Tag Archives: Jordan Staal

The Staal Who Isn’t A STAAL

Today’s incredibly important information. Montreal drafted a Staal 92nd overall in 1996.

Of course he’s no relation to the Staal brothers from Thunder Bay. This one came from Denmark and never played a minute in the NHL, although he did manage 34 games in the AHL with the Milwaukee Admirals.

Is that interesting or what?

Kim Staals’ stats can be found right here – http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=37609

Habs Pluck Penguins To Force Game Seven. Now That’s Hockey!

Who needs half the defence corp? The Habs just keep on rolling, keep on surprising, keep on believing, and without Andrei Markov, Hal Gill, and Paul Mara, the gang that no one thought could shoot straight came up with a dynamic, gutsy 4-3 win over the Penguins to force game seven, and once again, I’d like to personally thank my heart for staying strong and not faltering when I wouldn’t blame it if did.  

And you can be sure the Penguins are believers in the Cinderella Habs now. Jordan Staal said it best, and when he did I puffed out my chest and I believed even more. He said the Canadiens are extremely difficult to play against and they’re making life miserable for the Pens. Or something to that effect. Regardless, he sounded tentative and worried and it made my overworked heart soar.

People I know around town who normally dislike the Habs now seem to have a new-found admiration and respect for what this little underdog is doing. It’s a storybook playoffs for the Montreal Canadiens and I can’t even believe I’m writing these words. Yes indeed, it’s good to be a Habs fan. We’ve been waiting to get excited like this for many years, and the time has come. Yippee ki yay!

Mike Cammalleri whipped home two on this night, and Jaroslav Spacek, finally back from his ear infection, tallied the third. Then, in one of Maxim Lapierre’s trademark full-stream-ahead moves to the net, scored the fourth which at first gave his team a two-goal cushion, and then eventually became the winner. It was a beauty and it makes us love the guy when we’re not ready to throttle him for taking bad penalties.

And of course, Jaroslav Halak once again, with a little help from his posts, did his best impressions of Patrick, Ken, Jacques, and Georges, and hell, you can even throw in a little Roger Crozier, Terry Sawchuk, Johnny Bower, Grant Fuhr, Dominik Hasek, and anybody else you can think of who has made magic in playoffs past. Halak is a huge reason, of course, why the Penguins are so nervous right now they can hardly sign autographs.

Random Notes:

Hal Gill is almost certain to be in the lineup on Wednesday. And wouldn’t it be something if  Markov joined him? But the Canadien players and coaches, in every pre-game interview, said these injuries are just something they must play through. And they are.

What a story.

My Friend Said A Penguins Sweep.

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A friend came up to me at work and said, “What d’ya think, four straight?” For who, I asked, Detroit? And he said no, Pittsburgh.

The more I thought about his prediction of four straight for Pittsburgh, the more I though he’d been smoking too much Texada Timewarp. I can see what he was thinking though, after Crosby and Malkin had their way with Washington and Carolina. But this is Detroit the Penguins are up against now. The defending Stanley Cup champs. A team of solid lines and solid defence, and a team of experienced stars like Nik Lidstrom, Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Johan Franzen, Marian Hossa, Jiri Hudler, Brian Rafalski, and type A role players like Dan Cleary and Darren Helm.

The Penguins have two of the best of course, with Crosby and Malkin, aided by Jordan Staal, Bill Guerin, and a remaining cast that’s good but doesn’t measure up, at least on paper, with Detroit. I can’t see Crosby and Malkin having their way with this bunch like they did with others.

So no sweep by Pittsburgh. My friend’s so wrong he should get down on his knees and apologize to the hockey gods.  Detroit has a great team and I think they’ll win it all. Game one’s in the books now, 3-1 for Detroit, and who knows, this series could be short and sweet.

By the way, the photo above is of the 1957-58 Wings. They won nothing that year because the Montreal Canadiens were winning everything. This was the middle of five straight Stanley Cups for Montreal. Detroit and everybody else never stood a chance.

American Fan Feels Habs Too Small Down The Centre

This is a letter sent to the Montreal Gazette from someone named Steve Bourgoin in Oneonto, NY, expressing his dismay at the lack of size down the centre for the Canadiens. Of course, in a perfect world, the Habs would have either Joe Thornton or Vincent Lecavalier, who both stand at 6’4″.

But we don’t.

 

The Gazette

Published: 20 hours ago

Dear Montreal: I have been a Canadiens fan since the 1970s, and think I know a thing or two about the sport. My first impression of this year’s team, and its makeup, is that with Saku Koivu and Tomas Plekanec as our top two centres, we will advance only so far in the playoffs. Playoff hockey is a different game altogether, and as last year’s semifinals showed, we lack a dominant big man up the middle with size. It pains me to say this, but until that vital position is filled, we only go so far. Happy anniversary, Montreal Canadiens.

Steve Bourgoin

Oneonta, N.Y

 

 

So that’s his letter, and it got me thinking a little. I’ve been happy with the size of the team this year, and I wondered if Steve Bourgoin was right or not. So I looked at our centres and here’s what we have, then I show you the size of the centres in Detroit, who won the Stanley Cup last year, and in Pittsburgh, who made it to the Cup finals. Then you be the judge if we’re too small or not.

 

The Canadiens at centre are:

 Saku Koivu – 5’10”.

Robert Lang – 6’2″

Maxim Lapierre – 6’2″

Tomas Plekanec – 5’10”

Kyle Chipchura – 6’2″

 

Then there’s the Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Wings:

Pavel Datsyuk – 5′!!”

Jiri Hudler – 5’10”

Val Filppula – 6’0″

Kris Draper – 5’10’

Darren Helm – 5’11”

 

The Pittsburgh Penguins centres are:

Evgeni Malkin – 6’3″

Sid Crosby – 5’11”

Jordan Staal – 6’4′

Maxime Talbot – 5’11”

Tyler Kennedy – 5’11”

 

My conclusion? We’re not too small. Although like I said, Thornton or Lecavalier would be nice.

Pittsburgh and Detroit Go For The Cup. This Is Good, I Suppose.

Two real good teams are going to tangle for the Stanley Cup. I’ve got no complaints about this. It’s not like it’s the Florida Panthers, Carolina Hurricane, or Tampa Bay Lightening. Or even, dare I say, the Anaheim Ducks.

No, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings are a solid matchup and two good hockey towns to boot. Pittsburgh had an NHL team in 1925, the Pirates, which lasted until 1930, and the city’s had the Penguins since league expansion in 1967.

Detroit’s been in the league since 1926 when they took over the Victoria BC franchise. The city and team like to call itself Hockeytown, which is a little off. If Detroit’s Hockeytown, then Montreal and Toronto must be Hockeycities.

And if the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit doesn’t start getting more fans in the seats, the nickname might have to be changed to ‘Used to Be Hockeytown.’

This leads me to my second complaint. It’s fine that Gordie Howe is called Mr. Hockey, but isn’t that for others to label the man? My personal opinion is, he shouldn’t be signing autographs as “Gordie Howe, Mr. Hockey.” Doesn’t that make him just a little bit full of himself?

Gordie Howe is considered by not all, but many, as the greatest ever. Greater than Gretzky, Orr, Richard, and Lemieux. It’s a judgement call. Hall of Fame goalie Glenn Hall told me Howe was the best there was.

He doesn’t need to blow his own horn. Let others do that for him. Let others call him Mr. Hockey.

And I say this with the utmost respect for Mr. Howe.

Am I wrong for thinking this? I’m pretty sure Mario never signed as Mario “The Magnificent One” Lemieux, or Orr as Bobby “The World’s Greatest Defenceman” Orr, or Maurice “Hero of a Province” Richard.

This year’s final is a sexy affair because of so many stars involved. Crosby, Malkin, Hossa, Staal, Malone, Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Franzen, Lidstrom, Draper. And the guy who played on the original 1926 Wings, Chris Chelios.

It’ll be good. I may even watch some of it.

The thing begins Saturday in Detroit.