning.  What really got me hooked was following UVM when Martin St Louis, Tim Thomas and Eric Perrin played together and the team went to the Frozen Four.  St. Louis and Perrin were amazing to behold and once I saw St. Louis come within 1 second of scoring a hat-trick of short-handed goals.
 
My friend and I started a tradition of taking my son and his friend to college conference tournaments every spring for eight years and they still talk about those trips to rinks all over the northeast US.  We also began to follow the UVM players in the NHL including John LeClair, Patrick Sharp and now, Torrey Mitchel of the Sharks and so have seen a bunch of games of the Lightning, Bruins and Blackhawks.
 
My one hockey experience at the Fourm was watching the USA play Canada in the World Cup and seeing Gretzky, LeClair, Hull  and a host of majors stars play an amazing game (from our perspective, anyway).  It was quite an experience cheering for the USA at that game.  Not much of a hockey history compared to a life-long Canadiens fan I’m sure.
 
I still live in Vermont.  I’m 60 years old and play in a fantasy hockey league with my son and his friends. (I won last year).  My branch of Kanes was for many years in northern NJ and has been traced to Ireland.
 
I put your site on my favorite list and will be checking in on my hockey rounds.  The Canadiens look good this year and seem to be strong in every position.  It would be a great thing for them to win it all this year.
 
Nice to come across you.  You might be interested to know that I have always remembered when I was in high school in some literature class the teacher used my/our name as an example of a particularly smooth sounding phrase, a “euphonious” phrase that she compared to Mark Twain’s favoite of “cellar door”……..go figure……my 15 seconds of fame.
 
Nice to come across you
 
dennis

Dennis Kane
Director
VT Higher Education Collaborative
VTHEC.org

Looking At The Standings Because It’s Interesting

Now that the dust has sort of settled on getting the season underway, it’s a little disturbing to see the Buffalo Sabres playing so well. They have the same record as Montreal – 4 wins and a shootout loss for nine points, for goodness sakes. Even with those George Jetson jerseys.

 

The Sabres will come back down to earth shortly. I’m sure they will.

 

There’s good news, though, and the good news is that the Philadelphia Flyers, the team Steve Downey plays for, hasn’t won yet in five games. It doesn’t get much better than that!

 

The Florida Panthers are in Montreal Monday night to play the Habs. I know I say every game that the two points that night are extra important for the Canadiens,  so I’ll just say it again. These two points are extra important for the Canadiens. Gotta catch those Rangers.

 

Florida should be in Hamilton. Or Halifax, or Winnipeg, or Saskatoon, or Quebec City.

 

Why is there hockey in Miami, Florida?

 

I know there’s lots of snowbirds in Florida who are big hockey fans, but that’s not good enough. The team’s drawing only around 12,000 a game, and so now they’re giving away a pair of free tickets as long as you can show a Florida driving license. Miami people need to be at dog races and jai alai tournaments. Not hockey games.

 

Also interesting in the standings is Tampa Bay’s start. They’re winless after five games. And this with two new owners, the firing of coach John Tortorella, and the hiring of Barry Melrose. So it’s not going well for all concerned except Tortorella, who’s now providing reasonable thoughts on TSN. (Except for his prediction of who will win the Cup.)

 

Montreal sits in second place in the east with those bastard Buffalonians, with the Rangers leading with 13. But New York has played several more games than anyone else so the standings are slightly cockeyed. And there’s a handful of teams just behind Montreal and Buffalo, like New Jersey, Pittsburgh, and Washington.

 

San Jose’s leading the west with St. Louis, Minnesota, and Edmonton hot on the trail. Both Edmonton and Minnesota are undefeated at 4-0.

 

And John Tortorella thinks San Jose will win the Cup.

 

 

My Evil Thoughts About Detroit, Which I Feel Bad About…Plus…What It’s Going To Take For The Habs To Do It.

Pittsburgh doesn’t worry me. Either does Boston, or Buffalo, or Tampa Bay, or the Rangers. Calgary doesn’t worry me, or Dallas, Anaheim, Vancouver, and Colorado.

 

In fact, no team worries me about getting in the way of Montreal’s big season. Except Detroit. They worry me. Not a lot, mind you. Montreal will take out any team. This is the year.

 

But Detroit is a concern.

 

It isn’t even so much that the Wings landed Marion Hossa. And I’m not at all concerned about Kris Draper and Tomas Holmstrom or most of this team for that matter, including Johan Franzen, who is probably just a one-hit wonder like Iron Butterfly was with In-A-Gadda-Da-Vita.

 

 It’s three other guys in the Motor City I’m not crazy about.

 

I’m hoping Nick Lidstrom pulls a hamstring. Maybe a couple of times. And maybe Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg could break a finger or two. Nothing serious, just a finger. Even a pinky finger. They can still make whoopee with their wives. They just can’t shoot the puck.

 

But regardless.

 

This is the Year of the Habs. And all that needs to happen is this:

 

Carey Price, with a year under his belt, can’t be tired at the end of the regular season, and his confidence can’t take a nap at any stage in the year.

 

The defence, led by Mike Komisarek and Andrei Markov, has to play mean and ugly and dangerous. And this also means Ryan O’Byrne. He in particular has to play with an edge that scares the bejeesus out of opposing players. 

 

Up front, Saku Koivu needs to have one of his best years ever. Alex Kovalev has to take his magic into the playoffs. And Tomas Plekanec needs to become a household name throughout the league.

 

Alex Tanguay has to play like he’s been a Hab for years.

 

It’s time for Chris Higgins to become a real star this year. A big star. A huge star.

 

The Kostitsyn boys have to continue to blossom, as they’re expected to do.

 

Robert Lang has to make us all forget what Mats Sundin might have done in Montreal and be the final piece of the puzzle that’s been missing.

 

Guillaume Latendresse has to finally become a player. It’s time. We’ve been waiting patiently. 

 

Tom Kostopoulos, Steve Begin, Josh Gorges, Francis Bouillon and the rest just need to keep doing what they did last year because they were great.

 

Georges Laraque has to become the new John Ferguson.

 

The team needs to have a very fine power play again, like last year. And they have to score a lot of goals, like last year.

 

And they have to be stingy with goals against.

 

Youppi has to relive past glory and become the mascot he was with the Expos.

 

The Ole song must only be sung when the team’s about to win, not when it’s close.

 

And everyone, please stay healthy. (I’ve noticed that Koivu and Laraque are already nursing minor injuries.)

 

And that’s it. It’s simple!

 

Pre-season update:

The boys lose big to Boston 8-3, but take out Buffalo in Roberval, 3-2.

And with those cameras so low at the Roberval arena, it felt like we were there, in about the fourth row. It reminded me of the outdoor game in Edmonton a few years back