Tag Archives: Carey Price

Habs Win Big Against New Jersey. What A Nice Rebound From The Mediocre West Coast Swing

Tonight, Tuesday night, I’m pretty darn happy. The big game was on my brand new, big TV, and the boys, in spendid Panasonic colour, played the kind of game that I’m convinced could take them to the promised land and go all the way.

Montreal beat New Jersey 4-0, a shutout for Carey Price, a leap into first place in the east, and more importantly, a renewing of great play that was missing on their western swing where they didn’t look great in any of the four games, although they won two.

Tonight, Montreal played with passion. I thought they’d be tired after their western road trip, but they didn’t show it. The 38 shots directed at Carey Price were (as he said on RDS after the game, from the sides and not really good scoring chances). And young Sergei Kostitsyn played great, along with Price and most of the team, and from the get go , I had a good feeling about this game.

It was a great effort, and all Habs fans should be completely content with what happened tonight. Now it’s Ottawa on Thursday. Let’s pay them back for that 6-0 humiliation the Senators delivered to Montreal just prior to them going to Tampa Bay and the whole Ryan O’Byrne affair that I wish would go away but seems to stay connected to the team as we go along. 

Good job tonight boys. Vive Les Canadiens.

The Ducks Looked Like The “75 New Years Eve Habs. And The Habs Looked Like Red Army

Too many penalties (8), too many shots allowed (37), and a shorthanded goal spelled a 3-1 loss for our Montreal Canadiens this Sunday night. This game sort of reminded me of the 1975 New Year’s Eve game between Montreal and Red Army. But tonight, Anaheim was the ’75 Habs, and Montreal was Red Army.  ticket.jpg

In a nutshell, Montreal was outplayed but still made it a game, just like Red Army, who were outplayed but still managed a 3-3 tie. 

The Habs were widely outshot, 37-21, but Carey Price was great in nets or it could’ve been worse. Just like Tretiak all those years ago.

But how long is this giving up almost 40 shots a game going to continue? They can’t be doing this in the playoffs, that’s for sure.

And there’s another problem on the horizon. The team flies back to Montreal just in time to take on the New Jersey Devils Tuesday night. And Ottawa’s in town Thursday.

Gotta tighten up, boys.

Watching In Style As Montreal Wins In Phoenix

Three big things happened in the last little while. Montreal beat Phoenix 4-2, they grabbed first place in the east again because of this win, and I watched the game on my brand new TV.

And not only did I watch the game on my new TV, but I also watched it on RDS French which shows every Habs game but you need a a box or digital cable to get it, which I now have.

And even though I don’t speak a lot of French, it’s no problem watching hockey on a French network. The players names are the same, and the puck does the same thing. Any hockey fan worth his or her salt can enjoy a game even if they don’t understand the announcers.

So it was interesting to see a game in Phoenix. I’m not sure if I ever have before, and the big thing that sticks out is there were a serious number of Habs fans there, with Montreal jerseys all over the place. Phoenix, of course, gets a lot of snowbirds, so the rink was packed with Canadians seeing their Canadiens.

I also thought Wayne Gretzky had a pretty expensive-looking suit with snazzy cream- coloured tie.

It wasn’t good that the Habs gave up 39 shots, but it seems like Carey Price rebounded just fine from his weak performance in San Jose. However, I’m really hoping Carbonneau plays Halak in Los Angeles on Saturday so the guy can get some work under his belt.  

After Los Angeles on Saturday, the boys get a real test Sunday in Anaheim against the Ducks. (Isn’t ‘Ducks’ a really stupid name?)

But for now anyway, the team’s in first place in the east and my new TV, which is way bigger than my old TV, is pretty darn fantastic.

We’re Not All Part Of Leaf Nation: Especially Habs Fans

Since I started this blog, the following topic has been bugging me, especially since I don’t have any specialty channels to see the Habs more often. It alway seems like the Leafs are the priority.  William Houston of the Globe and Mail does a nice job saying just what I was thinking. Here’s his fine column.  

  We don’t all live in Leaf Nation you know

From Wednesday’s Globe and Mail

With a month remaining in the NHL’s regular season, Hockey Night in Canada should be moving to increase its coverage of the Canadian teams outside the centre of the hockey universe.Leading up to last Saturday, the two leading NHL stories in this country were the dismissal of John Paddock as coach of the Ottawa Senators and the surprising success of the Montreal Canadiens, who gave the starting goaltending job to rookie Carey Price, who won his first two games.Despite the cheery optimism of Mats Sundin & Co., the Toronto Maple Leafs are unlikely to make the playoffs.Still, the conversation on the most recent Hockey Night focused almost entirely on the Leafs, 12th in the Eastern Conference.

The first intermission Coach’s Corner: Not a word about a Canadian team outside Toronto. Heavy discussion about Leafs rookie Jeremy Williams and Sundin’s decision to stay in Toronto.

Second intermission Hotstove panel: More talk about the Leafs — speculation about Sundin and the next Leafs general manager. Nothing about Ottawa, Montreal or the other NHL teams in Canada, except Vancouver, which was mentioned in passing as perhaps a destination for unsigned Swedish star Fabian Brunnstrom.

To be fair, Hockey Night aired a feature on the Canadiens during its afternoon Pittsburgh Penguins-Senators telecast. And the pregame show carried reports on Ottawa and Montreal.

However, in the important slot of 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. (ET), when one million-plus viewers tune into the CBC, the Leafs dominated the conversation.

This seems self-defeating, because when the playoffs start, Hockey Night will be hoping that one million or more viewers become interested in, and watch, the Senators and the Canadiens, as well as the Calgary Flames and the Canucks, assuming they make the playoffs.

Don Cherry controls the subject matter of Coach’s Corner, but Hockey Night has the ability to increase the relevancy of the Hotstove outside Toronto.

Montreal-based P.J. Stock makes the occasional appearance, but on most Saturdays the three commentators are from Toronto. The programming mandate for Hotstove is originality and that is accomplished by the Toronto panel some of the time, but a good amount of the content also consists of speculation or information that has been touched on elsewhere.

Hockey Night made the right move last week when it increased the distribution of the New Jersey Devils-Canadiens game to include Manitoba-West as well as Quebec. But a bolder statement would have been to place the Habs in Atlantic Canada as well, limiting Leafs-Washington Capitals to Ontario.

The CBC will decide later this week on the distribution of the two 7 p.m. games for this Saturday, Devils-Leafs and Phoenix Coyotes-Senators.

If Toronto picks up two wins this week, perhaps placing Devils-Leafs in most of the country makes sense. If not, Coyotes-Senators would be the better choice.

A Loss Like This To The San Jose Sharks Means There’s Still Work To Be Done

It’s not so much the loss tonight in San Jose that bothers me. Teams lose, whether they’re the 1958 Montreal Canadiens, the 1985 Edmonton Oilers, or the 1979 Soviet National team. No team can go forever without losing. It’s impossible, like robbing bank after bank and never getting caught.

But Monday night in San Jose, Montreal didn’t just lose, they lost ugly. They lost by giving up 39 shots and 6 goals, which is unacceptable in anyone’s books. Ordained number one goalie Carey Price, coming into tonight’s game, had given up a stingy four goals in three games. Now tonight, it’s six. Hopefully this one game won’t blow his recently regained confidence.

39 shots on goal is not at all what the doctor ordered. Granted, the team kept it close all night, staying within a goal for most of it, but in the end this 6-4 loss is a loss is a loss. 

At least Ottawa fell to the Anaheim Ducks on this same night, losing 3-1 and stays behind Montreal in the eastern standings.

So now it’s time to rebound. It’s time to get stingy again, to tighten up, to score more on the power play, to win big.

Thursday night in Phoenix, let’s show Wayne Gretzky and those desert dogs that the Montreal Canadiens mean business. 

GP W L   OT Pts GF GA Home Away L10
1 Pittsburgh Penguins* 67 37 23   7 81 198 185 19-10-5 18-13-2 5-3-2
2 Montréal Canadiens* 67 36 22   9 81 213 190 16-12-5 20-10-4 7-3-0
3 Carolina Hurricanes* 68 34 29   5 73 203 213 19-12-3 15-17-2 7-2-1
4 New Jersey Devils 66 37 23   6 80 172 156 21-12-1 16-11-5 6-2-2
5 Ottawa Senators 67 37 24   6 80 217 202 20-12-3 17-12-3 3-5-2
6 Boston Bruins 65 35 24   6 76 179 180 17-12-3 18-12-3 7-2-1
7 New York Rangers 66 34 24   8 76 175 164 21-13-0 13-11-8 7-1-2
8 Philadelphia Flyers 66 33 25   8 74 203 189 14-12-6 19-13-2 3-4-3
9 Buffalo Sabres 66 31 26   9 71 200 192 17-12-4 14-14-5 4-5-1
10 Washington Capitals 67 31 28   8 70 197 202 17-14-3 14-14-5 4-3-3
11 New York Islanders 67 31 29   7 69 164 193 17-15-3 14-14-4 6-4-0
12 Toronto Maple Leafs 67 29 28   10 68 186 208 16-12-5 13-16-5 6-3-1
13 Florida Panthers 68 29 31   8 66 181 196 12-13-7 17-18-1 3-4-3
14 Atlanta Thrashers 67 29 31   7 65 178 219 16-14-3 13-17-4 3-4-3
15 Tampa Bay Lightning 65 26 32   7 59 183 213 16-16-2 10-16-5 3-5-2
Western Conference
Rank GP W L   OT Pts GF GA Home Away L10
1 Detroit Red Wings* 67 43 18   6 92 209 150 21-8-2 22-10-4 2-7-1
2 Dallas Stars* 69 41 23   5 87 207 171 21-11-2 20-12-3 7-3-0
3 Minnesota Wild* 66 37 24   5 79 179 177 19-10-3 18-14-2 5-4-1
4 Anaheim Ducks 68 38 23   7 83 173 165 22-8-4 16-15-3 9-1-0
5 San Jose Sharks 66 37 21   8 82 176 159 15-13-5 22-8-3 6-4-0
6 Calgary Flames 66 34 23   9 77 186 185 16-10-8 18-13-1 6-3-1
7 Vancouver Canucks 65 32 23   10 74 172 167 17-11-5 15-12-5 5-2-3
8 Colorado Avalanche 66 34 26   6 74 183 180 19-11-2 15-15-4 4-5-1
9 Nashville Predators 66 33 25   8 74 193 190 20-10-4 13-15-4 5-3-2
10 Phoenix Coyotes 66 33 28   5 71 176 176 14-15-3 19-13-2 5-4-1
11 Columbus Blue Jackets 67 30 27   10 70 164 176 16-10-6 14-17-4 4-4-2
12 Chicago Blackhawks 65 31 28   6 68 187 188 17-13-1 14-15-5 7-3-0
13 Edmonton Oilers 66 31 30   5 67 182 200 19-14-1 12-16-4 6-4-0
14 St Louis Blues 65 28 27   10 66 161 180 18-13-5 10-14-5 3-5-2
15 Los Angeles Kings 67 26 36   5 57 193 224 14-17-2 12-19-3 3-5-2

x – clinched playoff spot

Footnotes From The Day After The Night Before. Being Especially Proud of The Montreal Canadiens Today

I’m in first place this morning. Actually, the Montreal Canadiens are in first place, but because me and Mike Williamson and scores of other fans have stuck with them through thick and thin over decades and decades, we’re part of the team too. We’re team members, we just don’t lace on the skates. 1st.jpg

When the score was tied 1-1 last night, my wife was laying on the couch, very tired from getting up early. I jokingly said to her we should go for a beer after the game. Surprisingly, she said if Montreal won, we would. They did and we did! What a wife!

I got an email from Rick the trucker informing me that cows don’t have balls, bulls do. (Feb. 27 post). Hey, if it stands in a field and moos from time to time, and eats and shits at the same time, it’s a cow even if it is a bull.cow-power.jpg

Martin Brodeur would have been a fine Montreal Canadien. He was born and raised in Montreal and his dad, Denis, was the Habs official photographer for years and years. I’m sure young Martin was a big Habs fan growing up. Just like Sidney Crosby, Vincent Lecavalier, and Vladislav Tretiak. But we’re doing just fine without him, thank you very much.

When I heard the fans at the Bell Centre chanting ‘Go Habs Go’ it brought me back to another time. Unlike the past several years, I could hear real passion in last night’s chant. It felt like it was during Montreal-Boston, or the Nordiques, etc. playoff games at the old Forum. It was dramatic. It was spine-tingling. It was music to my ears.game-photo.jpg

The New Jersey Devils are a contender every year because they never change the way they approach their game. They smother the other team with checking and don’t worry a great deal about scoring. It’s effective, and really, really boring.

The Devils also blamed the officiating for the loss.

I hope Bob McKenzie, Pierre McGuire, and all the big-shot television experts learn something from this. They, in their wisdom, picked Montreal to finish out of the playoffs, in about 14th place. Maybe next year they should just say that there’s no way of telling.

During this weeks’ west coast swing, it’d be nice to see the Habs new backup goalie Jaroslav Halak, get some work. Maybe Carbonneau could start him against Phoenix, and if he plays well, let him go again in Los Angeles. It’d be a nice little breather for Carey Price, who could play in San Jose Monday and Anaheim next Sunday.

Carey Price, Cow Testicles, And The Big Hollywood Blockbuster

price.jpgplante.jpgcow.jpgBob Gainey must have balls like a cow for dealing the more experienced Christobal Huet and deciding on young, 20 year old Carey Price as his starting netminder heading into the playoffs.

But in Price’s very first start as the uncontested number 1 goalie for the Montreal Canadiens, he allowed only one goal as the team trounced Atlanta 5-1. This is the way the script should be written. This will be a chapter in the book that will come out someday about young Price, the Habs 21th century version of Jacques Plante, with the theme, “Young Goalie Given Top Job. And Comes Through In Dramatic Fashion.” 

Imagine if the score was reversed. Price has already this year dealt with shaky confidence, and a big, lop-sided loss might have sent him to the asylum. And Montreal fans, including me, might have tarred and feathered Bob Gainey.

Montreal has let in far too many goals lately, so tonight, allowing only one, is reason to feel good. And along with the book, if a movie is someday made about the dramatic events of this day revolving around the Gainey, Price, and Christobal Huet saga, I’m hoping to play Red Fisher.

Good start, but it’s only just begun. Next up – in Buffalo Friday night, and then back home Saturday for a huge clash with New Jersey. Hey, what am I saying? They’re all huge clashes.

And one last thing. Ottawa lost 5-0 the other night to Toronto, and 4-0 tonight to Boston. What’s up with that? Could it be that Montreal had too many goalies, and Ottawa has none?

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?

                       habs-logo.jpg           trades1.jpg      trading.jpg    
  star.jpg                                                                              
                                                             

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.

 

Montreal Beats Philly On Hockey Night In Canada, And Dennis Breaks Down The Nationalities For Your Reading Pleasure

Unlike their lousy performances against Toronto, Ottawa, and the two Florida teams recently, Montreal played a nice, tight game against Philadelphia tonight on Hockey Night in Canada, and won 1-0 with Carey Price earning his first NHL shutout. Ottawa lost to New Jersey, which puts the Habs just two points behind them, the closest they’ve been all year.

So life is good, for 24 hours at least, when they play the Flyers again, only in Philly instead. Imagine if Montreal wins this game too? It’d be like peeking through a keyhole at Pamela Anderson, Angelina Jolie, and Sophia Loren cavorting in a hot tub. It’d be like Pamela, Angelina, and Sophia seeing me peeking through the keyhole, and waving me in.

It’d be that good!  Well maybe not as good as that, but pretty darn good.

On Coach’s Corner tonight, Don Cherry got into a rant about good Canadian players taking a back seat far too often to European players. This is the thing I like about Cherry. He defends the Canadian boys, says Canadians are the best, just like he speaks highly of our Armed Forces people. And for anyone from another country reading this, no offence. Don’s being patriotic. And good for him. You would be too.

Anyway, for your reading pleasure, here’s a breakdown on Montreal players and where they’re from:

Montreal has:

10 Canadians. ( Begin, Kostopoulos, Lapierre, Latendresse, Ryder, Brisebois, Dandenault, Gorges, O’Byrne, and Price.)

4 Americans.  (Higgins, Bouillon, Smolinski, and Komisarek.)

2 Russians.  (Kovalev and Markov.)

2 from Belarus  ( Andrei and Sergei Kostitsyn.)

2 from the Czech Republic.  (Plekanec and Hamrlik.)

1 from Finland.  (Saku Koivu)

1 from Switzerland.  (Mark Streit)

And 1 from France.  (Christobal Huet.)