Tag Archives: Brad Richards

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!

 

Price And P.K. Lead Team

On one hand it was a very solid 3-0 win over the New York Rangers. On the other it wasn’t, because Carey Price simply shone in goal and came up with a handful of amazing stops to stop any flow or momentum the visiting Rangers tried to muster. But all in all, it was full marks for the Habs in their win, and although New York would come close from time to time, the game seemed under control throughout.

I kind of had this calm and relaxed inner peace from the first drop of the puck. Somehow I knew they’d win and I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because this team is SO FREAKING GOOD THIS YEAR.

Michael Ryder scored his team’s first of the night, Tomas Plekanec made it 2-0 after one period, and Brendan Gallagher scored the third on the power play in the second. Ryder, Plekanec, and Gallagher – three guys getting it done. And P.K. Subban notching three assists and continuing to be the best defenceman in the world.

Several guys going good, and Price holding the fort. Now if only Max, Desharnais, and Gionta can step it up somewhat. And they will. Max needs another one of those bouncers from centre ice to go in. He started scoring every night, it seemed, after the last one happened, and now it’s time for another springboard. And with Max going, Desharnais will find himself on the scoresheet more often and he’ll quickly find a nice groove. Things snowball and before we know it, another set of guys are winning games for us when Ryder and Gallagher and the others aren’t.

Although Gallagher especially seems to be a terror pretty well every night.

The Rangers have such high-priced talent with the likes of Brad Richards, Rick Nash, and Marian Gaborik, and when teams struggle when they shouldn’t, it’s usually the coach who meets the firing line. Maybe John Tortorella might want to update his resume. And it only goes to show that having a list of big stars on one team doesn’t always guarantee a powerhouse. Often it does, but not always. The Rangers fit the “not always” part.

Random Notes:

Shots on goal – Rangers 34, Montreal 26. Price was sensational on several of those 34.

Carolina’s in town on Monday. Of course the Canadiens need this win. Have I ever said this before?

Brandon Prust was still finding his legs tonight, and at one point, took a puck off one of them and he hobbled to the bench. Thankfully he was back soon after, but he might be a bit sore tomorrow morning. I believe, for the sake of the team, Prust needs his gorgeous girlfriend to massage the painful area.

Nathan Beaulieu, in his first NHL game, saw action on the power play and showed he can skate and make smart plays. I’m sure his parents are very proud and Michel Therrien and Marc Bergevin are very pleased.

 

Rangers Tonight

Rangers

The Canadiens hit Broadway tonight for a meeting with the Rangers, and to keep their win streak alive, they know they’ll have to contain the big five – Rick Nash, Brad Richards, Marian Gaborik, Andy Bathgate, and little Camille Henry. They also know they must be aware of the Ranger’s tight defence, with stalwarts such as Marc Staal, Michael Del Zotto, Harry Howell, and Bill Gadsby patrolling the back end.

The Rangers sit eight in the east with 17 points, four points behind the second-place Habs, and at this point, N.Y. coach John Tortorella hasn’t announced whether he’s starting Henrik Lundqvist or Gump Worsley in goal.

A big game for the Habs, as they look to blast those Blueshirts and keep us happy.

Broadway Blues

Their four-game-winning streak is now a thing of the past as the Canadiens drop a 5-3 decision in New York, and yes, it’s a downer because they had their chances, but every game on every night cannot be won. It’s just the way it is.

Things stop. Like Kim Kardashian’s marriage.

You have to wonder how it might have been without the rash of penalties the Habs managed to get, beginning with a nice, slightly illegal open-ice hit on Brandon Dubinsky by Michael Blunden that created a string of penalties all over the place, including having game misconducts handed to Petteri Nokelainen and Michael Sauer for a disagreement or two.

When the dust settled and the scorekeeper needing to sharpen his pencil, the Canadiens found themselves attempting to kill a 5 on 3.

Which they didn’t do.

It became 1-0 New York, then later 2-0, and then 3-0. And I had no beer to guzzle.

After that, though, things began to pick up. With the Rangers enjoying that 3 goal lead, Max Pacioretty slammed home a Brian Gionta rebound just 14 seconds into the second, and the game suddenly became a 3-1 affair. Then the Habs took advantage of their own 5-3 power play and made it 3-2 when Andrei Kostitsyn bulged the twine.

Such wild times in Manhattan. It was like Studio 54 On Ice. The Canadiens swarmed the net, Erik Cole hit the post, but then, like a pin stuck in a Kardashian boob (even the brother’s), things went pffft. Brad Richard spoiled the party by making it once again a two-goal lead for the Blueshirts.

Damn that Richards. Was he a Habs fan growing up in P.E.I?

But wait! In the final frame, Brian Gionta blasted one home and it became a one-goal game again! We knew they were going to come back!

Except they didn’t.

New York scored on the empty net and any drama and feel-good story for Habs fans was quickly sent down the toilet of life.

All in all, I’d say too many penalties wrecked things. For example, in the first period, Montreal took 9 infractions to New York’s 3. It’s a momentum killer if I ever saw one. But I’m not going to whine. The Canadiens could have been more disciplined to be sure. (&^*%#$ referees). 

Next Up:

Tuesday the peach-fuzzed Oilers visit the Bell Centre, led by young speedsters Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle, and Taylor Hall, accompanied by veteran Ryan Smyth, who is 17 years older than Nugent-Hopkins and therefore old enough to be his father.

 

Questions And Answers From NHL Players

Scotiabank and the NHLPA have come up with a little fun thing to do in the off-season, and as for myself, it’s something I can read while waiting for summer to appear on the west coast, which may or may not happen.

They’re letting fans ask NHL players questions, and if you click The Mailbag you can see a whole of lot questions already sent in, and if you go to Mailbag Answers you can see where players are starting to reply to them.

Looks like fun to me, and I also have questions:

Hey Sean Avery, have you ever wondered why your teammates don’t like you after you said on national TV that most NHL players are dimwits?

Brad Richards, after signing for 60 million dollars with the Rangers, wasn’t demanding lockout protection in your contract slightly greedy?

To most players, why can’t you sign an autograph that isn’t an unrecognizable scribble? Bobby Hull and Jean Beliveau have certainly managed to.

Also to most players, what the heck’s wrong with playing in Montreal?

And Scott Gomez, you’re going to be better this year, right?

 

 

 

 

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).

Free Agent Fill-Your-Wallet Day. Canada Day Too!

C’mon Montreal, make me excited. And I don’t know if Jaromir Jagr does that. He’s older than Don Cherry, and I still have a distaste for the little kiss/hand thing he’d do to the crowd after scoring.

Brad Richards, however, does make me excited. Max Talbot too.

We wait and see what the Canadiens do here. Heck, they’ve got about $14 million bucks to spend. (And they still haven’t offered me the stickboy job).

And aside from Free Agent Frenzy, it’s also Canada Day! And Canada makes me excited. Proud too.

Montreal Sits Almost Pat

Trade Deadline Day saw Montreal grab Brad Richards, Jason Arnott, Dustin Penner, and Ales Hemsky, which is quite exciting, don’t you think?

No they didn’t.

It was more exciting than that, as the team sent defenceman Brett Festerling to Atlanta for goalie Drew MacIntyre. Festerling had come to the Habs from Anaheim in the Maxim Lapierre deal, who, by the way, was shipped off to Vancouver. Now, all those Canucks fans who professed their hatred for Lapierre when he was a Hab must now learn to love him to pieces.

Canucks also traded for ex-Hab Chris Higgins from Florida, which means one thing. Vancouver has just screwed themselves. Higgins is a non-achiever and a cocky soul and Vancouver fans might want to be aware that their fine chemistry isn’t so fine anymore. Of course, I don’t know Higgins personally but as a tried and true Habs fan, I know what Higgins brought to the table as a Montreal Canadien and it wasn’t much except for maybe when the team was partying and needed someone to wear a lampshade on his head.

In other news and for what it’s worth, TSN’s Craig MacTavish lists these five teams who have the best shot at winning the Stanley Cup -  Vancouver, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Detroit, and Chicago. Boston might be in there too but I’d just come off a graveyard shift when I heard this and things were fuzzy so I’m not sure.

Hell, Chicago might not even make the playoffs. And Pittsburgh’s two best players are on the shelf. It’s also amazing how so many TV folk are saying nice things about Alex Kovalev now. How come?

Trade Deadline in Montreal. Please Carey Price, Don’t Lose Your Confidence Again

Montreal traded Christobal Huet to Washington for a 2009 second round pick?

 And that’s it?

That’s the extent of movement in Montreal as the team’s in a playoff race and maybe just a small piece of the puzzle is needed to complete the picture? 

There’s no Marian Hossa. No Brad Richards. No Alex Tanguay. There’s no one. Only a 2nd round Washington draft choice.  So I’m sitting here trying to figure this out and all I can think is that Bob Gainey is trying to save money and Huet has been quite mediocre lately. Maybe Gainey likes the chemistry with the team and didn’t want to play with fire. It’s all very strange. And I’m very confused.  

Christobal Huet becomes an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, so he may have gone elsewhere, or may have asked for a great big raise from the Habs. But Montreal has extra dollars in their piggybank, and it’s not like the organization’s in trouble as they sell out 21000 plus seats every single night. So they could have afforded Huet next year if they wanted to.

The answer must be that the brass has lost faith in Huet’s ability. He’s been pretty soft lately, that’s for sure.

And then there’s Carey Price. He was sent down to Hamilton recently to get his confidence back, which he seemed to do, and has played pretty well since returning to the big club. But what if he loses his confidence again? Is Jaroslav Halak, the new backup, good enough to pick up the slack?

It’s all a lot of unanswered questions. Maybe Price, now realizing he’s the big guy, will play like Jacques Plante from here on in. Maybe Gainey knows something about Huet that we don’t. Maybe Michel Ryder, on the trade bubble for weeks now, will relax and fill the net. Maybe everyone will relax, get down to business, and go on a tear.

All I know is, I’m confused. And Pittsburgh, with Marian Hossa now in the lineup beside Sidney Crosby and Evgeny Malkin, scares me. 

Trade Day On Tuesday: What Will The Habs Do?

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When You Wish Upon A StarNaturally, trade rumours are only just that, rumours, but we can dream, can’t we?

We can dream that the talk in the air about who might be going to Montreal is quite true, thank you very much, and that boss Bob Gainey has pulled the switch that makes Montreal the big-time favourite to go all the way.

This is the latest scuttlebutt in the air about just who might be going to Montreal, although in reality, it’s far-fetched and over the top. But anyway, I’m just the messenger.

Here’s the three names tossed about who could soon wear a Habs jersey. Just keep in mind that the media types who throw these names around are the same ones who predicted Montreal to finish in 14th place this year, well out of the playoffs. So it’s usually just dead air that comes out of their mouths. This time, though, I hope they’re right

Marian Hossa

A real proven sharp-shooter. Holy Smokes, he’d look great in the red, white, and blue. It’d be like having another Kovalev on the team.

Alex Tanguay

A real good French-Canadian guy who wants out of Calgary. (Apparently he’s asked twice this year to be traded).

Brad Richards

This is the one I like best of all. A Canadian boy from PEI who knows how to fill the net and play fire wagon hockey. And who knows, being from PEI, it’s possible he grew up cheering for the Habs. It just seems too good to be true, so I guess I’d better calm down about this one.

But these are just crazy rumours, and who know’s what will happen. There’s a lot of players who don’t want the pressure of playing in Montreal (like Daniel Briere), and so, if they have a no-trade contract, want no part of playing for the best organization in hockey. (I don’t understand it but that’s just me.) 

But just who would Montreal keep as untouchables, and who wouldn’t they mind letting go?

I don’t know. But I can guess.

Michael Ryder is the one most say is gone. But he’s been playing well of late, except for the Columbus game, when he and the rest of the team kept looking at Bob Gainey’s number up in the rafters and forgot about the game down below.

Ryan O’Byrne still has charges pending against him after his big night out in Tampa Bay. I can see him being moved. If there’d be any takers.

Saku Koivu, as great a leader as he is, is now more uneffective than he is effective. His wonderful puck-handling days are a thing of the past.

Patrice Brisebois is probably finished, and would only be a throw-in as part of a large deal.

There’s others of course: Dandenault, Latendresse, Lapierre, Begin, and probably anybody else on the team if the deal suited. But if Montreal let go too many Quebecer’s, the French media would have a field day.

But most intriguing is this: What if a team is willing to part with a Sundin or a Hossa, or even a Brad Richards, but wants either Christobal Huet or Carey Price. What would you do?

Oh yeah, and about Habs untouchables. Kovalev and Markov, with honourable mention going to Mark Streit, Tomas Plekanec, the Kostitsyns, Mike Komisarek, and Chris Higgins. And very likely, Carey Price.