Tag Archives: Andrei Kostitsyn

Radulov Enters Habs Universe

Radulov

Alexander Radulov is a new Montreal Canadien, for a year at least, which means I think we should hardly ever think about the jerk he once was and concentrate on the fact that he might be a great guy now.

Most importantly, this is a skilled forward, a top six guy like we knew the Canadiens needed, and so a big hole has been filled, adding to my ongoing optimism that the team is now bigger, tougher, and more talented.

I hope that some of the boys from BC, like Carey Price, Brendan Gallagher, and Shea Weber, will find it within themselves to bring the Stanley Cup to Powell River next summer.

Radulov, who’ll be 30 on July 5th, made his millions these past few years in the KHL with Ufa Salavat Yulayev and CSKA Moscow. He also certainly knows North America, where his #22 sweater is retired in Quebec after starring for the Remports, scoring 61 goals and 91 assists in just 62 games back in 2005-06, his second and last season with the QMJHL club.

And of course with the Nashville Predators, where not only did he collect 102 points in 154 games, but he also earned a well-deserved spoiled shithead reputation.

Radulov dishonored his Preds contract to bolt to the KHL, and also decided to party with teammate Andrei Kostitsyn until 5 am at a bar in Phoenix, just before game two of their playoff series with the Coyotes in 2012. Who knows what else he did?

But we forget these things now because he’s a Montreal Canadien. Maybe not a Jean Beliveau-type Montreal Canadien, but hopefully a guy who can really make an impact up front.

It’s a new chapter for Radulov, and it’ll be up to him to show that not only is he a great player, but a great guy as well.

Anybody But Radulov

Alexander Radulov scored two goals in Russia’s 4-0 win over Norway today, and it’s just too bad it’s this guy who emerges as the hero.

Radulov’s the guy who once upon a time played for the Nashville Predators but in the middle of his contract decided that he could get a sweeter deal in the KHL and went ahead and signed a three-year contract with Salavat Yulayev UFA without telling the Preds.

The Preds suspended him, but sadly, took him back a few years later for some reason.

Then, in an important playoff game against the Coyotes, Radulov and teammate Andrei Kostitysn were spotted in a Phoenix bar at 5 A.M. the morning of the big game,

He was suspended once again, his contract with the Preds wasn’t extended, and he headed back to Russia where Moscow Red Army gave him a 4-year deal at 9.2 million per.

None of it seems right.

 

Bruins Sweep Penguins

Pens gone in four.

Two goals scored in the four games.

Sidney Crosby and Evgeny Malkin held pointless in the series.

For 48 games in the regular season, Pittsburgh was the powerhouse, not Boston. But the Bruins played great from top to bottom, the goalie stopped every puck but two, and Gregory Campbell personified what his team was made of when he stayed out for his shift with a broken leg in game three and then was helped to the dressing room, gone for the playoffs.

I thought it was an awesome moment. A true playoff moment. Sort of a Bobby Baun moment.

Can you see either of the Kostitsyn brothers doing this?

I hate the Bruins, but they’ve been pretty darn impressive. Would the Habs have had a chance against this team if they would’ve met up at some point?  Not with the way the Beantowners have played, which is tough and smart and almost mistake-free. And of course the goalie, who could have gone for an extended coffee break because our guys can never hit the net anyway.

Maybe Jarome Iginla should have chosen Boston after all, like everyone thought, including Boston. Instead, Pittsburgh gave Calgary a 2013 first-round draft pick and two college players to corral the former star, and maybe it wasn’t the shrewdest move by both Pens G.M. Ray Shero or Iginla.

Iginla thought the Pens had the best chance to win it all. Oops!

It also shows loud and clear that a stacked team isn’t always the best team. And is it possible that the addition of Iginla, Brenden Morrow, and defenceman Douglas Murray somehow tampered with delicate team chemistry?

Oh, well. Live and learn for all concerned. And because I’m a terrible person, I think it’s quite a classic and fun moment when this team, that was expected to steamroll to the Cup, falls flat on their face and bows out in such embarrassing fashion.

It’s the spice of life. It’s what makes the hockey world go round.

 

 

 

 

It’s Galchenyuk!

I haven’t been this excited about an entry draft in a long time. We know what this can mean for the club. A club that desperately needs a young star and game-breaker. Here’s hoping we got one.

Alex Galchenyuk’s named was called by Trevor Timmins, and add this to the Habs’ lineup – a highly-skilled, 6’2 centreman with all kinds of charisma, who plays a complete team game according to Craig Button, and who also has a good-looking mother and girlfriend.

Welcome to Montreal, Alex. Isn’t it a great thing that Andrei Kostitsyn and his brother aren’t there to lead him astray. And hopefully it’s sooner than later when he dons the CH and begins to set the world on fire. Maybe he could centre another bright light – Brendan Gallagher.

I talked about this guy the other day Going For Galchenyuk and I don’t want to repeat myself now. And I don’t want to get all warm and fuzzy about this pick, but I’ll say I’m very excited to say the least.  Number 3 picks don’t come along that often, unless you’re really lousy every year, and to get a quality, world-class, big centreman makes me all warm and fuzzy anyway.

 

 

 

Millennium First-Rounders

I thought now is as good a time as any to bring back the terrific breakdown of first-round draft picks for all teams beginning in 2001 that Ron Schwartz put together last February. I posted it then and I think I’d like to do it again.

Ron Schwartz at Silver Oak Blog has put together a nice look into NHL first-round picks since 2001, showing charts and he breaks down every first-rounder from every team and where they’re playing now. He gives us the distribution of each position, shows a world map of where they’ve all come from, and it’s a nice job and deserves a look.

See what he says and scroll down to the visual work. Have a look at all the Habs picks in the new millennium, beginning with Mike Komisarek, who went 7th in 2001.  All in all, it’s a great way to lead up to Friday.

Cunneyworth And Ladouceur Get Their Walking Papers

Randy Cunneyworth and Randy Ladouceur are now on the bread lines.

Newly-hired Habs coach Michel Therrien has decided to bring in his own people, and so the two Randys are no longer part of the best and craziest hockey organization on the planet.

Cunneyworth, as we all know, stepped into a very difficult situation, not speaking French, and trying to get a bunch of underacheivers to play some decent hockey for a change. He wasn’t able to get it done. How could he when he was saddled with such players as Scott Gomez and Andrei Kostitsyn, to name two of many?

Ladouceur became a big hero of mine when his thundering voice blasted Scott Gomez during practice. My appreciation of the guy went through the roof when that happened.

Here’s hoping Randy and Randy move on to other big-time hockey jobs and enjoy lengthy and successful careers elsewhere. I liked both of them, and it’s sad to see them go.

 

Gomez On The Verge?

I’m not ready to break into a dance quite yet as we await word that Scott Gomez is about to be bought out – Puck Daddy, or possibly buried in the minors, but the day is coming when I click my heels and dance a jig when we finally see the report that says Gomez will take some cash from the Molson vault and go away and not come back, or will be suiting up for the Wheeling Nailers next fall if he makes the team.

If it’s a buyout, as Puck Daddy says, does this mean the price of Molson beer is about to go up to pay for the sins of Gainey and Gomez?

Cap Geek explains it – Scott Gomez is 32 years old on the buyout date of June 15, 2012, setting the buyout ratio at 2/3 and the total buyout cost at $6,666,667 spread over 4 years. His contract was originally valued at $51,500,000 beginning in 2007 and ending in 2014, with $10,000,000 remaining from the buyout year forward.

When it becomes official, and it better, I’m going to say a quiet thank you, maybe a loud thank you, dance that jig, or least wave my arms around, and try to remove the image of Scott Gomez wearing a Montreal Canadiens sweater forever from my memory.

For me he was never a Hab in an emotional sense, he contributed almost nothing as he lined his pockets, and he smiled and laughed on camera, often when he shouldn’t. On some nights when the team wasn’t going well, I wanted to wipe that smile from his face with a brick through my television. Geez I’m glad I didn’t do that.

Yes, he and Andrei Kostitsyn had so much fun together, he once said. Maybe he taught Kostitsyn how to break curfew.

The moment can’t come soon enough. I’ve been waiting two years now to see this guy ride off into the sunset, and especially this year after he promised us he’d be playing so much better after being embarrassed with his pitiful 7 goal effort from the year before.

And what an empty promise it became. Two stinking goals. A lot of laughs on the bench. A couple of waves of his stick at opposing players. The odd night when he bodychecked a sheet of glass. Going a full year without scoring. When I saw him play in Vancouver, he blew a kiss to somebody near me as he skated by. Not the most focused thing I’ve ever seen.

Nine goals in two years for an offensive forward making all that cash, the highest on a team that struggled and needed him to chip in and show some moxie, which of course he didn’t. It was all just so wretched. He became the poster boy for overpaid underachievers, and he became a sad and unfunny joke on a team that needed points in the worst way. He was too ineffective, not tough in any way, and he became, deservedly so, amazingly unpopular with several million Habs fans. Although I suppose his family still likes him.

He also admitted he needs to work on his shot. A $7 million guy with a lousy shot.

For me, whoever dons the CH becomes an automatic hero. Everyone except Gomez.

Is he gone yet?

 

 

 

Kostitsyn And Radulov Screw Up

Nashville’s Alexander Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn have been suspended for one game by their team for apparently breaking curfew.

Way to go, guys. Your team is down 2-0 to Phoenix, and you’re out partying.

Radulov is the guy who bolted for the KHL several years ago while still under contract to the Preds, and was allowed to return this year, which I don’t agree with. And Kostitsyn of course is the guy who didn’t help Montreal much, and now he’s not helping Nashville.

I’m not surprised. For some players, I suppose the Stanley Cup playoffs comes third in importance, behind the Olympics and World Championships.

Phoenix Strikes First

The second round opener went on Friday night, with Ray Whitney scoring the winning goal in overtime, and the Phoenix Coyotes win game 1 in their series against Nashville.

Andrei Kostitsyn scored one of the Predator goals, assisted by another ex-Hab Francis Bouillon.

And Ray Whitney, overtime hero, is a fine example of what a good stick boy can become, as he once did the job for the Edmonton Oilers.

Next up are the Caps and Rangers, plus L.A. in St. Louis. I don’t know who to cheer for. Maybe a New York – Los Angeles third-round matchup.

Remember when our team played in the second round and beyond. Damn.

 

 

Ottawa Ousted

And there goes Canada’s last hope. The Sens lose 2-1 to New York in game 7.

Milan Michalek should be made to change numbers. He missed three or four great chances from about 15 feet out during the Sens’ torrid charge with about six minutes remaining, and he reminded no one of the Rocket, Gordie Howe, and Bobby Hull, who also donned the famous number. There were times in minor hockey when I would have a conniption fit if I couldn’t get number 9.

Michalek should wear 83 or something instead.

The Sens are dead, although they played a fine series from what I saw and read, and they should be proud of themselves. They showed the hockey world they’re a really good team and should enjoy a fine season next year, maybe just six or eight points below the Habs.

Thus far, L.A. has surprised many by thumping the Canucks in just 5 games. Washington has ended Boston’s mediocre one-year run as Cup champs. Phoenix has taken out the Hawks in 6 games and if the Coyotes go deep, Gary Bettman is going to have wet dreams. Detroit is gone after 5 games against Nashville, home of the Kostitsyn brothers, and Hal Gill, who has yet to play in the post season. St. Louis clobbered the Sharks in 5 games, and the one game I was able to see, in a restaurant, there were a ton of excellent fights. And Philadelphia put a bushel full of pucks behind Marc-Andre Fleury, including 8 twice, in their 6 game elimination of the heavily-favoured Pittsburgh Penguins.

And last but not least, New Jersey took out Florida 3-2 in double overtime of game seven, and I can’t really say why but I had almost no interest in seeing either team carry on. But I guess it’s fine the Devils won because Larry Robinson is an assistant coach, and who doesn’t like Larry?

All in all it’s been a good opening round, mainly because Boston lost. And I still have no idea who will or should win the whole thing.