Tag Archives: New Jersey Devils

Kovalchuk Signs With Simpson-Sears

Just 24 hours after the surprising contract rejection with the New Jersey Devils, Ilya Kovalchuk has finally signed, this time with Simpson-Sears.

Kovalchuk will be paid $214.94 for every 72.5 hours worked.

“I’m very happy this whole mess has been sorted out,” said the flashy forward,” and I’m proud to be part of the Simpsons-Sears team. “I can’t wait to get started.”

From TSN – NHL Rejects Kovalchuk’s Contract

This from TSN – “The NHL has rejected Ilya Kovalchuk‘s 17-year, $102 million contract with the New Jersey Devils on the grounds that it circumvents the NHL’s salary cap.

Kovalchuk was slated to earn $95 million over the first 10 years of the deal and then just $7 million over the last seven seasons. That would translate to an annual cap hit of $6 million per year.

The 27-year-old rejected a $101 million, 12-year extension from the Atlanta Thrashers before being dealt to the Devils in February.

Kovalchuk had 41 goals and 44 assists.”

Quit Screwing Around And Drop The Devils

The New Jersey Devils are at the Bell on Saturday night. I wonder if they’ll bring their smoke and mirrors with them.

It’s a team, these Devils, that doesn’t believe in flashiness or full-throttle offence or giving the paying customers their money’s worth. They just seem to get it done, although it doesn’t look like it while they’re doing it..

The last time the Canadiens played the Devils, on December 16th, Montreal took an early 1-0 lead and the Devils looked like they were miles from being a team that held top spot in the east. Pretty ordinary. But as the game went on, the Devils gave themselves a chance because try as the Habs were, they couldn’t beat Martin Brodeur and the Devils were only a goal away.

The tying goal hit the crossbar, then bounced out and hit Carey Price on the back of his leg and in it went.

The second goal, the winner, was a rare fire-wagon rush that saw of the Devils’ offensive guys, Patrick Elias, finish it off with only a few minutes left and New Jersey wins once again.

What  just happened? The Habs looked perfectly fine, the Devils looked extremely ordinary, but alas, the final result showed that New Jersey had won and remain in top spot.

If only Montreal could have scored a second goal to make it 2-0. But it didn’t happen, mostly because it was the Devils, a team that thrives on being stingy.

Smoke and mirrors. A bonafide star in Zach Parise and a sure-bet Hall of Fame goalie, Martin Brodeur, who loves to play against the Habs. Then there’s a bunch of guys who play a disciplined taking-care-of-business when it comes to playing Jacques Lemaires tight, defensive and really boring system. You’d think Jacques Lemaire was an old Soviet coach with the way he gets his players to do what he tells them.

If the Canadiens are going to make it happen this year, they first have to show that they can beat teams like New Jersey. They have to crack Lemaire’s checking system and they have to solve Brodeur. And after two or three games of a mini-slump, Mike Cammalleri and Tomas Plekanec have to start scoring again, although my power of positive thinking says they will with no problem whatsoever.

We’re into the new year now, more than halfway through the season, and so it’s time to take a stand. Beating New Jersey would get the Habs a lot of brownie points with fans.

Random Notes:

Andrei Kostitsyn has had knee surgery and will be out indefinitely. And the beat goes on.

Habs In Washington. I Need Payback

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Habs in Washington tonight as you know, with Ryan O’Byrne finally back in the lineup, which is good news but would’ve been even better news if Brian Gionta hadn’t had gone down. This “add one, subtract one”  isn’t the kind of mathematics I’m crazy about.

I saw the Habs in Washington 20 years ago, and every time since then, when they go there, I hope for major payback. Because it’s a terrible thing when your team gets bombed 5-0 in someone else’s barn, and seeing the hometown fans happy, laughing and cheering was just sickening.

But aside from the “Washout in Washington”, it was a dandy trip. Six of us rented a van in Ottawa and saw games in Hartford, Washington and twice in New Jersey. We even sat near the players wives’ section in New Jersey, so naturally I didn’t see much of that particular game.

I also don’t exactly remember, but I’m sure the hangover back in Ottawa was world-class. 

So tonight, once again, I’m hoping for not just a Canadiens win, but major payback for that 5-0 embarrassment all those years ago. Because when it comes to things like that, I have a long memory.

Habs Lose To New Jersey. Excuse Me While I Call The Dalai Lama

If I could phone the Dalai Lama, this is what I would ask him. “Dalai Lama,” I would ask, “How can I take Montreal losing a game, any game, with a grain of salt?”

And he would probably answer; “Take a deep breath,” my son, “think of the universe, the moon and stars, love and flowers, and then when you’ve thought of them, suck it up.”

For more than fifty years I’ve taken Canadiens’ losses hard. But only privately, never noticed by others. It weighs on me, I can’t explain it, except that I know for sure that I’ve always loved this team and I’d rather not that they lose, to say the least.

You can appreciate that, right?

And the other night, when the Habs lost to the lowly Atlanta Thrashers, I was in a lousy mood.

Deep down, I felt something. I felt that if they blew this game to a team they shouldn’t lose to, it’s opening up a whole can of worms. Because the next night, they have to face the red-hot and always difficult New Jersey Devils.

So it’s beyond my control now. I need a wise man like the Dalai Lama, to not only cope with the Habs inexcusable loss to the Atlanta Thrashers, but now to cope with what I thought could happen and did. A lousy 5-2 loss to those Devils from New Jersey.

And the boys head into the All-Star break on a two-game losing streak. My worst fears are realized.

Game Notes:

Saku Koivu played, and so did Carey Price.  I had fish and fresh veggies and dip for supper.

It’s Over Boys. Now You Can Go Back To Sleep.

It certainly couldn’t have been the way Jaroslav Halak planned on passing the reigns back to Carey Price. Halak’s stint as number one goalie was drawing to a close, and he’d done a good, solid job for the team. Soon it would be time for Price to take over.

 But in Atlanta Tuesday night, after Halak had let in three goals and the team was down 3-0 in the second period, Guy Carbonneau decided it was time. And so Carey Price is back, and Jaroslav Halak probably isn’t feeling all that great right now. In fact, I wouldn’t blame him if he snuck on down to the hotel bar later on and chug-a-lugged about ten shots of bourbon.

 But no blame should be put on Halak’s shoulders. The Canadiens were asleep for most of the game, especially the first period. And there’s no excuse for that. And in the end, they fell 4-2 to those southern cotton pickers.

 Montreal lost to a team that isn’t very good. And Wednesday they play a team that is very good, the New Jersey Devils. And if they lose that one, they head into the long All-Star break on a skid, which is the last thing they want. The Canadiens have officially shot themselves in the foot.

 But they did this to themselves. They deserve it. They stunk.  

 Will I do my job and mention Montreal goal scorers and such?

Nope.

 Will I say anything good about Montreal?

Are you kidding?

You Can’t Win If Your Goalie Doesn’t Stop The Puck

Jaroslav Halak, playing for the again-absent Carey Price, didn’t remind anyone of Jacques Plante, Ken Dryden, or Patrick Roy tonight. In fact, he didn’t even remind me of Bob Chruszcz, goalie for the Orillia Byer’s Bulldozers Midget club, of which I was a smallish yet shifty right winger.

 

Halak let in three he should have stopped in the Habs 4-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils, albeit, the first one was deflected by teammate Kyle Chipchura. But he should’ve had it anyway. Stevie Wonder could have stopped the other two.

 

In the third, Marc Denis replaced Halak in goal and allowed only one goal. Which is one too many. 

 

Carey Price needs to start eating more Wheaties. It’s play some, out some. It’s upper body, lower body, flu-this, flu-that. Aren’t young guys supposed to be indestructible?

 

Not him. Shape up, Carey.

 

The Devils winning doesn’t affect the Canadiens fourth-place standing, but New Jersey does creep within one point of Montreal and are now tied with Philadelphia with 47 points to the Habs’ 48.

 

Game Note;

 

Max Pacioretty scored his first NHL goal in his first game. But his team lost so who cares?

 

I’ve got nothing left to say. I hate it when the Habs lose. YES, they’re supposed to win every game. Quit saying that.

 

 

Carey Price And Andrei Kostitsyn Beat The Penguins

On paper it was a solid 3-2 road win for the Canadiens. But in reality, they got through by the skin of their teeth against a dangerous Pittsburgh team led by Sidney Crosby and Evgeny Malkin, of course.

 

But no matter. A win is a win is a win. And anytime you see Carey Price stand on his head like he did tonight, you know it can only be a good sign. Price on top of his game means Price is on top of his game. (You know what I mean.)

 

And anytime you see Andre Kostitsyn come through in a big way, in this case three goals after just returning to the lineup, and you also know someone else is chipping in while guys like Alex Kovalev, Alex Tanguay, and Tom Plekanec were asleep at the wheel for the most part.

 

It’s always a good win when you’re not firing on all cylinders and still get it done, and Montreal now heads down to Florida with a nice two points in the bag.

 

Hey, we’ll take it. On paper it was a solid win.

 

Game Notes:

 

The Habs play the Panthers Monday and Tampa Bay on Tuesday. Four big points here would be a great way to close off the year.

 

ENEMY WATCH

 

New Jersey beat the Rangers. This is good as the Rangers drop to third place with 47 points, only three more than the Habs who remain fifth in the east.  Good job, Devils. Just don’t think about catching the Habs.

The Real Season Is About To Begin. Help The Right Teams To Lose

The second season is about to begin and it’s where men are separated from boys. It’s where the Habs will begin to mount their serious climb up the summit. But a lot of it is up to us. We need to know how to watch and cheer against certain teams. It’s crucial that we send out good vibrations to the Canadiens and bad vibrations to the rest.

 

It all begins Saturday night when the good guys demolish the Pittsburgh Penguins. And then we start rolling.

 

There’s many villains involved, and we need to watch them closely as this second half of the season unfolds.  

 

Montreal sits in fifth place in the east with 42 points. So for us to properly watch hockey, we must concentrate on the four teams ahead of them – Boston -54 points, Rangers – 47, Washington – 45, and Philadelphia – 45.

 

There are also four teams behind the Canadiens to keep an eye on too. New Jersey – 41 points. Pittsburgh – 40, and Buffalo and Carolina with 37.

 

All of these teams must lose. Lose like crazy. These are bad friggin teams. Wretched teams. The players on these teams aren’t nice people. Especially Boston’s number 17, Susan Lucci, and most of the Flyers for that matter.

 

Imagine if Philadelphia finished ahead of Montreal in the standings? I think I’d feel kind of dirty all over if that happened.

 

And Boston, we want to crash and burn, collapse, fold, quit, choke, lose big and lose often. It’s not right that this team should be doing so well. It’s almost unnatural.

 

The next six months are going to be great. But a lot of it will be up to us. Let’s get going.

 

And don’t forget to send those good vibes to our Juniors too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number Nine Is Too Sacred For Just Anybody

  When Wayne Gretzky retired, the entire league, every team, agreed the proper thing to do was to retire jersey no. 99 permanently so no other player would ever wear it.

 

This is absolutely reasonable. Gretzky deserves this honour. He was Gretzky, for goodness sakes.

 

But there’s another number out there that deserves the same royal treatment. Number nine.

 

Number nine was the number of Gordie Howe, Bobby Hull, and of course, Maurice Richard.

 

How can you argue with that? Number nine shouldn’t be worn by Steve Downie or Oscar Moller. Number nine was worn by Mr. Hockey, the Golden Jet, and the Rocket, three of the greatest ever, right up there at the top of the mountain. It’s a sacred number.

 

Currently there are 15 teams of the 30 with a player wearing number nine. It doesn’t seem right.

 

I think all but two of these players should surrender their number nine, choose another one, and carry on. The two players, Mike Modano in Dallas and Paul Kariya in St. Louis, have had too good a career to not wear these sweaters. But when they retire, so goes the number.

 

Here are the other 13 players currently wearing number nine.

 

Eric Christensen – Atlanta

Derek Roy – Buffalo

Steven Weiss – Florida

Oscar Moller – LA

Mikko Koivu – Minnesota

Zach Parise – New Jersey

Brendan Bell – Ottawa

Scottie Upshall – Philadelphia

Pascal Dupuis – Pittsburgh

Milan Michalek – San Jose

Steve Downie – Tampa Bay

Niklas Hagman – Toronto

Taylor Pyatt – Vancouver