Tag Archives: Benoit Pouliot

Carry On Canadiens!

Wild and wacky.

And when the dust had settled, the Canadiens give a little payback to the Rangers with a 7-4 pasting after chasing Henrik Lundqvist in the second, after enjoying a huge lead that they would blow and then regain, and who knows, as the icing on the cake, maybe we’ll even see a Ranger or two suspended!

Would’ve been a good night to be at the Bell. So much went on. Lively as hell. Lots of cheering and fretting. And now the Canadiens are alive and well, and it’s on to New York Thursday to keep the ball rolling.

Montreal practically owned the first period and led 2-1 after Alex Galchenyuk and Tomas Plekanec lit the lamp, and in the second period, after killing a couple of penalties, went up a lovely 4-1 after Max and Ren Bourque bulged the twine.

But everyone except Lucy in Russia knows what happened next. New York scored three goals on six shots, suddenly it was tied at a horrifying four apiece, and the thought of this team being eliminated after leading 4-1 almost caused dry heaves.

But suddenly, the sun came up again. Rene Bourque scored his second of the night before the period had ended, the boys took another lead, and in the third Bourque would complete his hat trick, DD would score on the empty net, and all’s well in Habsland.

They could’ve folded the tent after those three quick Rangers goals that tied it, but they didn’t. And I’m willing to bet that some Knute Rockne-like speeches were made during the intermission that kept the gang on the straight and narrow throughout the third.

An awesome win. Montreal was the better team. They’ve been playing better slowly but surely as the series goes on and the Rangers know it.

As icing on the cake, we’ll hear sometime soon that Rangers d-man John Moore will get a couple of games suspension for clocking Dale Weise in a play somewhat similar to the Brandon Prust hit. You know, the one that made Rangers fans, players, and coaches scream blue murder about.

And then picture the wailing and sobbing from the Rangers if the less-than-talented Derek Dorsett, who sprayed a flag kid with snow at the beginning of the contest, also gets more than a wrist slap for a nasty headbutt on Mike Weaver near the end.

Who headbutts? Only extreme nutcases.

Dustin Tokarski came up big throughout and Rene Bourque led the charge with three goals. A tremendous night. And lots of guys contributed.

Markov collected three assists. Max ended with a goal and an assist, Eller and Weiseboth had two assists, Galchenyuk with a goal and an assist, Plekanec had a goal, and Vanek grabbed an assist, as did Gally, Gionta, and PK.

More of the same in New York on Thursday please. Except for the part about blowing a 4-1 lead.

Random Notes:

Alexei Emelin was a scratch and hopefully he’s back on Thursday.

Final shots on goal. Montreal 28, Rangers 27.

Derek Dorsett’s a weasel. There are several on that team. And we love the idiotic penalties Benoit Pouliot continues to take. Keep it up Benny!

 

 

 

Let’s Go Habs!

The Rangers have their share of guns. Brad Richards (4 goals, 5 assists), Martin St. Louis (3 goals, 5 assists), and yes indeed, Benoit Pouliot with 3 goals and 5 assists.

There are others as well, including a quiet Rick Nash who has no goals and 5 assists and seems to be one of these guys, like Joe Thornton, who oozes talent but doesn’t have what it takes when things get truly serious.

We need Nash to continue his sleepy ways.

Benoit Pouliot played for the Canadiens in 2009-10 and 2010-11, coming over from Minnesota in a swap for Guillaume Latendresse, and we were excited because he’d been the 4th pick overall in the 2005 Entry Draft. We thought we were getting a big, long-legged, smooth and budding superstar.

Kind of like Max.

Instead he was a huge disappointment who often seemed lazy, often gave the puck away, never seemed to like the rough going, often took truly stupid penalties, and soon he was gone to Boston, then Tampa Bay, and this season New York where, weirdly enough, he’s emerged as one of the Rangers’ big guns.

Pouliot’s going to want to make a big impression in this series. He’s got things to prove. Which makes it all the more beautiful when we shut him down completely.

We also need big Rick Nash to stay quiet. He’s a big talent who’s been snoring while St. Louis, Richards, Pouliot, Brassard, Hagland and others go about their business.

Let’s go Habs. It’s a beautiful time right now. The streets of St. Hubert are alive!

 

A Much-Needed Win By Canadiens

It wasn’t perfect, not by any stretch, but the Canadiens right the ship slightly by edging the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2, and for now at least, thing’s are back to where we want them. In the win column. Is there any other place?

It’s a nice combination – winning with Carey Price being one of the three stars – and both of course are polar opposites of what’s gone down in the past week. So even though some luck was involved, and it was against a team 21 points behind Montreal, it was one small step for man, one giant leap for the Habs situation.

Brian Gionta broke the 2-2 deadlock with his second goal of the game with just 46 seconds remaining, and it came compliments of  former Canadien Benoit Pouliot wrestling Subban with a fine headlock when it truly wasn’t necessary. It was a serious lack of judgement on Pouliot’s part, and it seemed the type of thing he would pull on occasion when he was a Hab.

I’m just happy Pouliot came to this decision, and although the Canadiens power play was ineffective throughout, Gionta made no mistake when the final chance presented itself.

Although the first stars were Gionta, Price, and Alex Galchenyuk, I’d also like to give Pouliot honourable mention for his Subban mugging. Maybe at the end of the season, we can say the true turning point of a crucial turnaround came when Pouliot decided to give his best Hulk Hogan impression.

Carey Price was another story on this night. He was often lucky, with a couple of goalposts and a crossbar entering into things, but at times he was also excellent, much better than he has been lately, and we’ll take that thank you very much. It gives us hope.

Random Notes:

Two goals from Gionta, and Alex Galchenyuk once again bulged the twine, his fourth in five games, and has racked up nine points in the last nine games.

As a bit of an understatement, I’d say we need Andrei Markov to pick it up several notches. Hopefully he still has it in him. Markov has 27 points in 44 games, which is the team’s fourth best, but he’s also a minus-11, often unreliable, and has slowed down somewhat. But he’s still a key guy and we need him to get it together.

The Canadiens once again jump ahead of the Bruins with this win, and find themselves a comfortable six points up on the Leafs after Toronto fell 5-3 to the Islanders. It was a fine night in many ways.

Alex Ovechkin and his Washington Capitals are at the Bell on Saturday, and how great it would be if the Canadiens kicked some supreme derriere at this time. And how great would it be if Carey Price once again stood tall and continued his climb back.

It was nice to see Michel Therrien stay out and congratulate each and every player as they came off the ice. That sort of thing can go a long way.

 

 

 

Not Quite For Canada

Congratulations to the U.S. junior squad for grabbing gold in Ufa after their 3-1 win over Sweden, and cheers to Russia for winning bronze, although I say it with a severe case of lack of enthusiasm after Team Canada fell to the home country 6-5 in overtime.

Canada clawed their way back a couple of times after being down by two, and throughout the third period and into overtime they had numerous chances, including ringing the rubber off goal posts not once but twice. But it wasn’t to be.

It’s always tough to see young hockey players lose a heartbreaker, especially when it’s your own country. But that’s sports. The agony and the ecstasy. And in the ecstasy department, the Americans, in their game against the Swedes, rebounded in the second period after being down by one, with little Californian Rocco Grimaldi scoring twice to put his team in the lead, a lead they never surrendered.

One player who caught my eye throughout the tournament was Mikhail Grigorenko, who went 12th in the 2012 entry draft, selected by Buffalo. Montreal, of course, chose Alex Galchenyuk third. Grigorenko is a big, long-legged smoothie, and has a chance of becoming a Jean Beliveau-type player, or on the other hand, maybe a Benoit Pouilot-type player. And believe me, it’s not easy to mention these players in the same breath. Please don’t misconstrue my Jean Beliveau analogy.

Next year the tourney will take place in Malmo, Sweden, which means another two weeks of extremely early games for us on this side of the pond. Malmo is the birthplace of siren Anita Ekberg, if you’re interested.

anita-ekberg

Anita

Another Damn Point

A fun and exciting game at the Bell Centre Saturday night, and with the Canadiens falling 3-2 to the New York Islanders in a shootout, they still get that lousy loser point, and we don’t want points. Not if they’re going to lose. Not with some highly-ranked young stud waiting to be plucked from the draft list.

How come they can’t even lose properly?

The Habs now sit 15th in the east, which translates to fourth worst overall, which means with our luck we’ll end up with someone like a Benoit Pouliot-type in the draft. Pouliot went 4th in 2004 draft and as we all know, is a journeyman at best.

But who knows who we’ll get and how well he’ll play? Why am I being so negative?

Fans got their money’s worth on this night, especially when PK Subban wound up. I can’t say enough about this guy and the way he skates and moves the puck. Intensity oozes through every pore, and when he plays like he did tonight, that alone is worth the price of admission. I’m worn out just looking at him, and thanks to him, there’s no way I can finish the crown moulding I started today. I’m just too tired. Thanks PK. I mean it.

Once again the Desharnais, Cole, Pacioretty line played like the Punch Line, although the only point from any of them came from Desharnais in the shootout. But they skated well, and were a big presence in overtime. And Peter Budaj, in nets played really well and even managed an assist on Louis Leblanc’s goal. Budaj has been exceptional in his last two starts and if he keeps this up, he’ll make us all forget Alex Auld. (bada bing bada boom).

Aaron Palushaj scored his first NHL goal and now that that monkey’s off his back, we expect a few more now and again.

That’s four extra innings in a row now for the Habs, in which they’ve won one but got points in all four.

But I don’t really care. As long as we don’t get a Benoit Pouliot-type when all is said and done.

Random Notes:

Islanders outshot Montreal 38-30.

Rene Bourque was booed on occasion tonight. To be blunt, he deserves it. (Although he scored in the shootout).

The Canadiens, if you’re interested, have won 5 of their last 17 games.

Next up, Wednesday in Buffalo. There are nine games left in this season, and then we can settle down and go about the business of fixing this freaking situation. I’m currently looking for a good deal on tar and feathers.

It’s the 57th anniversary of the Richard Riot, and I felt because I’ve written several stories about this in the past, I decided to forgo it this time. You already know all the details anyway.

Lottery Balls

How does the NHL draft work? I’ll let Yahoo Answers explain:

“After the end of each NHL season whatever teamed amassed the least amount of points/wins means they are the worst team. But that still doesn’t mean they automatically get the first pick in the draft. There is a draft lottery (almost like a real lottery) where they pick out a random number. The worst team gets 48% chance of winning the first overall pick 2nd worst team has an 18% chance and so on. And usually most teams don’t try to lose because they like to show fans appreciation for sticking with them through the year.”

What that means is, even if Montreal loses to Toronto tonight (which I hope isn’t the case), and then their last 16 after that (which I also hope isn’t the case), it still doesn’t guarantee that they’d have Nail Yakupov in the uniform next year, or even the next guy or the next guy after him. But it also means that if they finish 5th from the bottom, for example, they still still have a shot at a guy like Yakupov. Although the odds are much less.

At least I think this is how it works. If I’m wrong, feel free to correct me. I’d appreciate it.

Shootout Shoots Canadiens

It was a spirited affair, jam-packed with close calls, big hits, dirty hits, questionable penalty calls, a Ryan White fight, a comeback, an overtime, and a shootout. All that stuff. Even a dirty Brad Marchand check, which should’ve been written into the program..

But when it was all said and done, the Canadiens had lost the game 4-3 while Toronto was winning in Edmonton, and the noose is so tight I’m starting to gag.

Montreal played hard and tough, with White adding feistiness, Alexei Emelin crushing Shawn Thornton and others, and so many Habs coming to play, unlike some nights when it seemed some must have been nursing hangovers or taken sedatives. The Desharnais, Cole and Pacioretty line did again what they do always do, make an impact and pick up points, and there were others too. Josh Gorges and PK Subban enjoyed fine nights, Mathieu Darche dug deep and scored a shorthanded goal, and Carey Price, for the most part, was solid.

But them we remind ourselves that Hal Gill gave up the puck in the first period which resulted in Boston’s first goal. We saw Lars Eller take a four-minute high-sticking penalty which put him solidly on the bench for much of the remainder of the game. And we saw a weak non-effort from Tomas Kaberle on Benoit Pouliot, who in turn undressed Chris Campoli for Boston’s second goal.

To make matters worse, the Bruins scored a power play marker after Erik Cole had been sent off for goaltender interference which was questionable to say the least. Cole was simply coming in hard with the puck and had no chance to avoid Thomas.

This game, in which ticket buyers got their money’s worth, was close to being over when in the third, the Canadiens made their charge when Max Pacioretty lit the lamp, Erik Cole said thank you to a Zdeno Chara giveaway, and presto, the Habs were back in it, the game was tied, and a good time was had by all.

That is until the thing got to a shootout and Rene Bourque, Max, and a semi-frozen Lars Eller couldn’t get it done, young Tyler Seguin could, and the Bruins walk out with two points in their pocket and the Canadiens just one.

What could have been. It’s just very sad.

Random Notes:

It was only a couple of days ago when Thomas Kaberle gave up the puck to Eric Staal in the Carolina game, allowing Staal to easily walk around him and score a shorthanded goal which tied the game and set things in motion for the Habs to blow it. And again tonight, Kaberle was weak on a goal and quite ordinary at best.

In honour of Thomas Kaberle being so lousy, I’ve thought up a lousy joke: What do you get when you join five Kaberle sticks together? One Chara stick.

Shots on goal – Boston 34, Montreal 29

I’m sure Carey Price would be the first to admit he hasn’t been sparkling in shootouts.

Next game, Friday in Buffalo.

For those of you who support Scott Gomez, what exactly is it you’re supporting?

Brad Marchand submarined Alexei Emelin, and luckily Emelin was okay. Marchand got a two-minute clipping call out of the deal, and I’ll bet Emelin could grind this rat into powder with his bare hands if he wanted to. Marchand better be careful in dealing with this ultra-strong Russian bear.

Beaten In Boston

The Canadiens dropped their third straight Monday night, a 3-2 loss in Boston, and although they scored late in the game to make Bruins fans maybe even slightly nervous, it was a still a loss, the team goes nowhere, and Randy Cunneyworth is 0-2, which must have the Quebec culture cops rubbing their hands with glee.

I keep a paper nearby to jot things down, and this is what my barely legible scribblings read:

Petteri Nokelainen lost the faceoff deep in his own end, the puck was sent to Benoit Pouliot, who ended up beating Carey Price, which resulted in Boston’s first goal.

P.K.Subban sent out a blind pass, which resulted in the Bruins’ second goal.

Travis Moen gave up the puck to Tyler Seguin, who found Brad Marchand, and yes, this resulted in goal number 3 for Boston.

Other than that, I didn’t write much because there didn’t seem much to write.

All I can say is, I’m quite tired of dismal play, slumps, and disappointing results, and if this doesn’t change soon, I’m going to start blogging about something more uplifting, like highlights at the dentist office, or describing how the septic truck empties the holding tanks on the ferry.

Random Notes:

Tomas Plekanec had Montreal’s first goal, with Cammy assisting. I guess it was too much to expect any more than that from these two.

Erik Cole, with 1:14 left in the third period, got our hopes up slightly but we knew our chances of beating Tim Thomas twice in a minute were slim to none.

Onward to Chicago to meet the league leaders. Oh well.

Montreal has scored 87 goals in 34 games, an average of 2.5 goals a game.

The Habs have won just three games in twelve.

Habs Can’t Solve The Goalie

It was one of those nights that seemed like it was going to be slightly tough beating the enemy goalie. And it was. In fact, Tim Thomas wasn’t beaten even once as the Canadiens fall 1-0 to the visiting Bruins, and that, combined with me laid up sick, made my night a complete exercise in misery.

Montreal went 0-4 on the power play, including a four-minute high-sticking call to ex-Hab Benoit Pouliot, and also including a Bruins penalty with just 1:39 left in the game, which should have opend the door for home team dramatics. But try as they may, Thomas shut the door, and that, with Boston checking furiously throughout, was too much for the Habs who just couldn’t light the lamp.

What a win it could have been for the Habs. They could’ve leapfrogged over Boston into the promised land. But they couldn’t score, even though they outshot the bastards 33-18. The heck with aspirin. Give me some morphine.

Once again, Erik Cole played with vim and vigour, and I’ll say it again, I had no idea this guy can scoot like he can. He can skate as well as anyone in the league down the sides, and reminds me of a younger Teemu Selanne. But even with Cole scooting and others moving the puck around, Boston stuck to their system, stayed with their men, closed gaps, and let Thomas do his thing when called upon.

That’s basically how those Beantowners won the Cup last year. It’s not because it’s a star-studded lineup. It’s because they play a tough-checking game and hope Thomas gets in a zone.

We won a back-to-back series in late October against these guys, so a 1-0 loss tonight, as great as it would have been, shouldn’t be looked at as a total bummer. The Habs played well, had their chances, and a bounce here and there could easily have shown a different result. The Bruins know it, their fans know it, and we know it.

Random Notes:

Alexei Emelin played a hard-hitting, tough game, and is exactly what Montreal needs against teams like Boston. More and more we see that this is a guy who can add another dimension to the team, and I’m hoping he finds himself solidly entrenched in the lineup. He hits hard and he hits clean. And he plays heads-up hockey.

Andrew Ference scored the lone goal of the night, and even though he didn’t give the crowd the finger, he probably wanted to.

Over in Pittsburgh, Sidney Crosby, with two goals and two assists, is now tied with Scott Gomez in points.

Next game – Wednesday in Raleigh to say hello to the Hurricanes.

 

 

They Snickered At The Cole Deal

Sportsnet’s Doug MacLean and Nick Kypreos were almost wetting their pants. Columbus had vastly overpaid James Wisniewski and others, and they were on the subject of Montreal’s new power forward, Erik Cole. (And I’m paraphrasing).” FOUR YEARS!!!” trumpeted MacLean. “Can you imagine, four years! I mean, Cole’s a decent player, but you can bet he was shocked with this offer. SHOCKED! You can be sure he wasn’t expecting that, and when this came over the wires, Cole said, “Where do I sign!”

” This deal doesn’t make sense.”

Kypreos added his two cents. “He’s big, he’s been a good player, but he takes too many nights off and he’s not getting any younger. It’s a crazy deal, like so many that have happened today.”

And then they smiled and looked saintly and carried on about others.

(I might add that Brad Richards, who everyone has been salivating over in these past few days, is only just a little over a year younger than Cole).

So as much as I’m happy, and maybe you too, to have a goal-scoring power forward added to a lineup that desperately needed a goal-scoring power forward, these two clowns rained on the parade and now once again it’s up to the Habs to prove people wrong.

Erik Cole is almost exactly what the doctor ordered. He’s not Benoit Pouliot, who came over from Minnesota as a bust, we knew it was possible he might remain a bust, and sadly, he was. But Cole plays hard and is a leader – both of which Pouliot lacked in generous heapings. We know Cole will help the team. We weren’t sure about the other guy.

But when I say Cole is a goal scorer, he’s not Guy Lafleur, and in Montreal he needs to step it up slightly to make us happy and shut up the talking heads. He’s a ten-year veteran, has toiled in 620 games, recording 184 goals and 206 points along the way. That’s something like a goal every three and a half games or so, and it would be lovely if his numbers improve slightly while wearing the CH.

I feel they will. I once read “The Power of Positive Thinking.”

And now, for your viewing enjoyment.

 I present to you possibly the feeblest video you might ever see, shot by yours truly last February when the boys were in Vancouver. This was after I missed all the good stuff with Carey Price and Subban etc. because I forgot I had a camera in my pocket. I’ve been saving it for a time when it might seem relevant, and now that Alex Auld has gone to Ottawa, it’s time.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give to you………..Alex Auld warming up in Vancouver. (Of course he didn’t play in the game).