Tag Archives: Ryan Malone

It’s Their Own Fault

Tampa won the game they had to win, a 1-0 shootout over Washington, and the Canadiens couldn’t solve a New York Islanders team they should have easily beaten.

Thus, the Canadiens lose home ice advantage.

It’s their own fault. The playoffs are hard enough without handing home ice to the other team but they made their bed. The best thing to do now is win in less than seven so Tampa’s home ice is all for naught.

It’s also very interesting to see how a couple of things play out Tampa Bay-wise.

Will Ben Bishop suit up in the series? And what’s going to happen to Ryan Malone, who was busted early Saturday on a DUI and possession of a gram and a half of cocaine? One would have to think he’s in a heap of trouble.

In 1977 Rangers forward Don Murdoch was busted at the Toronto airport with 4.5 grams of coke and was suspended by the league for an entire season, although it was lifted after 40 games.

If Ryan Malone laces up in the playoffs, it won’t seem right. I’m anxious to hear what happens. Will the league put the hammer down on this? And will they do it right away?

Malone’s also a bit of a dirty player who cold-cocked Chris Campoli back in 2011 (no suspension), and head-hunted Alexei Emelin in a game in 2012 after Emelin had leveled him with an old-time cruncher that was clean as a whistle.

This time around, it’s not an-ice problem. Cocaine and a DUI is a mighty serious combo, terrible for the Lightning and the NHL. The rep takes a hit. Not exactly role model type of stuff for kids to read and hear about.

Bishop on the other hand is a different story. He’s injured but if he’s healthy and plays, that’s fine. But if he doesn’t play, them’s the breaks.

 

Emelin Bullies Malone

When they couldn’t score on the five-minute power play, it sort of summed up the entire season.

And then there was Ryan Malone.

The Habs were down 2-1, which would eventually be the final score, and Malone lost his mind because he didn’t like the way Alexei Emelin was using his body to crush him and others. And although Emelin’s big hits were clean and almost always are, they hurt, and poor Ryan forgot this was a hockey game and hitting is what happens.

Maybe some of these millionaires need to be reminded now and again that hockey isn’t for the weak of heart, it’s supposed to be hard hitting, and if you don’t like it, go to work in the mines or accounting department where your father works.

Anyway, the Habs came away with a five-minute power play because of this, and failed miserably. Again. One doesn’t have to be a genius to know that if Montreal’s power play was a normal, reasonably good power play, we’d be wondering who we were going to meet in the first round.

But back to Alexei Emelin. This guy plays hockey in a way that is pure and and tough as nails. He harkens back to defencemen like Bob and Barclay Plager and Gilles Marotte and Bob Baun. But I don’t want to say it’s old school. It’s being a hard-hitting NHL defenceman, there will always be these types of hard-rock players, and Ryan Malone, who has been an asshole before against the Canadiens, showed big time that he’s quite a baby and maybe should take up horseshoes or full-contact croquet instead..

Yes, the Canadiens lost again, their 5th straight, but there was much about them I enjoyed on this night. In fact, if it wasn’t for Lightning goalie Mathieu Garon playing an outstanding game and coming up with a half dozen or more stops that were nothing short of sensational, it would have been two points for the Habs and the beginning of their 19 game winning streak.

Random Notes:

Habs new guy Brad Staubitz laid a beating on P.C. Labrie. Not sure if it was meaningful in any way, but I kind of liked it.

David Desharnais, one of the team’s best and most consistent, went end to end to tie the game, and I can’t say enough about this guy. Small but just excellent.

Montreal outshot Tampa 24-22. Erik Cole had six shots and skated like the wind.

Thursday, Minnesota Wild pay a visit to the Bell.

Three Games For Max

Brendan Shanahan has decided that three games will be Max Pacioretty’s punishment for his high hit on Pittsburgh’s Kris Letang.

Are you surprised? I’m not. I don’t believe he deserves three games but I’m not surpised. I’m also not going to howl and scream blue murder at this because I’m not giving satisfaction to Habs haters who say we’re the whiniest complainers in the league.

We just want consistency, that’s all. I think that reason alone makes us the best fans in the league.

How can Brendan Shanahan be taken seriously when he doesn’t suspend some players, who mightily deserved it, and he suspends others, deserving or not? Until Shanahan creates a fair and just pattern across the board for everyone, I’ll consider him a lightweight in his job.

If Ryan Malone didn’t get nailed with days off for hitting Chris Campoli, if Milan Lucic didn’t sit for awhile after steamrolling Ryan Miller, if Zdeno Chara got no games for the infamous Pacioretty hit, then what could be the reason that Max, and others, get stiffer treatment?

All three, Campoli, Max, and Miller, gone for ages. Kris Letang, the one Max hit, returned later in the game and scored the winner.

We’ll live with the three games. But from here on in, Shanahan better start being fairer than fair with everyone. Otherwise, he becomes a clown. Let’s see what he does if Sidney Crosby hits someone high. Let’s watch closely how the Bruins are dealt with after questionable hitting.

We’re going to miss Max in these next three games. Hopefully the team can band together and take all three.

 

 

I Guess It’s No Surprise

I’ve been out of commision all morning due to a little thing called work, but I’ve been reading the comments and looking around and taking in as much as possible the Malone vs. Campoli vs. Shanahan affair.

Now I’m waiting for the on-camera announcement from Shanahan himself. You know the one, where he looks like he’s in grade three reading about Dick and Jane and Spot.

I thought I had it figured out. The league was attempting in a big way to rid itself of head shots, but I guess it’s only some head shots. Depends on who’s giving and who’s taking.

I was also pretty sure that previous suspensions I’ve seen this year in preseason and described by Shanahan were, for the most case, fairly dangerous and were dealt with accordingly. I thought some of them were almost as nasty as the Malone shot.

It seems Chris Campoli stuck his head out and tried to hurt Malone’s elbow. What was he thinking?

And just when I thought I knew a little bit about hockey, it seems I don’t. Because I thought it was a flagrant, vicious attack that deserved at least five games. Maybe ten. Boy, was I out in left field.

There’s no use complaining about this. It just gives Habs-haters more ammunition. They had a field day with the cops getting involved in the Chara-Pacioretty case, and now they can say we’ve taken a little love tap and turned it into a punch by George Foreman.

Of course, their miserable hate-on blinds the reality, but there’s no use trying to tell them that.

What would have transpired if Campoli had suffered a serious injury from this? Does it then make Malone guilty, or is he still free as a bird? And if he’s suspended for an injury-causing blow, then what’s the difference?

I’m also disappointed in Jacques Martin. Is he afraid to criticize the league in any manner whatsoever? When have we ever heard him blow a fuse over an injustice? Martin should have come out with guns blazing and backed his man in print and on the air. But it seems it’s not his personality, and I think it’s a big downfall of his.

Players want to know that their coach will go to bat for them. Martin has failed miserably, as he did in the Chara-Pacioretty incident.

Anyway, I’m all about Thursday, when the Canadiens take on the Leafs. We’re just going to have to do things the old-fashioned way. Win and win often.

Whether the league wants us to or not.

Much Better

A nice display by the Canadiens Saturday evening as the team dominated and controlled throughout, and a 5-1 lopsided affair re-affirms that the sky isn’t falling and the world isn’t about to end anytime soon.

At least until December 21, 2012, which is when the world comes to an end according to some.

But aside from the fact that the team played well with Scott Gomez continuing along his comeback trail, it’s the antics of Tampa’s Ryan Malone that need to be discussed. The league wants to get rid of headshots?  Then we wait for Officer Shanahan to hand down ten big ones to Malone, who was an asshole all evening, but in particular later on when he provided a dangerous head shot to Chris Campoli that had concussion written all over it.

These things are just so ugly and we’re all sick to death of it. Throw the book at him. This was a very similar hit as to what Malone’s ex-teammate Sidney Crosby experienced, and who still remains on the sidelines.

These hits may never stop. Shanahan can suspend half the league and some will still do it. Maybe Sean Avery was right when he said many of the players in the league are quite brain-dead.

Campoli could have been, or even might be, concussed from this play, and it’s his health we worry about first, and then we consider the fact that he’s our Andrei Markov replacement at the moment and we can’t afford to lose him.

It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out with the league and their ongoing crackdown.

I just glad preseason has now come to an end. I’m tired of it, and we almost lost Gorges the other night when he seemed to twist his knee, and hopefully Campoli says hello to his model girlfriend tonight and remembers her name.

Random Notes:

Brian Gionta opened the scoring while shorthanded when he intercepted a weak Stamkos pass and waltzed in alone. Gomez, Darche, Cole, and Cammalleri were the other Habs marksmen.

Full marks to Josh Gorges for stepping in in support of Campoli. This is leadership and being a team player at its finest.

Nice to see hockey in Quebec, and it’s fairly funny to think that the league might consider abolishing fighting and also might place a team back in Quebec at some point. Because we all know what happens when a team in Quebec and a team in Montreal begin a rivalry. It’s not pretty.

Now we wait for October 6th when the real fun starts. Habs in Toronto. Hopefully Campoli will be there. 

 

Hoping To Rain On Boucher’s Parade

Guy Boucher practices the famous New Yorker move in preparation for next season's Dancing With The Stars

Ex-Hab Dominic Moore is a Tampa Bay Lightning, Steven Stamkos is a young superstar, Martin St. Louis continues down his stellar Hall of Fame path, and Montreal fans no longer talk about how close the Habs are to getting Vincent Lecavalier.

Things have changed. Maybe we can begin rumours about St. Louis becoming a Montreal Canadien now that the Lecavalier madness has come to a close.

Regardless, this Lightning team appears to be a vibrant bunch, with a new General Manager- Steve Yzerman, a new coach – ex-Hamilton Bulldog head honcho Guy Boucher, and a host of players including the above-mentioned Stamkos and company along with Simon Gagne, Ryan Malone, Victor Hedman, Steve Downie and others who hope to be nasty to the good guys on Wednesday night.

It would be a real nice thing to ruin Boucher’s party. Yes, he did a great job as the Bulldog’s coach and he’s a smart and classy bench boss. But we want him to lose big on this big night and endure a sleepless few hours back in his hotel room, wondering what went wrong.

It’s our way of saying hello and thank you from the Montreal Canadiens.

Victor Hedman has mentioned that this is one of his favourite books

Leftover Crumbs From the Big NHL Amateur Draft

Drafted 28th by the Phoenix Coyotes was a young fellow named Victor Tikhonov. Tikhonov is the grandson of legendary Soviet coach and taskmaster Victor Tikhonov, who we’re all seen over the years getting nasty with his Red Army and Russian National team players.

Grandpa Tikhonov was the cause of the bitter feud between Alexei Kasatonov and Viatcheslav Fetisov. Fetisov hated Tikhonov and everything he stood for. Kasatonov was a firm believer in the coach and the system. So the two, even though they were defence partners with the Red Army club and teammates in New Jersey, wouldn’t speak to each other. I don’t know if this bitterness still exists but it went on for years so it probably does.

Igor Larionov was another who never understood the drill sargeant techniques of Tikhonov. In fact, I think the majority of Soviet players thought he was a rotten bastard.

Tikhonov was once asked by a reporter about the Russian team in 1972 Summit Series, which he wasn’t a part of. “Why does everyone always talk about that team?” he asked, annoyed.  “Some of my teams were better than them.”

I personally was at a game in St. Petersburg between St. Petersburg SKA and Moscow Red Army, which Tikhonov was coaching. After the game I joined a bunch of people milling around him getting autographs, and he was smiling and as friendly as could be. Just like a kindly grandfather. Just like young Victor’s grandfather.

Victor Tikhonov (the grandson) grew up in California and of course speaks english with no accent at all. He didn’t even step foot in his mother country until he was a teenager. So although he played in Russia last year, and played for Russia in the World Juniors, he’s basically an All-American kid.

 

Montreal drafted a kid named Patrick Johnson in the 206th pick. Johnson happens to be the son of Mark Johnson, who captained the USA in the 1980 Olympics when they shocked the world by beating Victor Tikhonov’s Big Red Machine. Mark was also an NHL’er who played for five different teams. And young Victor is the grandson of Badger Bob Johnson, the much-loved coach of the Calgary Flames and Pittsburgh Penguins.

 

Montreal also took right winger Danny Kristo at 56th, a youngster who’s years away from playing in the bigs. He’s still playing high school, then going to college. Kristo’s favourite team before the weekend was Ottawa.

For their 86th pick, the Habs chose 6’3″ Steve Quailer of the Sioux City Musketeers of the US Hockey League.

At the 116th pick, Montreal chose a goalie, Jason Missiawn of the Peterborough Petes, who happens to be, are you ready for this, 6’8″ tall!

And at 138th, they chose Russian Maxim Turnev, who Habs scouts say reminds them of Sergei Kostitisyn.

 

Last but not least is all the brand new turmoil swirling around the Pittsburgh Penguins. Rental player Marion Hossa is going to bolt the team this year and become a hired gun somewhere else. That means, of course, that it was a huge mistake Pittsburgh made by trading away blue chippers Erik Christensen, Colby Armstrong, and junior star Angelo Esposito and a second round draft choice to Atlanta for Hossa.

What was GM Ray Shero thinking? He probably thought Hossa might be the final piece of the puzzle to win the Cup. He was wrong.

Pittsburgh might also lose Ryan Malone, and who knows about Evgeny Malkin. He’s apparently been offered a boatload of money from a Russian team, and he says he wants to stay in Pittsburgh, but who knows? Los Angeles also seems interested.

Instead of the Penguins looking like the young Edmonton Oilers of the 1980’s, they could end up looking like the recent Ottawa Senators.

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.