Tag Archives: Louis Leblanc

Weise Inked

Louis Leblanc is traded to Anaheim for a conditional 5th round pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, Michel Therrien earns himself a four-year contract extension, and now Dale Weise has a two-year extension in his back pocket.

That’s the easy stuff for Marc Bergevin, and I’m tremendously happy about Weise being rewarded. He’s gritty, tough, and full of character. And unlike the majority of NHLers, he loves the whole idea about being a Montreal Canadien.

He’s like me, only instead of gritty, tough, and full of character, I’m gritty, weak, and full of shit.

For Therrien, what happens if he loses the room or gets into a major blowout with Bergevin early into his four years?

Now it’s getting P.K. to sign on the dotted line and deciding what to do about Andrei Markov, who apparently has his heart set on a three-year deal. After a few more years, Markov will be almost as fast as Hal Gill at his slowest.

And no, now that Shawn Thornton is being set free in Boston, he’s not welcome in Montreal and the idea of him wearing the CH should never be considered. So stop considering it or I’ll spray you with water.

Downed In Detroit

Getting mighty tired of writing these depressing titles. “Downed in Detroit”. “Bummer in Pittsburgh”. Not Enough From Habs in Toronto”. “What Was That?”

Maybe I should just say “Habs Score In Second Period!”

Much better.

Detroit 4, Canadiens 1. Another day of “we’ve seen them play better”. Several months ago.

Once again the boys lose, their third straight, and once again the entire hockey world is going to mention that Carey Price has allowed four goals in their last four road games, plus one before that in Montreal against New Jersey.

Carey Price isn’t the problem. It’s the twenty guys in front of him. And the guy in the suit behind the bench.

Honestly I don’t know what to say. I babbled long and hard after the the Pittsburgh game, and I could almost copy and paste and be done with.

They’re dazed and confused. Passes are off. Guys are out of position. They’re bumping into each other.

But I’m not going to rag on them. Instead, I’m going to try and show patience and hope like hell they snap out of such a miserable stretch of their season.

And if they don’t snap out of it and fall completely out of the picture, I’m still going to wake up in the morning and have my beer for breakfast, put on my cleanest dirty shirt, shave my face and comb my hair and stumble down the stairs to greet the day.

The Red Wings scored the lone goal of the first period with Brendan Gallagher and Alexei Emelin in the sinbin, and in the second it became 2-0 when Price had a puck blow by him. But Gally slipped one over the line on the power play to even the score, and that was their time to turn it up a notch and beat that big tall Swede in the Detroit net.

But it never came to pass, the Wings scored again and then another in the third on a three on one, and all we can do at this point is hope the teams sniffing our guys rear ends do a nosedive as well and our guys hang in and somehow make the playoffs.

It’s that depressing or what? And is that ever gross about the rear end sniffing.

Random Notes:

Price made some absolutely sparkling saves, particularly on Abdelkader and Smith in the second frame.

Alexe Emelin was hurt blocking a shot in the third and was helped to the dressing room.

Shots on goal – Montreal 31, Detroit 26.

Louis Leblanc and Michael Bournival played just over six minutes. Gionta had almost 19, Bourque 15.

Next up – Saturday night, when the Caps hit the Bell.

 

 

 

Saturday Night Stinker

Daniel Briere said after the first period that the boys found themselves on their heels because of early penalties. Unfortunately, they decided to stay on their heels for the entire game.

The amazing thing is, the Canadiens had a chance to win the thing, as bad as they were and as good as Nashville was, because nearing the end of the third period, with the score tied 1-1, Nashville took a penalty for delay of the game, and the Habs power play sprung into action.

Non-action.

Not even a shot on goal, and a minute later, with just 1:27 left, the Preds made it 2-1 and as far as the Canadiens win streak goes, that’s all she wrote. The couldn’t even grab a point out of it, but they didn’t deserve to anyway.

When Nashville scored their second goal, Luci let loose with a bunch of Russian words I’ll bet Google can’t translate.

The visitors were in control for most of the night, and only Carey Price and the kids were fine for the good guys. Even P.K. was ordinary, and the Preds’ two stud D-men, Shea Weber and young Seth Jones, unfortunately outplayed our Norris candidate. Most of the team looked dazed and confused throughout, whether it was even-strength or with the man-advantage, but at least the Eller, Galchenyuk and Gallagher trio crashed the net from time to time, with Gallagher in the second period being the lone Habs marksman.

Just one of those nights. I’m thinking about driving over to Brossard to those mansions off Rome Boulevard where I think some of them live and wait till they get home so I can give them shit.

Random Notes:

Two more injuries to report – Daniel Briere taking a head shot and Brandon Prust hurting his shoulder crashing into the boards. Do you think Louis Leblanc is waiting by the phone?

Shots on goal, Nashville 37, Montreal 29.

Eller and Bournival assisted on Gallagher’s goal.

Some of the penalty calls were questionable at best, but the gang stunk regardless.

Next up – Edmonton at the Bell on Tuesday.

 

 

 

Wondering What Samuel Thinks

002

I saw this photo of five-month old Samuel Daigneault in an old 1991-92 Canadiens magazine.

Samuel would be about 22 now, and is older than Alex Galchenyuk, Brendan Gallagher, Nathan Beaulieu, and Jarred Tinordi. He’s about the same age as Louis Leblanc.

I wonder if Samuel’s a Habs fan.

I wonder if he’s not as sure about Carey Price as he used to be.

Does he think the team is too small?

Does he agree that David Desharnais didn’t have a banner season?

Does he hate the Bruins and Leafs?

Is he a big P.K.Subban fan?

Did the lockout turn him off hockey?

Does he feel the price of beer at the Bell Centre is too high?

What a cute kid, and I hope Samuel, whoever he is and wherever he is, is doing well.

 

 

 

Sunday Blues

Maybe there really is something to what was first reported a month ago, on Jan. 11th. in the Gazette, when Erik Cole said he might be retiring sooner than expected Cole Says This Could Be his Last.

And although, as Montreal radio host Mitch Melnick has pointed out in a recent piece, Cole is a notoriously slow starter (see below), he indeed seems to be showing a serious lack of interest as he patrols his wing. There seems to be no joy in Coleville. The high-fiving a referee seems almost unimaginable now. He reminds me of me when I’m at work.

Cole has played 12 seasons in the NHL, and for many people in many jobs, about ten years doing the same thing is more than enough. It’s always been that way for me. Restless feet. But if Cole retires before he’s 35, what’s he supposed to do after he’s taken the garbage out, drove the kids to school, walked the dog, and and played some Keno at the local mall?

It made me feel good to see these numbers that show Cole’s slow starts. Maybe there’s still hope for the old man, who now stands at two goals, two assists, all for a measly six million this year. That’s a lot of Keno games.

•2011-2012: In his first 15 games Cole scored 3 goals.
•2010-2011: In his first 13 games Cole scored 3 goals.
•2009-2010: In his first 17 games Cole scored 3 goals.
•2008-2009: In his first 18 games Cole scored 3 goals.
•2007-2008: In his first 21 games Cole scored 4 goals.
•2006-2007: In his fist 11 games Cole scored 1 goal.
•2005-2006: In his first 11 games Cole scored 4 goals.

I’m a little confused about the Andrei Markov situation. It was only about a week ago that he was The Man, the quarterback, that guy who gave the team a true power play. Now, three losses later and getting outskated on a Leafs goal, Markov, in the eyes of many, is a bum who can’t play in the big league anymore.

I say hold your horses. He can still skate (he’s a defenceman, not a speedy forward), he hasn’t lost his shot after a week, and his hockey I.Q. hasn’t taken a downward spiral overnight. He’s the guy who makes those short, crisp passes to move the puck out, who mentors young D-men, and now a couple of mediocre games from him and several horrible games from his team, and the guy’s a bum? I’m not ready to concede this just yet. Ten points in eleven games to lead his team. Isn’t that okay?

I’ve also heard the theory that Montreal’s woes have coincided with the return of P.K. Subban. Gawddam. The guy hadn’t played in eleven months and people are expecting him to save the world. And how many parties have you been at with P.K. to see how no one likes him?

I think the same can be said for Markov. He played just 20 games over the past two seasons with Montreal, and now he’s expected to run the show every night, eleven games in. Markov’s personality is the exact opposite of Subban’s. He’s serious, quiet, and downright sullen. Subban is outgoing, happy,and loving life. Is one personality worse than the other? Players get used to all types.

Then I see that many feel things would’ve been different last night against the Leafs if Ryan White would’ve been in the lineup because the Leafs were thugs. Ryan White likes to scrap, but he’s not great at it. He’s too small to take on heavyweights like Colton Orr. And if you want to talk about how things would’ve been different, yes, they probably would have been if White hadn’t played against Ottawa and Buffalo, when he lost his mind.

Maybe we should be wondering about someone like Colby Armstrong, who has zero points so far. Or what to do with Tomas Kaberle and guys like Travis Moen, Yannick Weber, and even David Desharnais. What about Louis Leblanc? Where does he fit in? And our captain. Two goals in eleven games. Is he leading by example? And he took that silly penalty the other night by going for a ride on someone’s back, not because he’s feisty, but because he’s too small and couldn’t move the guy properly.

I’m as concerned as anyone. Imagine if they fall apart in Florida. Imagine if this new-look, exciting version of the Montreal Canadiens ends up looking as sad-sack as last year’s version.

But then imagine that they turn things around and start to win again.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Only Five More To Go

Nice that the Islanders won their game against Pittsburgh. We want the bottom all to ourselves.

The Canadiens did what they do best. A blown lead in the third period, couldn’t get it done in overtime, and then a loss in the shootout. What do they say? It’s like deju vu all over again?

Florida beats the Habs 3-2, and all it means is, well…….nothing. Except Montreal got a lousy loser point and like I said, it’s good that the Islanders won.

Erik Cole tied the game at one in the first period, on a power play of all things, and in the second period, Louis Leblanc swept in on a three on nothing breakaway, made a nifty little move, and the Canadiens went ahead 2-1.

It was nice to see Leblanc show his stuff, but we all know from experience, in watching this club closely from pre-season till now, that a one-goal lead in the second period can only mean one thing.

That this thing was far from over.

And of course the Panthers would score in the third period to tie it. It’s what the script writer wrote. Next year, we’ve got to boot this scriptwriter in the ass and out of town.

That’s fine, this loss. My Russian gang watched it after eating their borscht. They love borscht. It’s a staple. Like beer for me. And by the way, we took this Russian family to Wal-Mart today and it was slightly embarrassing. Is today Welfare Tuesday or something?

If there was a highlight for me, aside from the solid work of Carey Price and Max Pacioretty, was what TSN colour guy Mike Johnson said. Johnson, a thoughtful and articulate fellow who played for the Habs in 2006-07 (11 goals, 20 assists), said that games after being eliminated mean more to teams like the Canadiens than they would to many others, because of the fan support. I so much liked to hear that. We put our hearts and souls into this team all season, and to see them just go through the motions doesn’t work for most of us. It doesn’t for me, anyway. It wouldn’t be right. We’ve put up with enough shit already.

That’s why Rene Bourque is in our bad books. And the others? You fill in the blanks.

Random Notes:

Florida outshot Montreal 36-29.

David Desharnais, Tomas Plekanec, and Louis Leblanc failed to score in the shootout. I like Cunneyworth’s choice of Leblanc. It gives the young fellow a chance to gain more confidence. He’s scored a beauty earlier, and set up Cole’s first period marker, and deserved a chance on the shootout.

Next game – Montreal travels 500 miles down the road to take on the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. It’ll be the Habs third straight Friday night tilt.

 

 

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.

Jacques’ Hockey School

Danno in Ottawa came across these brochures (below) for Jacques Martin’s hockey school in Rigaud and Hawkesbury. For just $425 for a 5 day session, you can learn from Jacques and return to your team in the fall new and improved and ready to go.

Jacques bills himself as head coach of the Montreal Canadiens so he might want to change the wording slightly.

Hockey schools were becoming the rage when I was a young teen, but I was never able to go because we just didn’t have the extra cash. But I had teammates who did, and I swear I never saw much improvement in them at all. And the common consensus seems to be that although hockey schools advertise all kinds of pros coming to teach, kids rarely see these stars and are mostly instructed by regular staff consisting of university and minor pro people and such.

At the Orr/Walton school in Orillia, Bobby Orr rarely showed up and when he did, it was mostly for photo sessions and the obligatory pat on the head.

There are many who feel that kids should stay away from hockey schools, that summer is a time to get away from rinks, where they had just spent the winter with coaches who yell and obnoxious and aggressive parents, and just hang out at the beach instead. I really don’t know. But like I said, the guys I know who went, didn’t come back new and improved.

But maybe Jacques’ place is different.

If anyone has ever been to one of these, I’d be interested to know how it went. Were you a much better player after going?

 

About Those First-Rounders

Ron Schwartz at Silver Oak Blog has put together a nice look into NHL draft first-round picks since 2001, showing charts and graphs, 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 the Habs picks in the new millennium, beginning with Mike Komisarek, who went 7th overall. Other first-round Habs as the years unfolded after 2001 were Chris Higgins, Andrei Kostitsyn, Kyle Chipchura, Carey Price, David Fischer, Ryan Mcdonagh, Louis Leblanc, Jarred Tinordi, and Nathan Beaulieu.